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After Christmas our son's room is once again overflowing with toys. Some of which are seldom played with but others are firm favourites already. The Bob the Builder construction toy is one of these. Description The tower pulls up into several levels and be collapsed again which is handy if you want to fit it onto a smaller shelf in a cupboard. You should use the brown button on the base of the unit to do this. A problem we have had however is my son can just use brute strength to collapse the tower. At two he doesn't yet understand why this is not a good thing to do. To be fair the toy does say minimum age is 3 so it would probably last longer with an older child. Due to my son's young age we don't yet let him play with the small parts associated with the crane but he can wind the crane up and down. Again he does sometime pull the crane off too as it does come away quite easily. The drawing of the tools on the fold down tables on the lower level are good and useful for vocabulary. Enjoyability Despite some small problems with him collapsing the tower he does love playing with Bob and the construction tower. He even has his pirates join Bob and will happily play away by himself. It is therefore a good toy for role play and imaginative play. He enjoys moving the crane from side to side and pulling it down. Bob is quite small and has gone missing a few times but we have always managed to find him again. Overall I would recommend this toy but would say it does suit a slightly older child than two. Despite this is is currently standing up well to the mistreatment by my son. At £7.50 it doesn't break the bank and it a good investment for Bob fans.
Most children should be aware of who Bob the Builder is - he is a cartoon builder who works alongside lots of speaking building trucks! To compliment the show, there is a wide selection of play sets and toys for parents to purchase for their little Bob fans! *Deluxe Construction Site* This Bob the Builder playset is aimed at children over the age of 3 yrs. It measures approximately 42 x 26.5 x 31.8 cm (taken from Amazon website) and no batteries are required. This playset is described as being Bobs 'largest construction project ever' and he needs your childs help! Presented in a fairly large box, you receive a selection of items which make up this playset. *The tower - the main part of the playset which has 3 different levels and can collapse for storage *Bob character figure *Extras - brick stack, wheelbarrow, 2 cones, a crane cradle and 2 cones *Price and Availability* This complete playset is currently available at the following prices : *www.tesco.com - £9.97 *Amazon UK - £9.97 with free delivery *Our Thoughta* My son is Bob the Builder daft (and Thomas, Postman Pat etc) and loves to have a selection of playsets to choose from. A few months ago, I was browsing Amazon and spotted this construction set reduced from £30.00 to just £7.22. If that wasn't enough to tempt me, Amazon were offering free delivery too so I snapped it up and put it away for his 4th birthday. I highly recommend sticking to the age recommendation of 3yrs as the small parts would pose a choking hazzard. *Set Up and Appearance* This set takes a few minutes to set up. It comes in a few different parts and many of the smaller parts are secured to the inside of the box and need to be removed which takes some patience and time! The actual tower is made of plastic which is of a reasonable quality and doesn't look too flimsy. It is colourful being mainly bright red and yellow. The tower is fixed to a flat base which allows it to sit neatly on carpet or laminate flooring. The design of the tower is simple. There are 3 levels which collapse into each other but this is quite difficult to do (even as an adult). It 'pops up' fairly easily and the various lefts click into place but folding it down is more difficult as it requires you to hold in various buttons. We tend to leave ours up as I can only fold it down to the second level and not all the way down for some reason! Appearance wise, the base has a 'cement' appearance floor with two open windows and pull down doors at either end. The next level up has four open 'windows' but nothing else. The top floor features a sort of metal like appearance with pull down plastic parts. A large 'construction' sign sits on the top of the tower. The appearance of the tower is enhanced by various designs up the tower including bricks, windows and ladders. The extras with this set aren't all that brilliant to be honest. They are miniscule! The Bob figure is tiny and plasticky. The cones are so small that we lost them within a day (I think they have went up the hoover to be honest) and the cement bags are simply little pieces of grey plastic which are also easily lost. The 'crane' attatches to the top of the tower which is easy enough to do but it isn't the strongest. *In Use* Ryan received quite a few Bob sets for his birthday as we wanted him to have the full collection. We own a track (the Surf Shack set - review to follow) and all of the playsets are designed to sit around this track. This construction set is the biggest set that Boo owns so dominates the track and other playsets/character toys. My son can pop the set up fine himself. This set cannot really withstand rough play - it doesn't break easily but the top floor collapses far too easily when my son is playing with the set. It is noisy too as it collapses! Boo plays with this set often and always has fun using his imagination even if he cannot get the full use of the set due to the fiddly little extras! The bottom floor is spacious inside and Boo often stores little building bits and pieces in there to keep them safe. It is also spacious enough for some of his smaller building trucks to drive through and drop off any materials that Bob may require. The idea of this set is for your child to start off with the collapsed tower and attatch the crane. Any materials should be loaded onto the small holder and then the tower should be popped up level by level. The idea behind the set is good and at first my son would happily send the cement bags up. He would fly Bob himself up to the ledge on the top floor and pull in the bags of cement. It then got a little 'samey' and he tried to winch heavier items up including toy cars but the crane cradle didn't appreciate the extra weight so we were back to square one. The tower can be used whilst the floors are set at the various levels as the higher levels fold neatly into the lower levels without any play interuption. So far, Boo and Bob have worked together to carry out a few different construction projects but in all honesty, the lack of features and the issue with the some floors being too easy to move and others being too difficult to move puts him off playing with this set all the time. It doesn't keep him entertained for any great deal of time. *Conclusion* For less than £8.00, this set was ok value but no way could I recommend it at full price! It certainly isn't 'deluxe' and has limited features which limits the play time. It is fairly sturdy (except for the inside part of the top floor) but it is rather basic. That being said, it does compliment the large playset we have and having a few different toys allows my son and nephew to play nicely together. 3 stars would be fair I feel - a basic but ok set, just not much to it! It does fit in with the other Bob playsets but isn't the best set in our opinion. Thanks for reading x Originally posted on ciao May 2012 and updated for dooyoo