“ Brand: Thomas / Type: Toy Ride-ons „
My daughter is obsessed with Minnie Mouse. She's only one but if you show her anything with Minnie's face on she squeals with delight and has a big beam across her face. For that reason, we decided to get her a Minnie Mouse ride on for her first birthday. We originally chose a similar one to this that cost £40 but when I was in Smyth's toy store looking at other things, I came across this Kiddieland Minnie ride on that was £20 - half the price of the other I'd seen. I checked the specifications between the two and couldn't see much difference, certainly nothing I thought was worth £20 more, so I went with this and bought her an extra toy with the difference. It measures around 45cm x 45cm x 22cm and requires 2 AA batteries that come included - ours are still going strong. It is also lightweight so perfect for toddlers.
The Kiddieland Minnie ride on comes mainly built, only the handle at the back needs to be slotted in and it's ready to go. It's recommended for children aged 12 months and over and I would say that this is about right - I doubt she'd have got much use from it before then and it's only now at nearly 14 months that she's really showing a huge interest in it.
The ride on is pink, white and purple in colour and has Minnie's face on the front and on the sides. There's a small steering wheel at the front that moves around, controlling the front wheels. It also has a few little extra toys to play with at the front - a clock (a pretend one where the hands spin around), a removable telephone (which she loves to walk around with on it's own) and moveable sliders on the sides. She needs to be sat on the floor to play with these things, rather than sat on it because she can't reach them while sat on. There's a small dashboard near to the steering wheel too - here is a gear lever and a couple of buttons, all of which set it off making all sorts of sounds. It revs loudly when the gear stick is moved which I think is really good. The seat isn't padded and is just made of plastic, which is a shame because it doesn't seem really comfy for her to sit on but she likes the design of the seat as it lifts up and becomes a hideaway place for her small toys. She loves to lift the seat up and back down - she's realised that it makes a noise when shutting but I just have to watch her closely because it looks quite easy for her to get her fingers caught in it as she's slamming it shut. At the back is a handle that allows her to push the ride on around instead of sitting on it and she uses this a lot too - more so than sitting on. She pushes it back and forth and it's been very handy as she's taken her first steps - it's been handy for her to lean on although it's not that sturdy.
The noises are good and bad at the same time. They're good in that there are a wide variety - lots of revving, beeping, Minnie voiceovers and songs. But, the downside is that there is no on or off button! We keep ours in the living room and once she's pressed a button on it, it doesn't seem to shut up for ages - it just goes on and on and doesn't show signs of stopping for a couple of minutes. Then she usually presses something else on it, sets it off again and walks away to play with something else, so we're all stuck sat watching TV listening to Minnie's voice and her car noises! Her favourite noise that it makes is from the horn on the steering wheel - she loves pressing that and making it honk - again though, the noise from the horn lasts ages before it stops! The noise has become a running joke in our house.
The steering wheel operates the front wheels on the ride on, making it easier for her to move it around the floor. I was made up with that because I thought for the price, it wouldn't have this function. The wheels face forwards normally and just move with the movement from the steering wheel. She doesn't understand that at the moment, she's not learnt to co-ordinate the movement of the wheel to the direction that the ride on moves but I'm happy that the option is there because she'll pick up on that in time.
My Daughter's View
My daughter loves it. Her face is beaming whenever she's sat on it - she constantly looks over to us to show us what she's doing because I think she must feel like a big girl and proud using it. She loves to explore all aspects - she's spent ages playing with parts that you wouldn't think would be that entertaining, such as the seat lifting up and down and the telephone. She can spend a good ten minutes just opening and closing the seat! It provides her with entertainment playing with it at the side, rather than just being sat on it like I expected originally.
Yes, noises and all. I would recommend this as a first ride on - especially for £20, I think it's definitely worth a try. My daughter's had a lot of use from hers since her birthday a couple of months ago and it's still one of her favourites - one she loves to push around as much (or even more so) than sitting on it. I rate it 4 stars - one coming off for the lack of an off switch but apart from that it's all good.
Thanks for reading :o)