Product Type: Chad Valley Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... the better weather then she would have grown into it. The size of this Lawnmower isn't that large but it is designed for a Toddler so it d... more
One Boy Went To Mow....
Chad Valley Lawnmower
Member Name: sandemp
Chad Valley Lawnmower
Advantages: No stickers
Disadvantages: Poor construction, grass box doesn't work, handle too short, wheels fall off.....
The Chad Valley Lawn Mower was purchased for the ridiculously low price of £2.47 during a sale at the end of last summer, put away in the cupboard and promptly forgotten about until last week. Supplied fully assembled in a fairly large cardboard box, the lawnmower is billed as being suitable for children over the age of two and simply requires the handle being unfolded and clicked into place to be ready for play.
Designed to emulate a petrol lawn mower, the Chad Valley Lawn Mower has a very simple basic design and is formed of fairly flimsy plastic, completely unadorned with stickers. As my son has an obsession with peeling off and eating stickers, I am personally grateful that there are none on this for him to remove, but this does also mean that the lawn mower is not particularly eye-catching. The whole construction of the lawn mower both looks and feels cheap and flimsy, the handle needs to be clicked into place before play and it simply does not feel rigid enough and bends alarmingly when the appropriate pressure is placed on it, or if a child leans on it. All the edges feel a little sharp and the lawn mower simply does not have the finish you would find on more expensive, better made toys.
Although basic, the lawn mower does have a few features, the most useful of which is that the handle can be folded down between uses so that it takes up marginally less space during storage. There is a small knob on the handle, that emulates the on/off switch, while this turns it does not make any sort of noise, not even a click, which means it is rather boring. The lawn mower's engine is exposed and looks reasonably realistic, but really doesn't do anything. There is an enclosed grass collection box at the rear of the mower with a clear top that is filled with tiny green beads that should jump about as the mower is pushed, with the resultant rattle being a little like the sound of grass being cut (if you have a fantastic imagination). These beads are set into action via a cog system on the rear wheel, but the construction is so shoddy that it only occasionally works.
I'd love to say that this mower was my bargain buy of the year, but it is just about worth the £3 I paid for it and no more. Although it was bought as an outdoor toy for two year old Freddy, it's never been past the front door, for the simple reason that I don't believe that it would survive being played with on the grass. The whole construction is extremely flimsy, the handle bends alarmingly when leant on, and the wheels are not secured on axles and so fall off if knocked. The grass collector only works when it feels like it and edges have not been smoothed off and are sharp in places, not what I would consider a particularly appropriate toy for a two year old. The handle is also very short, I will admit that Freddy is a tall two year old, but he has to stoop to push the mower. Height-wise it is far more suitable for a twelve to eighteen month old toddler, only it is so light and flimsy that it would tip if played with by a less than confident walker.
That's not to say that Freddy doesn't enjoy playing with, because rather surprisingly he does. But Freddy does have a developmental delay including poor role playing skills, so he doesn't exactly play with it as a lawn mower and is not concerned that the grass doesn't work. He does love putting the handle up and down and finds this quite easy, probably too easy in fact as with doing this as often as he has seems to have stretched the plastic a little, meaning that the handle no longer clicks into place. He also likes pushing it around the house chucking toys out of the way as he goes. I can't be certain, as Freddy is non-verbal and can't tell me, but I get the impression that he thinks it's a vacuum cleaner. As much as he enjoys playing with it, he also gets frustrated with the mower, especially when the handle won't stay up or a wheel falls off, with the result being him throwing it across the room. As the mower is so light he has no trouble picking it up and is able to throw it quite a distance, which is a hazard both to ornaments and myself, I can testify that if this hits you it does hurt.
I cannot in all honesty recommend the Chad Valley Lawn Mower, it is simply a shoddily made piece of tat, not even worth the £3 I paid let alone the £20 it is selling for on Amazon. My recommendation would be to save your money and invest in a better made toy lawnmower from a retailer such as the ELC. As for stars out of five, I'm grudgingly giving it two, simply because Freddy does enjoy playing with it for short periods of time until it's poor construction frustrates him.
Summary: A cheap, nasty piece of tat