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My little boy received the Fun Time Simon Snail from his Nan, my mother, who likes to spoil him with little gifts whenever he goes to visit her. My husband and I had informed her of our plight in searching for a suitable shape sorter for him just the week before. We had purchased a Fisherprice shape sorter, only to find that once it was out of the packaging the top half, which had previously been obscured by cardboard, was completely open with no lid, therefore rendering the wholes for the shapes meaningless! My mother therefore snapped up Simon when out on a shopping trip as an appropriate replacement.
This toy is currently available from Wilkinson, in store or online at www.wilkinsonplus.com, for just £5.00. The manufacturer's age guidance is 12 months and over.
Simon is predominantly a shape sorter. His shell is in two parts, one half is yellow and the other is blue. The shell is opened by twisting it and pulling it, although this is often a little tricky, as it putting it back together again. Inside there are six chunky and vibrantly coloured shapes.
Simon's shell is merely balanced on his body and not attached in any way. In fact when removed he has the resemblance of a caterpillar! His body is arched in a suitable shape to hold his shell. Simon has two sets of wheels which sit rather loosely in their slots positioned on the undercarriage. At the front of the body is a short rope whereby Simon can be pulled along and when he is pulled along all of these features come into play. The loose fit of the wheels causes him to bob along in a bumpy fashion and because the shell is only balanced and not attached, the movement from the wheels causes the shell to spin as he goes along his journey.
Simon the Snail is very basic indeed, although he is durable. My son is just one year old and has thrown this toy around the living room on many occasions. He particularly likes to launch the shell from our wooden floor in order to open it! Simon has withstood this rough play with no damage whatsoever.
This toy is relatively easy to clean. The shapes themselves can be washed in a bowl of warm soapy water. However due to small holes in the hollow plastic body and wheels, caused when the parts have been taken from their casts, I would advise that these parts simply be wiped down with a damp cloth to prevent them filling with water which may be difficult to drain.
Overall this toy is rather basic but the price does reflect that. It is however very durable and suitable for the job. Simon is by far a better design than the Fisherprice shape sorter we had previously purchased for more than three times the price! I would highly recommend this toy.
A pull along toy with shape sorting pieces.