Product Type: Silver Cross Doll
Newest Review: ... perhaps it was to big for my little girl as she looked tiny next to it. However within seconds of getting it ready she had thrown dolly i... more
A gold star for Silver Cross!
Silver Cross Ranger Pram
Member Name: chrisandmark
Silver Cross Ranger Pram
Advantages: Brilliant design, enormous play value for any little girl who loves her dolls
Disadvantages: The back flap of the hood is very, very irritating
She's had it for almost a year now, it being a present last Christmas, and it's been played with every single day since then alongside her numerous dolls and teddy bears - in fact as she's off school with a tummy bug today she's playing with it right now so I'll use her input to write this review as she knows a damned sight more about the pram than I do!
Design-wise this is spot on; created to be true in style to the sort of 'lie-flat' prams that I tend to opt for when my babies are tiny, it looks like a miniaturised version of the pram Hollie herself lay in for the first couple of months of her life. The Ranger pram is available in several different colours, Hollies is mainly black with a bright pink trim which looks amazingly feminine and also ensures the pram resembles a 'real' pram much more closely than the ones with a busier pattern (such as the pram pictured above). The base unit of the pram is nicely padded (very important for keeping dolly comfortable) and the cover is the type which clips onto the top of the pram giving you plenty of room for the doll and also blankets or a quilt if the weather is cold. The base of the pram is non-removable, which is a shame as it would be great if it could be taken off and used as a carry cot - looking at the construction of the pram it seems this would be an easy thing to do, but I assume there's a reason they haven't as Silver Cross are usually surprisingly innovative considering the general (and wonderful) olde-worlde designs of their products.
The tray at the bottom of the pram is fixed into position and will hold a surprising amount. Hollie loves to walk to the shop with me and enjoys pushing her pram next to David in his pushchair, of course she usually wants to put some of my shopping in the tray and I'm always surprised at how much will fit in there without it affecting the smooth push of the pram. It's obvious that a good deal of thought has been put into it as while the bulk of the tray has a wire-like construction, the front section is solid plastic to ensure small items don't fall out while the pram is being pushed along. Personally I'd rather see the whole tray built from solid plastic as naturally Hollie transports lots of small doll-sized pieces when she's using her pram, but I must admit the design does look very realistic as it is.
The handle is adjustable up to a maximum height of 77cm, Hollie is a dainty five year old and although it's now at its maximum height I can see there's still plenty of growing room for her. The handle is very easy to adjust, but has a 'secret' clip so that inquisitive children won't keep messing with it and risk trapping their fingers by constantly unlocking and locking the handle - this clip actually isn't so much secret as designed to look like part of the prams frame, meaning Hollie has only just noticed it and pays very little attention to what it actually does! I'm impressed with the padding on the handle as it keeps it comfortable in her little hands, something that is very important considering the sheer amount of time Hollie spends playing with this pram - it also remains in fabulous condition with no pieces of foam missing or even any gashes to the foam, something that maybe the manufacturers of 'real' prams should think about as I've lost track of the amount of pushchairs I've thrown away simply because the handles have become so worn looking.
The tyres on the Ranger are semi-solid and are so well designed that after eleven months of use they are still in tip-top condition with no nicks taken out and they have kept the same impressive level of tread that the pram had when new. I say impressive as this pram has been used on all sorts of surfaces including gravel, concrete and even a very pebbly beach in Wales so I would have expected some kind of pitting to the rubber by now - not so, once again this dolls pram succeeds where my own prams usually fail! The well placed and large wheels make it extremely smooth to push on any surface, the wheels go where they should despite being in a fixed position and I've never once noticed Hollie struggling to get it exactly where she wants the pram to go.
The only complaint I have regarding this gorgeous pram really relates to the hood; while it moves smoothly and stays where it's put (ie. doesn't slide down from the upright position), the fabric at the back of the hood isn't attached to the body of the pram. This means that unless you're very careful (and what five year old *is* very careful?!) the flap of the hood comes loose and will drape over the dolls face instead of protecting her head from the cold - and as Hollie rightly says, this could cause her baby to catch a head cold if we're out in particularly nasty weather! I imagine this could be fixed with a couple of well placed stitches, but unfortunately I'm not confident enough in my sewing abilities to attempt it - and anyway, I shouldn't have to as this is a flaw that needs to be addressed by Silver Cross!
As far as play value goes, this pram has been a winner from day one. Hollie loves transporting her dolls to the shops (the pram will accommodate any doll up to 50cm in length) and has spent incalculable hours playing with it both inside the house and out. It folds flat so I'll happily pop it into the car boot if we're going out as I know I can trust her not to get bored while we're out and leave me attempting to push both her pram and mine (something my older daughter was a bugger for, leading to me actually abandoning her scooter in the park one day in an attempt to teach her a lesson - it didn't work). Folding it down is an easy process; Hollie hasn't got the knack yet but she understands how it's done and I think soon she'll be able to put this knowledge into practice and fold it herself, although to be fair it's so straightforward that I really don't mind doing it for her.
I'm particularly impressed with the small 'changing bag' that came with the pram as it ensures all her dolls 'bits' are kept safely together and also provides her with another way to carry the odds and sods she decides she wants from the shop. The handle is designed to fit perfectly on the handle of the pram and doesn't hang so low that it gets in the way of her feet as she's walking - this is important I think as I've had changing bags myself that have ridiculously long handles and leave me walking like a duck as I attempt to avoid the bag!
I recall paying around £30 for this pram and believe it has been money well spent. The pram is in fantastic condition even after so much play time, and there aren't many dolls prams I can honestly say that about. Hollie adores it and that's the main thing; I was considering buying her an upgraded pram from the new Mamas & Papas range this Christmas but as her dad said, why do that when she's still so thrilled with this one. Recommended 100% - and more!
Summary: An absolutely gorgeous dolls pram which I recommend to anyone with young girls
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