Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... this switched off. With the actual transporter come two of the magnetic cars that ELC make. Therefore, even if you do not have any of... more
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ELC Car Transporter
Member Name: kat1234
ELC Car Transporter
Advantages: good for developing co-ordination and manipulation, good for imagination
Disadvantages: expensive, not hold attention for long
My son has the Early Learning Centre Whizz Around Garage (see earlier review) which he loves and has various of their magnetic car sets to play on this with. Another more recent addition to his collection is this Car Transporter which the cars can be loaded up on. This cost £20 and is suitable for children from 12 months (suggested age range is 12 months to 2 years). It requires 3 AA batteries.
The toy is quite basic and is as you would expect it to be as a car transporter - a large lorry-like vehicle. The dimensions of the toy are: weight 2.22kg, height 37cm, width 40cm and depth 26cm. It is made of a glossy plastic and is quite strong and sturdy. The front of the lorry is a light green colour and the back 'loading' section a bright blue. The loading section has two levels to it and the bottom level is closed with a red door which also acts as a ramp to drive the cars up to the bottom level (just how they get on to the top level I don't know...!)
There are four sets of wheels and it can be pushed nicely along the floor - being pretty lightweight. It can also make lorry noises when switched on (batteries included) but it also makes quite a nice 'quiet time' toy with this switched off.
With the actual transporter come two of the magnetic cars that ELC make. Therefore, even if you do not have any of these cars already, it is a lovely stand alone toy. The cars come in red and blue and are chunky enough for a 12 month old to hold nicely in their little hand. These cars have magnets attached on their front and rear bumpers so can be attached to one another in a long line and pulled along. The transporter is compatible with these cars so you can add to your collection to fully load the transporter (we find it only carries four cars neatly anyway so you don't need to add many to your collection for this!).
At first, my son was not very interested in the toy at all. Gradually he began to explore it a little more, particularly enjoying pulling the ramp at the back down and pushing it back up in to place. He loves the magnetic cars and likes to hold and shake these or bash them together. He likes the size of these and is comfortable holding them in his hand.
He also loves to press the buttons and make the horn noise. At 14 months, he is just learning to load the cars in to the transporter and enjoys doing this. He sometimes gets frustrated when the cars are in the bottom level as he can't always remove them again easily - particularly the first one loaded - as the fit is quite tight and snug and he finds it hard getting his hands and fingers around it.
At the moment, he doesn't really push this toy around but I think that this is something that he will 'grow in to' and, as he gets older use it for imaginative play.
The suggested age range for the toy of 12 months to 2 years seems a little short to me. Whilst I agree that the lower age should be 12 months - at this age they can gain some, if not the full, benefit from it. However, I think my son will still be playing with this beyond two years - his older friends and cousins still love this toy at 3-4 years. It is great as an imaginative play toy - it can be pushed around and lorry noises and loading noises made as well as completing his set with the Whizz Around Garage.
The toy has encouraged my son to develop his manipulation skills as he holds the cars and pushes the buttons. It has also developed his hand-eye co-ordination and accuracy as he has learned to load the cars onto the transporter. There is not a lot to the toy, and it does not hold my son's attention for too long but, as an addition to his 'set', it helps to entertain him for quite a while with the garage.
For £20, I would perhaps have wanted a little more for the money as this is quite a lot to pay for a child's toy. Maybe if a couple more cars were included so the transporter was filled it would be more worth this price mark. It is well made though and the ramp has remained firmly in place and attached, despite much pushing and pulling by my son's not so delicate hands. So, overall, this is a nice toy but a little expensive. Early Learning Centre do have quite frequent sales and offers though so you may be able to pick this up for a more reasonable price.
Summary: worth picking up in the sale
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