“ Brand: Mattel „
This toy is from the popular children's programme , The Octonauts. They are a group of creatures that explore under the sea, looking to help sick or injured sea life. It's a great show actually, they pop in lots of real facts about sea creatures, my 4 year old understands Symbiosis, can identify a Puffer Fish in a aquatics store and tell me that throwing his vampire squid behind the TV is okay because it's in the 'midnight zone' (he has a point). Back to the toy....
This was bought for my 4 year old on his birthday - he loves the Octonauts and this has been a key vehicle used in the more recent programs.
The Gup comes with:
Captain Barnacles Figure (one of the main characters)
Slime shooter discs (these are quite big so no need to worry about them being swallowed)
3 sea creatures - one of which has a bandage that fits over them - (Spider Crab, Snot Sea Cucumber and a Horseshoe Crab)
A rescue line/pulley
It's great for role play with the creatures and rescue features. The figure stands with ease in parts of the Gup as it has little holes in the bottom of the feet and there's raised noddles that the foot can be pushed into. In fact all the old Octonauts figures we have prior to this being made have the same holes in their feet, so they can be easily put into the Gup too.
The Gup breaks into three parts and easily fits back together, even for little hands. It's really robust and has a big grip on the top of it to push it around, turn it around, carry it etc. After nearly a year of hard use and being dropped, it's still looking in great condition.
Sadly this is one Octonauts toy that doesn't go in the bath as well as for normal play - unlike most of the others. It does has some electric functions with the slime shooter and noises that are made, which I believe is the reason why.
The slime shooter is lots of fun, again the discs are chunky and are easy for little ones to use, there's just a simple lever that launches them. Thankfully they don't go too far or dispense too fast.
When finished with the toy at night, all the pieces can be put inside to stop them being dispersed around the home. I've just bought a box to store them in though as our collection of Octonauts seems to be growing.
There was no assembly required with this item, or stickers to put on, it came out of the box ready to go, which is a massive plus in my book. It requires batteries, these are included and already fitted. Despite lots of play, I've never had to change them - yet.
The Gup X is available to buy on Amazon with an RRP of £44.99. I managed to get it for £25.00 however, for that price it's been great value for money with the amount of use it's had. It's currently at £25.00 at the time of writing the article.
Overall I'm really happy with this toy, it's well made, has enough features for lots of play, very tough and robust. I can't really find any fault with it at all.
My 3 year old son is a huge fan of Octonauts as you can probably tell from other reviews I have done. I have watch a number of episodes with him and never seen this GUP-X but, apparently, it is part of the Octonauts adventure and therefore he needed it! Oh yes, it's a need, not just a want for him. It used to retail at £44.99 which I wasn't prepared to pay so when I saw it had recently had a price cut to around the £25 mark, I purchased it for him.
It comes with lots of accessories including more sea creatures to add to his collection. These include four lime green plastic Slime Disks, three sea creatures (Spider Crab, Snot Sea Cucumber and a Horseshoe Crab), a rescue zip-line/pulley, a stretcher and a bandage that goes over a creature. It also comes with a Captain Barnacles play character. There is a little 'ski' inside too which is red and can be used as an additional way of going to collect injured sea creatures or helping the sea. (I have never seen this in any of the episodes on television either but my son seems to enjoy it.)
I must admit that the items are always meticulously well-made and ooze quality so I find it to be excellent value for money. They even hold up to the "ow! Who left that on the floor as I've just stepped on it?" test.
The main unit comes apart with 2 flaps that open so that the Octonauts can get on with their work inside. This also enables your child to pack everything into it once they've finished playing as it is large enough to hold everything in the set. The front part of the Gup slide off using a button on the top. This is a simple process that even small hands can manage and it glides on and off with no problems.
There is one main issue with this Gup that I have found. It comes with 'slime disc's that slot into the Gup and are fired out of the front with the yellow trigger on the side. This now turns a humble toy into a weapon in young hands!My 5 year old was the subject to the first try off this as he aimed it at her. A turn on the naughty step and confiscation of all the slime discs, now makes this a more educational rather than a potential cause for an A&E visit. The force that they come out with is so strong it will fire them over a metre across the floor.
The front of the Gup has a plastic screen which we have no removed as it kept coming out of place and I was worried that when my son tried to put it back in, it would break.
Now for the part that parents love ~it makes noises! Oh yes, you will need 3 AAA batteries to get the full use from it. There is a handy on/off switch on the bottom though and also a cross-headed screw holds the battery cover in place. It says lots of phrases when the yellow trigger is pressed including "use the water tank to help the snot cucumber" ~ yes, you shall be dreaming of snot cucumbers! The voice is that for Captain Barnacles and aids play in some ways but even if the batteries 'accidentally' run out, children don't seem to mind too much.
Designed for children between 3 years and 10 years, I'm sure that it will get plenty of use. It is played with daily in our house and it hasn't become one of those fad toys. I am very happy with my purchase and can see why the original price was recommended but i am pleased that it can now be found cheaper as more children can benefit from this toy. It is excellent value for money and I would definitely recommend this to any Octonauts fan.
I have awarded it 4/5 stars purely because of the slime disc problem and the plastic screen deciding to pop out whenever it likes.