“ Manufacturer: MV Sports & Leisure / Type: Toy Ride-ons „
Anyone familiar with the BBC Children's TV programme 'In the Night Garden' probably has kids aged under or up to the age of three, which is handy because three years old is about the age group this toy scooter is aimed at. So, the 'In the Night Garden' Og Pog Bubble Scooter is quite a clever bit of merchandising, as it is a near-exact copy of the 'Og Pog' vehicle ridden by one of the programme's favourite characters - Macca Pacca (the little beige coloured blobby-headed fellow who goes about collecting stones and compulsively washing things).
It's a three-wheel scooter for younger children, which has sturdy plastic wheels - solid ones without treads and no spokes that could trap tiny fingers. There're two small wheels at the back and a larger one at the front. The overall design is very attractive - the main body (ie. the footplate and frame of the scooter) are plastic coated metal in a jolly bright yellow colour, and it has mauve plastic handles and front wheel, and slightly translucent plastic orange back wheels. The wheels are effectively tread-free, so this may not be a scooter for taking out of your garden and into the street as I'm not sure how slip-resistant they are.
The accessories that come with this are what differentiates the Og Pog from other toys of this type: Macca Pacca as mentioned before, has the job of making sure that the various 'In the Night Garden' characters have had a wash before they go to bed, and this version of his Og Pog vehicle comes complete with a (fake) bar of mauve soap a lopsided-donut-shaped sponge (the circular thing covered in pale pink and green blotches that you can see in the carrier at the front of the scooter). Unfortunately the plastic bar of soap has a horrendous chemical smell that takes months to wear off, and the sponge is made of fleece-like fabric, but on the whole these 'accessories' are very well done; as is the orange (working, kazoo-like) trumpet that clips to the front of the handlebars, and the bubble-blowing battery-powered attachment - the largeish blue and orange thing you can see clutched to the chest of the little girl in the illustration that accompanies the product details for this review. The bubble blower is fun for kids but I would say it is the least useful part of the scooter. As I'm not convinced this scooter is a toy for taking out on the pavement (partly as the sprog's still too young) our scooter spends a lot of time indoors, and the bubble blower is not particularly water-tight, which means there is a fair bit of soap-solution leakage that comes out from it.
Still, this is a minor point. It's a fun and very nicely constructed toy overall, with impressive amounts of attention to detail, which is bound to delight younger, 'In the Night Garden' fans - I would say it'd be best for kids between the ages of three and five. I see from the product details that the RRP for this is £45. We got ours at 'TJ Hughes' last year for I think about £25 - certainly less than £30, so it's worth shopping around to find a good price.