“ Brand: Theo Klein „
When it comes to the actual education of teaching a child how to clean, there are many ways than buying toy vacuums and some children love the idea of playing with a toy vacuum. I love the miniature sizing and over the years have been given miniature toy vacuums to add my display and collection of real ones, even though working at primary schools has been a real benefit for the purpose of donating some of the toys to play group and other classes.
Following the disappointment of the last Theo Klein toy Hoover Purepower I bought some time ago, Theo Klein have recently launched another vacuum cleaner toy in the shape of the real pull along Miele S2000 budget cylinder vacuum cleaner but at a quarter of the size for budding little cleaning pals to help you along with your daily clean up at home. For those thinking that this is anything like the Miele S5000/Theo Klein toy vacuum, it doesn't have a real bag installed and instead has a plastic fascia on top of the body with a clear frosted panel in which polystyrene balls move about in a frenzied fashion. This toy is suitable for ages of 3 years old and above and unlike Amazon's stats, it does require batteries if you want the built in motor to make a noise and get those tiny "dust" balls moving.
At cost this toy has a general price of £35 to £40 and sits alongside Theo Klein's other mock Miele S5000 cylinder toy vacuum at a similar price. Both products are coloured in deep red although Theo Klein have an older S5000 toy in bright yellow to match the tiny "matchbox" dolls house version, I've already reviewed on here.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand & Model: Theo Klein 6841 Miele S2 toy vacuum cleaner.
* Comes with 2 suction fake tubes, one handle, one adaptor insert & short-wired hose.
* 1 fake flat 2 wheeled floor head supplied with permanent pedal.
* Requires 3x 1.5V batteries.
* General sizing: 39 x 22 x 18 cm, 9-gram weight.
* Deep red colouring and imitation design details.
* My price from Amazon £35.66 (Current price).
General Impressions & Assembly
Out of the box, I find it only takes a few seconds to assemble this vacuum cleaner and takes far less a time to assemble than it does taking it out of the box!
The main design and details from the real vacuum cleaner seems to have been perfected with this tiny item, with a similar size to a standard electric coffee filter machine/a bit bigger than the ratio of 1:17 thus able for any young child to lift the "machine" or pull it along. This is because the main body of Theo Klein's imitation Miele S2 has a grab handle at the top of the vacuum cleaner just like the real vacuum cleaner and rough edges are kept to a minimum, thus adding peace of mind for safety and little hands. Designed in dark red with a black underside "PVC" body, black floor head with silver nameplate writing and main handle before the hose, the Theo Klein 6841 Miele S2 looks like the real thing!
The main suction hose however is just a thin coil wired plastic hose in light silvery grey that push locks into the bottom of the fake floor head as well as a single adaptor at the top before the handle can be pushed in and the hose plugged into the top of the vacuum cleaner body. I wondered about the design initially as a child could so easily get confused as to what parts go where, often requiring a parent or teacher to show how to construct the vacuum cleaner before use.
The floorhead is at least quite life like in its production of the real floor head and Theo Klein have been wise here to match other details faithful to the life size actual vacuum cleaner. One is not left wanting where imitation details are concerned, even if TK have just embossed the plastic with details like a fake 2 pin plug on the side where the real plug would exist and a drawn on bag fill indicator on top of the main body of this toy vacuum. Detailing where the name and model name is given has been written in silver to match the rest of the toy.
Performance & Downsides
There are three mimic but actual castor wheels on the underside of the Theo Klein Miele S2 too to mimic the real Miele, allowing children to twirl the vacuum along in the tightest of spaces though the wheels are hard plastic and like the previous toy TK Hoover Purepower upright, can be inclined to scrape hard flooring. Two smaller wheels on the fake imitation "suction only" floor head have also been added and there's a permanent bonded pedal with the action going down to show that it is in carpet cleaning mode, though it can be quite hard on the foot despite the rest of this vacuum having generally soft edges. The floor head's wheels are however tiny little rollers that are also made of hard plastic.
On carpets, the tiny little wheels on this floor head can sink in too much, providing little fun for the child who might find it more difficult to push the floor head along, lightly. Too much pressure can then snap off the connection between the hose and the tubes. At least there is a park position slot on the floor head that can be parked up at the back of the vacuum for storage when "not in use."
However, as with the Theo Klein toy Hoover Purepower, Theo Klein's Miele S2 toy vacuum has a few poor features not helped by poor plastic and when it comes to use, the Theo Klein Miele S2 is woeful, requiring three heavy 1.5V cylinder batteries, and three of them at a time that produces a very low whine. It is a pity that of the controls available, Theo Klein have glued the suction dial in which it can't be moved and likewise to the cord rewind pedal down so that it can't be pushed down with the only "button" that can be pressed is the on button to start the motor.
Where you would normally find the main filter grid on the proper vacuum, Theo Klein offer up a plastic crystal grid window with non-removable tiny polystyrene balls designed to mimic dust that moves about with the obvious blow from the motor on board, and the toy doesn't actually produce any suction unlike the other toy Miele S5 and Hoover Purepower this company sells. An early downside I found when handing this vacuum to a child for play use is that if the child exerts pressure on the handle, the suction tubes come off, which isn't of much use and when played with lightly and stored after use, the floor head promptly falls off! Though the Miele is glossy to the touch for the most part, there's too much hard plastic here that can damage general surfaces in the home, liable if the machine bounces off walls when pulled along.
To gain access into the battery compartment, you'll also need a small crosshead screw driver to get into the back of the machine to take the battery cover off and can be a downside for any child who wants to show and present the workings of the machine. Though it has a central park position at the back in which the vacuum cleaner can be shown parked when not in use, the whole assembly of the hose, tubes and floor head has to be taken off to get into the back of the battery compartment.
However, the biggest downside I found was removing the machine from the box! Most of this toy is held in the box by way of plastic tie wires that are easy enough to loosen and undo but TK have also added three plastic bolster lock grids that are bolted to the base of the box to hold the toy in place. They are too strong to successfully pull off the base of the toy with the result that two of the catches have fallen inside the Miele toy that now makes a rattling sound when pulled along. There are 8 screws on the base of the toy but are so far embedded with long travel channels, that it makes it impossible to take apart the vacuum to get the plastic notches out!
I suppose this toy does have some worth of being played without if it didn't have batteries, but then children wouldn't be able to see the surprise of the polystyrene balls dancing about as well as hear the slight grinding motor noise. This is where, effectively if children are taught about role playing, a little bonus to their eye would be the use of dancing dust through the plastic panel - but at a cost of £5 to £7 for three batteries every time to sustain the motor noise and dancing action, this Theo Klein model is hardly cost effective for purpose.
Other Sorts & Final Thoughts
Over the years Theo Klein have emphasised their company by making quite a few fake play toys based on lifestyle machinery from fake battery operated hand drills for boys and a plethora of miniature household appliances such as washing machines, irons, coffee makers and of course vacuum cleaners. Though clearly out to make business from lifestyle brands like Braun, Bosch and Miele in which several fake miniature toys from Theo Klein is available from, I can't help but feel that in the case of this toy in particular, there is more of a ploy here to make a fast buck than actually delivering a toy vacuum that could be far better developed and better made for all-round playing with.
Unbelievably for a German toy company like Theo Klein, the imitation fake toy Miele S2 vacuum cleaner hasn't been that well made for the purpose of playing with. From falling tubes to poor plastic quality and a desperate low turn of speed with expensive batteries that have to be installed, Theo Klein desperately need to look at this imitation toy again. All in all for the price it costs, and for all that it looks like the real thing, the plastic build and general use of this toy vacuum could be a bit better made, not just for the little owner but also for the home it will be operated in! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2013.