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To be honest, we were a little disappointed with the Vtech Toot Toot Drivers Garage. It was bought as a Christmas present for a 1.5 year old who loved all things car related.
On the plus side, the garage is brightly coloured and a perfect size for little ones. The garage comes with a pick up truck and we also bought a set of three extra emergency vehicles to go along with it. These cars are a great size for toddler hands and are nice and smooth with rounded edges.
Before I make the next point I should highlight that I am in no way averse to the noise of kiddie toys! We have numerous musical toys and, like everyone else these days, have plenty of battery operated toys with sound effects. If the kids enjoy them, I have no issue with noisy toys. However, this garage and cars bring it to another level!!! The garage itself has it's own sound effects and tunes. The cars all individually have their own separate set of sound effects and songs. They are all reasonably loud and nothing has any volume control - the options are on or off. So just a warning that even with just the garage and tow truck which comes as a set, there will be two conflicting narratives on a the same time. This is genuinely the only toy that gives me a sore head!
Another negative from our experience was the lift section breaking within a couple of weeks. It now needs to be held at the top to stay up as opposed to pulling it up and it sticking there.
A little disappointing and this hasn't been the hit with our little boy that we expected it to be.
Jayden has started to build up a collection of the V Tech Toot Toot Drivers range, one item he has is the Toot Toot Drivers Garage, we bought this for him as lately he has really got into playing with cars and other vehicles so we thought he would enjoy this as it is different to any of his other toys.
The Toot Toot Drivers Garage is basically an interactive garage, it includes a car wash area, a petrol station, a lift, turntable and a winding spiral ramp. As your child drives their vehicles around the garage there are points in the road (marked with a picture on the road) that when the vehicle is pushed over them it will speak or make a sound in reference to the areas of the garage you are in, there is also a sensor which will recognise the vehicle that is passing over it at the time.
Any of the Toot Toot Vehicles will recognise and can be recognised by the different sensor points located in the garage, this means that Jayden can use all of his different Toot Toot Vehicles that he has with this one toy and does not have to just use the vehicles that came with it.
Other features include buttons on the front of the garage which when pressed give a weather forecast and also a music setting and a setting where the garage talks and says various phases (introducing numbers etc) there are also flashing lights which light up when vehicles travel over various sensors. There are road markings and signs on the garage to give it a more realistic appearance. The garage is made from a tough a durable plastic and capable of withstanding the rough time it may get with a young child, especially as this is recommended for children aged 12 months and over.
The Toot Toot Drivers Garage comes with a little blue tow truck to drive around, this is made from a bright blue plastic with the words Toot Toot written down the sides and a green hook on the back for towing other vehicles. The tow truck has a friendly face and when the windscreen is pressed it lights up and the tow truck sings a song. As the truck is driven around the garage it responds to the various sensors and will say different phrases, for example announcing it is time for a rest when it is placed on one of the parking spaces. As with the garage the tow truck is made from a tough and durable plastic again making it able to stand up to a bit of rough play.
The garage comes mainly assembled, all you need to add is the spiral ramp which comes in two parts, this simply slots together and then clicks onto one end of the garage, however there are instructions as to how this works. The only other part which has to be put in place is the helipad and a small set f traffic lights and a barrier, everything else is already in place so assembly really is quick and easy. This does take 3 AA batteries which it does not come with, there is a small door on the back of the garage which needs to be removed with a screwdriver to insert the batteries, once the door is screwed in place the battery compartment is secure so that your child cannot remove them. Once fully assembled the garage is a good size measuring 17.8cm (H) 50.8cm (W) and 40.6cm (D) this makes it a good size for young children to play with as everything is easy for little hands to grip and hold, yet it is not so big that it is difficult to store.
The Toot Toot Drivers Garage is available from a range of places including Tesco, Toys R Us and Argos, the price of this varies quite a lot depending on where you purchase it from, we bought ours from Tesco for around £30.00, however I have seen it sold for a lot more so it is worth shopping around to get the best offer. In my opinion I would say that this is worth the money and sold for a fair price.
When we first bought Jayden the Toot Toot Drivers Garage he seemed more interested in playing with the vehicles alone rather than the garage, however he has since started to play with it and really enjoys it especially putting the cars down the spiral ramp. The garage has enough on it to keep your child entertained without being too complicated for very young children, the moving parts such as the lift and the turn table move easily and have chunky plastic levers which Jayden finds easy to grip and move. The whole thing is tough and strong despite getting pulled around a bit as Jayden plays. I would say that this is fairly priced despite the fact that the price does vary quite a bit and I would recommend shopping around before buying it. Overall I would highly recommend the Toot Toot Drivers Garage.
We purchased this in December 2012 as a present for our sons first Christmas. When he first got the present he was too young to understand the full concept of how a garage works but loved to press the buttons on the interactive cars repeatedly and push them around. As he has got older he now uses the garage fully in the way it is intended and enjoys making all the different sounds go off by pressing the multitude of buttons.
The garage is bright and colourful, sturdy and robust. With nice chunky interactive buttons, ramps and movable parts including barriers for the cars to pass through. There are also several "smart points" which say different phrases and sing different songs depending which vehicle is passing through.
There are many different vehicles that can be purchased seperately, these will all interact with the garage so room for more fun. There are also now lots of different expansion sets and different buildings such as the airport and train station which can all be joined together to act like one big city by using the expansion road packs.
Our toot toot garage is well loved by our nearly 2 year old boy and our nearly 5 year old daughter even enjoys playing with it so I am sure it will be a long lasting present that is used for years and years.
They also enjoy using normal cars on the garage such as hotwheels and they run down the ramps nicely.
Now onto the negative.. well it isn't really a negative with the quality or functionality of the product itself, rather that it is BLOOMIN annoying, when it is singing to you over and over again on repeat. Worse still when all the cars are going off at the same time. I do tend to become slightly insane by this point and/or sing along to the tunes unintentionally.
All in all a really good value present that is built to last and provide hours of entertainment for toddlers and young children alike.
My kids were lucky enough to receive this as a gift. They love it! They play with it constantly!
The garage comes with one vehicle included, the tow -truck but there are other vehicle packs available to purchase to go with it. Unfortunately to make it good I personally think you need to purchase another car pack. There are also lots more ad ons that can be purchased to expand and improve your toot toot garage.
Each car has different phrases and songs as they go round the garage. There is a sensor on the garage which cleverly recognises which car or truck is going through. There is the winding road, the lift, turntable for the cars to drive on as well as stop barriers.
The garage sings songs, states different colour vehicles, counts, and talks about weather so also has the educational side to it as well as being fun for the children.
Although my children absolutely love this, I don't always quite feel the same! This is one of the most annoying toys in my house with the catchy songs that you will find yourself singing ALL DAY!!
I do however love seeing the looks on my children's faces playing with it and the way their imagination comes alive so it is definitely worth it!
Overall a fantastic toy that your children will LOVE!!
My son was lucky enough to get this as a present for his first birthday. We unpacked it straight away, with minimal effort it was up and running. We knew he was getting this so had advised another relative to buy some of the vehicles as it only comes with the tow truck.
My son quickly got the hang of the three buttons on the front. Its nice and easy to lift cars up the ramp then round the turntable where they go whizzing down the slope and round the twisty corner. When the barrier is across at the check point the vehicles stop and interact with the garage simply by pressing them down. The garage plays different tunes for each vehicle as well as welcoming them.
It has three settings, 'off' speaks for itself, 'book' where it talks more, tells you the colour of the three buttons and 'music' again speaks for itself. On the bottom it has a petrol station and car wash, I found my son has not been as interested in in these. I have noticed myself when joining in the fun that its quite dark and hidden, personally feel even an inch higher might have helped this situation.
My only issue is that on the book setting the music and talking seems to jam, to say it's annoying is an understatement!! Luckily my little boy can slide the switch over now!
Also the helipad is easily knocked off. I actually took ours off for a while when my son was younger. Two years down the line he seems to be a lot less rough so it barely moves.
All in all a great toy garage and is still played with on a regular basis by my now 3 year old son. I do personally feel it looks more 'babyish' that some other garages out there so I'm guessing it will be outgrown quicker. Time will tell.
My son got this toot toot garage for his first birthday which was well over year ago and i have to say he still spends a hour or so at a time happly playing away with it. It did take him a good few months to get the hang of the car lift on the side which he at first would get a bit anoyed at but as soon as he got the hang of it he loved loading the cars onto the lift pushing them up and watching the go down the hill. I think the best thing about this garage is that vtech have so many accessories and add ons for it and although i dont have a daughter i like how you can buy a pack of 3 pink cars for the girls . After getting the garage we have added alot of there extras like the airport, extra tracks and the fire station along with extra cars
I ordered the toot toot garage for my son last christmas when he was 2 years old. He has autism so I thought the music would be beneficial to him as it is very sensory. The toy itself is brightly coloured which is attractive to young children and is aesthetically pleasing. The car you got with the garage was a little annoying after a while because of the voice it sang in. It got loud very quickly if the garage was turned on at the same time and became a little too over stimulating for my son, obviously this wouldn't be the same for all children though. There were buttons to turn the music off so it wasn't a massive issue.
The garage was easily assembled but then at the same time it was easy to take apart, which my child enjoyed doing rather a lot. So in the end the parts on the top of the garage (the helipad) remained unattached to the garage.
In the end I gave it away to the charity shop because my son lost interest in it and it didn't get played with.
The garage isn't too bad but I don't feel I would recommend it to a friend and would probably point them in the direction of a different garage, I think this one is more appropriate for babies age 9m+
I purchased this garage for my 9 month old son although my 3 year old also loves to play with it.
Once the garage was out if the packaging it was very easy to set up, although I was left with one spare piece that I still don't know where it is supposed to go! There's a spiral ramp that clicks onto the end, this does have a habit of coming off when the garage is picked up or one of the children lean on it a bit too heavily. There's also a lift, with a working lever that you just push up and down, very easy for babies and toddlers to operate. The top of the garage has 3 buttons that play music and say phrases. The battery compartment is well hidden and while easy to open (with a screwdriver) for adults, it is out of reach for little hands.
The garage itself comes with one toot toot car although I did buy more to add on. There are lots of options to add extras onto this garage such as extra tracks, fire station and an airport.
The only thing I would say is the cars are not interactive so if they are all on at the same time they just play music over each other which can get very noisy!!
The cars themselves have no volume control, it's basically just on or off, so unless you take the batteries out they are very loud.
However both of my children love it and it was definitely well worth the money.
My son was given this for his first birthday. Although for 12 months plus on the box I was a little concerned it may be a bit old for him but I needn't have worried!
Setting up is easy, didn't have to look at the instructions once. My only niggle was there were no batteries supplied in the main garage but luckily I had some tucked away. The battery case has an easy screw to open but there's no worries about small hands being able to open it (something we've had with previous toys) and so we were off.
The garage came with a ramp that clicks on, a helipad that pops on top (but usually comes off as its not fixed and my son loves to take this part off) and a tow truck that interacts with the petrol pump and ramp and also acts as a toy on its own with phrases and music so has had plenty of play. There are three buttons on top of the garage that talk about the weather and play music for added interest. It has been such a robust toy enduring my little bundle not only learning to slide the car across every part but also climbing on it, turning it over and pulling sections. Its as good as new and it is played with daily.
I'm so impressed with this garage, my son loves it so we have just ordered more cars and tracks to expand it. There are quite a few add-ons available for this range and we'll be adding to it and I can see this being a toy he's still playing with at 4 or 5.
A few people have commented how noisy the garage and trucks are, they are noisy, and noted there arent any volume controls, just two settings and off, but I've not noticed it being any more noisy than his favourite toys so that hasn't been a problem for us... Unless you count tripping over the tow truck to hear it start talking whilst my sons just fallen asleep!
We brought this as a Christmas present for our 18 month old little boy as we had been looking for a car and garage set this seemed very reasonably priced at £29.99 compared to others on the market.
This toy looks a very grand present for and child it comes in a large box. It includes a garage, ramp, helicopter pad and tow truck.
It's made from bright, colourful moulded plastic which really catches the eye. It has a moving red lift and a green turn table but even with the turning parts it is very robust and sturdy. It does come in several pieces which need to be fitted together before use. However I didn't even need to read the instructions. The garage does come a part if you wanted it to but I leave it fully assembled.
This is a noisy toy with no volume control!! There are interactive pads on the garage car wash, petrol station, ramp and lift. Just before the cars go down the ramp if you press them down on the sensors the garage will recognise what vehicle it is. If the garage is turned on and the cars are turned on it is so noisy you can't hear what its saying.
This toy is recommended for 12 months + so I was concerned my son would grow out of it fast but he's now nearly 2 years old and just getting into playing with it properly. His cousins who are between 4 - 8 years old enjoying playing with it when they visit.
I would recommend this toy to boy or girls over the age of 12 months. It a great toy and seems to be a hit with young children and I see him playing with this for years to come.
You can buy additions for the garage like additional track, cars, ramps, fire station and much more.
We bought this as the main 'toy' present for our little girl this Christmas.
Having an 18 month old child means a life of tripping over dolls and stuffed toys (usually deceptively 'soft' looking as most are crammed with chunky plastic voiceboxes!), rolling on bouncy balls and stepping on Mega-Bloks (the ultimate in none-penetrative acupuncture!).
So after a birthday and christening in the last quarter of last year, toys were one thing we weren't short of. (space to put them was hard to come by, however....)
Limiting ourselves to just one big toy meant we had to make sure it was right. Something she could play with immediately, something that wouldn't break in five minutes and something she could enjoy for a while - hopefully even add to.
Our prayers were answered when we found one of these garages in Toys R Us with a very handy readily built playable set-up in one of the aisles.
The garage is a large chunky plastic structure, surprisingly heavy, with a handful of easy to use clip-on pieces like the bridge/helipad.
(Yes, like other users we struggled to find a home for the phantom orange support piece - finally got it in place after flipping the whole thing upside down in a moment of determination)!
There are several interactive areas on the main body which is just ingenious. I can't imagine how excited I would have been at that discovery as a child!
For example, if you run a car over the petrol station sensor, the ringing up of petrol pumps sound. Similar with the car wash! The 'lift' is a bit of a disappointment in that respect. While the sounds are great ("Going UP!") it's all hand controlled and won't stay in the top position, just drops back to the ground when you take your hand away. Possibly a design flaw or maybe just that we bought a duff one?
There was a car included with the garage, a tow truck which sings and talks and interacts with the garage.
As well as the pressure sensors, most of the interactive features actually recognise the car!
Rather short sightedly we bought both extra packs of vehicles (pink car/van/truck, and emergency vehicles) separately so there would be lots to play with. The bad side to that is that each of the cars is a toy on its own - a loud toy - each with a switch underneath to make them say their own phrases and sing their own songs.
Seven of those & the garage and you're in for headaches!!
The whole thing is rather robust. If I had a complaint to make, it'd be that the bridge/helipad section lifts off far too easily. There should be some way of it locking or snapping into place rather than it just lifting off.
The cars are equally sturdy. In fact the cars have been played with as a separate toy much more than with the garage so far, and have been bounced on the tiled kitchen floor, rolled downstairs and at one point dropped into a very shallow bath of water.
All have survived their ordeals sadly.
The colours are wonderful. Holding with the other toys in the Toot Toot range they are in main vibrant orange, green, blue and red chunks. The cars are all easily distinguishable for a toddler, and the pink ones make a nice touch for a girl.
Aside from the negative about some of the parts being easily disconnected, I have one other.
This is a NOISY toy. Once you've turned it on it will take over - no watching TV while junior plays quietly in the corner.
I would have liked to see a volume control or a quiet setting as a lot of toys have nowadays.
Aside from that, no gripes. If needs be the garage can be played with without the music turned on and works just as well, so that one is solved at least.
The price was fair, and the car packs were a brilliant price too.
It would have been nice to get the helicopter that goes with it, though for some reason supplies of that were very limited, and I've seen desperate e.bayers paying £35 for that alone (retails at £5.99).
In general a 5 star toy.
The cars are great for any age and I can see the garage getting use for a good couple of years. I think the fire station or airport will be high on the shopping list next time we're looking for a treat and it's a very smart move making these toys so they clip together - a spare pack of road pieces and you can connect half a dozen Toot Toot toys into one big playset.
Very pleased all round.
My son received this really cool VTech toot toot drivers garage for Christmas this year from his grandparents. My dad had seen it in various shops but eventually bought it in Costo for a very good price so its worth looking around.
The garage is a cool interactive toy with ramps and roads, a car wash, and works with the little Vtech toot toot cars that you can buy separately. The garage was pretty easy to assemble. The body of the garage is mainly solid and all we needed to do was attach the ramp on the left hand side and the helicopter pad. What I like about this garage is that it is bright and colourful with orange, green, red and blue parts and lots of different coloured buttons.
We already had the Vtech toot toot helicopter which works perfectly on the helicopter landing pad but the garage also came with the tow truck which is a nice addition to the set. The tow truck sings of course and here are some of the phrases it says:
I love picking up broken cars, call me I'm on the way, beep beep
Lets go and tow the broken cars
Then it makes a beep beep noise
I'm a useful truck, always ready to tow cars.
In order to make the tow truck sing you just press the face button on the front and it lights up and flashes whilst he sings. The garage is a very clever garage. It is foever singing and flashing its lights. When you first turn it on it will sing, "I'm a small garage but I can do big things, need a wash, come and visit me need some fuel, come and visit me, need a rest, don't forget me, I'm here to help you. Welcome to the Toot toot drivers garage. There is a checkpoint where the cars have to stop before they go down the ramp as there is a barrier there. If you place the tow truck on this or any other vehicle for that matter it will identify which vehicle is there and say, "Hello tow truck, where will you go.?" Then it says whee, have a good journey. I like it because it has so many different phrases and is always doing something different everytime my little boy plays with it.
There is a parking spot where you can put one of the cars and here the garage will also ask , "what is the weather like today," and you can press three different weather buttons to find out what the weather it. It will either be a windy day, a sunny day or a rainy day. If you have the function switched to the book function it will also tell you which button is red, which is yellow and which is green when you press them.
My little boy loves the ramps the best actually and even when the garage is switched off he can still play with it by making the cars go down the ramp or up in the winding ramp and on the turntable. This is a cool function where you can move the ramp up and down with a car in it and then let it go down a slope or up onto the higher part of the garage.
The cars can get washed in the car wash. You will find a button here and if you press it it will make the sound of bubbles and washing a car which is fun. There is also a petrol station which makes a filling up noise too when you press the button. The buttons are easy for little fingers to press and my son has also figured out how to turn the whole thing on and off so there is no escape from the noise for me!
This is a really fun garage that my one year old boy and actually three year old little girl love to play with and I can see it being played with for quite a few months to come yet.
My son was a lucky boy for his first birthday and received lots of gifts from friends and family. One of these was the V-tech toot toot garage which has fast become one of his favourites and is now almost permanently set up in our living room.
This toy comes in a large box consisting of garage, ramp, helicopter pad and tow truck. It is made from plastic and brightly coloured. The main body of the upper level of the garage is blue and the lower level is yellow with a red ramp that can be lifted and lowered. On the opposite side there is an orange spiral ramp. There are several different sound effects. The up and down which is quite common to v tech toys in my experience although my favourite is the Whhheeeee when a car does down the spiral ramp. The garage pump also makes a noise as does the car wash. The different cars appear to be recognised by the garage making it a well thought out toy. The lower level contains the garage pump and car wash which are slightly harder to access my after a while my son has worked out how these work too.
This toy is very simple to assemble and although it came with an instruction booklet I didn't have to refer to it. It is fairly obvious where the kiosk, ramp, and helicopter pad slide in. It is also easy to disassemble which I have found to be very convenient if I want to pop the garage into the play pen as it is a little too big with the spiral ramp attached to it.
This has quickly become a favourite toy. My son has worked out how the ramp works and has discovered how to push the car through the car wash. The buttons with the colours on them help with colour recognition although it is a little early for him to work out the weather. The garage has coped well with his fairly rough handling and has proved to be quite robust. The only part I have had to remove for the time being in the helicopter pad as it is just too easily removed by my son. My son loves the sounds and lights but I can find them to be a bit irritating after a while and unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a volume control. Added to this is the fact that the tow truck provided with the garage also plays its own tunes so it is a noisy toy. When it gets too much for me I turn it off and my son is still quite happy to play with it. Although my son is happy to play with the truck on its own when combined with the garage I do turn off the truck.
A good toy for development as improves fine motor skills, problem solving and colour recognition. The only downside is the noise but having said which I still plan to buy more cars for my son to play with in the garage and feel it is a toy that he will continue having fun with for some time yet. So good that even the tv remote control is left alone in favour of this toy. At a price tag of £28 to £39 it is a bit on the more expensive side but I feel worth the money as it is a toy a child can play with for some time.
For my son's first birthday he was lucky enough to receive the VTech Toot Toot Drivers Garage along with two packs of Toot Toot Drivers Vehicles. I was immediately pleased when we unwrapped it as I know VTech is a good make for toys and the sheer size of it made it look instantly impressive!
- The Packaging and Assembly -
The garage comes packaged in a big brightly coloured box. There is a clear picture of the garage being played with by a toddler. The box states the toy provides 'fun interactive learning' and teaches fine motor skills, colours, opposites, weather and pretend play. It warns that assembly is required. My friend who had given this as a gift set to work assembling this for my son. She managed it within about three minutes without the instructions, simply by looking at the picture on the front. It easily slots together almost like a puzzle. We had one random piece left over and we were starting to wonder if it was in the box by mistake, even the instructions had no mention of it. Then we came across a small piece of paper with a picture of this piece and where it should be inserted. I think this piece probably wasn't in the original toy but has since been added. It acts as a column which adds support to the back of the toy so perhaps the original design wasn't sturdy enough.
- The Garage -
The garage consists of a barrier entrance, a car wash, petrol station, sloped ramp, sliding lift, turntable, heliport, parking space, piano keys (like all garages!?), checkpoint, magic sensor which recognises different vehicles, spiral ramp and an exit barrier. The garage is made from plastic and each area is brightly coloured yellow, orange, blue, green or red. There are stickers which add detail such as road markings, arrows and traffic lights. The garage also comes with a tow truck vehicle complete with a crane and smiley face! Overall the garage looks really fun with lots to entertain and educate at the same time. It looks sturdy and long lasting; my only criticism of the appearance is that I imagine the stickers could start to look shabby over time. Also it does take up quite a lot of space and isn't that easy to store away which could be a problem for some people, I just accept that my living room looks like a toy shop!
- Play Time -
As well as all the different elements of the garage, this is an all singing all dancing toy so of course requires two AA batteries for the garage and one for the vehicle that comes with it. There is an on/off switch but unfortunately no 'quiet' mode, a brilliant feature of many other toys. There is a talking mode and a musical mode, although I have to say the talking mode does feature music and the musical mode does have talking so it doesn't make that much difference! As with other VTech toys the talking, singing and music is highly irritating but it keeps my son entertained so I can't complain too much.
I will run through what you might do with each part of the garage. So for the vehicle to enter the garage the child needs to lift up the barrier. Then there is a choice of a car wash or petrol station, each with a button activated by wheeling the vehicle onto it, you then hear the appropriate sound effects and talking. The vehicle can either exit or ride up the slope and get onto the lift. This needs to be manually lifted by the child and the voice will tell you whether it is up or down. Next onto the turntable which rotates the vehicle and then propels it along under the heliport tower (helicopter sold separately), past the parking space and along to the checkpoint where it is stopped by a barrier. Now this is the really clever bit, if you press the vehicle down at the checkpoint it will recognise which vehicle it is! For example it will say 'hello tow truck'. You can then lift the barrier and the check point will say 'have a nice journey' (what good manners!) as the vehicle whizzes down the spiral ramp. There are also the piano keys which have different colours and weather conditions. I can often hear 'it's a windy day' over and over when my son plays with this! The tow truck also has an on/off switch and sings and talks too. This is actually a really nice stand alone toy and is small enough to take out and about.
At 13 months my son doesn't yet understand the concept of a garage, of course that doesn't impact on the fun he has! He loves moving the vehicles around the garage, especially down the spiral ramp. He loves moving the lift up and down. He really enjoys pressing the piano keys, I think because they are similar to some of his more babyish toys. He giggles at the talking and singing. As he grows I'm sure he will understand each part of the garage more and as there are so features I think we should have a few years use out of this. This has quickly become my son's favourite toy and overall I have been very impressed with it. It does indeed develop fine motor skills as my son has quickly sussed out how to press all the buttons and move the vehicles around. It also teaches colours and weather although I'm not quite sure about opposites. I think pretend play is a little beyond my son at the moment but I can imagine it would teach this for slightly older children. It is also great for joint play with other children as there is so much to do.
- Other Items in the Range -
The garage is the key piece of this range but there are a few other scenes available such as a fire station and simple tracks. I think it is possible to connect extra track to the entrances and exits of the garage. There are also a variety of vehicles available, we have the car/van/truck set and the ambulance/fire engine/police car set. Others in the range include tractor, cement mixer and helicopter. You certainly need more than the one vehicle that is provided so this can quickly add to the cost, not to mention the cost of batteries for each vehicle.
- Age Range -
The box states this is suitable for 12 months +. I think this is fairly accurate as I think it would have been a bit much for my son before about ten months. There doesn't seem to be an upper age recommendation but I would expect it to still be entertaining to a child of about three. When my sister saw it she said that some of the 5/6 year olds she teaches would probably have a play with it!
- Price and Availability -
I think my friend bought this garage from Amazon where it is currently priced at £32, down from the RRP of £39.99. This is quite expensive but I think it is reasonable for what you get. Having said that I think a couple more vehicles should be included in this price. I believe the garage is also available from Argos, Toys R Us, John Lewis and Tesco.
- Would I Recommend? -
I would definitely recommend this as my son loves it, there is a lot to entertain and educate and it is a sturdy toy. There are a few negatives such as size, difficulty to store, stickers that could wear badly, irritating sounds, no quiet mode and the need to purchase more vehicles. However, these are only minor irritants and overall I think this is a brilliant toy.
Vtech recently released a new range of toys called 'Toot Toot Drivers'. It was released mid last year but thanks to their early pre-Christmas advertising the range was quite hard to get hold of towards the end of last year. Now thoroughly re-stocked if you decide after reading this review to buy one of these garages then you shouldn't face the same troubles getting hold of one as I did!
This particular toy from the range is called the Toot Toot Drivers Garage. The Toot Toot range features cars and vehicles that make noises and play music and also have flashing lights etc and this garage is the main part of the whole range.
The garage itself is where your little one can group their vehicles together and play with them. There is lots for little hands to do and lots for little eyes to watch! This is a big reason why I bought this because my son is 16 months old and was in need of further stimulation than his old baby toys were providing. I knew I wanted something noisy and something that was interactive and this really fit the bill for him. The age recommendation is for one year and up although if my son would have recieved this earlier than 16 months I don't think he would have been able to understand it so much, but I guess that depends on your own childs development stage. My son absolutely loves this, it's one of the toys he's played with the most since Christmas so I would say it'se best suited for 15 months or so upwards.
The garage itself gives children so much to do! Firstly the ramp which is shaped like a road where the cars can be pushed up towards a special lift which is towards the right of the garage. The cars can roll easily on to the lift and a thumb tab gives easily elevation to the top level. The vehicle of choice will automatically roll off the lift as soon as it reaches the top and gain momentum as it rolls on to the turntable which is the next part of the 'route'. The turntable too has a thumb tab which you push and it will rotate the vehicle around to face the other direction-but not for long because this part of the track is tilted so it will roll away quite quickly and down the track-my son is amazed at this and loves to watch the cars all move effortlessly when they reach the top level!
As they continue down the tilted road there is a stop sign that can be pulled down to stop the cars otherwise they roll all the way from the lift, down the spiral road to the bottom where they will come to a stop. It's a beautiful little system, from the most minimal help with the lift and turntable you can watch the cars go with ease, the only thing that drives me round the bend is how many times I have to repeat this for my son as he hasn't learnt how to use the thumb tabs and do it for himself yet!
There are also sections underneath which are for the petrol station and car wash-each have little buttons where the cars rest so they will recognise when a car is present and begin to interact with it appropriately! That's the lovely thing about this toy-it recognisies the different types of vehicles. Whether it's a police car, tow truck etc the garage recognises this and makes the right sounds and combined with the songs and words the car itself makes it's like the garage becomes themed towards that type of car! The exit barrier on the top level is especially good at this, when the cars stop there it will instantly recognise the car and sing/play music for it!
There are two modes you can choose from with this garage one is the music mode and one is the technically more speaking 'story' mode but there is also music included. The songs are all fun and repetative and match those of the vehicles. The more talking 'story' mode is supposed to help encourage language skills by introducing new words, letter sounds and the alphabet which I quite like because my son is at the age where he takes everything on board.
My overall impression of this toy is that it's excellent! It's really redeemed Vtech in my eyes as I had previously been under the impression that their quality did not match their competition and I always felt their toys weren't very innovative. This range has totally changed my opinion! My son loves it and I love watching him play with it, and I'm happy in the knowledge that he's learning from it too!
The thumb tabs I mentioned earlier are great for his fine motor skills development because although he can't use them yet when he watches me use them I know his little brain is taking it in and trying to stimulate him to do it. The different textures along with the brightness of the whole toy and with all the fun music is aimed at aiding sensory development too so as far as being 'educational' goes I feel like his enjoyment is well aimed at this toy!
I also can't fault that when you get the toy out of the box there is very little accessmbly required as it all comes ready to play in almost every way. All the stickers are in place, the toy altogether and no screwing is needed. All you need to do is attach the spiral ramp and the heipad and it's ready to be played with-this is great for eager children like mine! It also comes with one vehicle which is the tow truck so if your buying it to see if your child will enjoy it then you don't need to shell out for the seperate vehicles unless you want to. It's because of this that you can use this as a stand alone toy or the feature of the whole range! We bought this and a three pack of cars which is just enough for my son at the moment but I am already planning on buying more! There are seperate pieces of track which can be attached to two points of the garage, multiple cars and several other larger structures (though not as big as this one) which are soon to be available in toy shops to complete the range.
You can buy the garage from all good toy retailers for £39.99 and then the three pack of cars are approximately £14.99 (or can be bought seperately for £4.99-£5.99 each). It comes with batteries too so thats another bonus!
I'm so pleased with this toy and I know my son will continue to get lots of use from it because as he grows he will enjoy the role playing element of it even more. At this stage he doesn't really know about cars and garages but as a parent I guess the stereotype of boys liking cars meant I was drawn to this and all the features and educational benefits were a further justification for buying it. Although this toy is supposedly aimed to be unisex I can't imagine many girls enjoying it past the two year mark (when they begin to understand cars/dolls etc) so I would recommend it more for boys as you will get the most longevity out of it that way!
Overall a big fat five stars from our household-even if the music does drive me nuts at times!
Welcome to the Toot-Toot Drivers Garage! This interactive garage includes a cute tow-truck vehicle that you can zoom around, drive up and down in the lift, spin on the turntable 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. Also includes exit gate featuring a magic sensor that recognises the vehicle. Introduces numbers and music. Features Interactive garage includes a cute tow-truck vehicle Features lift, turntable, winding ramp, petrol station, car wash and more Includes lots of fun sound effects and phrases