* Prices may differ from that shown
Being someone who has followed the more creative career path in the past ( drama, music technology etc ) and being surrounded with numerous creative people, I always knew when I had children that I would like to introduce them to something similar. I bought this particular item online from Toys R Us when there was a sale for my son's 4th birthday, costing around the £15.00 mark. Currently being sold same place for £19.99.
Why did I buy it?
I bought it because my son has relations who are musicians, and always finds the drums quite a fascinating instrument. Also, him being a typical child, I thought this would be a good way for him to crash, bang and wallop something other than his sister and try to work on hand and eye co ordination and ideally enjoy playing with it as it is a toy, and see if he does actually like this type of instrument rather than buying something more expensive and true to a drum kit, only to find it wasn't for him!
What do you get?
Slightly different to the picture on this site. The set my son received contained the following :
A bass drum with foot pedal ( bass drum is 14 inches in diameter, including the rim. 4.5 inches in depth ).
1 Snare drum ( 6.5 inches in diameter, 3 inches in depth ).
1 Tom Tom ( Just over 5 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches in depth ).
A cymbal ( 7.5 inches in diameter ).
Pair of drum sticks
Suitable for age 3 plus.
Can't give you the overall height of this. When you read the rest of the review you will understand why!
What is it good for?
Encouraging overall co ordination. Helps children to create their own music so brings out their creative side.
How was it to set up?
This kit did require some form of assembly. Its something I started to do myself, but my daughter thought it would be much more fun to poke her brother in the eye with a drum stick. So their dad took over while I restrained the children. He found it very easy to do and did it within 10 minutes.
The drum kit itself came in different pieces. A black plastic stick needed to be slotted into the top of the bass drum, which the cymbal then rested onto. To ensure it stayed put, a small black plastic ' topper ' was placed on the top.
Each drum needed to be screwed into the bass drum as each piece had a small hole in the side of it. At the front of the bass drum there are two small metal squares that stick out upwards from the rim of the drum. When each drum is placed right next to these areas, there's a very slight edge to it so they sit comfortably on it, plus when screwed in and attached from behind with what I would describe as a butterfly type screw, the drums are secure.
Last piece to put together is the foot pedal ( to attach to bass drum ). Black in colour and plastic. There's an area directly underneath the bass drum that allows the front section of the foot pedal to slide into.
How does it look?
When put together it looks like a very easy on the eye, slightly eye catching piece of kit although a very basic form of a drum kit.
The bass drum has a thin clear sheet of plastic on the front with the logo ' Bruin ' on it in blue. Around the edge of each drum piece the ' borders ' have a chrome silver type look to it, quite chunky and what you would see on a lot of traditional ' real ' drum kits.
The section between the rims of the drums is blue in colour, with silver stars patterned all the way round, which makes it stand out.
For me the area that makes this look the most realistic is the cymbal section, as drums can come in a variety of different forms ( electric, acoustic etc ) and different combinations of pieces but all of them would have some form of cymbal or high hat attached.
What do we think?
My children were very excited with this new addition to the household. My worst fear came true when after only afew short minutes of assembly; both my children were fighting over this like wild beasts! As you can imagine, the sticks got waved around, the foot pedal got stomped on and the cymbal crashed with full force. Personally, I didn't mind the noise or chaos because you buy something like this and you expect the madness and headache that comes along with it.So for them, the best bit about this was purely making a lot of noise, pure and simple.
What do I think?
Firstly, the look of this was nice. Slightly glam and fun to look at. When it was fully assembled I did think ' wow-this is quite small! ' Although I bought this for a 4 year old, who is average in height for his age, this suited his sister much more in regards to size, shape and height. If the drum kit was elevated in some way, so not directly sitting on the floor, then my son would have looked like it was better suited for him. The stool was so tiny he used it to rest his leg on it. It should have been taller and larger.
Putting this together was easy and not difficult. It helped there was no need for any additional tools. Just hands and fingers!
The quality of this kit is OK. Although I felt the plastic over the bass drum should have been thicker. But knowing how my children are I was counting down the days to when it would get broken........
After awhile screws got loose and required tightening up, so to ensure your kit remains full you probably would need to keep an eye on that and check.
Despite feeling this kit is on the small side, this did have one great advantage which was it was easy to keep in the living room due to its compact size. Something like this I don't feel should be stuck away in the cupboard, unless the child/ren in question are simply sick or bored of using this. So having it stood against a wall and for the children to band and stomp when please was easy.
What would I improve?
The stool to be bigger in regards to height and general surface area. The kit itself to be bigger or at least elevated, as I didn't feel my son would get much proper and comfortable use out of this past the age of 4.
The plastic on the bass drum needed to be thicker, so not only making it stronger and more resilient to the constant use of the foot pedal and general wear and tear, I think it would have given much more of a better sound.
Would have loved to see a high hat on this! Kids would go crazy to open and close them, but more importantly bang the heck out of them! Much more interesting and requires better motor functions that just a cymbal.
Having a second pair of sticks. Why? Firstly ours have gone AWOL a long time ago, so the kit couldn't even be used in its proper form and the kids improvised with spoons and hands. But if you have two kids or more, at least they're not fighting over them. Yes, you could separate the pair and give one to each child, but what kid would want one stick when they can have two?
The cymbal is far too thin and needs to be more rigid. Its very bent out of shape and its shape can easily be bent. I also found the sound it made to be quite poor.
What's happened to the drum kit now?
Well. As mentioned the sticks went AWOL, the stool is redundant and has made its way under the trillions of clothes hanging over the radiator on the airer in the living room. The kids enjoyed the playing with the kit that much that the two drums came loose and we lost the will to find the screws ( I did warn you-make sure you keep an eye if they need tightening up! ). The drums lay in the toy box, the cymbal is in the fruit bowl ( don't ask! ), the foot pedal was confiscated as my daughter thought it would be funny to poke her big bro in the bum with it. As for the bass drum...... the kids were fighting over something, I can't recall what and a tug of war started. Despite my daughter being strong and canny, she was no match for the age and size of her brother and she fell backwards and landed bottom first in the bass drum. Needless to say, the plastic front was no match for her heavy behind and broke! Can't be used or fixed now.
Moral of the story is this-it may say 'drum kit ' on the box, but its still a toy.....
Would I buy this again? Maybe. I say that because it is what it is. If I wanted something more durable and more authentic and realistic, I would have spent maybe a hundred pounds or so on a proper drum kit for children. I knew what I was buying would only have a short shelve life, and although they didn't have much time to get into this and enjoy it properly, it did the job for that short period they had it in tact. Since then my son has been bashing the life pout of proper drum kits in music shops with his dad, which appears to be much more fruitful and rewarding.
Overall a nice toy, very basic in regards to what it is and how its made up, but it's a toy. If purchasing, maybe a good idea to see it first, try it out and see if its strong enough for your child and big enough!
Bruin is a baby product and toy producer. The Bruin toy collection includes various musical toys including keyboards and guitars.
~~~My First Drum Set~~~
My First Drum Set by Bruin is available in pink or blue and is aimed at children over the age of 3. The drum set claims to enhance motor skills aswell as visual and musical skills. It doesn't require batteries and comes boxed at a weight of around 4kg. The drum set requires assembly.
Everything your little rockstar needs is in one box.
*The tom tom - the largest part of the set with the foot lever to be clicked in to operate. The tom tom is blue with stars adorning it. The outline of it is silver and the tom tom sits on four, silver legs. One side of the tom tom contains a fitted bit of plastic with Bruin splashed across it.
*3 base drums - these follow the same design as the tom tom and are placed across the inside of the drum set. The plastic piece for hitting is facing upwards on the bass drums.
*cymbol - the gold cymbol sits at the front of the tom tom. It clicks onto a black spoke which is then slotted into its correct space ready to be hit.
*Stool - the black stool is initially in 3 parts which need to be slotted together. It is small and obviously intended for a little bottom to sit on and play the drums. It isn't very tall which may annoy younger, smaller children.
*Drumsticks - we are supplied with 2 drumsticks.of about 30cm in length. They are smooth, quite thick and brown with detachable rubber pieces at the end.
The drum set does require a degree of assembly and it is probably best that 2 people help but 1 person could manage it at a push. In the box, all the pieces are seperate from one another and a few litle twisty screws are provided but no tools are needed. Putting the tom tom up the right way is probably the first thing to do and slotting the lever in to ensure it stands up right.
After doing this, the bass drums can be attached by way of the little twisty screws. You need to ensure the drum is up the right way and get underneath it with your hand to screw it into place. Keep twisting til it is secure and proceed with the rest of the drums. The symbol spoke simply slides into place and the stool is clicked together.
~~~Availability and Price~~~
This drum is set is best priced at Toys r Us where it can purchased for £19.99.
As a baby, Ryan would sit mesmerized at his Daddy playing the Rockband and Guitar Hero. As he grew older and turned into a toddler, he loved attempting to play the drums. Last Christmas, most of the family decided to annoy Mummy and Daddy by buying Ryan various musical instruments. His room now resembles a music studio with a keyboard, a saxophone, no less than 3 guitars and this child size drum set.
This drum set was purchased by my brother in law and his girlfriend and there turned up on Christmas morning with it. By this time, Ryan had received his keyboard and other gifts but all were dropped on spotting this. My 2 brother in laws fixed this up in a matter of 5mins with no arguments so it must have been simple! Bruin isn't a brand I had previously heard of but their product range is extensive so they must be doing something right!
~~~Put It In The Studio~~~
The drum set doesn't take up a massive amount of room but isn't one to have if you are short on space. Ryan decided that the set would be best suited in his room next to his other musical instruments. The design is very jazzy but the plastic on the tom tom and bass drums isn't the thickest and to me, feels a bit cheap and flimsy. The stool is sturdy and suitably sized for Ryans little bum but my 5yr old neice struggles to get her full tubby bum onto it so it certainly won't be used forever with Ryan. The sticks are well made and can put up with being banged off various surfaces.
Once fully set up, the drum kit sits reasonbly well on the floor. Ryan has his instruments on a foamy letter area in his room and when fully assembled, there is no falling over with the slightest nudge or bang on the floor. It appears reasonably sturdy however the foot lever attached to the tom tom, has a habit of sliding out and this makes the whole set unsteady. Ryan manages to drag this through to the livingroom when he feels like playing it in there and I can lift it with one hand as it is fairly lightweight.
~~~Do You Wanna Be In My Band?~~~
This drum set is much appreciated by Ryan when he feels like being musical. It is also used when we have his cousins visiting, one of whom is of a similar age. They usually take it in turns to play the drums, keyboard and guitar and it keeps them entertained but boy does it create some noise! Receiving this at only 2 and a half, Ryan was short of the recommended age and still is, however there are no parts which I feel would cause damage to a younger child and he is quite sensible. If your child is fond of hitting others though I would recommend not leaving the drumsticks unattended!
The basis of this drum set and any other, is to make noise. Now, being just short of 3, Ryan hasn't got much concept of beats and notes but his time with this drum set has led him to develop a sense of how to hit the right parts of the drum to create different noises. When Ryan was first presented with this set, he wasn't tall enough to take full advantage of it all when sitting on the stool but has since taken a big stretch and can benefit from every aspect of the set.
Getting used to this new drum set will depend on how quickly your child picks things up. At first, Ryan had no idea how to work the tom tom. The little lever is quite flimsy and doesn't withstand adult pressure well so we tried to demonstrate by using our hand whilst Ryan played and negotiated his foot onto it. It took some time for him to get to grips with how it all worked but soon he was making his own beats and music.
~~~Earplugs At The Ready~~~
The drumsticks don't produce too much noise when smacked off other surfaces..believe me I've tried hitting them off doors and worktops with little noise given off. There is no slot on the drum set for placing the sticks when not in use and I feel this set would benefit greatly from this addition. We tend to put ours in a drawer to avoid early morning wake up calls from Ryan playing his tunes!
Ryan finds the sticks very easy to hold now but at first, he wasn't sure of them due to their length. The plasticky ends are really what create the noise as they hit off the plastic on the drums. The bass drums appear to be all the same but I am not sure if its the positioning of them that impacts the noise created. On hitting the bass drums at the side, a deep, eerie beat is created with a quieter, more pleasing upbeat noise from the middle bass drum. Ryan can comfortably hit 2 of the bass drums at any one time which produces quite a loud thump.
Ryan can comfortably reach the foot lever for the tom tom whilst sitting on the stool and a light press with his foot is all that is needed for the lever to smack of the tom tom. He finds it awkward to do this whilst playing the bass drums..almost like his senses can't do both things at the same time but he is a man of course! I feel he will learn to cope with playing and using the tom tom at the same time eventually as he is nearly 3 and developing really well. The beat created by the tom tom being hit is rather loud and it is possible for Ryan to keep going that way a few times which is daunting on the ears but I can be thankfully I only need to listen to one noise at a time just now!
The cymbol isn't secured on to the spoke very well and when hit quite hard, sometimes causes the cymbol to dislodge and fall off. It isn't very heavy but if you had laminate flooring, be prepared for a loud clang as it hits the ground but on foamy letters, it just clangs slightly. It would be ideal if this could be secured on for obvious reasons. The noise from the cymbol is quite high pitched and makes a pleasant interval noise and change from the dullness of the drums. It does get rather irritating when Ryan chooses to rattle it constantly to the point I can hear it in my sleep that night!
~~~Keeping Me Playing For Longer~~~
For most of the time, the drum set stays together well. I have already mentioned the issue with thecsymbol dislodging and the foot lever slipping out. The middle bass drum seems to not like staying putting have despite tightening up the screw on the underside, after a few days, it appears to loosen allowing the drum to move around and need tightened up again. The other 2 bass drums seem to stay fairly tight but occasionally need a tighten up to ensure they stay that way longer.
The plastic on the drums and tom tom isn't all that thick as I have already said. Although it stays put despite regular, hard hitting from Ryan, it has become rather dented in places which makes it look rather unattractive. If Ryan has been poking it around the drums, they do obtain fingermarks which I normally clean with an antibac wipe which brings them back to clear and clean. The stool has stayed clean but I regularly wipe it down anyway.
~~~Fun With The Band~~~
Playing with his drum set, Ryan has developed from hitting any part hoping it does something, to actually relaxing and playing like anyone would play a set of drums. He enjoys creating as much noise as possible, laughing as he does so and this is probably more loved that his keyboard despite having less things to do on it! When other children are visiting, the drums are often fought over but after a word with them all, they manage to come up with a system where everyone can get a shot! As for education aspects, I suppose the fact that Ryan can correctly play now is something to shout about but for us, its mostly about having fun!
~~~Recommendation From Ryan (and Mummy)~~~
Ryan loves his drum set and is so happy that Uncle Craig and Auntie Tima chose this for him last Christmas. He plays with it on a daily basis and loves creating noise and singing along to the noise he makes! Mummy is happy that Ryan is happy. Mummy wishes that the drum set was a bit sturdier in terms of the plastic within the drums and tom tom as personally, she doesn't see it lasting without full on damage past Christmas this year! For a complete drum set for a toddler though, this is well priced but may be a bit boring for any child over the age of 4 due to limited playing experience.
Thanks for reading :)