“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Action Figures „
We bought this Octonauts Gup Mission toy for my son for Christmas, at his request. He saw it in Tesco and went on and on about it for at last a month. As he seemed se keen on it I decided to double up some of my clubcard vouchers and buy it for him. The toy cost £20 but only cost me £10 worth of vouchers. I think I would have ben a lot more reluctant to part with £20 cash as it doesn't seem worth it for this toy, and after seeing my son play with it I believe that even more.
This toy is from the Octonauts cartoon series about little creatures that go on undersea missions to rescue sea creatures in trouble. There are a few different Octonaut submarines and each one comes with a different Octonaut character and a few accessories. The one my son requested was the Gup Mission toy. It is a light blue submarine and comes with the Barnacles character as well as a little red fish, a plastic net and a grabber hook. The submarine has a clear plastic window at the front and this flips up to allow the character toy to sit inside. The main body of the sub also flips open so you can put characters into the main area too. It has a wind up part on the back and this is meant to propel it through the water. This means it doesn't require batteries, making it the ideal bathtime toy, or so I thought.
We first used this toy on Christmas night as my son couldn't wait to play with it. To start with he wanted to move it through the water himself, creating little scenes where the Octonaut had to rescue various other bath toys. Then he asked me to wind the submarine up. Winding it up is easy and I think my 4 year old could probably manage it himself if he could be bothered! However, when I put it into the water it was very disappointing. It never really moved forward more than a few centimeters and instead just floundered about a bit. Another problem we found is with the front window. It doesn't seem to close properly and this annoyed my son while he was playing with it. It looks as though it should clip closed but it doesn't catch correctly, so just pops open. This seemed to make it even harder for it to travel in the water. To be honest, the dodgy window makes the whole toy seem a bit cheap, which it certainly wasn't.
After a few attempts at getting this to work, my son got fed up with it and played with something else. He hasn't asked for this again at bathtime.
In conclusion, both my son and I have been rather disappointed with this submarine. It seemed a great idea and it would have been with a few improvements. Sadly though, it is now at the bottom of his toy box and hasn't been played with for over a month. He does play with the little character that came with the submarine but that is certainly not worth the £20 this toy cost.
Th submarine is available from Tesco, Amazon and, I would imagine, most other toy shops. It is suitable for ages 3+.