Product Type: ELC baby toys
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Full Speed to ELC "It's an Emergency"
ELC Light & Sound Fire Engine
Member Name: Lools_24
ELC Light & Sound Fire Engine
Date: 06/02/11, updated on 15/11/11 (96 review reads)
Advantages: Durable, fun toy
Disadvantages: Vehicle wheels move very fast on laminate flooring
During our role as Mr and Mrs Claus, Mr Lools because very clear he wanted our twins to have "proper boys toys". When I questioned him further as we browsed through the ELC catalogue he eagerly pointed to the ELC Light and Sound Fire Engine.
***What is it?***
The Light and Sound Fire Engine is as you would imagine a fire engine! It is bright red and made from hard durable feeling plastic. It is about 30cm long and about 15-20cm wide. It has a cab at the front of the vehicle with two fireman figures inside. There are two buttons which play a horn sound and the engine starting and makes the lights on the front of the vehicle flash. When the fireman are placed inside of the cab this triggers more sounds and phrases like "Full Speed ahead" and "All hands to the pump".
On top of the fire engine is a set of ladders which extend and rotate 360 degrees with a section at the top of the ladder to put one of the fireman figures inside. One the side of the vehicle there are two pull down doors. There are four buttons to press inside of these doors, one plays a telephone noise, a fire alarm, one a hose noise and another a siren.
When the fire engine is pushed along the floor a siren is played and the lights on top of the fire engine flash.
The toy required 2 size AA batteries which are supplied.
ELC states that the Light and Sound Fire Engine is suitable for children aged 1-3 years old. I purchased this for my children when they were 11 months old and were fine playing with this as there are no small parts which could present choking hazards etc. I would say as the toy moves easily along the floor, it isn't really suitable for younger children who are less active and can only sit as it could be very frustrating the toy moving away from them as they play with it.
After seeing friends children play with this toy when they come to visit, I would say it is just as attractive to my friends 5 year old as much as it is to my 1 year olds.
The Light and Sound Fire Engine is available from ELC both in ELC stores, Mothercare stores with and ELC section and online at www.elc.co.uk .
The toy is available for £20 at full price. In the run up to Christmas the Light and Sound Fire Engine was available for £16, which included free delivery.
The Light and Sound Fire Engine is operated by an on switch which also controls the volume. Setting the switch to the central position turns the toy off. Pushing the toy up puts the toy on, and on full volume and the bottom position puts the toy on but on half volume. Personally I like the fact a large majority of ELC toys have the half volume option as it does get noisy if my boys are both playing with different toys and means I can have a conversation without shouting. The full volume is quite loud.
My boys both really enjoy playing with the fire engine. They both love to push it along the floor and push the various buttons. These buttons are quite a generous size meaning it is relatively easy for younger toddlers to press these. The number of buttons and phrases are quite impressive meaning you get some variety and do not hear the same phrase over and over again but it is repetitive enough for your child to learn the phrases as they get older. The words are spoken in a clear English accent which makes it very easy to understand what is being said.
The number of lights on the fire engine is attractive to young children especially as these flash as the toy moves and buttons are pressed.
Already I feel that the fire engine has allowed my boys to develop. When asked "What does the fire engine do" both boys recognise this as a prompt to make their own fire engine noise. At 12 months old I think this is very impressive that they understand the noise of a fire engine and definitely have learnt something from playing with this toy.
In terms of hand eye coordination moving the fireman figures in and out of the cab and onto the ladders has helped them to develop. The figures are relatively smaller than other toys they play with and I am very impressed that they are able to move the figures around the fire engine. The boys also have recognised that when they press certain buttons sounds are played and the fire engine lights up.
In terms of physical mobility skills one of my boys is less mobile and would usually play with a toy sitting down. The ELC fire engine has encouraged his to move around more as he can crawl and push the fire engine alongside with him.
My boys play with this toy mostly on laminate flooring. The wheels on the fire engine do not have much resistance and as a result they move very easily on smooth surfaces. This presents some danger as the fire engine can whizz across the floor and smash into furniture or in our case another child! This is quite amusing for my children. For younger children who are less mobile and can only sit you may find you will have to retrieve the fire engine for them. When played with on carpeted surfaces the fire engine moves easily but will not travel across the floor at speed.
This is a very durable product. The fire engine is made from hard plastic but I was initially a little wary as the ladders on top of the fire engine extend and I thought that these may snap off. The fire engine has been dropped from the sofa by my friends little girl, smashed numerous times into furniture and used in a "tug of war" by my boys. After these "tests" there are no scruffs or scratches on the fire engine and the ladders which I thought would break have stood the rough play test. The fireman figures that come with this toy have suffered a lot of chewing already. There are no teeth marks in these figures and most importantly pieces have not been chewed off which the boys could have choked on.
I have had this toy 2 months and with regular daily play I have had to replace the batteries once.
I think this is a fantastic toy both for younger and older toddlers and not just a "boys toy" as Mr Lools intended it to be. My friends' little girls are just as interested in the Light and Sound Fire Engine as my two boys!
At 12 months old, the boys were able to play with the different functions of the fire engine, pressing the sound buttons, moving the figures into different parts of the fire engine and also pushing it along the floor. The toy is engaging enough to keep the interest of older children. Price wise I think this is a satisfactory product. It is relatively expensive in the sense it does not have lots of learning functions, but it is a fun toy to play with, and is a very good quality, durable product which is very important in this household.
My only criticism of the fire engine is that for younger less mobile children it is probably better that they play with this toy on carpet and not smooth laminate or tiled floors. Otherwise the wheels move too fast and you will find the toy at the other end of the room. For older toddlers this is probably part of the fun!
Summary: A well-built, fun toy fire engine from ELC
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