Despite a real love of construction and small world in our house, we’ve never actually had any PLAYMOBIL toys until now. I guess we’ve stuck to the HappyLand which is obviously a bit younger, or LEGO which is a different ball (or brick) game entirely. I’m thrilled that we’ve been asked to be PLAYMOBIL Playologists this year as it means we’re going to be introducing plenty of PLAYMOBIL to our house and I know it’s going to be loved by all three of them! As a top manufacturer of preschool toys, it feels a little like PLAYMOBIL has a foot in both camps so to speak suiting Ben’s love of making things and the girls’ love of small world. Amy in particular loves small world at the moment and the more grown up feel to PLAYMOBIL means the big two are far more likely to want to play along. (And let’s face it, anything which has all three kids playing happily together is onto a winner!)
As Ben is pretty experienced when it comes to building various constructions sets I decided to leave him to it. The PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief’s Car comes part built with a booklet of clear pictorial instructions on how to complete it. Unfortunately we didn’t realise there are two parts to the book – if you start at one end it tells you how to complete the basic car, if you start at the other end it tells you how to fit the remote control unit. We started at the wrong end. This meant the instructions felt unnecessarily complicated as we kept finding bits that were irrelevant . . . more fool us! We only realised once Ben had put the whole set together that there was a more basic version of the instructions at the other end of the booklet!
The Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound can be upgraded with a RC module – I must admit neither Ben nor I could understand why it wasn’t just included in the set. It was a bit “Look what you could have won” – particularly as we found the back wheels on the car didn’t seem to move very freely and Ben felt this was probably because it was designed to be remote control.
Aside from this niggle the set was really quite simple to fit together. Ben found the wheels a little frustrating as they didn’t fit together in quite the way he had expected – and then as I have mentioned didn’t seem to move very freely once on the vehicle. He really enjoyed adding the stickers for the sat nav and the vehicle registration plate.
The Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound does not include batteries so do make sure you’ve got that single AAA battery to hand if you want to enjoy the full siren effect! (Or don’t . . . . ) Along with the vehicle itself, the set includes a PLAYMOBIL figure with megaphone, traffic cones, fire extinguisher and other associated paraphernalia.
This particular set is a limited-edition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Fire Brigade with 10% of the proceeds going to the Brigade’s charity of choice. I think this is a lovely idea but Ben couldn’t quite work out what the stickers were for as there wasn’t a space for them on the car as it was already printed.
The set is a great size for little hands to be able to manipulate – chunky yet with small pieces for those children who have more developed fine motor skills.
* We were sent the PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound free of charge for the purposes of review. All thoughts and opinions remain our own*