My three little siblings (triplets) are obsessed with the show Chugginton and spend half their time singing the theme song from it! They got this for a Christmas present and it has been a fairly good purchase. For a start a major advantage is that it can be played with by more than one person at once - one can sit on it and another can push from behind which makes it great for multi-child families. The little blue seat provides a sturdy base and feels nothing but secure for the kids which is great. It also has the massive advantage over other toys of a similar nature that it is fitting with a show, because this definitely makes them want to play with it more and it means they often sit on it when watching the show.
However they couldn't use it for a while because the handle on the back broke off, and it left a slightly rough edged hole either side behind. It wasn't being particularly mishandled or heavily used but one day when pushing (with the strength of an 18 month old at the time) and so I was disappointed that it broke. I don't think it made the toy dangerous but it definitely something to be wary of. The final problem with it is that the wheels are definitely not suitable for all surfaces - it runs alright on hard floors (though occasionally they get a bit jammed) but on soft carpets and outside it is a nightmare and unusable which is a shame.
We came to own this Chuggington themed ride on over two years ago, my little boy had seen it on frequent trips to Sainsburys, having seen it had 20% off on a visit, I decided to buy it for him.
**What is Chuggington?**
Chuggington is a children's television program based around trains. It's an animated cartoon shown on CBeebies regularly, it's bright, colourful and the younger trains learn lessons that can be related to life during their 'training' to become fully fledged trains.
The train featured features here is one of the younger trains called 'Wilson'.
**Packaging and Assembly (or lack of)**
The ride-on comes in minimal packaging, with the toy itself exposed with one side of the box open. It was easy to remove, just cutting the little ties that held it to the box. There's no assembly with this ride-on I'm happy to say! I've had some real shockers in the past with larger toy product assembly so this came as a relief. Even the stickers were all in place, you can just take it out the box and play.
After a few weeks of owning this ride-on, my boy affectionately named it his 'Chuggy Buggy' the name has stuck, we still use the name now!
It's quite a straight forward toy, it can be sat on and wheeled along. It does have a steering wheel but the wheels are fixed, it doesn't actually turn. There's a squeaky hooter in the middle of the steering wheel which isn't too hard to press, great for little ones. It has a handle on the back that can be used for pushing it along. It's not very high up though, so for taller little ones that are learning to walk, it might be quite appropriate. This handle does double as a nice back for sitting against.
The Chuggy Buggy also has a lift up seat, can't beat this classic for storing all those bits and pieces in (including my keys one day, which took about 2 hours for me to find....that's a whole different story!).
The unit itself isn't very bulky compared to other ride-ons on the market (53 x 33.4 x 24.2 cm), which makes it perfect for indoor use - this is what I intended it to be used for. I think used outside it wouldn't last particularly long as the stickers are peeling a couple of years on from indoor use alone.
It's quite lightweight and doesn't feel like it's made of much really (1.5 Kg), it does the job but I'm not convinced it would take hard wearing outdoor use very well. Being quite lightweight does mean it wheels across the floor freely and easily however even with my now 4 year old on board.
Flair - the manufacturer states it's suitable from 12 months until three. I agree with this, it's great for when little ones have just found their feet, my friend brings her just over 1 year old around to play and it's one of the first things they usually play with. Helps with the balance learning to get themselves on and off of it. Standing still and lifting the lid up and down etc.
My four year old is still attached to it, he still fits on it and it wheels around with no problems despite being over the age given by the manufacturer.
**Availability and Pricing**
You can buy your own Chuggy Buggy from some larger Sainsburys stores, also available on Ebay and Amazon. Mine cost £11.00 as there were some reductions in place. I think it may have been discontinued as there seem to be a real mix of prices on Amazon and Ebay.
If your child enjoys Chuggington then they are bound to enjoy this toy. It's great for indoors but I've knocked stars off for it not being particularly robust for those that want to use it outdoors, the handle at the back being a bit low for using as a walker and the steering being fixed.