Product Type: Trunki Outdoor Toy
Trunki Bernard the Bee
Member Name: bush1
Trunki Bernard the Bee
Advantages: Fun, easy to pack and carry
Disadvantages: Very expensive
We go away in the caravan quite a lot and my daughter also goes to stay with her grandparents quite a bit so we thought it would be a good idea if she had her own suitcase that she recognised as hers. They had these on sale in a local shop and my daughter kept wanting to play with them so we decided to get her one for her birthday when she was 2.
---About the range:
Trunki is famous for having the product shown on Dragon's Den and then went on to develop themselves in 2006. Since then, they have developed several more products designed to help children relieve the boredom of treavelling and to help entertain them. The range includes the trunki suitcases, boostapaks (a backpack that doubles as a booster seat) and snooziheadz (3 in 1 travel pillow, pal and blanket).
---About the product:
The Trunki is hand luggage that can be packed by kids with all their favourite toys and can then be ridden or be pulled along by their parents. The Trunki measures 46 x 20.5 x 31cm and weighs 1.7kg on its own. Bernard the Bee is yellow in colour and has black stipes, wheels, eyes (which double as handles) and catches on the front and back. He also has a big black smiley face on the front.
When you open the trunki, there is space in both sides. One of the sides has straps across it which can be opened so that toys/clothes can be kept in place in the side. The other side is open so it helps to know which side to open up first! On one side there is a fabric pouch that stretches the whole way along to put small pieces in as well as a very small 'secret' compartment built into the plastic which is only about 2cm cubed.
The trunki also comes with a towing strap which can be attached to a hoop on the front top of the product. The strap also has a 'key' on one of the handles which allows you to lock the catches used to close Bernard. The Trunki also comes with a passport which has access to downloadable activities.
---Using the product:
Our daughter was very excited when she first saw this. We showed her two different models on the Internet and she chose this one, so was very happy when we got this for her. She has taken this away with her many times for weekends and she is able to pack everything she needs for a weekend inside this. For anything longer, she needs a second case and we use this for her toys and another for her clothes etc.
She really enjoys using this as it is so different from our other suitcases so it is very recognisable as her own. It means she knows we are going away and she loves putting all her toys in it herself. My daughter is now 2 and a half and is able to open and close the Trunki on her own. Once it is closed, she will happily climb on it and ride herself around the living room or other people's houses when she goes to visit. When we take it away in the caravan, it also doubles as a step so she can reach things on the counters.
The size of the Trunki makes it great for taking away as it fits easily into the car boot and is light enough to carry around with you. It is made of sturdy plastic and has been able to take quite a beating from my daughter as well as being man-handled in and out of the boot and caravan. Being able to be accessed by my daughter is also very useful as she doesn't need to keep asking for help whenever she wants any of her toys out of it.
Bernard the Bee costs £38 from the Trunki website but can be bought for £28 from Amazon's website (as of May 2012). We bought him for a similar price in a special offer which we still felt was a little bit pricey. It is a glorified suitcase and although it incorporates the play element as well, it only holds a small amount and you are likely to need a second suitcase anyway. As a novelty item or to keep kids entertained it might well be worth it, but you probably want to keep a look out for special offers. Trunki's are supposed to be suitable for hand luggage on flights as well so children can keep their toys with them on flights. This needs to be checked with individual airlines but is good feature of them. I am not sure if there is an age limit/weight limit for riding on Bernard, but I think my daughter will be able to enjot him for several years to come.
Summary: Fun for children, but very pricey