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One of the gifts my daughter received for her first birthday was the Vtech Alphabet train.
The Vtech Alphabet train is a brightly cover train and carriage which can be used as a walker or ride on a well as for sit down play as there are lots of interactive features on the side panel of the train. There are 13 double sided alphabet bricks in the carriage which can be inserted into the interactive panel or posted into a slot on the top, where they then shoot out into the carriage.
My daughter uses the sit down play function the most- there really is so much for little ones to do. My daughter loves to push the blocks into the slot on the top of the train, she never tires of this game and finds it magical how she pushes them into the hole and then they come out of the back of the train into the carriage.
She also loves the book on the side panel of the train. She loves to turn the pages and the trains senses the movement and will tell you something about the letters on the page. The book is described as non-rip and it really is, it is absolutely pristine, despite some rough play.
The side panel of the train also has slots for the letters and the sensors can identify the letters inserted and tell you about them or ask you to find certain letters.
The voice and music is very pleasant and does not become irritating like many toys do when your child constantly plays with them. The songs and words are clear and very easy to understand. Some of the songs are even quite catchy.
The train is very well made and designed and is eye catching with lovely bold colours. It copes very well with the rough play of a small child and is easy to wipe clean.
The batteries which are supplied last very well, and despite considerable use over the last 3 months have yet to be replaced.
The only downside to this wonderful toy that we have discovered is that when using the train as a ride on the handle is a bit too far forward, and my little girl does not feel safe or look as though she is comfortable and as a result will not use this toy as a ride on. However this will be less of an issue as she gets older and bigger.
~Price & Availability~
The Vtech Alphabet train is widely available in shops and online. It is currently for sale on the Amazon website for £44.99.
My daughter absolutely loves her Vtech Alphabet train, it is always one of the first toys that she wants to play with and it gets used every single day without fail. There are so many functions for her to use, and she will happily play for hours. This toy is both fun and educational, and I can see it being used for quite some time to come. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
We received this for my sons first birthday with the recommended age being from 1 year old. He is currently 13 months old and doesn't quite enjoy sitting on it yet but I do think it'll be one of those toys that grows with him as he loves to play with the bricks that came with it just now, posting them through the holes and is learning how to climb on it, and so far it has held his interest well and encouraged him to do things he hasn't with his other toys, like climb and push as a walker.
The train itself is colourful and bright, it holds his attention well in the look of it. It comes with 26 illustrated alphabet bricks and the train itself has a feature to match the blocks with a booklet on the side and tells you what the letter is, a feature I think will come in handy as he grows. It also encourages children to post them in to fly out of the back, this makes my little one giggle for ages! The music played isn't the annoying screachy sound most 1 year olds toys make so is easy to tolerate and enjoyable for little ears.
As with all of the Vtech toys we have I can tell this one is built to last, sturdy, hard wearing and able to take the daily climbing and knocking over that my sons throws at it. The back also detatches for it to become a walker, a feature regularly used by us!
All in all, a great quality toy well worth the £45 price tag my dad paid!
VTECH RIDE ON ALPHABET TRAIN
My daughter received this as a gift for christmas so before writing this review i have had a look online and found that is it available to purchase from amazon, smyths and toys r us and retails between £30-£40.
The vtech alphabet train is suitable for children age 12 months plus, and requires 3aa batteries if you want the sound with it.
The train comes in 2 parts, the train itself and the carriage, plus 26 blocks, These blocks have a letter of the alphabet on one side and on the other a picture, (example, a-apple, b-ball) on the train it has a book that isn't removable with the alphabet and pictures it also has buttons numbered 1-5 in different colours and a slot to push the blocks through.
The carriage as 4 open sides and this is where the blocks are stored, they also fall down into here when pushed through the slot
***MY OVERALL OPINION***
My youngest daughter had this for christmas and she is only 5 months of age so it is not really a great toy for her at the moment, she does however like it when i sit her on it and push her around going choo choo.
My 2 older children also play with this, My middle daughter absolutely loves it and it is the first toy she goes to play with in the morning when we get up, she finds it amazing that the blocks fall into the carriage and loves riding around the living room on this.
My son who is 8 is also able to play on this and has no problems riding around on it ( he is very small for his age).
I really do like this train as it helps the child/children not only learn the alphabet, but also learn colours, words and numbers, It is made from good durable plastic that is easy to wipe clean and would be something that i would purchase myself
I bought this for my son when he was around 9 months old. I was drawn to it because of its size and different functions.
It comes with 26 plastic coloured blocks which have the letters of the alphabet on one side, and on the other is an image corresponding with the letter, e.g 'J' and there is a jar of jam as the image. These blocks can be placed in one of four holes on the side of the train. When you place one in a light flashes and the train reads the block and says either the letter or the image (depending on which way round you put it in). There is a flip book on the side of the train as well and this also shows the alphabet and images, the train can also read what page you are on and will say an image on that page.
The plastic blocks can also be put in to the top of the train where you push them past a lever, a noise sounds and they fly through a chute and pop out at the back of the train in to the carriage behind. This carriage is useful for storing the blocks.
There are coloured buttons on the top which also do counting and colours, the blue elephant at the front swivels and makes a noise.
You can sit on the carriage and push along with your feet and holding the green handle on the train, or you can detach the carriage from the train and use the train as a walker. This is great as the faster it is pushed the quicker the music it plays becomes.
I have been really impressed with how strong and sturdy it is, it has een played with almost everyday for a year now. It has been treated roughly by my son and now he is bigger and heavier he has stood on it and pushed it in to things and there is barely a mark on it. The carriage you sit in is fantastically stable, probably one of the only ride-on style toys he has had that has never over balanced.
Now my son is learning to talk more and using colours and numbers it is finding a new lease of life as a more educational toy as well as just a fun one.
It seems fairly pricey (around £45) but we have no other toys that have lasted this long and my son still has an interest in playing with. It does plenty to keep him amused and is great quality.
When we started looking for Christmas presents for our girls last year I noticed Boots had three for two on all the toys, we wanted a Storio and Baby Annabel for our elder daughter so I set about looking for a toy around the same price for our younger daughter and came across this alphabet train, the price was supposed to be £45 however since we were getting it under the offer we got it for free which is value I can't argue with.
This toy is available from most toy retailers such as Boots, Argos and Tesco and as with most things you can even order from the internet from places such as Amazon who at the moment are selling it for £39.99 with free delivery. The train is made by Vtech which is a leading maker of childrens toy so I did expect it would be a good toy.
The train is a ride on toy and comes in two parts, you have the train at the front and then attached to it is the carriage that your child sits upon, the whole toy is made out of durable plastic and it has been crashed into my walls many times without causing any damage. The train is bright yellow in colour with big green wheels and a green handle for your little one to hold whilst they are riding the train, the carriage is blue in colour at the bottom and then red in colour for the seat, I love how bright and colourful the train is and it certainly draws childrens attention even when we have visitors children seem to migrate towards it. The train is pretty big however so you do need to have room for it and room for it to be played with too, I wouls say it is about a metre long and about a third of a metre tall.
The driver of the train is a rubber elephant which is sat at the front of the train where the funnel is, the elephant is wearing a white shirt and a blue hat and when you press him down the train sounds an elephant noise and says let's go.
When you turn the train on there are two different selections, letters and a magnifying glass. On turning the toy on it sings a song about chugging along with the train which is really catchy and has lots of flashing lights to accompany it, it does get annoying however if you don't do anything with the train as it keeps playing. My older daughter will often turn the train on for her sister only for them both to walk away and leave it singing to itself.
On the side of the train there is a book which is made of quite thick cardboard pages each of which holds four different letters, the book is connected to the train and bound with a big yellow spiral making it easy for little ones to turn the pages. Each double page has four squares and in each square there is a letter and a picture of something which starts with that letter, on turning the page the train will sing A is for apple AAA, B is for ball BBB, C is for car CCC, D is for doll DDD and so on through the whole alphabet if you keep turning to the next page, there is also a light which lights up next to whichever letter the toy is singing about to point it out to your child. I think the book is great and drums letters into little ones without them realising however it gets annoying when my daughter keeps turning the pages back and forth and the toy doesn't know which to sing. The pictures in the book are bold and basic without too much detail bt I don't feel there is much detail needed on he pages as there is enough going on with the toy anyway.
The toys comes with 26 plastic blocks to be used with the train, the blocks are stored under the back carriage so they don't have to be all over. On the side of the train you have the book as I have said above and then either side of the book there are two slots to put the blocks into, the blocks can be difficult to get into the slots for my daughter although she is now 19 months old and she is getting to grips with this more easily now. Each block is either blue, green, red or orange in colour and has a letter on one side and a picture beginning with the letter on the other side. When you place the block into the slot if the letter is showing the train will sing M is for monkey MMM and then ask you to turn the block to find the monkey, if you put the block in with the monkey facing outwards the train will singing monkey starts with M turn the block to see the M. There are flashing lights in red, green, blue and orange which also flash as the blocks are placed into the slots. I think this is really good and my daughter will sit for ages placing the blocks in and out of the slots or sometimes she will bring the blocks to me and I will point to the picture and tell her what the picture is, she has actually learnt a few new words from these blocks such as ball. I find that some of the pictures on the blocks are not what you would expect such as P for Pail which seems a strange thing to be teaching a young child. The letter is stood out on the blocks too so with my older daughter who is learning her letters we use the block to trace the letters with our fingers, I like that the letters are in lower case since these are the letters children learn first at school.
Above the book on the side of the train there are 5 coloured keys each with a number on it from one to five, the keys are the same colours as the rest of the train and blocks, red, green, blue, orange and yellow. When you press number one it says 1 and then when you press it again it plays one key and lights up one light, when you press 2 it states 2 and then when you press it again it plays 2 keys and 2 lights light up and so on until you reach 5 where it says 5 and then lights up all 4 lights one at a time and then finally all 4 lights together for number 5. I love this function as I think not only does your child see the number and hear the name of it but this is then joined with the sound of a keyboard for the correct number of keys and lights which is helping your child learn in many different forms.
When you turn the slider to the magnifying glass and push the number buttons the train will tell your child what colour each of the keys are, when you place the blocks into the slots the train does exactly the same as when in the letters function. When you turn the pages of the book in this setting the train says things which relate to the page such as the boy is playing with the ball whilst eating an apple and then the train asks you to find the block with the ball on it, the only thing I find poor with this is if you then put a block in the slot it just carries on with the announcements which correspond to the block but won't actually tell your child if they have not selected the block that they were asked to find.
Emily loves this toy, on Christmas morning when we sat her on the seat she wasn't happy at all and just wanted to get off however over the last few weeks she has started sitting on the seat and pushing herself along with her feet and very often crashing into things, I think it's funny to watch her as she wiggles her bum as she moves across the floor on the train. Emily will sit for ages placing blocks in and out of the slots and she loves the tune when you turn the train on and bounces up and down to it, the only drawback with this is that she isn't able to turn the train on herself as the slider is too stiff for her to move. I know Emily would rate this train 5 stars out of 5.
Sophie enjoys playing with the blocks that go with this toy and not only do we trace the letters but we also use the letter blocks to form simple words, she will take the blocks and copy from them whilst she is doing her writing and then ask me what word she has made when she lines them up. There are often arguments between the two girls when Sophie is tryin to spell with the block that Emily wants. When we bought the toy we didn't expect both girls to play with it but it just shows it is great for a number of ages.
When I first saw the price of this I thought it was over priced but that was before I knew how good it was, the toy is very strong and the block are all in working order even though they have been thrown around and bashed together many times. The train teaches colours, numbers and letters aswell as giving your child tasks such as finding the correct block which I think is brilliant, there is lots of interaction with the toy and I think that most children will not only find this toy fun but they will also learn from it without effort. I would rate this train 5 stars out of 5 too as it really is a fantastic toy of course the size of it would put some parents out but if you have the space this is worth the money.
Even though this toy is recommended for 12 months and over I bought it for my 8 month old daughter after she had been playing with her older cousins for the past two months. It was on offer in Smyths for £29.99 instead of a R.R.P of £39.99.
The train requires 3 x AA batteries.
The train consists of two parts the engine part which is yellow with bright green wheels. On the one side of the engine is a 14 page alphabet book, four slots for the alphablocks, 4 flashing LED lights in different colours, 5 coloured buttons with numbers printed on, an elephant train driver which can be spun around and pressed, a slot for pushing through the alphablocks and a handle for when the train is in walking mode. The second part of the train is the carriage which is red and blue with green wheels. Inside the carriage is where the alphablocks are stored.
The train can be used in three ways as a sit down toy, a walker and a ride on.
The train needs to be switched on using the on/off switch on the engine. It has two modes the ride on or walker mode and the sit down mode. There is also a volume switch at the back of the train which has two levels. We always have ours on loud as on the quieter mode the music isn't loud enough in my opinion. The sit down mode is mainly what my daughter uses at the moment. When the train is in this mode it plays a little jingle when turned on and sings the alphabet. In this mode the book which is waterproof and rip proof can be turned by your baby. When the pages are turned you will see that there are 4 letters of the alphabet on each page and a picture of an item starting with that letter. The train will sing about each item on the page saying 'a is for apple a, a, a, b is for ball b, b, b' and so on. This mode encourages your baby to try to place the corresponding alphablock in each slot. The alphablocks are small coloured rectangles which have a letter of the alphabet printed on the one side and a picture of the item starting with that letter on the other side. The blocks have a different pattern on the bottom of each one so when they are placed in one of the four slots the train recognises the block and will state the letter and then ask your child to turn the block over to see the picture that corresponds with that letter. The train also encourages your child to look for the blocks and place them in the slots, it will ask them for example to 'find the octopus' or 'find the block with the letter 'O'. When a block is place in the slot the coloured light next to the block witll flash. The lights are bright and there is a red, blue, orange and green light. The train will also link the words on the page together so for example it states 'the monkey likes to eat the nut' as both of those letters are on the same page. At the top of the engine is a slot through which you can push the alphablocks and they go down a chute into the carriage. It doesn't matter if the blocks are placed in at an angle as the hole is big enough for them to pass through. The train also makes a pinging noise as they pass through the chute. The enigne also has 5 coloured buttons which when pressed either say 1,2,3 etc, the colour of the button or sometimes they play Do-Re-Mi. The elephant driver can be twisted and pressed he responds by making an elephant noise and asking your child to 'ride the alphabet train'
As my daughter is only 8 months she doesn't understand the concept of finding the blocks and placing them in the slot, come to think of it my nephew who is 18 months can't do this either he simply places them in randomly. My daughter can however with a little help place the blocks in the slot. She can turn the pages of the book herself, pull out the blocks and press the elephant and the coloured buttons. For some reason she is really taken by this toy and everytime I have sat her in front of it she will happily play for a long time longer than with any other toys I have bought for her. The blocks are lightweight for her to hold and the buttons are easy to press. We also sit and play with it together she loves to pull the blocks out once I have placed them in and generally I think she likes the voice. It is a female english voice which is cheerful and makes her smile!
In other modes the train can be used as a ride on. In the picture above you can see that there is a handle on the engine. Your baby can sit on the carriage which and hold the handle while you either push them around on the train or if they are older they can use their feet to push themselves. In this mode you can switch the button so that the train will play through a series of 10 songs as your child rides. The train also makes a 'choo choo' sound. You can still place blocks in the slots and press the buttons and the train will still recognise the block in the slot. The songs are recognisable they have 'I've been working on the railroad' and other classics which make you hum madly all day or sing along to as it's playing. My daughter has been able to sit confidently for a few months now and she will sit on the train and allow us to push her along. Comparing her to my older nephew he can only now push himself along even though he has been walking confidently for a few months.
Finally the train can be used as a walker. You can detach the carriage using a sliding button on the back of the train. Your child can then use the handle on the train engine to push the train around. It has a motion sensor so will continue to play as your child moves it around the room. We haven't got this far yet but i'm sure it won't be long.
The only bad points if I can call them that are some of the words on the blocks, they have Q for quilt rather that the usual queen, P for pail which looks like a bucket and is not really a word even as an adult I use. Also it can be difficult at times to separate the carriage from the engine and it does at times need a firm yank to part them!
On the plus side this is a really entertaining toy that would suit young children up to about 3 years of age. It teaches alphabet, colours, numbers and songs as well as encouraging walking in older babies. The batteries also last for ages, we have been using this daily for about 8 weeks and the batteries are still going strong.
I really like this toy it feels robust and is well made. Even with the minor niggles I would still give it 5 out of 5. We really love it!
My wife bought this for our son last christmas which at his age he was walking already so he did miss using it as walking aid but he does use it still as ride on toy and more so the educational fun. I must say that it was the price of the toy at the time which attracted my wife to it as it was half price but that takes nothing away from a very good educational toy only a few negatives.
- Ages 1 year and up
- Easy Self assembly which only took minutes to put together.
- Nice and bright colours
- 26 Alphabet bricks are included with in it.
- Takes 3 AA batteries
- 5 lights with tons of different sounds and words
- Clear and easy to follow instruction for play even for a child
- Very strong durable plastic
** My Experience **
For a few months this toy did remain untouched even with it full view of my son and it wasn't until the 18 month mark did he really start to use it. He started with just putting the chunky bricks down the slot to slide it in to the sit on trailer before we showed him where to put the blocked in the side. He quickly picked the concept up and was soon well way with it picking up on one or two words when he placed them in as well.
Each brick has a dual use. On one side there is a letter with an associated word on the reverse. This is where one of our negative is with the train which i will explain further down.
Once he was comfortable with the word, we could ask him to match the picture with no rip book in the middle. That is what we love about this toy more that any other he has at the moment. The train has so much educational value. Word association, coordination, basic matching play, cause and effect in turning the blocks over when instructed too as well has being a walking/ride on toy.
On top of of all the words and letter education there is two other education parts as well. It has five keys at the top which have have two modes. first mode is that when a key is pressed it sounds which even number it is. on the second mode it says the colour. So overall its covering every aspect which we see as key to our son development.
If i could rate this out of five instead of in stars it would be 4.9999999. There is just a few niggles about this would would of made it perfect.
1. Even if you want to use it as a walker, its very stiff to unclip the train from the trailer.
2. Not often but sometimes, if the bricks go in at a angle they can something get trapped and need a bit of a jiggle.
3. This is the more personal one but we think some of the words could of been alot better especially the P. P is for pail which is the picture but my son refuses to say it and calls it a bucket. Of course we cant correct him because that what it is but a pail is more of an adult word. We feel it should of been perhaps a Pig or pen. Also G and O. Gift and octopus. personal we think it should of been perhaps gate or goat and O should of been orange
Apart from that this a fantastic toy all round. Its fun to play with and it every educational. Even if it wasn't half price knowing this now i would buy it again in a heart beat
I bought this for my son when he was 16 months old and it quickly became a firm favourite. For the first few days he had it all he wanted to do was sit on it and in that space of time he learnt how to get it to go forward to. It was slightly bad timing on my part as I bought it just before Christmas so he then got distracted with all his other new toys, but this still gets played with every day.
I got it for £40 in Costco, it was £50 everywhere else although I did see it half price in a couple of online shops but it was sold out. The train comes in a box which is not as enormous as you might expect and needs putting together. The handlebars, wheels and attchment for the trailer need clipping into place which only takes a few minutes. The trailer can be easily removed or attached to the engine, but you do have to push in and pull up a little lever so its quite toddler proof.
There is space under the carriage for 26 alphabet blocks with letters on one side and a word and picture beginning with that letter on the other and as you would expect from a Vtech toy there is plenty to do with these blocks.
There is a chute near the handlebars to push the blocks down so they end up back under the carriage. There are 4 slots on one side of the engine which you push the blocks into and it very cleverly recognises the letter or picture and tells you what it is. On the other side there is a little ledge in the engine which doesn't 'do' anything but you can line up to 5 blocks up on there to spell words, or not.
There is also an elephant figure which you can press to hear the animal noises, 5 keys numbered 1 to 5 and a non tear book which you can flip the pages and the system recognises what page you are on and tells you the letters and pictures.
There are two volume levels so this toy isn't too loud and there is quite a large variety of music, phrases and challenges for your child (can you find the letter a? etc). The music and talking carries on for almost 1 minute after any input has stopped which is quite annoying as my son tends to have moved onto something else in that time and so we have 2 things going at once, on the plus side though after that minute it does stop until you press the buttons and doesn't randomly shout things out at you like some other toys.
There is loads to keep a child occupied with this toy, my son loves it but is nowhere near letter recognition or spelling yet so I think he's going to get a lot more play out of this. The trailer can be detached and then you are left with the engine which is a sturdy, interactive walker for a younger child. As a ride on it is probably not the best, it is quite long as it is in two parts and is a bit unwieldy around our front room although being in two parts allows for some steering.
If you really want a ride on then you're probably better off with something else but if you want a toy with variety that's going to last I think this is a good choice.