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Cost and Availability
My youngest daughter has access to just about every toy my elder daughter has ever owned so when we came to christmas we found it quite difficult to find items to buy her, my sister found this toy train from the Fisherprice Laugh & Learn collection of toys. Whe she bought her this toy it costs £15 but I have taken a look on the old trusted Amazon and it is currently selling at £12.69 with free delivery of course Amazon is not the only place to buy this it is also available in the usual places such as Tesco and Argos.
The train came packaged in an open fronted box which I like as far as packaging goes as it allows you to get an idea what a toy is going to do before you buy it, the box of course displayed the Fisher price Logo and stated that the toy was suitable from 6-36 months of age. The packaging claimed that it has 30 plus songs and tunes and it teaches you child letter A-Z, Numbers 1-10, Animals, Greetings, Opposites and First words.
The toy is made of mainly bright red plastic, it is shaped as you expect a train to be with a carriage with a blue top and roller and a front with a funnel and there is a bright yellow smiley face on the front of the train and then it has 4 bright blue wheels. I think the toy is very brightly coloured and the toy looks inviting to children with its colours and smiling face.
The toy has an on off switch on the side which is a slider and it has two different on positions one of which is music and the other is ABC. The toy has another bright yellow slider on the underneath of it which allows you to control the volume so that it can be set on quiet or loud, my daughter hasn't realised this is actually there which is great as it means I have it set on quiet and she doesn't know there is another volume. The battery area is on the underneath of the train and is house under a locked panel which locks with a screw
When you first slide the slider along to the ABC setting the train announces that it's learning time, the carriage part of the train has a screen which has little dots that light up and this flashes lights every time the train sings or says something. When you spin the roller the trains sings a song "Choo Choo who teaches the numbers 1 - 10, as the numbers are sang in the song the numbers come up on the screen in lights. Every time your child spins the roller they are rewarded with little tunes and songs and of course the flashing lights, when they push down on the funnel it displays the letters from A-Z one at a time on the screen and tells your child which letter it is. There is a lot of different songs each one teaches new things such as one which displays arrows on the screen and teaches up, down, back forth and round and round.
When you slide the slider to the musical note symbol the train announces it's music time, it sings a song saying come and ride the train and see what you can see, it then announces that it can see different things such as Bird, cat and Dog and tells your child what letter the word begins with. When you press the funnel in this setting your child is rewarded with tunes rather than songs which my daughter doesn't seem overly impressed with.
My Daughters Opinions
My eldest daughter pays no attention to this toy at all which as she is 5 you wouldn't expect her to but even when she is playing with her younger sister which she likes to do she won't pick this toy to play with and she says it is boring. My younger daughter was just over a year old when she got this toy and to be honest it is not one of her favourite toys and she doesn't play with it much, she doesn't like the music setting and really only plays with the roller in the ABC setting. She enjoys pushing the train around and tries to sit her dolls on top of the train which of course they fall off and then she gets annoyed. If she does play with this toy it is only for a matter of minutes at a time and I know she would not recommend this toy.
As educational toys go I can't say there is really anything wrong with this toy, the toys teaches a number of different aspects whilst your child plays which means they don't realise they are learning which is good. The toy is simple for your child to work and the volume control of course is a godsend to parents. The toy is pretty durable, it has been bashed off many surfaces and doesn't show any signs of damage and all tr stickers and decoration on the toy are still in tact. I would have expected this to be a toy that my children would enjoy as with other toys in the Laugh & Learn range however they don't so I am only going to give this toy 3 stars as if it can't engage children and hold their attention for more than a couple of minutes I don't feel I can highly recommend it.