“ Manufacturer: Tomy / Age: 18 Months+ / Type: Music „
My son Joshua is 11 months at the moment and he's not only very tall for his age but he's quite advanced too. He's in to everything, which isn't abnormal for a child his age but he learns quickly and learns how to apply things he learns in other places.
Like a lot of children, Joshua is the apple of his mummy and daddy's eye! He's also got two sets of devoted grandparents and overall a HUGE family so his toy room is alway full of the latest and greatest toys. I personally am a sucker for anything that looks like fun, and like something I would enjoy watching him play with. But I can't actually take the gratitude for this purchase! Daddy bought Joshua this particular toy-his Thomas The Tanke Engine Guitar-or Thomas 'Tar as we call it!
My partner was looking after Joshua and decided to take him to Toys'r'us on his own one day-that in itself nearly made me fall over! So when he even came home with a toy for him, I was expecting him to say he was ill! (My partner very rarely takes an intrest in toys, clothes etc for Josh until I bring them home and they have already been purchased, I think it's the shopping he doesn't like-typical man!)
This toy cost £7.99 in the sale at Toys'r'us but usually retails for £10 which is how much it now costs. I've only been able to trace in on amazon and ebay as well as Toys'r'us so a down side is that it is a little hard to get hold of as not many retailers seem to carry it. Which is a real shame.
My son isn't particularly interested in Thomas The Tanke just yet, it's not brightly coloured enough for him to watch on tv but with his toys he's always been very reactive to noise which is why my partner bought this. The guitar itself runs on 3 AA batteries, the first lot come included which was great for me because I know that a 4 pack of AA batteries in toys'r'us would have cost almost as much as the guitar itself. So I was pleased batteries were included.
The guitar has three settings-on, off and try me. On and off are self explanatory and try me is the setting that it comes pre-set on to allow people in the shops to have a go. The idea is that various parts of the guitar provide differnt sounds. The flick switch in the middle proudcues various songs when flicked and the yellow knob at the top provides which music is played. There are various multi coloured musical 'notes' that light up in time with the music when it plays. This is great for little hands because they can look and enjoy as well as hear and enjoy.
There is a large plastic Thomas figure on the front next to the flick switch. I was a bit disappointed to see it didn't do anything and was just for decoration. Considering it's a Thomas toy this suprised me a little. On the arm of the guitar is Percy on a track, when you slide him he too produces different sounds. As he moves further down the track he clicks in to different posistions and this promotes the next tune. My little boy particularly likes to slide him up and down the track. Thomas himself also has a track that he appears to be resting on. There is a barrier across the track which can be moved up and down to again produce another tune. But only one tune comes from this particular part of the toy.
The main frame of the toy is bright red and blue so very colourful which is perfect for younger children. It is quite heavy, which I think is due in part to the batteries so if it was dropped it might cause a cry if it lands on the foot-yes we have had this happen more than once. It's not so heavy though that it's not portable. My son is just starting to walk and even though he's not 100% sturdy on his feet, he can still hold this and walk so it doesn't pull him off balance.
I would give this toy probably a 4 out of five stars and that rating is based on several factors. Firstly the price-I was very happy it only cost £7.99 and came with batteries and isn't the size of a thimble. These days toys seem to cost a fortune and unless you spend practically a weeks pay on something it's usually so small it fades in to toy box oblivion. So in that sense we were very pleased with this toy, it didn't cost the earth and is what we would call a medium sized toy too. Another reason for the 4 stars is how long it rovides entertainment for. My son is only young and can play with it for a few minutes before he gets bored. He loves to flick and pull all the different things to make noises and he deffinately enjoys playing with this. He even goes looking for it as it seems to be a favourite of his. At this stage he prefers to carry it with him than play with it for a long time but I'm sure that the time he plays with it will increase as her gets older. I can't say though that when he is a few years old he will get a huge amount of satisfaction from playing with it as I can imagine it's only going to provide entertainment for a short period, I can see it will be something he gets bored with quickly. So the reason it doesn't get five stars is that.
Another reason it doesn't get the full 5 stars is the music it plays. It's so repetative and annoying after a while! Not for my son, but for me! I get so fed up of hearing the handful of songs it plays, so variation of tunes would have been better but for the price I can't grumble (too much!).
I would say if you have a very little boy who likes noise as much as my son then this is a fabulous idea as a stocking filler or even main present for a birthday or Christmas. It's size means it could easily pass as a main pressent, rather than just a stocking filler. But also if you have an older toddler who loves Thomas The Tank then I would totally recommend this. It's price is great and Thomas fans everywhere will love rocking out with Thomas!
Thomas the Tank is famous cheeky engine. He lives and works on the Island of Sodor with his friends. Thomas has been running for many years now and there is lots of merchandise available including DVDs, toys and games.
*~*Tomy & Thomas*~*
Tomy is a well known brand which is produces toys and games which are mainly aimed at preschool children. As well as offering characters such as Winnie the Pooh and Teletubbies, they have an extensive range of Thomas and Friends merchandise.
*~*Rock & Roll*~*
Tomy produce the Thomas Rock and Roll Guitar. This is a battery operated, musical guitar which is aimed at toddlers over the age of 18months. This guitar is designed for little hands to hold and play. It measures in at 15.5 x 5.5 x 36cm and weighs in at 422g. It requires 3 x AA batteries which are included. In the shop, the guitar may be set to try me allowing passersby to sample a song or two without too much effect on the batteries.
The *on* feature offers 2 modes of play for your child to explore. Each mode is activated by turning a yellow dial on the main body of the guitar. The Strum option is signified by 1 musical note This option allows your child more freedom to think they are playing the tune themselves. The strum needs to be continually moved up and down for the song to continue and play otherwise it will stop until your child moves the strum.
The automatic mode is the other option signified by a double music note. When the strum is pressed down on this mode, the music is continuous and plays through a full tune. Once the tune is finished, the strum can be pressed again and another tune will play. There are 6 tunes in total. During each tune, Percy can be slid up and down the handle an offers 4 train related noises to add as an extra to the tunes. A signal shaped whammy can also be pressed down to hear a loud train tooting noise.
Whilst either mode is in operation, train tooting noises can be heard at regular intervals. Colourful, flashing lights also operate allow your child to get into rockstar mode and jump around to their heart is content!
Of course this does look like a mini version of an adult size guitar. It is made from thick, durable plastic and is lightweight but not flimsy enough that one drop and its a goner. It is very colourful enticing a child to pick it up and play. The theme here is about Thomas and Percy and no other engine is involved. The underside of the guitar is all blue and smooth. The battery compartment is screwed into this bit and and speak and on/off/try me switch is also here.
Everything is happening on the main body of the guitar. A thick blue handle with red, pretend buttons at the end offers a track design along it. Percy looking fetching if a bit tubby is as green as ever and realistic. He slides along the track. The main part of the guitar offers the main options for play. Up in the corner, the yellow mode dial is present. 6 various coloured musical notes run along the top and these light up. A squared off section houses a huge, yellow strummer and a signal whammy is at the bottom.
The main attraction to the children will of course be the large Thomas which is raised from the plastic. He cannot be pressed or moved but sits comfortably on his raised track. Thomas is complete with all his blue paintwork and No 1 on the side. Children may consider him a bit odd looking at first as his face is quite chubby in comparison to his normal appearance..perhaps just carrying some extra holiday weight?
*~*Availability and Price*~*
Thomas Rock and Roll Guitar can be bought for just short of £10.00 with free delivery from Amazon. It can be purchased directly from the Tomy website for £15.99.
As you know, my son is an avid Thomas and Friends fan. For a few months pre-Christmas 2010, any time we approached our local Wilkinsons store, he would insist on going in and looking at the Thomas display. This is how we became accustomed to the Thomas Guitar. From the moment he first laid eyes on it, he fell in love and although he doesn't often ask for things (we are blessed that way) I knew he would appreciate it for Christmas. When my sister asked what he would like, I immediately recommended this to her and she purchased it for around the £15.00 mark at the time. It was lucky she did as they sold out in December.
My sons obsession with guitars started when he was just a baby. His Daddy has a Rockband set with guitar and drums and Ryan would sit in awe totally amazed as he played away. This also resulted in an obsession with drums and Xboxes too! So on Christmas day, he received his presents from my partners side first and there was a keyboard and a set of drums..my poor ears were going to take a battering! I had also bought him a tamborine and trumpet and later in the day he received his Thomas guitar. 2months of trips to Wilkinsons it was finally his and he was over the moon..no other gift came close as this is the one present he truly wanted.
*~*First Impressions From Mummy and Ryan*~*
The guitar was all ready to be played with which was a relief as I forgot to buy batteries! It was easy to slip out the box and no assembly was required for once. Tomy to me, are a trusted brand like Fisher Price so I consider their products to be well made and fit for purpose.The guitar itself is well made despite how light it actually is. Its just the right size for Ryan to hold (he is now 33months old). It is very colourful, bright and engaging which is why my son was immediately attracted to it. Its not the sort of guitar you can chuck around as the likelyhood is you will damage it eventually!
All the functions are laid out well. Not too close that it looks crowded and makes it difficult to operate but not too far apart that Ryan cannot reach everything. The parts that move up and down are sturdy but the whammy bar is a bit flimsy and care needs to be taken. The colours are relevant to Thomas and his friends and my son was delighted that his two favourite characters, Thomas and Percy, were the main focus of the guitar. One thing that did concern me though is the lack of volume control as after banging and music playing all day, it would be a good idea to tone it down a bit! There are no sharp edges and I'm sure this wouldn't do too much damage if it is dropped on a toe or smacked over an adults head or something!
*~*Lets Rock Baby Boo*~*
Thomas and Percy invite Ryan to join their musical band. The guitar is usually selected for a try after Ryan has driven me nutes with the drums and before he settles down for a keyboard session. If his cousins are visiting, this is always the first musical instument that my nephew (4months younger) approaches but Ryan is very protective of it..teach them to share is difficult as they two of them hate each other at the moment. With my niece on the drums, my nephew on the keyboard and Ryan deciding he is playing the guitar, our little band is formed and boy do they make a lot of noise..ear plugs at the ready!
Ryan alternates between both play modes with his favourite being the automatic as he doesn't have to do much except dance around and look extra cute. Once the on button is selected, the music won't start automatically and input is required. Pressing down the strummer, the music starts to play and comes through really loud. Whilst I don't recognise all of the tunes, they are fun little tunes which are playful and jazzy. One of the tunes sounds like a jazzed up London Bridge is Falling Down.
Each tune lasts around 10-15seconds and includes different notes. The lights flash colourful and strong whilst the music is playing and loud toots ring throughout each song. I thought they would use some of the Thomas tunes but none of them really resemble the tunes from any of the programmes. This doesn't both Ryan though as the tune are upbeat enough for him to dance around and be entertained. Whilst a tunes are being played, strumming the strummer won't allow your child to do anything else until the tune is finished..you can't skip to another song which may frustrate and bore your child. Ryans attention is held for the 10-15seconds though and he continues to strum as he has seen his Daddy doing it on his guitar.
The addition of Percy sliding on the track is quite a fun aspect for Ryan. He adores Percy and took great pleasure in repeatedly sliding him up and down allowing quick, sharp tunes to ring out. Ryan can easily slide Percy up and down as he doesn't stick but only goes so far along the track before he needs to be sent back to the station. The whammy is quite cool as it looks exactly like a signal with all the right colours. It moves so far down and Ryan has learned that if he pushes it any further it might break off. He is careful with his toys, especially his Thomas toys.
On the rare occasion Ryan opts for the strum mode, it is almost identical to the automatic but needs more manual input from Ryan. The dial is the right size for Ryan to be able to turn himself as it turns smoothly and clicks when at the right mode.The strummer being so easy to strum but still sturdy, allows Ryan to push it up and down. Here, the tune is only played for a matter of 2-3seconds. Its the same tunes as on automatic but broken down into segments.
Continiously pressing the strummer down will allow the tune to run smoothly. If Ryan stops, the tune comes to a halt but is resumed when he continues pressing it down. This option makes pushing the whammy lever a bit more difficult for Ryan has cannot use his right hand for both as well as holding the guitar comfortably. I suppose this will take a bit of getting used to on his part but no matter how much we try and show him he reverts back to automatic as he can make full use of all functions in this mode.
*~*The Music Will Go On*~*
The music is loud as mentioned before. If Ryan is holding the guitar properly, the noise is reduced a little as the speakers at sitting against his body. If he has got the guitar sitting on its side away from his body, it is much clearer and louder. The batteries seem to be lasting well as the music still comes through clear and the lights although not as bright as when we first started using the guitar, are still noticeable.
*~*What We Like*~*
The Thomas Guitar encourages my son to develop his music skills. He is actively copying his Daddy and has so much fun jumping around with his favourite characters. He can often be heard tooting away and attemtping to reinact the tunes played. I don't think there is many education benefits except the ability to control different features at once and the musical aspects of this guitar..it is more fun related. The batteries are lasting well and the sturdy nature of this guitar will allow it to be treasured for a long time. It is small and light enough to be taken to a relatives house allowing the fun to continue elsewhere.
*~*What We Didn't Like*~*
Apart from the colours and the rather tubby looking Thomas and Percy, there isn't very much else of Thomas on it! I would have expected the Thomas tunes to be included but it really just is a basic guitar with Thomas put on it. There isn't a great deal to do on it. 6 tunes at 10-15seconds each means just over a minute of different tunes then back to the start again. Ryan won't play with this for any length of time as it just doesn't hold his attention long enough and he gets slightly bored with it.
*~*Recommendation and Conclusion*~*
For under a tenner, I would recommend this more to anyone who has a child who likes musical instruments and the added aspect of being a Thomas fan. I personally wouldn't pay or want anyone to pay anymore than this price as despite it being a well made toy, there isn't a whole lot of activities or play modes to experience. My son however, would completely recommend it on the basis that it is his beloved Thomas the Tank!
Thanks for reading x
It was my twins 2nd birthday last November and at the time they were Thomas the tank crazy so I went on the search for anything Thomas that I thought they may like. Browsing on amazon and argos I noticed a brand new toy out, the Tomy Thomas the Tank Rock and Roll guitar.
Knowing that my twins were also real big fans of noise I had to buy this for them for their birthday, one each of course to try prevent fights lol.
The Thomas guitar wasn't widely available at the time but you can buy it in Argos stores, as well as online with argos and amazon and other places to. It costs roughly £20 to buy, depending on offers and where you buy it from of course.
The pictures provided showed a young boy, smiling excitedly holding the Thomas guitar. It looks bright colourful and quite large to. However as the saying goes 'looks are deceiving'.
The guitar comes in a recyclable cardboard box, but open at the front so if you were walking past it in a store you could have a quick play with it to have a brief idea of how the toy works. It is like the picture bright and colourful, a vibrant and playful red, with a deep, exciteable blue, very appealing to a childs eye, but the size shocked me as it's fairly small. It is basically a 'toy sized' guitar, not a toy guitar if you get what I mean? The size isn't the major problem though, the fact that the guitar is limited in what your child can actually do is the downside for me.
When I bought the guitar I bought it for two reasons, one that it is thomas the tank and my boys love him, and also that it is a guitar and they have a fun, musical side to them. If however you are looking to buy a toy guitar for the musical aspect you will be sorely disapointed. The guitar does play tunes, 6 of them in fact, with a press down of the main yellow button on the guitar. However when you press this button down to listen to one of the random 6 tunes you are not rewarded with the full tune, instead just a few seconds. The only time you are rewarded with the full tune the guitar offers is when you hold this yellow button down, which to be honest becomes a tad boring and tedious for a young child, especially as this guitar is aimed for children aged 18 months or over. In saying this though I don't think it should be suitalble for children even older as the novelty of a thomas guitar that only plays songs when you hold one button down would soon wear off for an older child to. It was only the other day one of my twins, who are just 2, was playing with the guitar, imitating an actual guitar player and having a little boogie, however his funky boogie was shortlived and soon taken over by a twin temper tantrum as he wanted the loud, and funky tune to continue playing instead of stopping every time he took his hand of the bright yellow button. It was quite sad actually to see how frustrated he was getting as all he wanted to do was the simple task of listening to one of the guitar tunes while having a dance and pretending to play it.
The size problem is not such a big deal really as it does fit perfectly into small hands, especially for children closer to the 18months old age range.
The fact that this 'guitar' doesn't actually act like a guitar really is the main reason I wouldn't reccomend buying this to anybody, instead I'd rather buy a proper toy guitar that has buttons, strings whatever else it offers for the child to actually make some music, or a button that a child can press to listen to a full song and pretend they are making music, some imaginative fun without the frustration.
It is a shame really as the guitar is strong and sturdy and is a good size really for younger children. The colours are bright, fun and appealing and for any Thomas fan this would be a winner as it is decorated in Thomas characters. One of the characters can even be moved up and down the guitar with a glide of your hands. It even has train engine sound effects and flashing lights. For all this fun stuff to work though the guitar does have to have 3 x AA batteries, but these are included when you first buy the guitar. To put the batteries in, or remove them you do have to have a small screwdriver to remove the 'door' on the back, and tighten it back on again.
So in my humble opinion if you are looking to buy a toy guitar for your childs musical interests then I wouldn't buy this one as your child will become fairly bored quite quickly as it is limited in what your child can do. If however you are just buying it for the Thomas the Tank appeal then it is a winner, but I wouldn't waste my money personally!