“ Manufacturer: Argos / Type: Interactive Toy „
My 2 year old twin boys receieved so many weird and wonderful presents for their 2nd birthday it was brilliant and I of course have been having a little play myself when they are in bed, as you do. One of the many presents they had were the Thomas the Tank cubes, you can purchase these in Argos either for £10 or in the 2 for £15 offer.
They come in a very small, recyclable cardboard box and I straightaway wondered how all the cubes and characters were going to fit inside. I soon found out how though and it is simply due to the size, they are alot smaller than the impression given. The box tells us that these are Thomas' Fab Fun Cubes and they are suitable for children aged 12 months plus. We are also informed on the front of the box that there are 6 pieces inside, 2 game modes and 30 interactive characters. The 6 pieces in the box are 5 colourful, thomas character cubes and the main unit that the cubes sit in. You will also be supplied with an Instruction Manual which to be honest the toy is fairly easy to work out and understand without this.
The main unit is a difficult shape to describe, but is is a strong, blue sturdy plastic with a square hole in the middle. This hole is where the colourful cubes sit inside. On the side of the unit there is a yellow switch which is what you need to slide across to switch it on, or choose your game mode. Each cube, is brightly coloured in blue, yellow, pink and green and each face, of each cube has a different Thomas character on with the name written underneath. The unit itself isn't too heavy for a child to hold but it can just be placed somewhere safely, without it rolling or falling off it's surface. The cubes are thin, plastic and alot lighter and smaller to hold and fit neatly within the unit.
The unit of the game does require 2 x AAA - LR03 batteries but these do come with it when bought. To place the batteries in the unit and remove them you do need a screwdriver to loosen the door on the back and tighten it back on again.
There are just two games that can be played with the cubes and that's game 1 - discovery mode - This game is the single dot on the switch selector. For this game you need to place a cube in the square hole I mentioned then press it down with the palm of your hand, and the unit will clearly tell you whose friend it is of Thomas's.
The second game, switch selector is the 2 dots, is quiz mode. The unit asks you to find characters, for which you have to find the character on one of the 5 cubes. Once the character is found you place it into the square hole with the particular characters face on top. The unit then tells you if you have the correct character or not.
To be honest I was expecting a little more from this toy and I'm glad I didn't pay for it. My twins received one each in the two for £15 offer for their 2nd birthday and they have hardly played with them and when they do it's not to play the games offered as they don't understand it really. One thing they do love about the unit is when it's switched on it makes a train sound, and they absolutely adore trains and their noises. They do enjoy stacking the cubes, but this only lasts a few seconds due to the lack of cubes. It will in time teach them the name of each character that features in the programme Thomas the Tank, but I don't see it as a 'fun' toy that can really be played with. Even if I'm to sit with them and play the games with them it only holds their attention for a short amount of time as it's just not 'fun'.
The unit does speak clearly and loud yet not too loud yet until my twins can speak properly in full sentences they won't really enjoy the games that the unit offers which is a shame as I feel it would be an engaging toy. It's not the most exciting toy though I'm afraid and I don't think it would keep them entertained for long to be honest. The novelty of the toy is the fact that it's Thomas the Tank which I'm sure the novelty will soon wear off as with any toy really.
If it was bought as a gift it would be liked but personally I wouldn't go out and buy it as it doesn't offer alot apart from the Thomas decoration and talking.