“ Brand: ELC / Age:12 months „
Four years ago my daughter was about 15 months old and going through a major moving vehicles craze. For Christmas that year she got this digger from my brother and it has been a major part of her role-playing games from then on. Six months ago it was prised from her fingers as she was persuaded to share it with her younger brother who had just turned seven months at the time and now it is one of their most popular shared toys.
***What do you get?***
The digger toy and three little figures to go with it. The digger is made of sturdy, solid plastic which has borne up very well after four years of intensive play, with minimal scratches and dents. The wheels are wide and chunky, with the axles hidden inside the body of the toy so there is no chance of little fingers getting trapped. At the front of the digger is a scoop which lifts up and down; it works on a ratchet system so will stay in the desired position rather than sinking back down to the ground again when released. At the back of the digger is the 'typical' digger attachment which rotates all the way around, up and down and has a small scoop on the end that moves backwards and forwards. It also stays in the desired position once moved and is very easy for little fingers to manipulate.
In the cab area is a space for one of the little people, one of whom comes with a hole in the base. This fits over a raised bit at the bottom of the cab to hold them in place. If you press this raised bit, or the little person in the cab then the machine parrots one of two phrases 'Lets get digging!' or 'Right, lets get to work!'. At the same time the lights at the front of the digger glow red.
In addition to these sounds there is another bright orange button at the top of the digger's funnel. When pressed it makes one of two sounds - the swinging creaking sounds of a digger working or a generic engine sound. With both of these sounds you also get the lights on the front of the digger activating again.
Age range- 1-3 years.
As I said above this has been one of the most enduring toys that we have owned so far, as it has been played with solidly for four years and is now on its second child owner. It has mostly been used as an indoor toy which I suppose accounts for its relatively good condition, but it has also been abused with mud, stones, sand and two over-enthusiastic young children so I am very impressed that it is almost as shiny as when we first bought it.
We have not had to change the batteries in all this time; it requires two AA batteries which are inserted in a small compartment held in place with screws. Despite the fact it is in almost daily use, with the sounds being constantly used the original batteries are still going strong...however much I might wish that they would finally give up the ghost! The lights and sounds are obviously very popular both with my children and with visiting guests and the success of the formula shows in the fact that this model is still being made and stocked in stores today.
It is part of and compatible with the Early Learning Centre Happyland range, although not all of the Happyland figures have the appropriate hole to allow them to sit in the cab. We have quite a bit of old Happyland (ten years old) and a few newer pieces and it works very well with all of these and complements it well.
My children have spent many happy hours scooping things up with the digger and moving them around the house, and when I am feeling very kind I give them a handful of cereal or raisins to be transported. The mechanism is very easy to work and because the scoops stay in position, it leaves two hands free to push the digger around or activate the sounds whilst the scoops are 'in use'. This means there is no frustration when the scoop is let go and the contents spill onto the floor, ideal for small uncoordinated people!
There are some negatives however. The sounds restart everytime you press one of the buttons so you can listen to 'lets get...lets....let...le...lets...lets get .....right right right' on a continuous loop if your child is in a button pressing mood. As the battery compartment is only accessible with a screw driver and there is no on/off switch then there is no easy fix when it is driving you crazy. Removing the toy completely usually results in screaming so after four years I have become very good at tuning these sort of noises out. But thats it, that is the only negative that I could think of, which is pretty good for a toy of this type.
A very robust toy with a wide ranging appeal to children aged between 12 months and five years old. Whilst the ability to be able to turn off the sounds would be an asset it is still a very good value toy with a great deal of play value.
Early Learning Centre £15
Plus various other online retailers.
My son recieved this as a gift on his first birthday. It is a super toy and is actually still sitting on a shelf in his bedroom now (he is now 5)
********What do you get *********
A digger vehicle with movable front scoop and rear shovel
It has lights and sounds (battery operated)
Comes complete with three figures (similar to the happyland figures) dressed as builders/ workmen
Push the drivers (the figure attached to the vehicle) head and he says lets get to work.
A button in the funnel/ exhaust pipe (not sure what you would call it really) operates the headlights and a honking sound.
***** Age *****
The guideline for this product is 12 months and I would say this about right. However it would probably be a worthwhile buy from around 6-9 months plus. There are no small pieces or sharp edges. The plastic is strong. I guess it depends really on the development rate of the individual child.
******* Durability ******
We have this toy for 4 and a half years and it has been dropped down concrete steps, used to scoop mud in the garden and sand in the sandpit. Probably not recommended uses for this toy but my little boy is a 'proper boy' never happier than when up to his knees in dirt searching for spiders and worms (Eeurgh) The vehicle has a few scratches but is in full working order.
****** The noise ******
If you are anything like me you will grow to detest noisy toys. Baby toys tend to have 'tinny' music that is repetitive. This toy in my opinion is not too bad noisewise however the phrase 'lets get to work' does become a little annoying
**** My sons verdict ****
Well he loved it. When he first got it he was in love with Bob the builder and used to pretend this toy was Scoop. He has taken it everywhere, but especially enjoyed summer in the garden with it. Casting aside all the outdoor toys bought for this purpose.
He used to put duplo bricks (one brick at a time) in the front bucket and drive them across the room to his 'building site' It has provided endless entertainment and was probably one of his most favourite toys
***** Value for money *****
I just had a look on the early learning website www.elc.co.uk and is currently selling for £15. It is quite pricey for one vehicle but if your child likes tractors and diggers I would definately reccomend this. There is a similar product on the website for £25 and this is the construction duo. It looks similar to the product I have just reviewed but also come with an additional vehicle. Check the website and compare them for yourself.
I have only changed the batteries in this digger once so them seem to last a while although it is no longer played as much as it was. His younger cousins 14 and 18 months enjoy the lights and sounds it makes though.
In conclusion a definite maybe for tractor and digger loving children.
The Early Learning Centre has long been a brilliant source of quality and constructive toys and games for children, and this digger is no exception. Aimed at 1-3 year olds, it is quite versatile, incredibly durable, and interactive. However, it also grates my ears when overused!
The digger is orange and yellow in colour, with rotating wheels, and moving scoop and digger, one in front and one on the back. It comes with construction workers which can fit into the cab section of the digger. If you push down on the figure when it's in the cab or push down on the chimney funnel of the digger, one of a couple of sentences come out from the speaker underneath the digger. As a requirement of this, it needs batteries, so beware of this costing factor when you buy it.
It's a durable and entertaining toy that I highly recommend. However, it is rather pricy, coming it at near enough £15. You know you're getting a quality product, but it's not particularly big, as you can see form the product picture, and it needs batteries as well.
Strangely enough, it has been in our front room for a while and every now and then emanates one of the sentences. I have had a few late evenings sitting in our front room on my own when all of a sudden I've jumped out of my skin by a loud workman voice saying, 'Right! Let's get to work!' or 'Let's get digging!' This is more a comedy than a criticism, but on the other hand, there is no on/off button, so short of taking the batteries out there is no way of stopping this.
I recommend this toy. It will make a lovely gift for a child of 1-3 years old. Any older, and they'll get bored before long. My 4 year old doesn't play with it any more. It is pricey and there's no on/off button to save your sanity, but it's a quality toy.
The Early Learning Centre is a great toy shop and this is another great toy from them.My little Boy got this last christmas and even though its almost been a year he is still playing with it on a daily basis now.
Most Little boys like trucks,cars & diggers and this one is ideal for little hands to play with.Suitable for children aged 1-3 years its bright and colourful and definitely made of durable material as our one has been dropped so many times its unbelievable....
The digger itself has two places on it which when pressed make digger noises or it shouts a few workman phrases...these always make my little one laugh and suprisingly enough with noisy toys its not one that gets on my nerves which is of course a positive.The noises are activated by pressing on either the seat or the chimney.The scoops both move and make clicking sounds as they are moved so yet again more things for your little one to pay attention to.
The digger comes with 3 construction workers who can all fit into the drivers seat and are all dressed for the part.My son also found these little men can fit in the big scoop at the front and he is often driving it around carrying one of them in the front.
The digger is priced at £15.00 which i think is a little over priced but with the early learning centre you can often find online vouchers or instore ones for 20% off.
I think this toy is really good for getting your little ones using their imagination and also for hand eye co ordination as there are lots of parts to move and also buttons to press.This toy is aimed at boys but my sons little girl friends also love this so its great for all.
Pressing the chimney or seat makes digger and engine sounds.