Product Type: Little Tikes Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... It has a key that spins around and a walky talkie that requires a battery and makes noise when pressed. It has the police lights on the... more
My own little policeman!
Little Tikes Police Car
Member Name: chrisandmark
Little Tikes Police Car
Date: 11/05/12, updated on 11/05/12 (90 review reads)
Advantages: Sturdy, durable, fun for the kids
Disadvantages: Can tip over if you (or rather your children) are not careful!
The car needs some assembly when new, it's quite straightforward with large chunky pieces and very little 'fiddly' work though. The main irritation is, as ever, the stickers that bring the plastic shell of the car to life as the very curved design of the car makes it even more awkward than usual - I'm completely useless at this job and after filling one of the large 'Police' stickers with bubbles I gave up and handed everything over to Mark to complete the assembly.
I remember when I first saw a Cozy Coupe I assumed it was going to be either battery powered or a pedal car, but in fact it's neither - instead the child controls the car with foot-power by sitting on the seat and 'walking' along the floor Fred Flintstone style. The height to the seat is around 18cm, which makes the minimum age of eighteen months about right so that toddlers of this age can reach the floor comfortably enough to be able to push themselves along. My son is sixteen months old, but considering he almost reaches his four year old sisters shoulder the height of the car is ideal for him already - obviously children should always be supervised when playing outside (or inside for that matter) so it didn't seem worth waiting the extra couple of months for David to reach Little Tikes recommended age.
The front wheels swivel all the way around so getting the car to go where you want it to is quite easy; it took David a couple of days to suss out that 'steering' was done in a very similar way to his other (smaller) ride-on cars, but once he realised the car would go pretty much in whichever direction he 'walked' he was fine. He's only just started walking within the last couple of weeks but was able to control both speed and direction very quickly, it obviously helps that he's tall as his feet are stable to the ground but it does take a certain amount of dexterity too!
To get into the car you swing open the small door and simply step in, I've found it's possible for more boisterous kids to climb in and out through the window but this can be a bit dangerous as any weight on the body of the car can make it tip over. It's a very sturdy and stable car when it's being used properly, don't get me wrong, but you need to watch for kids hanging off the sides or otherwise unbalancing it. The door is attached brilliantly and despite being opened and closed literally hundreds of times it's still snug to the frame and doesn't have a hint of a wobble. This is true of the wheels too; the car has been bumped and crashed numerous times, but none of the wheels have been knocked off kilter and control of the car is as tight as ever. The steering wheel moves and does help to direct the car slightly, most of the control is done with the feet though - I've noticed that David doesn't even hold onto the steering wheel half of the time and it still goes where he wants it to!
The seat is fairly wide; Hollie and David can both fit in it at the same time, although when Hollie has her four year old friends over it can be a bit of a squeeze if two of them decide they want to ride the car together. This isn't so much to do with the width of the seat though, it's more because four feet won't fit properly through the hole at the bottom of the car - and when the kids do work out how to get their legs through the gap it's almost painful watching them bicker about which direction to take! There's a little safety point about letting an older sibling take the little one for a spin in the Coupe, David had his toes scraped recently after putting his feet down while Hollie was 'walking' the car faster than usual. It would be the same if a child pushed their friend too hard in the car too, although despite the small handle attached to the back of the car nobody in this house ever seems to feel the need to push it anywhere - why bother when you have willing kids to move it around?
Inside the car is a police radio which makes wailing siren sounds when you press the button, this has obviously been designed with little hands in mind as the button is responsive and chunky - again to use David as an example, he realised what the button was straightaway and has never had a moments problem with pressing it to create the siren noises. I find this the most irritating aspect of the car as I really hate 'nee-naw' or screamy sounds, in fact I was hoping the batteries would die quickly and have been unpleasantly surprised to find the same ones are still going strong after almost two years! This is a nice addition to the car, obviously David doesn't know what the police are yet but Hollie likes to talk into the radio when her dolly has been doll-napped and understands the link between the radio and the design of the car.
Durability? Come on! It's a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, it's going to last forever! With four children I've owned a few of these cars and I know for a fact that they're all still going strong at various friends houses and playgroups, they should make bomb shelters out of these cars because they're practically indestructible! Sometimes the plastic panel on the side will dent in slightly, but usually a bit of pushing and prodding will make it pop back into shape again - talking generally, when the Cozy Coupes are a few years old the dents become harder to pull out but if stored outside (as these usually are) weather fading will have begun to occur by then so the brand new sparkle will be lost anyway. I think a few dents add character!
The maximum weight range is 40kg, but as I think this is roughly the age of a ten year old I doubt you'll ever have to worry about it. I think this would be for safety and non-collapse issues as I honestly can't see many nine or ten year olds wanting to play in a car like this in their home environment, although they're very popular in special needs schools so in that case the weight limit would need to be more thoroughly referred to.
The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Police Car costs around £50, similarly priced to others in the range. It's gender neutral but in my opinion is more suited to boys based on the design of the car, Hollie is a very girly girl and I think deep down she'd have preferred the pink glittery Coupe but ended up with this one through a crazy twist of fate - she made up for it with her bike though, that's pink and glittery!
Summary: A fab take on the original Cozy Coupe