* Prices may differ from that shown
Recently our grandson needed something to take to a birthday party as a present and we had a look in Tesco while we were doing our weekly shop. It was me and the daughter on duty this week so fortunately there was someone on hand who had a vague idea of what kids these days are into! We looked at these Bob The Builder vehicles because the series is extremely popular with 2 to 6 year olds and the vehicles were mostly on half price in our local Tesco too. Normally this would be around £10 but it was less than £5 in the sale which we thought was a bargain and a really nice birthday present for a four year old too. We had a look at it before we decided on it and noted that it was a good solid construction which is always important when looking at boy's toys. We also found that the friction wheels worked fine (within the restrictions of the box) and that the bit that hooks up the truck bit is pretty secure too. I asked the grandson how it went down when he got back from the party and he said it was one of the birthday boy's favourites. He said he wanted one actually! What he doesn't know is that we bought a few more in the sale and have hid them away for christmas lol. I think this is a lovely big sturdy truck that's well suited to 3 to 5 year olds. If you can find this on offer in your local Tesco then it's well worth the £4.47 price tag we paid.
***Background*** Some of you might be wondering about the title so let me explain. When my son was being asked what he would like for Christmas, he replied that he would love to get Packer from Bob. Unfortunately the person he was telling had no idea what he was saying and thought he said, Pack O' Rum, Bob. This caused much hilarity and kinda stuck. My son was not given any alcohol for Christmas, lol, but did receive this truck. Packer is another slightly newer character in the Bob the Builder series. This series is of course extremely popular amongst youngsters everywhere and can be regularly seen on the BBC Channels, especially Cbeebies. Of course there is also a lot of merchandising out there to do with Bob, in the form of DVDs, games, clothes and of course friction toys. ***The Toy*** Packer is an American style truck, red in colour with shiny silver, go faster stripes along the side of it. At around 10 inches long, it's quite a bit bigger than the majority of these friction vehicles. It separates into two sections, the cab at the front and the trailer section at the back. The cab can be used on it's own, as a friction vehicle because it's the front two wheels that have this facility. The other wheels are just normal turnarounds. The cab also has a face on the front, as with all the Bob toys and has eyes that move around and a cheesy crooked smile made from the grille. The trailer section only has two wheels but when it is detached it has a lever underneath that pulls forward and enables it to stand firm. There are two doors at the back of the trailer. The grey one lifts up and then slides inside the truck and the smaller red section at the bottom drops down to a 90-degree angle. There is quite a bit of room in the back of the trailer for storing pallets, bricks or even people, should your child want to do that. It is made from a pretty sturdy plastic material and seems to withstand bumping into furniture quite well when it is pushed along. The cab and trailer pivot to help turn corners too. ***The Friction Test*** As with all these toys I feel that they should be tested out to see how well the friction part works and this gives me the chance to play too. I like to test them on laminate and carpet and have quite a long area in my kitchen/dining room and my living room to do this to the best of my abilities. I had planned to test this toy with and without the trailer but on my first attempt on both laminate and carpet I found that even with the trailer these go the full length of both rooms. Even on the carpet 18 feet with a gentle push was easy. I'm really impressed with the way this one moves and the sound it makes is a real zooming noise too. ***My Thoughts*** This was one of the three Bob toys that my son asked Santa for this year and luckily he got what he was after. He is five now but has been gradually building up his collection of Bob toys for a couple of years, after being fascinated with the television series. All boys seem to love playing with cars and trucks and some girls do too of course. My son is no exception and prefers these to a lot of the battery powered novelty vehicles that are on the market today. I'm pleased by this, not only because it's a nightmare trying to keep a good stock of batteries on the go, but also because this type of toy really encourages a child to use imagination whilst playing. My son loves to make all the voices for the various vehicles and has some of the figures too who can tell the trucks where to go and what they have to do. From building houses to sheds, my son has this set of toys working constantly and they work in very well with some of his other toys too, such as his farmyard and zoo. He also loves to play with this alongside his Lego and will carry the bricks in the back of Packer to take to another area of the living room before building something. Again imagination is being used constantly here and it's great to see him being able to amuse himself alone or sharing with friends. The prices aren't too bad either for these toys and they are certainly sturdy enough because my son isn't exactly the most gentle at times. They are great in the summer for using with his sand pit too and easy to clean up afterwards. I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before more characters are added and he is bound to be interested in getting them too. I can see him getting a good few years out of these yet before he becomes interested in playing with other types of toys. ***Other Friction Bob Toys*** Scoop Lofty Benny Sumsy Scrambler Travis Roley Trix Muck Zoomer Skip Tumbler Dodger Flex Bristle RV In some stores Dizzy is advertised as being friction too but I haven't managed to find a friction one as yet. Our Dizzy just runs around on normal wheels. ***Prices & Availability*** These toys are available in all good toyshops including Woolworths, Toys R Us and even online on Amazon. It is also available in Tesco store for only £6.99.