“ Brand: ELC / Type: Baby Toy / Type: Push, Pull & Roll „
My son received these pull along bots from the Early Learning Centre for his first birthday in March. They are currently priced at £15, but at the time they were half price at £7.50 in the sale. The toy is for 12 months plus and is essentially a pull along toy - great for when a child is learning to walk. I liked these as they are a bit different to the typical pull along dogs that I had seen and I thought the fact that he could 'do things' with the robots would appeal to my son too.
The toy is a train of three robots - one orange, one green and one blue. The product specifications on the Early Learning website are: weight 0.266kg, height 15.4cm, width 24cm and depth 7.5cm. Each robot is a slightly different shape and does something different. All robots have a pair of big eyes to make them appeal to children. The front robot is orange and quite rounded. It has a yellow antennae that spins and yellow arms that can be pulled up and down, making a clacking noise as they move. The middle robot is green and rounded with a disc shape on top of it's head. This has a yellow spiral pattern on it when viewed from above and can be spun round. This robot also has big red wheels on the side (the others have a yellow wheel built into their base so that they roll when pulled along). The final robot is blue in colour and, again, rounded in the body with a rectangular head. In the body, there is a yellow and red ball that spins around as it is pulled. The robots can also be switched on (switch in the base) and make robotic noises (AA batteries required). The robots have a green string at the front that it can be pulled along by.
My son likes these robots as he can fiddle with the moving parts and this encourages him to investigate parts and develop his manipulative skills. When learning to walk, he did not really use the pull along feature of this toy. Since learning to walk, and now toddling very well, he has not shown any interest in these as a pull along toy either. As such, he hasn't got a great deal of use from the toy. Yes, the robots do a few things but this is not really enough to keep him stimulated or entertained for great periods of time. It is more a toy that we get out in the morning and he returns to it throughout the day for 4 or 5 minutes at a time. Perhaps when he is a little older they will be used a bit more for imaginative play as he may develop an interest in robots, but I am not convinced they lend themselves too well to this function either as they are held together in a line.
The toy is well made though and I think is good value for the £7.50 paid at the time. I would question whether they are worth the £15 retail price though - certainly not for us but other children may love these as a pull along toy. They do glide along nicely when pulled and make noises - very appealing to children - so do make a nice pull along toy. Overall, a very decent toy that just doesn't appeal greatly to my son!
My son received the ELC Pull Along Bots for his first birthday. When we unwrapped it I was pleased as I know ELC to be a good brand for toys. It also looked quite funky and unusual, quite unlike any toys my son already owned.
- The Bots -
The toy is essentially a string that pulls along three funky, plastic robots on wheels. Robot number one is rather short and dumpy (in fact they all are!) and is made from orange, red and yellow plastic. His body is red and orange while his arms and antenna are yellow. Both the arms and antenna can be moved, making interesting clicking noises in the process. The antenna spins around when the robots are pulled along. He has big goggly eyes and a cute little smile. If the toy is turned upside down you can see he has two little yellow wheels and he also holds the battery compartment (2 x AA batteries included). Robot number two is a nice vibrant green colour and has a rather unusual funnel shape protruding from the top of his head! On top of this there is a yellow and blue swirly plate that spins around when the robots are pulled along. He also has odd wonky eyes, a cute smile and two big red wheels. Robot number three is light blue in colour and his head can swivel 360 degrees! He has big eyes and a cute little smile. Unlike the other two this robot doesn't have wheels. Instead inside his blue body there is a big red and yellow ball which turns when he is pulled along and acts as a wheel. The string that pulls the robots along is bright green and easy to grip onto. You can have the robots switched off or on quiet or loud mode. When switched on the robots make some quite peculiar noises which make them sound like they are breaking down! They only make these noises when they are pulled along. Overall the robots look very strange but certainly attractive to small children. They appear well made and durable. Although the noises are odd they aren't too irritating and can be put on quiet mode which is always a bonus!
- Pull Along Fun -
My son was instantly interested in the toy and really enjoyed twisting and turning the various bits that move. The different body parts make good clicking noises when they are moved and my son really liked this. He also enjoyed rolling it back and forth across the floor, although not by pulling the string but instead pulling and pushing them by robot number three's head! He enjoys watching me pull it around by the string and now enjoys crawling around while holding the string and watching the robots follow him. My son hasn't quite mastered walking yet but when he does I'm sure he will enjoy pulling the robots along. I think the robots help improve motor skills and sensory development.
- Age Range -
The bots are recommended from 12 months which I think is quite accurate although, as there are no safety hazards I don't see why it couldn't be introduced before this age. I'm sure it would be enjoyed by babies younger than 12 months. I think my son will enjoy playing with this for quite a while yet.
- Price and Availability -
This toy can be purchased from the Early Learning Centre, Amazon and Mothercare and is priced at £15. I think this is perhaps slightly over priced but it is not totally unreasonable as it is a lovely toy. I think around £10-12 would be a more appropriate price.
- Would I Recommend? -
I would certainly recommend the Pull Along Bots as I think they are funky, unusual, well made, entertaining and my son certainly enjoys playing with them. If Early Learning Centre could just drop the price a little that would be even better!