Product Type: Born to Play Toy Car
Newest Review: ... where there would be headlights, and lofty has a cute light blue coloured smile located where the bumpers would be. It is designed for 3 ... more
Do We Want It? Err, well, I Think So
Born To Play Bob The Builder Friction Lofty
Member Name: belfin
Born To Play Bob The Builder Friction Lofty
Advantages: Great original character from the series
Disadvantages: Crane can be a bit stiff to start with
A lot of the Bob toys aren't that well known to the everyday person but Lofty is one of the original characters from the Bob the Builder series on television. He's also the famous one for saying, when asked if he can fix it, 'Err well, I think so!' Lofty is well named because he is a tall mobile crane who uses different attachments to carry out big jobs such as demolition and lifting metal objects.
His character is a little bit unsure of himself and he is scared of a lot of things, including heights, loud bangs and Spud the Scarecrow. He tends to twitch a bit when he's nervous and stammers from time to time but the rest of the crew give him a lot of encouragement and with their help he always gets the job done.
Bob the Builder is popular with young children everywhere and his building exploits are an everyday event so Cbeebies where we have seen him start to get all environmentally friendly and help the residents of Bobsville make a better life in Sunflower Valley. Recent adventures have also taken him to the Wild West.
Lofty is blue in colour and has 6 big black wheels. The middle two of these are the friction ones and they make a noise as they turn. Lofty has two fixed eyes at the front and a big smile while the grille should be.
He has a central hinge, which makes it easy for him to turn and pivot and of course no crane would be complete without a large hook section. Lofty stands around 4" tall and 8" long but his extendable crane can be stretched up to a further 10" and can fully turn round on it's movable base.
The toy can then use the hook to pick up a variety of other toys that your child might have and can even tow other vehicles too.
I love friction toys because they don't need any batteries to make them work and on the whole this series of toys zoom along pretty quickly on either laminate or on carpeted surfaces. The laminate can be a bit noisy but so I tend to prefer to let my son play with these on the carpet.
Normally I'm on my own when I'm writing a review but today I have my son to help me out when taking this friction test. First of all he is going to see how far he can get Lofty to go in my kitchen/dining area and this is on a laminate surface. We had a few attempts because the first time my son didn't press him down hard enough for the friction to kick in and Lofty went whizzing across the floor a bit quickly and crashed into the side of the units. The second attempt was much better though and Lofty went a good 14 feet. The only problem was that he tends to swerve to the side a little bit because of the pivoting section in the middle of him.
On carpet the story was similar with him veering to the side a bit and again he went at least 14 feet across the floor. I think it was actually easier to control Lofty on the carpet than the laminate but my son and I had fun trying this out.
I have to admit that my son is a little bit addicted to these toys but they are reasonably priced to buy and have so much play in them that they are definitely worth the money. Lofty was one of the first toys that my son got when he was only 3 and he has continued to be one of the favourites despite getting many of the others on the list below. Luckily all the family know about his love of these toys so various members get him different ones at Christmas and Birthday time.
Lofty is a bit of a favourite character of mine too because he isn't that confident but with the help and support of other characters he always gets there in the end, despite being very unsure of his actions. I think this is a good thing to show young children who are a little bit wary of trying out new things. It shows that with confidence and encouragement they can take on the world.
There is one thing about this toy that isn't quite so good though and that is that the extendable crane can be a little bit awkward and stiff to start with and is quite difficult for a younger child to pull out. The can lead to frustration and of course it might end up getting broken if you aren't careful. Luckily we've managed to slacken it off over time and it works perfectly now but we did have a few incidents where we thought my son was going to end up breaking it off, as he pulled it off centre.
On the whole though this is a great toy for any fan of the show. Most boys seem to love playing with this type of toy and my son has had many hours of play with this one in particular. It has been used out in his sand pit too and is easily washed free of sand and dried out in the sunshine. He can often be heard copying the voices from the show and making them all talk to one another.
Despite the constant playing by my son and his friends, this toy doesn't really seem to have any big scratches or dents and this is quite perplexing because it has bashed against a variety of different pieces of furniture in the time we've had it.
***Other Friction Toys***
Scoop, Muck, Benny, Sumsy, Scrambler, Travis, Roley, Trix, Tumbler, Zoomer, Skip, Packer, Dodger, Flex, Rvee, Bristle
Dizzy has a different type of mechanism and is available as a pull back toy.
***Price & Availability***
Lofty is available in all good toy stores. This one came as part of a set of toys a while ago from Woolworths, with some of the other characters but you can buy him on his own for £5.93 from Amazon.
Summary: We love Lofty
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