I purchased the Vtech 'Toot Toot' garage for my sons 1st birthday after hearing great things about the range from friends and family. As my son was getting older, I wanted something that would hold his attention and would grow with him as his awareness increased and this seemed to fit the bill.
At the time, I paid £25 as it was on offer which I thought was a really good price.
Unlike a lot of toys, the garage arrived almost fully assembled. I simply had to add the helicopter pad and ramp before it was finished. My son was playing with the garage within about 5 minutes of opening the box which I thought was fantastic!
The garage comes with one toy car (a tow truck) which is bright (like the garage) and engaging. My son soon figured out that by pressing its windscreen it flashed and sang a rather catchy tune (that is wearing a little thin now with the parents as its constantly played!) which he loves dancing to. It is very hard wearing - my son takes it everywhere with him and it often gets thrown on the floor from his highchair, yet is still looking great! I had read reviews that the tow truck (and all the other car accessories available separately) didn't have an 'off button' to mute the music. Vtech must have updated them as ours came with one which can be a godsend at times. Generally we leave it on though as its enjoyed so much by my son!
Back to the garage - we've generally found the garage itself to be very robust. My son often leans on it to pull himself up on his knees. Because the base is quite large, he doesn't tilt it over. It is letdown by the easily removable ramp and helicopter pad. We've took the pad off for now but will add back again as he gets older and understands its purpose.
The play value of the garage as a whole is fantastic and without a doubt his favourite toy. It is loved by my 4 year old daughter too! It interacts a lot with 'smart point' locations (batteries needed - not included) and there are a few barriers which can be lifted up to let cars down the ramp or underneath the garage.
What I like the most about the garage is that it can be added to (makes excellent birthday/Christmas ideas) with additional track and cars. You can purchase an emergency vehicle or cars packs. Each contain 3 vehicles and retail at around £20 (which although is pricey, the toys have excellent play value). There are other sets available, all of which are compatible with the garage.
Santa was really good to my little boy and he got lots of presents, one of which was the VTech Toot Toot Drivers Garage. I happen to know that Santa got this on offer for around £20 but it normally retails at £45. After seeing it I would happily pay the full retail price.
It is really easy to build and quite sturdy once built. It is nice bright colours and has all the stickers already on it, which as any parent knows is the hardest bit of building toys.
All the Toot Toot range connects together and this is no exception. It is really easy to click onto other track and my 3 year old can do this himself which is a bonus. It has Smart Points on it, so when a compatible vehicle goes over these they make some kind of noise and light up. My wee man has Toot Toot animals, trains, planes and assorted cars and they all work on this garage as well.
It has an easy to work lift, car wash, plus the ramp which is always a favourite in my house. It is a good size as well, about 2 foot long, 1 foot wide and 1 foot high. The vehicles themselves are perfect size for little hands. I can also add that it is practically unbreakable as it has hit the floor in my house numerous times from Christmas as my wee man has delayed speech and understanding so can get frustrated sometimes and swipes things to the floor.
It has lots of lights and sounds, but can be switched off which is good for saving battery power, as well as Mum and Dad's hearing.
I would highly recommend this range to anyone. I love the fact that, like I said before, it all connects together. At the minute we have the garage, train station, airport and an animal track all interlinked.
We had a few of the vTech toot toot vehicles and the 'Drivers Car Carrier' when my son was younger. We were rummaging around in my in-laws loft when my daughter was about 10 months old when we came across them again and decided it was worth seeing if Phia enjoyed playing with them. She absolutely loved them and as an added bonus Lew really enjoyed playing with them with her.
We saw this on sale for just £40 and decided it was a perfect present for her first birthday. Having seen the toot toot cars before we were prepared for just how noisy they are but I would really recommend against pressing the car that you get with the garage while it is in the packaging as it goes of for absolutely ages and can't be turned off. I got some funny looks walking around town that day!
We decided to open the garage up and put it together the night before Phia's birthday so she could play with it as soon as she opened it. My wife thought she might have a go at putting it together while I was at work, this is usually a recipe for disaster but it was apparently very easy to put together and the instructions were even straight forwards.
Phia absolutely loved this as soon as she opened it, both children were playing with this straight away. Lew got so attached to it I had to threaten to give his toys to Phia if he wanted to play with it so much.
There are a few bits on it that interact with the toot toot cars and it even has a different message it plays to each different car. There is a music mode and a learning mode both of them are fun and Phia isn't really bothered which we put it on as they both make lots of noise and have fun flashing lights.
I only have three negative points to make about the garage and these are only minor; it takes three AA batteries which is utterly stupid as no one sells batteries in odd numbers, the 'heliport' is not attached securely to the rest of the garage so you will have to put it back on after each play time, it is really noisy and unlike a lot of toys nowadays there is no quieter setting.
Vtech: Welcome to the Toot-Toot Drivers Garage from VTech! This interactive garage includes a cute tow-truck vehicle that you can zoom around / drive up and down in the lift / spin on the turn-table or whiz down the winding ramp! Drive the truck through the car wash / fill up at the petrol station and be rewarded with lots of fun sound effects and phrases / Use under the Direct Supervision of an Adult / Clean with a damp cloth / Baby and preschool toys / 0-3 Years.