Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Digging up a gem
ELC Mighty Digger
Member Name: historywitch
ELC Mighty Digger
Advantages: Robust, lots of play value, appeals to wide age range
Disadvantages: no off switch!
***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.
Summary: A very nice toy for imaginative play
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