“ Manufacturer: Chad Valley / Type: Math / age: 3 Years+ „
This is one of those toys that your child receives as a present, it looks flimsy, they break it straight away, and you think "what a load of tat", but then they and all their friends proceed to play with it continuously for the following 3 years.
My eldest received this when she was about 2 years old (she's now almost 6), and as I said earlier, it didn't fill me with much hope when she opened it. It comes in a very brash shiny metallic silver colour with black trim, and looks very plastic and tacky. It consists of a till with working buttons & display, a cash drawer that opens, a detachable conveyor belt to one side, an intercom and a scanner to the other side. You also get a selection of coins & a credit card.
***Buttons & Beeps***
The buttons make a beeping noise when you press them and the numbers come up on the screen, and this can also be used as a calculator (something which my kids have never bothered with), there is a large button which when pressed causes the drawer to spring open, and the scanner beeps when you press the button on the top. The conveyor belt and the intercom do not have any functions - well you can actually move the conveyor belt yourself, but as this is made from a very fine material, it soon frays and causes much stress and confusion and it is best left alone. This conveyor belt is also very easily detached from the side of the cash register and it was missing for quite some time, but it is now back attached to the side of the till. And with my children now being older and more careful, it has tended to stay attached for longer periods of time!
***An Early Disappointment***
So, as toy cash registers go, it's pretty basic, tacky and bottom of the range I would say. And when my children first received it, they were only 2 and 0, so it tended to get thrown around a lot, dropped off surfaces and generally misused, and I seriously thought it was going to be one of those toys that gets left at the bottom of the toy box and forgotten about. And after it started falling apart, the scanner beeper stopped working, and most of the money was lost, I put it away for a while so it could pull itself together.
However, it made a reappearance roundabout when my eldest started preschool so she would have been 3 years old, and along with a load of pretend food, a toy kitchen, and various shopping bags, it has formed part of the busiest play corner in our house.
Now despite me thinking that the toy was rubbish, the kids have had so much enjoyment from it, I am so pleased we actually possess this cash register. My children love pretend play, and more often than not they sit upstairs in their homemade shop buying and selling their toys from each other. And obviously a cash register is an integral part of this sort of play; so much so that this till never actually gets put back in the toy box - it is constantly on display because they play with it quite regularly.
After my initial thoughts of it being tacky and flimsy, well perhaps I was right because in the beginning it immediately fell apart, but nothing else has fallen off it, and it has withstood one hell of a lot of play since then, and now even the conveyor belt stays attached (mainly because my kids are past the throwing stage). The drawer has been jammed several times, but still works fine, money has been lost and found, the scanner only works intermittently, but this just doesn't bother my kids, and they still go back to it time and time again. All they want is a till so they can play shops, and this fits the bill perfectly, it has an opening drawer that you can deposit and extract cash from, and that is essentially what you need in a toy cash register.
So would I recommend? Yes I would, based on the amount of years this toy has been played with and enjoyed. The only trouble being that this specific version is not actually available anymore! However, Chad Valley must have upgraded and improved the toy, and a multicoloured cash register is now available, which is slightly different but it still has a cash drawer! And this is available on Ebay for around £8 and Amazon for considerably more.
My daughter received this cash register as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, and I think she still loves it just as much now as when she first received it.
The stainless steel effect cash register appears more grown up than many pink coloured or chunky plastic cash registers that are on the market. I have no idea why this one was chosen for my daughter, but it fits in well with her many other role playing toys and doesn't look out of place so it was a good choice by the recipient.
I remember when we first got the cash register out of the box and realised we were going to have to put it together as it had extended parts on either side of the register. One side is a conveyer belt for all the shopping to travel down as you play shops, and on the other side is a removable scanner and mini walkie talkie attachment that makes noises when the button is pressed.
The conveyer belt itself wasn't made very well in my opinion as the belt appeared to be quick slack in tension against the base. It was a manual belt and there was a piece of plastic that acted as a ridge for the shopkeeper to move as they wanted the food to travel down. It attached to the side of the register by two clips, but we did find that after a few months it kept falling off.
Imagine small children when they pick up toys and then drop them accidently. Well this belt attachment didn't really stand a chance so it only lasted as an accessory to the register for a while and then it went to the toy bin in heaven.
Luckily it didn't detract any enjoyment from playing with the till itself, and the scanner that's attached to the other side of the till was much better placed and the attachment is a solid casing of plastic that stayed intact no matter how many times the register was dropped.
The walkie talkie doesn't actually do anything other than act as part of the role play. Its fun to pick it up and imaginary talk to the customers through the plastic. This is attached to the register by a curled piece of plastic encased wire and so far hasn't weakened too much or stretched beyond use.
As for the scanner, for some reason this is attached by a short piece of plastic wire, but it was placed on the opposite side of the till to the conveyor belt. This means that the child has to reach over the till to potentially scan items in and then should they need to press any keys on the till, the scanner has to be moved back into place again. It's a slightly odd design but I can see the logistics of why it was designed like this, to prevent the toy being any larger or bulkier than necessary.
The till itself comes with a working calculator keypad. For older children this could act as a good counting aid with the help of the calculator to show the answers. For younger children then it's just fun to press the buttons and listen to the little beeping sounds that are actually not too annoying from a parent's perspective.
There is a nice large chunky button to open the till which of course is accompanied by the obligatory "ping" noise that comes with many toys of the same nature.
Alongside the buttons on the till there is a small credit card scanning slot which accompanies the plastic credit card which is received with the till. When you slide the credit card through this slot then a little noise sounds and a section at the rear of the till pops up behind the number screen. This is something that kept my daughter amused for days if not weeks, constantly sliding the card through just to see it pop up.
The till drawer comes with a key that can be locked. We removed this key the minute it was received as we thought it would get lost. I'm not really sure of its place within the toy to be honest and my daughter has never missed it. Perhaps it's more suitable for older children.
Also included in the drawer is a small selection of plastic coins and paper notes. The notes are a good size for the till drawer which is good. There was a large selection included as well so again we removed some at the start and introduced more as pieces were lost or broken etc.
Once in the eighteen months has the till drawer become jammed. It turned out to be quite easily fixed by taking it out and realigning against the springs inside the compartment. We found out this was because too many coins were placed into the rear of the till drawer, so something to keep in mind.
You will also receive a small selection of play food with this register. It literally is only about four items, but if the cash register is being given as a starter gift to a child without toy food then this is a nice touch.
Recommended for children age three years and over, the register will come with 2 x AA batteries. It does state that none are included but there were in ours. They are still working all this time later.
Overall I think we have definitely gotten our money's worth from this toy. Despite its faults, we have adapted the design and carried on regardless without losing any of the fun factor from the register. I think this was a £14.99 well spent by a caring Aunty.