Product Type: VTech baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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 i... more
VTech Toot Toot Drivers Garage - The fanciest garage I have ever seen!
Vtech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage
Member Name: maxwell_star
Vtech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage
Date: 07/06/12, updated on 21/07/12 (281 review reads)
Advantages: Looks good, fun, educational, lots to do, my son loves it, should be used for years, sturdy
Disadvantages: Big, hard to store, stickers could look shabby, irritating sounds, no quiet mode, more cars needed
- 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.
Summary: An entertaining and educational toy that my son loves
More reviews in the field of Baby Toy
- Will you marry me?
- A brick? Some paint? A doll? It does it all!
- Fisher price 3 stacking blocks - different and entertaining
- Bright lights but little crawling!
- A simple toy with so many uses!
- Play and learn for the discerning baby!
- Shake the Vtech tambourine to the beat
- Not much play value
- Vtech Sort and Learn Car - good entertainment for little ones if they can get th ...
- Crabbie if you haven't got one...
- Guidecraft Moon & Stars Stacking Bookshelf
- Guidecraft Moon & Stars Extra Chairs
- Guidecraft Magneatos Better Builders
- Guidecraft Hideaway Playtime Kitchen
- Guidecraft Farmhouse Extra Chairs
- ELC HappyLand Ready to Play Village Set
- Tomy Play to Learn Pic 'n Pop Walker
- VTech 1-2-3 Bouncing Bee
- Golden Bear In The Night Garden: Iggle Piggle Stroller Toy
- Chicco DJ Baby Walker Sketching