Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... also very economical with batteries, using mid-range batteries we have only needed to replace them twice over those sixteen months. ==Fina... more
Drove me around the bend
ELC Light & Sound Buggy Driver
Member Name: historywitch
ELC Light & Sound Buggy Driver
Advantages: Bright, noisy, attaches to most pushchairs and baby equipment
Disadvantages: Tinny music, flimsy, didnt fulfil purpose of purchase.
My son has a love/hate relationship with the pushchair, he loves it when its moving and he can sit and look at the world go by, but he has a very limited tolerance for the pushchair stopping. For a while we could pacify him with a dummy or a selection of toys hung off the pushchair but by 8 months this no longer worked; which meant school pickups and drop offs and shopping trips were a nightmare. After one particularly unsuccessful shopping trip I rushed into ELC and begged the lady to sell me something to keep him quiet. The lady sold me this, helped me put the batteries in, attached it to the pushchair and waved me on my way. I paid £15.
This item comes in pink (bleaugh) and a rather lovely blue/orange/yellow/red combination.....guess which one I went for.
The buggy driver comes with clips on the side, which you hook onto the bars of a pushchair and tighten to secure. This puts the steering wheel in front of the child so they can pretend to be driving the pushchair. The big plastic screw that you have to tighten to secure the driver is quite flimsy and over tightening makes it crack slightly so you have to be very careful about how much force you exert when putting this on the pushchair. I'm not sure how long this would last if you wanted to move it around a lot and attach it to lots of different things. It is adjustable in several places and will fix onto most brands of pushchair/ baby equipment.
On the main bar you get a steering wheel, an ignition key, a gear lever and two adjustable wing mirrors. If you choose to put the batteries in (2 AA) then when you press the button in the middle of the steering wheel you get a beep, the gear lever makes a revving sound/beeping sound and makes lights flash. To turn the whole thing on or off you turn the ignition key, which makes an engine sound and turns a light on. Above the ignition key are two small buttons; pressing the first gives you a tinny 'She'll be coming round the mountain' and the other gives you 'Pop goes the weasel'. The steering wheel turns, the gear lever moves up and down, the wing mirrors swivel and the key turns. It is bright and colourful musical plastic at its best.
So, did it work? No is the short answer. It obstructed my son's view enough that he got even more agitated, even when we were just walking along. Additionally it attracted lots of other children, especially at the school gates who wanted to play with it, much to my son's disgust. Occasionally he would half heartedly press a button, look in a mirror or swivel the wheel, but it spent much of its 'buggy life' draped over the handlebars getting in my way. I gave it a week but it got to the point where he would scream if he saw it on the buggy and going anywhere was even more difficult. Another unfortunate side effect was that at certain angles he could see me pushing the pushchair and would either get cross that I wasn't getting him out, or would want some of whatever I was (sneakily) eating or drinking.
However, my five year old loves it. I don't know whether its because she was deprived of these sorts of toys as a baby. When her friends come over they have made some fabulous imaginary games using this toy e.g. pretending they are bus drivers driving to magical lands. She loves pretending she is driving the car and it has provided her with rather a lot of play value. Of course since she is playing with it and wants to use it, this has prompted her brother to see it as a more desirable object and there have been quite a few fights over it! At 12 months he will occasionally press the horn button or the buttons to get the music to play, but he seems unbothered by the rest of the functions. He also cannot turn the key by himself yet, so he will just press a button and get upset if no sound comes out immediately-not helpful when I am cooking tea or dealing with his sister!
I wouldn't buy it again and it wouldn't be something I would buy someone as a gift either. We have had more success with board books hanging off the pushchair bar instead and I would recommend those over this buggy driver. If you have a placid baby who is happy to sit in a pushchair then you won't need this, if you have a wild child like me then its probably 50/50 whether they like it or not. I would have been happier paying around £12 for this and I don't think its worth paying the £20 full price tag, especially as I haven't had the use out of it that I was expecting. I would be even more annoyed if my five year old hadn't taken a shine to it and probably would have passed it on by now. The muscic is very tinny and restarts every time the child presses the button which is guaranteed to send me round the bend after five minutes of continuous pressing! I have noticed a few of them around and havent ever seen a child actually playing with it yet.
Summary: Save your money
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