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Similar in style and method to Buckaroo, but using a kangaroo from the Early Learning Centre

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      01.08.2002 02:52
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      Kangarooni a child's game from the Early Learning Centre, a very similar idea to Buckaroo - you know the grumpy donkey on which you have to load all manner of items very carefully to make sure it doesn't buck - well Kangarooni is pretty much the same. The game consists of one large brown jointed plastic Kangaroo, sporting a very fetching and unrealistic pouch with the Australian flag emblazoned upon it. The Kangaroo has a rather pleasant if goofy appearance and has a moveable head. If you will imagine the Kangaroo sitting on its hind legs - the knees are jointed, as is the tail section in three places. Not only this but also you have 14 Australian themed objects including a rather pink Aussie hat, a baby Joey, a Koala Bear, a platypus, crocodile, shovel, didgeridoo, rugby ball, boomerang, sunglasses (dame Edna style) cricket bat, kettle, surfboard and of course the Sydney Opera House. The plastic pieces are all different weights and sizes; none of the playing pieces are less than 2 inches in length. Although the game is recommended for children 4 years and above, James was bought it when he was two and chewing on the pieces has never entered into it, I would go so far as to say that the pieces don't pose a choking threat - having said that the most determined child can choke on anything - so supervision for the very small would be advised. The playing pieces are very brightly coloured Fuchsia pink, Lurid lime green, over powering orange and yucky yellow - these are not the kind of pieces that will get lost on the carpet, ready to strike that tender spot on the sole of your foot! The object of the game is for each player to place a playing piece into the Kangaroos pouch, taking care not to make her jump! Now as the pieces are rather big and the pouch quite small in comparison this takes a great deal of skill! Make sure there are no volatile cats or dogs in the area when playing - as when she jumps- Kangarooni make a bit of a row
      ! As the pieces are quite heavy - an advantage as you don't get them scattered all over the room when she jumps and spend valuable playing time retrieving them from the insides of lampshades and the like! James loves his Kangarooni and has led to many an interesting fact finding mission for him and myself - he knows all about Koalas, crocodiles, platypus and Kangaroos not to mention my tuneless renditions of 'Tie Me kangaroo down sport' and Waltzing Matilda. The game is not just fun, but a learning experience as well - it helps with hand/eye co- ordination, counting, colour recognition, sharing, encourages conversation, taking turns and learning all about different parts of the world, all the things that little people need to know about. The overall construction of the toy is excellent, we have had Kangarooni for 2 years now and there is not a mark on her despite being played with on an almost daily basis. All the screws holding the body together are recessed deeply within the body and have never had to be tightened up - despite regular checks. The actual Kangaroo comes complete on its base and requires no putting together at all, a bonus for impatient children! All the playing pieces are constructed from single pieces of plastic, so there are no little bits to get broken or chewed off. All in all I quite like this toy - suprising really as I hate Buckaroo, in comparison to Kangarooni it is a very flimsy thing indeed. My only complaint about the whole toy is the degree of difficulty it takes to 'set' the Kangaroo. First you have to cock back the Kangaroo on its tail, then push both knee joints firmly backwards, whilst doing that push up the pouch. It is fairly easy for an adult to do, after some month's practice, but for a child it is difficult, bordering on the impossible. I think for ten pounds this is an excellent buy there certainly are not many toys of this quality, at this price, that ch
      ildren will play with over and over again and remain in tact.

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