Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox

A big thank you to Toniebox for sending a unit for us to review. A post was not required, but I wanted to share all the things I wish I had known about the Toniebox before.

Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox

So, what is a Toniebox?

The Toniebox is the cutest little imagination-building, screen-free, digital listening device for kids. It’s a soft and squishable music and storybook player that is perfect for little listeners. Swap stories and themes just by connecting your favorite Tonie characters to the top of the Toniebox. Squeeze an ear to raise or lower the volume and tap the sides to change chapters or tilt to fast-forward or rewind.

The Toniebox comes to life when paired with the expansive collection of Tonies. These are hand-painted characters with hours of stories to tell, worlds to explore, and songs to sing along with. Each collectible character magnetically attaches to the Toniebox, making it simple for little listeners to change stories whenever they want.

Connect to Wi-Fi through an easy, one-time setup and then you can go Wi-Fi free after that. Charge it up and you can go cordless and take your Toniebox with you on all your adventures.

Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox

Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox before:

1} How much all of my kids were going to love it, including the teen. The marketing for the Toniebox made me think it would be for really young children, but my 6, 10, and 13 year old love cuddling up and listening together. I love that they choose it to wind down with after a long day, and they love that they can hear all their favorite tales whenever they want.

2} It’s screen-free entertainment. No app required, only your own vivid imagination required to ] bring the stories to life.

Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox

3} That it’s not just for stories. You can buy Tonies that have singalong songs, ones that have stories and songs, and ones that you can make your own however you’d like.

4} Truly no-limits fun. We put limits on TV time, on tablet time, even on crafting some days. But, listening to stories on the Toniebox? There’s never a limit to that. Slip away into as many stories as you’d like, kiddos. It’s nice to have something I can always say “yes” to.

5} That we would want to collect allllll the Tonies. Whether educational content, audiobook or sing-along songs, each Tonie is a unique listening experience. We got three Tonies with our first order, and quickly discovered what a hit it was. Then we ordered two more. And, another two. Now, we have quite the collection as well as a wishlist of Tonies we’d love to add to our story time. From princesses to bedtime stories, and with all the big names in Disney magic, it’s easy to find a few Tonies your kiddos would love. We were especially excited when we realized many of our local neighborhood toy stores carry Tonies and Tonieboxes, so we can easily add to our collection on whim or for a special occasion or long trip.

Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox

6} Tonies=Adorable décor. Tonies aren’t just fun little tools to get the Toniebox to tell your favorite stories, they are also absolutely adorable little hand-painted figurines of your child’s favorite characters. Display them on a shelf, or along a dresser, or even on a magnetic board since all Tonies attach magnetically to the Toniebox.

7} How truly portable the Toniebox is. Many products today feature photos with photoshopped cords so that they appear cordless or neglect to mention that they need continuous wi-fi in order to work, so I’m always disappointed to find myself chained to a wall or stuck finding wi-fi to use them. The Toniebox is different actually quite portable because you can just charge it up, connect to wi-fi to pull the story for each Tonie you own, and from there you can take it anywhere you like. We love our Toniebox for long car rides because it provides screen-free relaxation for the kiddos. My one hope? That eventually the Toniebox will have a case that it can slip into with a space for Tonies inside to keep them together. Right now, we just use a ziplock baggie for Tonies, but it would be nice to have an easy-to-take-with-you bag or box for storage.

8} The Toniebox is a personalized toy. I don’t know if you’ve ever shopped for personalized toys, but they cost *a lot* of money. As soon as a toy can be customized, the dollar signs start adding up. But, with the Toniebox, every starter pack includes a Creative Tonie. With Creative Tonies, you can record up to 90 minutes of custom content. Record your own favorite books, sing songs with your little one, have grandparents send special messages, and even safely store special memories that you can record for your child. If you have multiple children and want each one to have a personalized experience, simply buy more Creative Tonies for your collection. With the Creative Tonie, you can be exactly as creative as you want to be!

9} It would quickly become a favorite toy. The first day my daughter opened her Toniebox, she was excited about all the characters and the cuteness, but then she set it aside. It was clear to me that she didn’t quite understand how it worked, so I was happy to pop open the box and show her. Thank goodness I had charged it in advance and added all the Tonies to the Toniebox to download the content so it was ready to go upon opening the box. Then, all that she needed to do was to pop her favorite Tonie on top and it would start playing the stories or songs automagically. Within days it was one of her most prized possessions, which is truly saying a lot.

10} How much I would enjoy it. Not just because it keeps my kiddos happy and entertained {which is great, obviously}, but because it truly entertains me and other adults. I find myself getting drawn back into stories I’ve heard over and over again, even though I could easily recite certain parts. I guess that’s the real magic of Tonies and one of the biggest things I wish I had known about the Toniebox.

Are there more things you wish you knew about the Toniebox? I’m sure I could come up with a half dozen more things I wish I had known about the Toniebox!

83 thoughts on “Things I wish I had known about the Toniebox”

  1. I’m a grandparent buying this for my grandchild. I can charge the box but can I set this up or does my daughter have to set it up with her device so they have access to all the stories? Also, do I understand correctly that I could take a creative and record it at home and then give it to my daughter and it will work for her on my grandchild’s Tonie box?

    Reply
    • Sonya, I think your grandchild will love it! You can set it up on your phone if you’d like, it’s screen-free once it gets to the child anyway (the stories are all in the little Tonie friends/characters so a device isn’t needed). You will need the Toniebox to record on the Creative Tonie. Once you record, you give both the Creative Tonie with the Tonie box to your granddaughter.

      Reply
    • Someone needs to explain things. Toni doesn’t do a very good job of it and I refuse to pay money without knowing. So each box only plays songs from the characters it comes with? I don’t want to buy a box for a set of characters my granddaughter may want a different combination. This has me so confused I refuse to buy it because they can’t explain it with enough clarity

      Reply
      • Each character plays their story and songs, however there are a few that play multiples (the fairy tale collection and the sing a long tonies). The other option is that each Toniebox comes with a Creative Tonie that you can record. That way you can record all their favorite books and songs in your own voice. How sweet is that?

        Reply
      • I’m sure you’ve got the answers already, but the characters each box comes with are just a starter selection. Every character you can but will work with any box, so don’t worry about what you start with.
        We have bought one with four starter characters and just bought others on eBay.

        Reply
      • The Toniebox will play ANY Tonie you put on it. The ones that come with it are just the “bundle and save” deals, but it is not restricted to only those tonies. You can lock a Tonie so it will only work on your Toniebox as well, so if someone were to take it or it were to get left somewhere, it wouldn’t be usable. (Though I would only do that with the creative Tonie’s that I record.)

        Reply
      • Agreed – their instructions both tangible and online, are really difficult to follow and skirt around obvious questions/answers

        Reply
  2. We got one for Christmas (the biggest starter pack) and right from the box it didn’t work correctly. We’ve struggled to get help from the company (email replies take 7-10 days between replies). Ultimately, we believe (and they affirm) they stuck the wrong ID on our box and it simply will not work until they give us the correct information…but I have my doubts that’ll work still. Not to mention our kids watched us fiddle with the darn thing for about 6 hours (of frustration) that they’ll likely be terrified to use the darn thing if we did manage to get it working. I’ve watched this item for years and finally pulled the trigger by getting one and absolutely cannot recommend it to anyone.

    I do get a lot of marketing emails from them, though…

    Reply
    • D, I’m sorry you had this experience. I would definitely reach out and have them make it right. It sounds like they owe you a working toniebox and hopefully they can do more for you. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite things in the world, and I hope that your kids can experience the magic, too.

      Reply
      • Same thing happened to us. Our home Wifi is modernly equipped with 5G connection. The Toniebox only works if you have 2G Wifi connection. This is explained on the website after hours of frustration and troubleshooting. It will NEVER work in our home. How can you sell a device that does not work with 5G connectivity?

        Reply
        • Christing, I’m sorry that was your experience, too. Our home is 5G and we have no problems at all. I wonder if we didn’t have 5G back when we set it up? Either way, it works now with the 5G all throughout our home, so it has to be just for set up that it becomes an issue, although that doesn’t make much sense as to why that would be. Definitely reach out to the company and let them know your experience.

          Reply
        • If you haven’t gotten it working yet, try using a mobile hot spot on your cell phone. That finally worked for me after hours and hours of trying to set it up using my home Wifi. I emailed support and still haven’t gotten a response more than two weeks later so don’t expect any help from Tonies.

          Reply
        • We just bought one for my granddaughter and we have 5g tmobile wifi and it set up and works just fine. Maybe you got some misinformation? Or maybe they are referring to 5g cellular data?

          Reply
        • Your wifi router should have the option to choose between 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency. Do a quick search online on how to change your specific model of router. It will be in the settings, but it’s not always as easy as a button-press.

          Hope this helps.

          Reply
        • Have you looked on your home internet to make sure that you don’t have 2G as well as 5G? I only ask because I was having the same problem with mine and after looking I learned that under my home 5G connection is my home 2G. Alot of products that run in our homes today can’t run off a 5G connection, its too much.. example: my roomba vacuum and my printer both have to be 2G but my smart tv and roku are connected to 5G… hope this helps somebody

          Reply
    • Sorry you had so many issues. I have found that their customer service is very helpful and reply within 24 hours. We had an issue with the headphones and another was sent to us . My grandkids love their tonie box and find it very easy to use.

      Reply
    • Once you get one that works correctly, you will LOVE it. It’s songs, stories, educational info all wrapped up into one. It’s so easy for the kids use by themselves. We absolutely adore it!!

      Reply
        • You might need to change the wifi frequency to 2.4 GHz. Toniebox doesn’t work on 5 GHz. You should be able to do this in your router settings, but you may need to search online to find out how.

          Reply
  3. I’m surprised I can’t find comment anywhere on the internet that there are no original voices on Disney tonies. Tell me I’m not the only one missing Idina Menzel and Josh Gad???

    Reply
    • Yes, you can record the “creative tonies” yourself, so you can speak in whatever language you prefer, and you can change it up as you’d like.

      Reply
  4. I am disappointed that a lot of the tonies I’m interested in are out of stock and have been for several months.

    Reply
  5. Does anyone know if you can make a Tonie stop after the story? My little boy went to bed tonight for the first time with his tonie listening to stick man, he was just nodding off when the voice said “now let’s play a game!” 🤦‍♀️😩 is there a way to set it so it stops after the story?

    Reply
  6. We purchased a Tonie for our 3 year old granddaughter. The advertising told us that it was designed for little listeners, tiny hands and active imaginations and with the ‘mytonies app’, parents are always in control. Their mission statement says they are open minded, diverse and act with integrity. They want to be judged by their actions and therefore discrimination and disrespect- for their values principles mission have no place in “our” world. Further, the creators say that they designed Tonies for kids and parents who want to feel good about their entertainment and childhood is a sacred precious time.
    One of the Tonies character images says that it is for guided mindfulness and a relaxation experience, designed by GoNoodle and Tomies.
    Whose values and principles are you promoting? At the end of one of the stories, a young female voice extols the virtues of homosexuality, Tells child listeners of the wonderful drag queen parade and promotes the rainbow image co-opted by homosexuals.
    Why do you feel it is your duty to indoctrinate our young vulnerable innocent minds. This does not resemble the God inspired values our family nor millions of righteous families all across America adhere to. Homosexuality is still an abomination to The Lord. I appreciate the other figures and their tales but not the cute sexless figure with the animal ear costume with the hidden agenda for our children.

    Reply
    • Peter,

      I have no idea what tonie you’re referring to and can’t seem to find it with this description online, but I’ve never heard anything about what you’re talking about. The closest thing I can think of is the “creative tonie”, which you are supposed to record on your own. None of our tonies in any way talk about anything having to do with homosexuality, and I’ve listened to them numerous times with my kids. I would definitely have you reach out to tonie directly (I’m not affiliated with them in any way whatsoever) and see what they say.
      Good luck!
      Leanne

      Reply
    • I’ve got a Tonie box from the UK and luckily they play German Tonies as well as the English ones. Perfect for my bilingual kids! You can either order the other language Tonies through their country’s respective website or on Amazon. They also make little suitcases, magnetic storage boards and other accessories for Tonies here in the UK?

      Reply
    • There are so many available for either age – they actually go all the way up to pre-teen with junior novels now! My 6 yo really likes the Anna/Elsa/Olaf ones, as well as the Tangled and the Grims fairytales. I also recommend the Lion King and basically anything Disney. She loves them all!

      Reply
  7. I am grandmother and want to give to grandson for CHristmas. I will need to set it up first so I will have to use MY phone. Can my daughter set it up again on HER phone for when she takes it to her house after Christmas??

    Reply
    • I would have your daughter set it up on her phone just for ease. Once you set it up you don’t have to do much else except make sure that the toniebox is on wifi when you put the newest Tonies on it.

      Reply
    • My kids all share one, and that works for us. For listening in the car/while traveling, we use a headphone splitter (Tonie has a set of headphones that’s awesome because it comes with a splitter integrated). If they like to listen to the same stories, I say sharing is perfect. If they end up fighting over what to listen to, I’d get another box later 🙂

      Reply
  8. Hi Leanne, what do your older kids listen to? I was thinking it might be nice for my 8 year old especially to listen to at bedtime as she loves music and stories. Many of the characters for Tonies seem to be for younger kids? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Elaine, they love the Calm tonie, and the junior novels (Wimpy Kid and Despicable me are some), and the Discovery cubes. They are all geared towards older kids (although my youngest loves them all, too)

      Reply
  9. I have trying to set our tonie box up for days without any success. My son also tried their WiFi and cannot connect. I’m up against the Christmas deadline and the company has not responded. I’m hoping someone has setup suggestions. It keeps telling us both that our passwords are not correct. *hedgehog is the error code. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Kelly, I’ve never heard of this issue, and I’m hoping the company can help you in time – they are usually really responsive. However, I did a few quick searches and it looks like this has happened before and the way a few people fixed it was to connect to a guest network instead of the main one. Some people create a guest network for this purpose, and some people just did a return to get a new unit. Hopefully one of those options works for you! Good luck! The good news is that after it’s set up you shouldn’t have to do this ever again

      Reply
  10. This took at least 3 hours of frustration to set up. Hedgehog hedgehog hedgehog when the wifi password was right! So tried the recommended work around and had success using the phone hotspot. Though you need to work around the work around to actually get it going. In summary for the hotspot method (apple or android work 2.4ghz only – which are the older wifi frequencies) you will need to purchase 2 smart phones for this. One for the hot spot and one to log in/register the tonie box via the app. Basically make a log in and password. Then add the Tonie box in the app.. Making sure at the exact right time of blinking blue light you activate your other smartphone’s hot spot (this is because hotspot visibility does not stay on for more than a few min). Then prompted to connect to Tonie wifi network, when on select your other phone’s wifi network. Then the first phone will freeze up. You will get no satisfying notification if things are successful only a hedge hog if things did not go well. Only way to tell is a green light and placing a tonie on the box

    For all these the box needs to be reset between each of your 38 failed attempts or it just won’t work. Tip upside down wait 10 seconds then hold both ears for 10 seconds. Then unplug and replug in. Hold down both ears then wait 20 seconds — now you can do what ever set up route you choose.

    The issue I am thinking based on the hotspot being the solution, is that the Tonie Wifi output signal is too weak to actually reach the router and having the mobile hotspot in your hand places it close enough to connect without issue.

    A second work around is simply getting the Tonie Box to the blinking blue light of frustration mode (as in previous paragraph) then you log into the tonibox wifi on your pc or phone. Go to browser 192.168.1.1 then simply enter the wifi credentials of your very close router or hotspot on your spare iphone or android that you will ultimately need to purchase to make the sound box work.

    Also you cannot record your own sounds unless you purchase a creative tonie.

    There is a product by Leap Start On-the-Go Story Pal™
    Which has all the functionality of the Tonie box, zero frustration, several hours of songs, stories, lullabies, and ability to record your own right out of the box. It has sleep timer, several easy to use buttons, and it doesn’t require your kid to lug around a bunch of magnetic figurines which will definitely get lost. You can add more songs by simply connecting to USB and going online to Leapstart.

    The Tonie box is a fun novelty that is cool because you can put a figurine that will make it talk.

    Reply
    • Richard, That sounds insane, I’m so sorry that was your experience. Did Tonie help you troubleshoot at all? I hope they were able to at least hear your story and note it so that they can work on having this not happen again.

      Reply
  11. I wish they came with books, even if it was an additional cost. My 4 yr old loves reading, but without the additional help of a visual aid to help him, he quickly loses interest. Can’t say that I blame him either.

    Reply
    • MinShell, that’s a great idea to reach out to them about! I know they take customer feedback and have created numerous Tonies based on requests – you should request books, too!

      Reply
  12. Lol what a great advertisement!
    Did you edit what the Corp sent or just add photos?

    Its neat but to have 0 constructive feedback about how it could be improved is pretty dubious.

    Reply
    • Ka, I was not given anything from corporate. This was my experience, and it’s been 100% positive. I’m really sorry your experience has not been this way, but ours continues to be amazing and we’ve had it for 2+ years. I didn’t have any ways I needed the toniebox improved, hence why I didn’t suggest any. I had no idea that my kids were going to like it as well as they did, or that it would be such a vacation-saver. But, it was, and I wrote this post for anyone who also looked at it skeptically before and wasn’t sure they wanted to try it. I’m in no way affiliated with the company at all, and I was not asked to write the post. I have no way of getting them feedback even if I wanted to.

      Reply
  13. DOES need an app for setup.
    DOES need appear to need wifi to function.

    Fast forward is kinda lame, want to go 1 min in? Tilt it approx 10 times…
    Want to do just the story, sorry you have to skip all the songs… Every time….

    One kid wants stories but the other gets mad when the songs get skipped, it needs an option to start with the story.

    Reply
  14. I got big trouble to tilt and tab, its really hard to skip and go backwards, is that normal? i am about to through that thing out of the window 🙂

    Reply
  15. Super frustrated. I have tried to set this thing up for hours and Nothing. I can not find the Tonies wifi on any device and if we did it the thing would not connect. Any ideas if I have a defective box or what? I have reached out to the company but have not heard back.

    Reply
    • Laura, I’m so sorry that this has been your experience. It looks like a few customers are also having the same problem as you, which wasn’t our experience when we set ours up 2+ years ago. I’m not sure what has changed in terms of set-up, but I do know that once you are able to set it up, you’re done and won’t have to do this all again. One reader was able to do it by using their phone as a hotspot, if that’s helpful at all. Otherwise, I say that you should definitely reach out to the company again and ask for better tech support. They have always been responsive in the past, I think they might be inundated by requests right now because of this exact issue.

      Reply
  16. This may be useful information: We got a new router and no matter what we did, including a long conversation with Tonies support, we couldn’t get it to connect – it kept telling me my password was wrong when I knew it wasn’t.

    Finally, I opened the Tonies app on my wife’s phone and, instead of trying to connect to our wifi router, used my phone as a hotspot. It worked immediately.

    Reply
  17. My daughter worked for two days to try to get the Tonie to hook to Wi-Fi. But they have google mesh which is not 2.4. I took it home and it hooked up right away to my Wi-Fi which is both.
    Now the problem is can she use it at home? Some hotspots on phones are limited use, so that is not an long term option. Seems like the solution is to send it back☹️

    Reply
    • Sharon, once it’s set up, it should be good to go. You shouldn’t need to connect to wifi each time you use it, just for set up (and I believe for new Tonies you would need to connect, but I could be wrong. I’ve never had to do the connection more than once)

      Reply
  18. My 14 month old git given one for Christmas. Wow, what a total waste of time and money! Absolutely ridiculous setup procedure, you MUST have Internet AND WiFi, you also MUST setup an account and give your email, age and gender!!!
    All this to have your little one hear a story at £15 each! What happened to reading actual books to your kids?
    Boxed it back up, it’s going back.
    Boxed

    Reply
    • Bill, I’m so sorry that this has been your experience. If you’re uncomfortable with setting up the account and the stories, I would suggest you return it, too. We read LOTS AND LOTS of books to our kids (and they can all read on their own, anyway), but I cannot read to them while driving, which is when my kids listen to theirs. Mine listen to their Tonies over and over again, which makes the price tag more than worth it for them to use their imaginations and get carried away in story, but I realized that might not be the case with every kid.

      Reply
  19. My husband and I bought this for our grandson for Christmas. We’ve also spent countless hours trying to get this thing working! We’ve tried at my grandson’s home and at ours. The only emailed support my daughter was able to get was to try to connect to a hotspot. Not helpful. I’m so disappointed as I was really looking forward to my grandson having this toy! I also cannot recommend this toy to anyone.

    Reply
    • Michelle, I’m so sorry that this has been your experience. It looks like a few customers are also having the same problem as you, which wasn’t our experience when we set ours up 2+ years ago. I’m not sure what has changed in terms of set-up, but I do know that once you are able to set it up, you’re done and won’t have to do this all again. We never use it connected to Wi-Fi, it’s always on the road while traveling, it was just for the first few minutes to set it up that we needed to connect. One reader was able to do it by using their phone as a hotspot, if that’s helpful at all. Otherwise, I say that you should definitely reach out to the company and ask for better tech support. They have always been responsive in the past, I think they might be inundated by requests right now because of this exact issue.

      Reply
      • Where can you go to rate Tonie Box’s terrible customer service? I bought 5… none work bc of 5G. I can’t get replacements. It says my model numbers don’t apply. Most frustrating product experience ever. I’ve never rated a product before so I don’t know how. My rating is HORRIBLE because there is no customer service. I don’t like being a negative nancy but a first for everything I’m sad to say. Can you advise? Sorry to put this on you. Just trying to find someone to respond. Been working on this since before Christmas. [email protected] Thanks so much.

        Reply
        • I’m so sorry this was your experience. Is there a phone number on the guide to reach out to or an email? I haven’t gotten any answers on my emails since August, unfortunately.

          Reply
  20. My MIL (out of state) bought a Creative Tonie. She wants to record herself on the Tonie. If she doesn’t have our Tonie Box, how would this work?

    Reply
  21. A few things I wish I had known before buying a Toniebox for my daughter:

    1) It is very difficult and cumbersome to setup. It will take a long time, and will have to look up how things works and why a lot. You have to create a whole online account, password, credentials and learn an app just to use the toniebox. So far its been more work me than anything else. When did kids toy’s require hours of research/input from parents?

    I had an animal error code which then sent me down a rabbit hole, and involved using hotspots to setup. Luckily I have a second device and work in IT. God knows how none IT literate people deal with this.

    2) Instructions, the errors, light symbols and controls are far from clear. And online instructions are not helpful.
    – Firstly you have to understand the toy: difference between regular tonies, and creative tonies, what they can and can’t do.
    – flashing lights and, solid lights and red flashes are never clear and labelled buttons would be helpful. I have to refer back to the manual every time
    – skipping forward and fast forwarding don’t work every time. Hitting the side of the box to skip forward a track only works if you action just right. But you quickly loose where you are if you do – as no screen of course. I doubt my child will ever need these, and so why make them ‘fun’? Also which was is forward and which back? No where in instructions or online does this say. So I still don’t know if Im fast forwarding or rewinding…. Also, who knew to reset, you would have to hold the device upside down whilst plugged in for 10 seconds (which is awkward itself). Again kids won’t be doign this so why not just have a very small reset button or have it in the app? Volume up and down (the ears) are two similar sizes so only once I looked at the manual did this make sense. (shouldnt have to find instructions to turn up/down volume).

    3) Can’t control easily. my child often leaves a tonie on and playing after listening for half a minute. … and I have to leave my desk to go remove it. No clear instructions how to turn off a toniebox, or if/how you can turn off from app. Again – jsut adding more work for parents.

    4) Cstomer service requires filling in all details about toniebox ID, Customer ID etc. I wanted to submit a Q whilst I was in the office. Of course I don’t have the toniebox with me, and so another item on my to-do list. Questions like ‘where did I purchase the Tonie’ from is a requirement just to submit a ticket :/
    Sigh. One of my biggest pet peeves is ‘required’ data which prohibits you from submitting if not populated – which really isn’t required… Just encourages you to input false data.

    In sum, whilst the children might like it, it’s far too much additional work – when my daughter would be just as happy with a cardboard box.
    I think the idea is ok (i.e. a robust audio box which tells stories – by physically add the toy) but really we have kids MP3s for that. But it’s very difficult to setup, use and understand.

    Now hopefully have shared some useful insights for others.
    I hope this information allows others to benefit from my work and efforts, and reduces lost time.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.