My daughter, like a lot of kids her age, is obsessed with Fireman Sam. She watches it whenever it is on, begs us to record it so that she can watch it when it isn't and counts her Fireman Sam Fire Station playset amongst her favourite toys. So when a friend told me about this that he had recently bought for his own son, it sounded like an ideal toy to get in preperation for the summer.
This fun outside toy is basically a Fireman's hose attached to a back-pack that carries a substantial supply of water. The hose then connects to a trigger nozzle that can be squirted to pump out water almost as though you were really a fireman! One of the first things that impressed me about this was the distance this can squirt! Standing by our patio doors, I could almost reach the far end of our garden when playing with this with my daughter (well, Daddy had to test it worked...right?) and though it does take a little bit of effort to squirt, my daughter easily managed after just a few attempts ~ finding it most amusing to soak her Daddy and leave him dripping wet!
At £16.99, it is a little bit expensive for what is basically just a themed twist on the more traditional water pistol, but it does look slightly more durable and certainly feels like it will last a lot longer. Over the last couple of summers, we have got through several water pistols, either because they ended up leaking or because they got trodden on and broke where they had been abandoned in the grass after play instead of being put out of the way. This toy has been bought ONLY on the understanding that, after use, it gets put away nicely! I said it loked durable...not indestructive!
A minor flaw is that the water filled back-pack is quite heavy when full but it is normally emptied quick enough that my daughter doesn't have to carry it around for long. It is also designed with more of a U.S style in mind rather than a European one, not that my daughter really noticed other than mentioning "Fireman Sam doesn't use one of these!"
Some people have commented on Amazon that the hose can easily come unattached from the main body of the unit and that may need fixing, possibly with the aid of superglue. This is not something we have experienced yet and we have had this about a month now ever since our first (and last?) bit of hot weather this year.
Two things I like about this. Well, three if you count that this is lots of fun for the big kid in all of us!
Firstly, it holds a lot of water stopping you from constant refills and though it is quick to empty during excessive use, it still means that you have to fill up less than if you were using a water pistol!
Secondly, it fires over a great distance ~ further than most conventional water pistols reach! This is all well and good but it does mean that when playing in the garden, there really IS nowhere to hide......
Overall, this is a fairly good product. Someone on Amazon suggests buying two but I do think these are a little bit expensive for what they are to do that! Still we have had no problems with this and it has certainly gone down well because every time we have even the smallest bit of sun, my daughter wants to go out and play with this! Her favourite game ~ putting out the fire in her outside play house and rescuing her dollies! But don't worry because, as she always explains to me, "It's not real Daddy, it's just pretend!"