* Prices may differ from that shown
While shopping for my youngest son's birthday in May we came across this set in Tesco for £2. My son is not a huge bob the builder fan, but as my eldest son already had a lot of the accessories which he enjoyed playing with we thought it was worth a shot at that price. We are now very pleased with our purchase, and it has certainly earned its money's worth in the last few months. **The set** In the box you receive a number of pieces Surf Shack, Road track, 3 figures Bob, Brad & Wendy, Surf Board, 2x Cement Bags and 1x Boulder. There is also a medium sized scoop toy included with this pack. This all fits together to build a medium sized play set, and only takes minutes to put together. Inside the shack are stickers which detail a number of things from surf boards, to flippers and a clock. It has a door that opens and closes for characters to pass through. We did find it was a little bit of a tight squeeze for the characters to move through the doorway, but as the back is open this provides a larger space for little one to play with. This set is fantastic for forming a base of play where little one can use their imagination to make up different situations. Although my children mainly use this set with bob the builder accessories my sons also like to use their cars to drive over the roadway so it can be used with other ranges of toys too. My children like to use this set with all their other bob the builder accessories, however it could very easily be used by itself. The surf shack is bright in colour, mixing a number of different colours together nicely. According to my children it looks just like the one of the program. The characters are also well detailed resembling the characters from the show well. The movable parts mean little one can use them a little more than those without any. Scoop is another favourite in this set it is identical to the one we purchased separately for £6! **In play** The set comes in one piece all apart from the road which needs to be put together in an oval shape. Then the shack sits on side of this, the scoop toy can be used on or off the road, and the surf shack has two windows that need to be put into place along with a roof panel. My children did not care for building the surf shack up at all which is a shame. We found they were just too difficult for them to do, and once they had added them once they became bored with it. When they fell out again they gave up as we found this difficult to do the first time they were not interested. They are now sitting at the bottom of a toy box somewhere along with the other smaller pieces we received in this set. There is also a panel from the roof missing, this was another piece to be added to the set for little one to use, but as it kept falling back out it sits at the bottom of our toy box. The characters are great they are posable with moving arms and legs. You have bob and Wendy who are very well known to any bob the builder fan, but it also includes Brad Rad who is the owner of the surf shack. In all honesty I did not have a clue who he was, but my children recognised him straight away so he must have been featured in the TV show too. What my children liked is that he had a surf board attached to his hand they found this fun and quirky so it was definitely good for this character to be included. We found that the road fits together fairly easily, the first time it was a little tricky, but now even my two year old son knows how to place it all together. The road was probably the most loved part of this set for us. It is nice and wide meaning that all the bob accessories we own from other sets can be used with it not just scoop. Also my sons found it great for racing their Disney cars around. The road is nice and large both in width and length meaning it gives a great area for play. We find most of our sons cars fit on this track with ease apart from the larger shake and go Disney cars they are too large for it. While in use it does not fall apart or move unless you pick the road up. It is nice and stable yet comes a part into pieces to provide easy storage. The cement bags and boulder were great at first my children loved using scoop to pick them up and make deliveries. They also like to pretend Roley is flattening the road for them along with many other stories with other characters we own from previous sets. Scoop is a great the perfect size for little hands to hold while still being large enough to be interesting. His wheels move both on the road and on other surfaces as it has fully movable wheels. He also has a moving scoop at the front so he can pick the pieces up from the set easily. There are many different ways my children like playing with this bob the builder set. You can use the characters to relax in the surf shack, or get them to fix it back together. The open back design means they have plenty of space to play or they can use it for just decoration purposes. Scoop can be driven along the road making deliveries along the way. The rest of the set is really well made mostly made out of durable plastic. The main body of the surf shack, the road and the characters are the last pieces remaining of this set that actually get used. The smaller pieces get lost too easily but are forgettable anyway. My children do get a lot of use out of this set, but only for short periods at a time. It is recommended from three years plus which I think is correct because of the smaller pieces in this set, although my two year old son does also use the main body without any problems at all. **Summary** We paid £2 for our set which for the size of toy you receive is fantastic. We were lucky enough to find it in the Tesco sale for this price but looking on line I see that it is now £8. It is also available at Amazon for around £10 which I still think is a fantastic price considering scoop can cost £6 alone never mind the other products you receive in this set. My children do love this set, I find that all three of my children enjoy playing with it. They are five three and two so it does cover a fair age range. Most of the set is durable, and the pieces that are too small meaning they get lost are forgettable anyway. Every piece in this set can be used individually or as part of this set so it is not limited in play options. It is great for encouraging small motor skills as the shack needs fixing up but to be honest this was never a feature my children enjoyed. They prefer to use it for imaginative purposes for which it does a very good job.
There are several Bob the Builder playsets on the market. The playsets can be used alone or as part of a much larger set. *Surf Shack Deluxe Playset* 'Bob the Builder has a major job to do. Along with Scoop and Wendy he needs to fix Brad Rad's Surf Shack.' - from the box! You can purchase the Surf Shack as an individual item or as part of the bigger 'deluxe' set. This playset is suitable for children from age 3years. It requires no batteries and is presented in a huge box. Within the box, you receive a road track, 3 character figures, a Scoop toy, the Surf Shack and a few accessories (boulders/cement bags). The largest part of the set is the road track which measures approximately 28 x 18cm. *Price and Availability* This playset retails at £40.00 but can be found cheaper if you look online. Amazon offer it at just £14.40 and Tesco have it in stock for just £10.00 at the moment. *Our Thoughts* As you may have read from some previous reviews, my son has lots of character playsets from Postman Pat and Bob the Builder. Our collection has grown somewhat following his 4th birthday a few weeks ago. I had already purchased a few Bob the Builder bits for our son. He already owned the Surf Shack individual playset but when I won a prize token at the local amusement bingo, I decided to use it for this larger playset. We now have two Surf Shacks so both my son and nephew can both play without arguing. *Set Up and Quailty* At the moment, we have plenty of space for bigger toys as we have a toy room, large living room and Boos room is spacious too. He likes to have all of his playsets arranged around the wall so he can play when he gets up in the morning. This set requires a small amount of set up which I carried out myself. The road track comes in 6 pieces - 4 curved and 2 straight pieces. They are a little fiddly to slot together and this would be difficult for a young child in my opinion. Once put together, the road track is an oval, race track shape. It is about 1cm thick and made of high quality plastic and has a shiny finish. We prefer to leave the road track in one piece and it is very secure and stable on the floor. If lifted up, it does tend to separate but takes very little time to slot back together. This set is the perfect 'base' set for the other playsets and this indicated by the picture on the box it comes in. The Surf Shack itself is a good sized piece of moulded, colourful plastic which has an open back and neat detailing. Two of the windows and a roof slate for the Surf Shack is supplied in the box and it is Bob and Boos job to put them in the correct place. The accessories included in this set are welcomed and there is a good variation. I can understand the 3+ statement as they are quite small. Scoop himself is a good size and has four large wheels to allow him to drive around the road track. He also features a moving scoop and a moving rear tipper. The characters include Bob, Brad and Wendy. Brad has a removable surf board and each character is well detailed and feature moving limbs. The small cement bags are very easy to lose in a toy box and ours have went missing already! Overall the quality of this set is really good. Although there are small, chokable pieces, there are no sharp edges to this set and everything is really well build. It is a durable set which has seen rough play by two boisterious toddlers recently and I am happy with the selection of accessories included. *Building With Bob and Boo* My son was very pleased when this playset was fully set up. Whilst he loves his playsets, he appreciates the road track as he can create a much bigger 'scene' and let his imaginate run wild! He has this all set up in his room and current has the road track with all the playsets around the outside of it including the Construction Set (see previous review), the Surf Shack and the Museum - we still need to purchase the Toy Shop to complete our Bob town! The Surf Shack is on the inside of the track in the product picture and I suppose this makes sense if only using the one set as the vehicles can gain access to the rear of the building. Boo absolutely loves the road track as he owns several Bob trucks and vehicles. They all seem to fit perfectly on the track and the smooth surface allows the vehicles to speed around effortlessly including the friction powered vehicles. He often uses his Postman Pat trucks on this road track too so it is very versatile and there is plenty of space. The track has raised sides so vehicles can speed around with no fear or falling off the track. There is a large space in the centre of the track of all the accessories but we tend to pack these away in the tool box at night time. Boo was already familiar with the Surf Shack prior to receiving this set though I think I have only spotted it once in the show! I suppose it is good to have something a little different from the usual construction jobs but it does seem weird having the Surf Shack around the road track with no sea or sand in sight! Anyway, although the Surf Shack is a very bright and eyecatching. Boo appreciates the opening door and open back as he can put the characters in. The added activity is that Boo can help Bob and Wendy fit the new windows and roof panel whilst Brad oversees the work on his Shack. This is a fiddly little task to do and even Mummy can't seem to master it but I feel this may be down to me having long nails and bigger hands than a toddler! My son uses a lot of concentration to manouver the window panels into place and is always proud of being able to do it without my help. They can be popped back out easily ready to carry out the task again. He always has fun playing about with this set and is happiest when he has the entire set including a large fleet of vehicles. Gripper, Grabber, Benny, Scoop and co all get in on the action to complete the various building and transportation tasks! He really likes the Scoop that it is included and fits him perfectly suitable for the job of transporting the cement bags from the Construction Site to the Surf Shack. *Conclusion* Overall we can recommend this set and £10.00 is a fair price to pay for the track alone! I really feel like with any playset, the other sets on the box should be purchased to increase playability. Luckily we managed to pick up the different sets fairly cheap and we already had a range of vehicles so were able to set up a large set - it would be quite expensive to buy everything at full price though. This is definitely a hit in our home and is played with daily so we can give it 5 stars. Thanks for reading :) Originally written for Ciao May 2012.