“ Manufacturer: TP / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
TP Straight Slide
Back in the summer of 2004 when my little brother James was around 18 months old I decided to be a kind big sister and buy him a cool toy for in the garden, one that I would have liked myself when I was growing up and one that I could possibly still be a big kid on now! While trying to think of cool things I decided that a climbing frame was a bit out of my budget and a swing wasn't quite as exciting, I toyed with the seesaw idea but realised he would have to have another person with him to play so in the end I opted for a slide.
I'm not very patient with shopping so when I went into my local Early Learning Centre and saw they had a large blue slide made by TP I decided this was the one he needed and I didn't need to shop around. The slide cost me around the £70 mark at the time, although I can't remember the exact price. For this price I was hoping I was buying a product that was going to last!
After a rather entertaining battle to fit the slide into my car along with all the boxes of little parts for self assembly I drove home and managed to sneak the slide and boxes down the side alley and into the garden without being caught by my mum. The idea of this slide was that I wanted it to be a nice surprise. I then sat in the garden hoping she wouldn't notice while I was attempting the self assembly of the slide.
Luckily the design of the house we were living in at the time made the garden only visible from a couple of rooms and these were the rooms which we didn't use very often, so I was lucky and didn't get caught. After around 2 hours of self assembly the slide was complete.
The self assembly part of the slide was pretty straight forward and involved a selection of different sized screws and little nuts and bolts to fix the steps to the handles and a strengthening bar between the steps and the slide to prevent the slide from collapsing on itself. The steps also get securely fastened to the slide with some slightly larger nuts and bolts by the handles and the top of the slide. There was a printed instructions sheet included and this was printed in English along with diagrams to make it all very clear. I'm not the best or the most patient person when it comes to self assembly so I would say 2 hours isn't too bad really.
The slide has 3 steps which are made out of a really thick, tough plastic. They are quite cute with what looks like little bear footprints on, this cute design also doubles up to make the steps non-slip. I can honestly agree from the amount of times I have thrown myself up these steps in just my socks while trying to escape my brother that the non-slip really does work! The steps are attached to two steel bars which form a loop over handle at the top enabling good support while the child sits down. at the bottom of the steps the steel bars turn outwards in an 'L' shape to provide a stable base for the slide and prevent the slide from tipping over. Again I can say this really does work as my brother often stands at the top of the slide holding the handles and swaying from side to side while singing some random songs and as yet he has never managed to tip it.
The slide itself is made from the same thick, tough plastic as the steps. At the top of the slide there is an anti-slip patch where the children sit before they slide, this is cleverly done with a TP logo for a bit of advertising and some ridges surrounding the logo for grip. The slide isn't extremely long, I'm not sure of the exact length as it was a long time ago that I purchased it, but I am 5ft 1 inch and if I lie on the slide and stretch my arms up above my head then I am the same length so I would say it is around 6ft in length.
There is an extension available for this slide, however we haven't purchased this as with James' high energy levels he has usually jumped off the end of the slide before he reaches the bottom and stands any chance of getting mud or grass stains on his clothes!
So, after completing 7 summers of living with James and his various friends climbing all over it, as well as myself and 5 dogs also climbing all over it, how is the slide bearing up?
... Actually, it still looks like new! The slide gets left in the garden all year round, we don't cover it at all and it has survived through all weather conditions that have been thrown at it. We have moved house 3 times since I bought this slide and each time I have had the lovely task of dismantling it and re-assembling at the new house. The slide has survived being in the removals van and come out with no breaks or cracks, which considering how careless removal companies can be shows that this slide is tough! Dismantling the slide was easy enough, I just had to remember which part came from where for when I put it back together as I lost the instruction sheet!
There is absolutely no sign of rust on the steel bars and they are still reasonably shiny. They're not coated in anything so there is no paint to chip away, my only complaint is that they are a little chilly on the hands when you are using it in the colder months!
There are only a couple of visible marks on the slide showing its usage, these include a few tiny scratches at the bottom where the dogs have tried to run up to catch us, these are literally surface scratches though and you would have to use your finger nail to be able to feel them. There are a few scuff marks from the soles of school shoes and the steps tend to get a little dirty and have the occasional bit of moss attempting to grow on them, but we find that a quick clean with some hot soapy water instantly removes this. Other than this the slide still looks like new and I would say definitely has a very long life ahead of it.
My brother is now 8 years old and still loves his slide. When he first had it he was only 18 months old and was a little young to use it himself so I used to sit at the top and my mum would lift him up to me so we could slide down together. As he got older he had no problems learning how to climb the steps himself with just a little support from us in case he fell backwards. I have since seen him throw himself down the slide in all sorts of weird and wonderful positions as well as running up the slide and sliding down with the various dogs in his arms! I have also had my fair share of fun from this slide and have also been known to slide down it upside down and backwards, I have ran up it a couple of times and although the plastic felt like it was wobbling a little bit the slide remained stable and didn't break under my weight!
So all in all I would say this was an excellent purchase and definitely worth the £70ish that I paid for it. With the non-slip steps and steel bars for the handles I feel it is a very safe slide for all ages. The slide is still available in the Early Learning Centre now with a price tag of £74.99.
Thanks for reading! :)
Straight garden slide with steel frame, three slip-resistant steps and stable base.Self-assembly required.Slide extension available separately.Only for domestic use. Age range: From 3 years. depth: 27 cm width: 230 cm height: 100 cm