* Prices may differ from that shown
~Friction Benny~ Benny is an excavator vehicle from popular childrens programme, Bob the Builder. As with the other characters, he is available in toy format. There are two friction powered Benny toys available. One is battery operated and features spoken phrases whilst the other is simply a regular vehicle toy. I will be reviewing the speaking version which comes supplied with batteries (I do not believe these can be replaced when they run out). This toy is suitable for children over the age of 3 yrs. Benny is presented in an open front, cardboard box and other than being removed from the ties that bind him to the box, he requires no assembly and is good to go. Benny measures approximately 20 x 8 x 8.5cm. ~Price and Availability~ If you want the non speaking Benny, you can expect to pay a few pounds. The talking Benny comes in around the £15.00 mark. Stockists include Amazon and eBay UK. ~Our Thoughts~ We have a huge collection of Bob the Builder toys in our home and our 4 yr old son simply adores playing with both the play sets and the vehicle characters. Back in May, we were at the local theme park when we noticed that there was a stall selling Bob the Builder toys. I didn't recognise a few so knew my son didn't already have them - I bought them all (Benny, Gripper and Grabber) to complete his collection! We paid £5.00 for our talking version which is a lot cheaper than the current price it is selling for. I do believe Benny isn't as Bob regular like Scoop and Muck are. That being said, my son knew who he was right away as he has seen him on his dvds before. Benny is a fairly large toy and made from durable plastic. He looks exactly as he does on the programme - magneta in colour with googly eyes and a cheesy smile! Aside from the comical face, he looks exactly as an excavator would in real life. He is well made but I can understand the 3yr age limit as there are potential dangers with parts which may come off if pulled enough. Benny features two moveable arms - one at the back with a scoop and one at the front with a grabbing device. Each part moves and looks and sounds fairly realistic. Benny is friction powered. The huge wheels at either end of Benny do not move and Benny is moved courtesy of hidden wheels at the bottom of the toy. Benny is quite loud and a small microphone gives the impression he is speaking through it rather than a random voice out of nowhere. He offers a few select phrases from the show including 'unreal banana peel' and 'hello Farmer Pickles' to name a few - the voice is realistc but drives me crazy! My son, being 4, has an amazing imagination. Benny is mainly used on his building site and fits on the Bob track perfectly well. He is quite weighty compared to other Bob toys so doesn't seem to speed along the floor 'friction style' as well as other Bob toys do. Boo finds Benny interesting as he has two different purposes (scooping and grabbing) so there is a bit of variation when it comes to using him. Benny serves his purpose of helping in the building yard and has withstood forceful play from two boys. Benny is well played with in our home and is a credit to Bob and Boos building team. ~Conclusion~ Overall Benny is well appreciated in our home. He is quite big when both arms are extended and is fantastic for imaginative play. There is a limit to what Benny can do, as with most toys but for now, Boo is happy to zoom him around his building yard and transport the odd cement brick. I wouldn't pay full price for him though as he is basic - even with the sounds! Thanks for reading :)
I bought my son the Bob the Builder Friction Benny for the Christmas just gone. He has played with it often and it's still going strong The packaging and cost and availability sections of this review are the same as I have written in my review on Scoop Friction Toy as I bought them in a set and so the information concerning packaging etc is identical. The Packaging This came in a multi pack set containing five wheeled characters and Bob the Builder dressed as DelBoy Trotter. It also contained several cones and other small building related things. The box was very big and open fronted, to display the toys well they were spaced out. All the toys were fastened onto a cardboard sheet at the back of the box with twisted wires. There was a little information on the back of the box but most of it was covered in bright colourful pictures of Bob the Builder and other characters. Cost and Availability The price of the multi pack was approximately £25, which worked out at £5 per wheeled character if you consider the Bob the Builder figure to be free, a lot cheaper than the £6 normally charged per truck. I got mine from Toys R Us although they are available from all good toy suppliers. The Product Benny is about 12 inches long scoop to scoop. He is made out of a plum coloured and black plastic. He has the goggly eyes that you can buy in craft shops, where the pupils move when you shake them. The front arm lifts up and down with the clawed scoop at the end lifting up and down and rotating around as well. The claw opens and closes easily. The rear arm turns from side to side as well as lifting up and down, the "elbow" also bends to just over 270degrees. The scoop on the end of the rear arm lifts up and down. The caterpillar tracks on Benny don't move unfortunately but there are wheels underneath the toy with a pull back and release mechanism which makes the truck travel across the room, about four foot, before stopping. I don't know this character from the TV series as we don't watch it very often, my son, however, knows all the characters names. This has proved to be very good. It's much better than the scoop in the set. It has stood up to everything thrown at it and everything that it's been thrown at. My son plays with this set often. When he opened it his face lit up and he insisted on playing with it immediately, well as immediately as my husband could release it from those dratted little wire ties. He can play with these for at least an hour before he gets bored. He did ask when he first got them why the caterpillar tracks didn't work and it bothered him for a while, until he saw it going after being pulled back, he got over it then. One of the most annoying things about this set of toys, for me anyway, is the fact that Bob doesn't actually fit into any of the vehicles, including Benny. This doesn't bother my son, it must seem natural to him as he doesn't on the TV show. Benny has proved durable and will, hopefully, last through to my third son. Conclusion I am really happy with this toy and would recommend buying it especially if your child is a Bob the Builder fan. My younger son, who is 16 months, also loves playing with these. Cost per use: about 3p.
The background information at the start can also be found in my review of Sumsy. Everything else has been changed. ***Background*** Bob the Builder has been on our screens for many years now and he has delighted children with his adventures. He can be regularly seen on Cbeebies and there are lots of DVD's and Videos available too. As with most of these children's programs nowadays, there are also lots of toys to go with the show and my son loves anything to do with Bob so he was lucky enough to get some from Santa this past Christmas. All the toys he got were friction powered and I suppose there is only so much you can say about this so I've decided to try to entertain you with some information about the character too. ***Who Is Benny*** Like Sumsy, I was not really aware of Benny, as he is a slightly newer character too. In researching him, I found out that he is a Robo Digger. He is smaller than his idol, Scoop and he loves nothing more than to whiz about the site, getting jobs done for Bob. He likes spinning around and calls himself Speedy Benny, as he learns new things. His catchphrase in the show is Unreal Banana Peel, which is aimed at Scoop who he calls the Big Banana. He is one of the new characters at Project Build It in Sunflower Valley and can be seen in a DVD called Super Speedy Benny. ***The Toy*** Benny is another of the friction set of toys made to accompany the series. He is made of tough plastic and is dark magenta in colour on his body and two arms, and black on his diggers, cab and his caterpillar wheels. At the front he has 2 white eyes with black circles inside that move when he is picked up or pushed. He also has a black and white grille which doubles as his mouth. The digger arm at the front can be moved up and down and it makes a clicking noise as you do this. The scoop and claw bit opens and closes and you can position it in various ways, going either up and down or round in circles. The back digger arm has 4 adjustable sections to it, making it very flexible. You can turn the whole section left and right, up and down and then position the digger part separately to get it just where it's needed. Although there is a caterpillar track on Benny, this doesn't actually move and when you turn him upside down you can see he has four wheels that move along the floor as you push him. ***The Friction Test*** As with Sumsy, I decided to try this baby out on both laminate and carpeted areas in my house. On laminate Benny goes right from one end of my dining room, right through to my kitchen with an easy push. This is approximately 13 feet long. On carpet, the results aren't quite as good. Benny isn't as fast as Sumsy and only goes about 8 feet with a film push. The other thing with Benny is that he tends to veer off to the right. I put this down to his designs this is the side he is heaviest on, with his front arm. This by no way spoils the fun but it isn't on that's good for racing with the others. ***My Thoughts*** My son seems to have really taken a shine to a lot of the newer characters from the Bob series and has really played with his new toys a lot since getting them at Christmas. His favourite character seems to be Scoop, so the fact that this one is a close friend onscreen, makes for lots of imaginative conversations between them in our living room. That's the beauty of these toys, that don't light up, talk or make other funny noises - children can really make up their own stories with them or re-play scenarios that they have watched on television or DVD. I'm sure that when the summer comes along and the sandpit comes out, that this toy will be well used outside to make a little building site and along with Scoop, will dig and shift lots of sand from one end to the other. Another good thing about this one is that it doesn't have stickers on it, so it's easy to run it under the tap to get all the dirt off for indoor play again. As with Sumsy, I would say that you would have to be careful with the arm sections as they could be broken off if played with too roughly. Luckily my son is quite careful with the little sections so at nearly 5 this toy is perfect for helping his imagination grow. As a one off this toy is great as a one off but is much more fun along side other characters from the series so it might be a good idea to do as we did and get a few family members together to start with and buy a few of the main ones to go with this one. ***Other Friction Bob Toys*** Scoop Lofty Sumsy Scrambler Travis Roley Trix Muck Zoome r ***Price & Availability*** My mum bought this one alongside Sumsy at Tesco for around the £6 mark. It is available from Amazon for £4.49 and is available with free postage for purchases over £15.