* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this for my 2 year old daughter last Christmas, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure why! First of all, neither of my kids know anything about Littlest Pet Shop, and second of all, I don't think I even knew what it was when I bought it...I think I was in a last-minute-must-spend-money-on-my-kids-Christmas-panic.
But despite the above points, my 2 year old does actually like it and is playing with it as I write, hence the review...
**So What Is It?**
It's actually a cruiser type vehicle designed for your Littlest Pet Shop pets...of which we have none. But you do get one included with the vehicle (a small large headed hamster with freaky eyes) and a lot of other cardboard cut-out creatures - to show you where the animals would ride, if you did actually have any.
There's actually 6 locations within the vehicle where you can position your pets, one is the hamster wheel up front, there is also a lidded dome thing on the top, a hammock thing, a swing, an elevator thing which I think is meant to go up and down when the vehicle moves (ours doesn't), and also and a cup at the back that spins when the vehicle is in transit.
If I remember correctly you also get 3 tiny pieces of plastic food with the toy, and these have long since been lost in the deep caverns of our ever growing toy mountain.
The entire thing is an odd looking lump of plastic and I really do not know what I was attracted to when I bought it (perhaps the garish colours, it is bright pink with lime green highlights). It does not resemble a car in any way shape or form, but it does actually have 4 wheels which turn and thus move the vehicle.
Something to add here is that surprisingly no batteries are required to operate the item; it is all down to the child to push it along, and do as they please. No lights, and no sounds - that is definitely an advantage in my book!
**Is It Any Good?**
Well my 2 year old is certainly enjoying playing with it at the moment. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, we have many Puppy In My Pockets (a different range of toy) and it is these that she is currently transporting around the house using the Littlest Pet Shop Vehicle. With the puppies being small, she can get a few in each location within the vehicle, so it is actually quite a handy thing for transporting numerous tiny dogs!
The vehicle can easily be pushed on carpet or laminate, and it is also lightweight so can easily be lifted by a young child (because ours also happens to fly, it is flying across in front of me at the moment.)
Despite my reservations on the look of the toy, it is actually quite a well made and durable piece of plastic, it seems to be able to take a good hammering from my daughters, and it can also withstand being crushed in the bottom of the toy box, it doesn't look very sturdy but in fact it is!
I also think it required a strange imagination to design this type of vehicle but they seemed to have created a winner because unlike many other vehicles for children, there is a lot of space for you to put your toys. Rather than just having 2 front seats as you would get in a standard car, you get 6 different places to put your toys, so I think that is quite exciting and different for a child.
**Final Thoughts and Recommendation**
I was initially in a bit of denial about the fact that I had purchased this toy without any knowledge of Littlest Pet Shop toys or in fact any knowledge of this vehicle; but I am now pleased that I did because it has become a well played with item. Both my children seem to like 'transport' items, and this is one that comes out quite often when they are taking their toys here and there about the house.
If you are a big fan of Littlest Pet Shop then I daresay you will have already seen or heard of this particular toy, but may have been hesitating about taking the plunge to buy. However, no more hesitation is required because I give you my full recommendation to buy; it is a good toy with a lot of play possibilities for young LPS and non-LPS fans alike. Both of my daughters, aged 4 & 2, enjoy playing with the vehicle and they do not own anything else from the Littlest Pet Shop range.
**Price and Availability**
This is available in quite a wide range of stores, including Amazon, Toys R Us, Argos & Tescos.
Prices vary although the RRP is approx £20. Amazon currently have it for £12.95 (Jan 2011)
The Littlest Pet Shop 'Paw Powered Cruiser' is a slightly bizarre addition to this range of toys from Hasbro, and if there were ever any residual questions about whether "Littlest Pet Shop" are toys intended for little girls, this luridly pink and lime green coloured, fantastic...cross between the Scooby Doo gang's 'Mystery Mobile' and a Disney Princess pumpkin coach certainly removes all doubt.
The cruiser is made entirely of brightly coloured plastic, and is essentially the pink framework of a vehicle set on green wheels. It's open sided, with an open front and back - the spaces there to accommodate a green hamster-wheel (that actually turns) at the front, a bucket-like green plastic swing half way down, a purple hammock (ours has fallen out and gotten lost, leaving the inside of the cruiser looking a bit empty as a result) and lastly an odd sort of crow's nest arrangement at the back, which appears to be a swivelling bucket seat with handles on either side, sited on the end of a long purple pole. There is also a strange semi-translucent dome structure like a submersible hatch sitting on top of the Cruiser, like a cherry on a cake. There are psychedelic, Austin Powers-style flowers and swirls and such decorating the outside of the toy's chassis.
I think the Cruiser came with one Littlest Pet Shop animal figure - I forget which one, and although I've seen a LTP koala bear I don't recognize knocking about since Christmas, when my daughter was given this (slightly nasty plastic monstrosity) by a misguided but well-meaning relative, I don't think it was the koala that came with it. (A quick check on Amazon.co.uk, where the vehicle is currently selling for approx. £13 down from the RRP of £20, tells me that the toy what comes wiv' it is a Littlest Pet Shop hamster).
What it did include, a bit poignantly I thought, was actual-size little cardboard medallions showing Littlest Pet Shop characters - one set sitting in place on each of the Cruiser's accessories (ie one in the swing, one in the swivelling seat, etc.) - to show you what the Crusier might look like if you had any of the appropriate toys to go in it. My daughter religiously collected and kept these various cardboard medallions, and arguably has gotten as fun from playing with them, as she has from the play vehicle itself. It's an all right toy, I suppose - but definitely better if you find the "Littlest Pet Shop" style of creature appealing / attractive, which unfortunately, I don't think my daughter quite does. I'd like to think this is because she finds the dewy-eyed, mournful look they all tend to have a bit pathetic.
The Cruiser also comes with some tiny little bits of plastic food for the animals - a carrot and a wedge of cheese and so on.
As we were given the Cruiser as a gift, I can't really comment on how good value for money it is. What I don't like, however, are toys aimed at girls like this that are predominantly coloured the shade that's commonly known as 'Barbie Pink' - which the Cruiser, for all its lime green wheels, basically is.
For my daughter's brithday this year she received a few Littlest Pet Shop bits (which I will refer to by its shortened name of LPS). One of them was the LPS Vehicle. The title says it is an assortment but as far as I know there is only one vehicle available in the range. We purchased it from Argos for our daughter for £19.99 but it is available at the moment for £15.32 but will go back up to £22.99 at the end of the month. It can also be purchased from Amazon, Toys R Us and other reputable toy retailers.
The vehicle is made by Hasbro and is suitable for children from 4 years of age.
This little playset comes in a LPS box which is fairly big but just that little bit too big for the product. The box is the typical LPS colours of pink and blue with the LPS logo across it. It has a transparent piece of plastic across the front so that you can see the product inside the box. It does take a bit of tugging and pulling, cutting and yanking to get it out of the box. There are lots of those bendy wires wrapped around the vehicle and some are wrapped around the wheels. These ones are the hardest ones to get off as you have to work at undoing them and scissors do not help much here as you cannot get the scissors behing the wheels to cut.
Inside the box there is instructions on how to play with the toy and some notes for parents, the vehicle and a LPS hamster figure which is only available with this set.
The vehicle is made out of nice and strudy, solid plastic. it is brightly coloured in a peachy pink with green and blue accessories with the LPS logo on a small sticker on the front. The vehicle has little raised designs on the body such as little swirls, flowers and paw prints.
At the front of the vehicle there is a little hamster wheel where your child can put a LPS figure and then when your child pushes it along, the LPS figure (which will be clipped into place) turns in the wheel much like a hamster would on a wheel in real life. On the top of the vehicle is a little bubble type of space which the lid opens on and your child can sit an LPS figure in there as well as there being a little blue basket on the top which your child can sit a figure in and when the vehicle is moving along it spins around. In the middle of the vehicle are 3 little seatng areas for LPS figures, one of which is a little green swinging basket.
The toy is pretty simple to play with - it is just a case of your child putting in all their LPS figures (or as many as they can) and pushing the vehicle along. The vehicle doesn't make any noise or anything, it is just a simple push along toy. My daughter absolutely loves it and uses it to get her LPS figures from one playset to another like a little taxi service with the hamster as the driver. She has a lot of fun with it though I don't think it is worth its usual £23 price tag.
It is well made and not easily breakable. It fits in nicely with the other LPS playsets and figures. It is a nice toy but its price tag lets it down because you are just paying for the brand in my opinon.