Product Type: Vivid Imaginations Doll
Newest Review: ... my father in law also knows that she loves Charley Bear, but hasn't got a clue about age ranges. We came home (after gran... more
Little Charley Bear
Vivid Imaginations Little Charley Bear Playset
Member Name: historywitch
Vivid Imaginations Little Charley Bear Playset
Advantages: Bear figure
Disadvantages: Rest of the set is very easily lost or broken.
Little Charley Bear is a Cbeebies character who has wacky and imaginative adventures with his toys. The show is narrated by James Corden of Gavin and Stacey fame, which means we don't watch it very often as his voice irritates me irrationally. My parent's in law bought this for my son as part of the 2 for £15 offer at Argos, but its RRP normally is £9.99. Currently it is available from Amazon for £8.99. Recommended age is 3 years and up and this is one of those toys that probably needs some parental supervision if you are giving it to a younger child.
The set was astonishingly difficult to get out of its box, every bit being wired, secured with an elastic band and sellotaped into the box. It took me ten minutes to get everything out with a pair of scissors, which is a long time with a small child pestering you constantly to play with it. The pieces you get are a moulded plastic bedframe with a small cloth covering, a Charley Bear figure with moveable arms and legs, a toy box with a lid and three small toys - a ball, a toy car with movable wheels and a small red rocket.
The bear figure is good quality, thick plastic, heavy and with moulded fur. My son was very eager to play with this and he is a regular traveller in Postman Pat's van, Fireman Sam's fire engine and every other form of transport we have that he will fit into. His arms and legs are easy to move and pose and haven't popped off yet, which is a fate most of these sort of toys suffer in the end in our house! The toybox is nice too, the lid is snug but easy for small children to pop on and take off at will. It's quite a sturdy item and is the favourite place for my son to keep raisins and cheerios!
The rocket is also good, made of firm plastic and it amazingly didn't break even when trapped between my foot and our laminate floor, it was my foot that suffered instead. Its quite small so we lose it quite regularly at the bottom of our toy box, none of the set has really stayed together due to the number of different small pieces. The rocket has fared better than the ball however which rolled off somewhere and has got itself thoroughly lost. It's a solid, plastic ball though, would be fun to roll around if we ever come across it again. The diameter of the ball means that it won't easily become a choking hazard, but its still worth watching young children when they are playing with it just in case. It wouldn't be a good thing to have around an older baby or young toddler.
However the other pieces of the set are not such good quality. The little bed frame has been on our kitchen worksurface for three months, waiting for the purchase of superglue. One of the legs fell off the first day it was out of the box and the other three are wobbly. The culprit seems to be insufficient glue and I am not very impressed with this item, the plastic is very flimsy and I don't think it will last long even when fixed. The bed cover is a cheap rectangle of white cloth which is too small to properly cover the figure when he is lying on the bed. The little green car is very fragile and the movable wheels look very easy to snap off and swallow if it is placed in a mouth. At 2cm long we have confiscated this little bit for the moment as I don't trust my son around it on his own. I don't think it would survive an adult foot accident as well as the rocket did.
For a three year old who is a fan of Little Charley Bear this would be a lovely, if somewhat limited gift. Once you have put Charley Bear in the bed and the toys in the box there is not much else you can do with it, although the figure is adaptable to other games. If we hadn't mixed the set up with other toys I suspect it wouldn't be played with very much at all. In addition the quality of most of the pieces is not good and the bits are easy to lose, leaving you with an incomplete set. I wouldn't recommend it for a house where there are younger siblings who might attempt to chew or swallow any of these pieces, although the bear figure would be fine. The price is a bit steep for the quality, I wouldn't pay more than £6.99 for this given the quality and the fact that the only really usable and fun part of the set is the Charley Bear figure.
Summary: Not great quality
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