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~Pontypandy Multi Rescue Set~
Age recommendation : 3+ due to small parts
Measurements : 42 x 33 x 15 cm (approx)
This playset is part of the Fireman Sam range of toys. The set is made up of several pieces including the main building, three character figures and lots of little extras including trees and cones. Fireman Sam has plenty of opportunity to save the people of Pontypandy with this playset by putting out fires and rescuing naughty children when they get their heads stuck in places that they shouldn't.
~Where To Buy~
This playset is available from Amazon at a cost of £24.76. It can also be purchased from www.woolworths.co.uk for £15.00.
It is fair to say that my son is a huge fan of Fireman Sam. I am more than happy to buy him general 'play' toys as well as educational toys. Our collection of Fireman Sam toys expanded in May when my son turned 5. He had expressed an interest in a few specific toys including this multi rescue set so when I spotted it reduced to £12.00 in my local Tesco store, I bought it. I had a double up coupon for toys so my clubcard points technically paid for it. I certainly don't consider it worthy of the £29.99 rrp though!
My son was very happy to receive this and loved that the box contained lots of different accessories. Some sets can be a little boring as they contain very little extras. I definitely consider the three years recommendation to be very appropriate as some of the extras are really small and could pose a choking hazard. They are also so small that they can be lost easily as we have experienced - they always turn up in a toy box..somewhere!
The main part of this playset is a plastic house which has an open plan back. The main body of the house is durable but the some parts can be detached with very little persuasion. One of the doors is designed to come off to allow the fireman to gain access to the building but has become lost in the process. The 'collapsing' roof has lost a few rows of tiles. Thicker and more durable plastic would have been more appropriate considering how rough young children can be with their toys. It is very lightweight and can be knocked over with very little force.
My son enjoys playing with this playset. It looks like a normal house from the front - five sets of windows and a double door. When you turn the set around, you discover that it is hollow at the back and the pictures printed on the inside give a 'living room' type appearance. There is a plastic cooker too hence how the fire is started! There are two levels to the house with a set of detachable stairs on the outside (odd). The second floor can be partially collapsed and there is a little fireplace picture with levers at either end. My son finds it simple to move the levers himself and this results in some fire showing up at the two top windows.
The extra accessories really add to the playability of this set. It looks more 'complete'. There is a large tree made of plastic, a gate, ladders and even a bucket and hose reel. There are three characters - Fireman Sam, Normal Price and Normans cat. We own a number of characters so use them all with this set. My son favours Norman Price - he is his favourite Pontypandy resident and they are very alike when it comes to being 'naughty'. The characters are well made with good detailing and whilst the other accessories are basic, they all have a place in this playset. They are quite colourful too.
The main benefit of this playset is that my son uses his imagination and oh what an imagination that boy has! He has played with this set as a standalone toy but much prefers to set up a full Pontypandy town and have ALL his sets and toys out at the one time. Even Mummy gets to play! This set appeals as there is so many scenarios that can be acted out by making full use of the extra accessories. I love seeing him play and using his vivid imagination (and also his memory as he repeats stories from the show) with this playset.
I would say this is one of the better playsets as far as 'excitement' goes. My son is obsessed with fire emergencies but in a very sensible way. He would know how to deal with a small fire better than me and with less worry! He loves zooming Jupiter (the fire engine) to this house to put out the fire. He gets great satisfaction from saving naughty Norman from the fire and the cat from the tree - typical Fireman stuff. The fact that there are visual fires, collapsing floors and roofs just adds to how 'cool' he considers this set to be as none of his other playsets have these features. He makes full use of the cones, hose reels and ladders too. I love his enthusiasm whilst attending to these emergencies as he is totally engrossed in what is happening.
Whilst I wouldn't pay anywhere near the rrp for this playset, I am happy with the reduced price that I paid. It is a fun set for my son to play with and use his imagination but obviously isn't intended for intense, education play. It is simply a fun toy but perhaps not as well made as it should be. It is easy to store when not in use. At the end of the day, my son would recommend this playset to all Fireman Sam fans but Mummy would urge you to keep an eye out for a lower price!
Thanks for reading :)
Santa brought this to our house, and he said he'd paid £20 for it from toys r us. I told santa that's a great price. The set includes the house, with movable flames in the windows, steps down the side of the house, a tree, ladder, gate which cleverly opens so Norman Price can get his head stuck in it to be rescued, a couple of fireman Sam accessories (battering ram, hose etc) and 2 figures (Sam and Norman in ours, I'm not sure if they're always the same characters.)
The set is very clever in that it allows for a variety of 'rescues' to take place. As I mentioned, the gate can fit snuggly around Normans head for Sam to rescue him. In addition, Norman stands nicely in the chimnea pot, which is a favourite predicament in our house, awaiting Sam to bring the ladders to his aid.
The back of the house is open so characters can stand in the windows, and the door opens for quick escapes.
The items are well made, as all the Fireman Sam collection is, it comes neatly packaged (though as is always the case its not easy to get them out!) and it represents good value for money. It fits with all the other merchandise available, such as the fire engines etc, which are sold seperately.