* Prices may differ from that shown
This is a good toy for any Fireman Sam fan. This is a slightly larger version of the Venus Rescue Tender which has button activated sounds (sirens and phrases from the stories) and has a tank on the back which can be filled with water. You then press a button to squirt the water from the hose. The back section also opens out to make a rescue vehicle without the tank. My son was desperate to have one of these simply for the water squirting feature. Once purchased, he did love filling it up with water and squirting it out as quickly as possible. However, it was harder to play with the vehicle than the other ones in the range as the doors do not open so it is very difficult to get the figures inside to drive. Also, the design of the back section is such that taking down the boot often results in the tank coming off. Also, because it is a larger size, it does not fit into the Fireman Sam Firestation that we have. Having said this, the larger size is part of a more robust design. Anyone who has the usual vehicles will know how flimsy they are. Good to see that they are bringing back the sounds and phrases as these were very popular with my children and some of the more recent toys did not have them as standard like the original versions.
Venus is one of the fire engines on Fireman Sam, a popular kids' TV show not unlike Postman Pat in style. Our youngest son is currently obsessed with Fireman Sam, to the point where he keeps shouting out "Sam!" whenever we see a fireman! Getting him something like this was a no-brainer.
This particular toy has a number of features. It's battery operated, and you'll need to get your hands on 3 AAA batteries to make it work. The batteries only really relate to the sounds that Venus makes, such as standard fire engine noises; and the occasional phrase or sentence that comes from the firemen riding in it. They take a long time to run out, but when they do it doesn't stop the entire toy from working as there are other elements to the toy.
Perhaps the main draw is the water tank that's on the back. It can be quite fiddly but if you leave your kid to work it out then before long they should have worked it out. It's a real water tank with a pump on the top to signify a water cannon for fire fighting, so just make sure that you're prepared to let your kid play in area where it doesn't matter if things get wet. Most Fireman Sam accessories and toys are wipeable anyway so it shouldn't matter. You take the tank off to fill it up and then reattach it to the top when you're ready to let them play with it.
Just be careful of the range of this thing though, it has quite a powerful spurt of water and there's just too much temptation for kids to aim at their parents. Our two year old's mischief hasn't quite stretched to this length as yet, but our 9 year old has certainly realised it and is encouraging him every chance he gets! It can be really fun, and just like with the batteries, if the water runs out the toy is still playable. Venus has functioning wheels and so can roll around and play at being a fire truck just as well when it's not making noises and squirting water.
The accessories are pretty boring - just roadworks signs and the like. Our son insists on calling the road barrier a garage for some reason, and keeps calling the fire brush 'dirty' as if it needs a clean. This may be because he sees them use it on the cartoon but it may just as well be because it looks a bit dirty. We honestly have no way of knowing! It also comes with a Fireman Sam figure, which is expected I suppose. You can easily slot the figure in through the window of the truck and this is good for role play. You can interact this toy with others in the range as well as any other toy I guess if you want. Our Fireman Sam has been known to ride the occasional dinosaur through HappyLand, so anything is possible!
This toy should set you back around the £15 mark. When you consider it's multifunctional with the sounds and water tank then it's probably not bad value. Clearly a present sort of toy down to the price rather than just an occasional toy for when they've been good, this could be the ideal thing to get a little Fireman Sam fan close to Christmas or a Birthday. Recommended.
~Fireman Sam Venus Playset~
Venus is an emergency response truck which features in Fireman Sam. This particular version of Venus is suitable for children over the age of 3 years and measures approximately 31.4 x 20.4 x 17.8 cm. It requires 3 x AAA batteries to operate. These batteries are not included. This playset has numerous features. Not only is it a free moving vehicle, it also has sound features, a full functional water tank and some small plastic accessories to help Sam put out the fires. A Fireman Sam figure is also included. The accessories appear to vary between sets.
~Where To Buy~
The Venus Playset can currently be purchased from the following websites :
*www.tesco.com - £20.00
*Amazon UK - £21.95
*www.toysus.co.uk - £14.99
My son is a huge Fireman Sam fan and received lots of lovely character gifts for his birthday back in May. His Aunt and Uncle took him to Tesco to allow him to pick something himself and he returned home with this Venus playset. At the time of purchase, it was around the £15.00 mark which I feel is a fair price. Venus has proven to be a worthwhile addition to our collection of Fireman Sam related toys and has been well played with by both my five year old son and his cousin of the same age.
Venus is a brightly coloured emergency response truck and is a good size for young children to play with. The main truck is of a good quality and made of tough, durable plastic. Everything appears to be in good order on the truck - no small pieces which look like they would be pulled off easily. The truck is instantly recognisable as being a Fireman Sam truck due to the detailing. It looks exactly as it does in the show. As with the majority of playsets that we own, the small accessories end up at the bottom of a toy box. The accessories (a shovel, axe etc are made from very flimsy plastic and are very easily lost. My son will make use of the accessories when he comes across them but mainly, he prefers to play with this set without the accessories. The Fireman Sam figure that came with the set is well made and has joined our overgrowing character collection.
My son really loves this playset. It didn't take us long to insert the batteries. The batteries are purely used for the sound features and you don't need battery power to work the water pump or to move the truck. The truck moves freely across wooden flooring and carpets. My son loves to create his own Pontypandy town. We have a large road track for all of the vehicles to drive around and Venus fits on this track perfectly. It takes very little time to arrange the different Fireman Sam buildings, vehicles and characters into a town and my son uses his imagination to act our scenes from the show. He is very enthusiastic doing this and it is a pleasure to watch him use his imagination in such a way.
This playset is probably his favourite of all the Fireman Sam trucks that he actually owns. He finds it easy to play with as it moves so easily. One aspect that he doesn't like is that the doors of the truck do not open. The windows are fully open and the characters can be inserted this way but they need to be sat a specific way to ensure they remain upright. My son can do this himself but a younger child may need some additional help as the process can be fiddly. The back of the truck opens out and when there is enough space for the small accessories to be stored here if required.
The main appeal of this playset is the yellow tank at the back of the truck. This tank is quite big and has to be put into place in a certain way or it won't sit properly. At first, my son required a lot of help to get the tank to stay in place and got frustrated that it kept falling off. Once it is in place correctly, it will stay there securely until it is pulled off. The tank has a screw cap with a pump on the top. This cap does screw on quite tightly and parental help is needed. I fill up the tank with cold water and ensure the cap is securely tightened to avoid any leakages. The tank holds quite a bit of water so unless your child is squirting it constantly, it will last well with regular play. My son knows how to fill the tank up himself but prefers Mummy to do it so that the cap is secured a bit better.
My son absolutely loves the pump action of this truck. The pump is easy to press down on and releases a blast of water each time. I was quite shocked at how fast the water came out of the pump and even more shocked at how far it actually travelled. This is definitely a novelty with my son and he takes great pleasure in putting out fires in his playsets. Of course, the playsets do become wet but as they are made of plastic, they wipe down very easily. At first, my son enjoyed soaking us too but realised when was acceptable and when wasn't (when I was using an electrical product for example). My son is more sensible when playing with this toy now especially around the house. We have taken this one to his Grans to play with in the garden which is fun.
The sound features on this toy are good and relate to the show. They are loud though and there is no volume switch so they either need to be on or off (switch is on the base of the truck). The different sound effects can be changed using the push down tannoy at the top of the truck and include the Fireman Sam theme tune and a few phrases including 'Great fires of London' and 'We're on our way!'. The batteries seem to last well with regular use which is always a bonus as most of the toys we have drain batteries very quickly.
My son really likes this Venus Playset. It has some good features which make it fun and easy to play with. It is easy to wipe down and aside from a few minor paint scrapes, our truck looks as good as new. Venus is well played with in our house and I would say that it would appeal to children from around age three until age six. It isn't an educational toy really but helps build the imagination and is generally fun to play with. I would imagine that my son will grow out of these toys soon especially as he has started school but for the moment, this remains a firm favourite and is worth £15.00.
Thanks for reading :)
Sub Category: Playsets / Activity Toys