My sons are huge cars two fans, and as my eldest son turned four a few days before the movie was released in the UK. This means a huge range of toys were just released, and one of the items we purchased for him was this Siddeley spy Jet from the second movie. Although this character does not have a huge part in the film he was instantly recognisable to my son, and apparently he The coolest Jet around. On first appearances the Jet looks very impressive. It is the exact copy of the Jet from the second movie so my son knew who it was instantly. There are a number of different features that pulled us in including firing missiles, storage for three cars, a hook that can be winded in lifting the cars into the back of the jet and it was a great size. The Jet is nice and large, but still easy enough to be held for long periods of time as it is very light. The wheels at the bottom of the jet roll across the floor nicely and there are a number of different entrances to the main body of the Jet to let the cars in and out. The Jet does require some assembly by clicking the wings in to place. The main body of the jet is one large piece, and it only took a few seconds to do but we soon found it was a big downfall having separate wings.
My son was very excited to open his toy once unwrapped. He was very impressed, and this was actually one of the toys he chose to unpack first. He loved all the movable parts, and spent ages playing nicely with the toy. He did become frustrated when the wings fell off, but he was able to click them into place so it was not a huge problem. He did enjoy playing with this set as the many different features kept him happy. He loved some parts more than others, but overall it has been a big hit and that is the only reason I did not return it.
On the bottom of the wings are two missile firers. By loading the missiles by gently clicking them in to place, and then pressing the button above the launcher the missiles shoot off into the air. The button is extremely easy to press, and the slightest touch sends it shooting out. This was one of the most loved parts of the set for my little boy, but the problem is once the wing unclips itself it is unusable as the missile firer is built in to the wing itself. Although the wings can be clicked in to place it comes off with the slightest knock, and of course spy fighter Jets always find trouble which means rough play. Also the missiles them self are tiny so they do become lost very easily. You can store them in the firing bays but as the buttons is very sensitive even the slightest knock means they fall in to the toy box so you have to search for them before playing. They do fly through the air travelling some distance, but are not dangerous to the child.
My son was not too interested in this part of the set. Three standard size cars can be stored insdie the Jet, and as the doors all click shut they can be fully contained and carried around inside. The cars do not fasten in so there is a huge rattling noise while they are inside. I was really surprised that my son was not interested in storing the cars in side, as normally he loves any storage related toy. I believe there is just too much to do with this plane so this part of the set gets lost in the background. It is a fun concept, and I am sure other children would love it. The cars are very easy to get in and out, by using both the ramp they can be loaded underneath the plane, but there is also a compartment that opens up on top of the Jet so my son used to pretend they were parachuting in. The bottom door acts as a ramp so the vehicles can freely wheel inside, and we find it does work very well. Of course the hook has to be manually put on the cars but this is all part of the fun, and they can just be pushed inside rather than having to use the crank.
Inside of the Jet is a long string with a hook on it. At first we thought it needed to be manually pushed inside, but after reading the instructions we found on one of the wings was a small wheel that could be turned to pull it back inside the Jet. As it has a hook on the end of it you can attach it to the cars, and then pull them in to the back of the Jet while it is moving. In the movie Siddeley saves the day by pulling Finn Mcmissle and Mater inside while the bad guys are chasing them, so my son thought this was absolutely fantastic. It can be used while the plane is 'flying' around, or while the Jet is stationary so it is completely up to the child. The wheel is very easy to turn, and this truly is his most loved part of the Jet. The problem is the string came off after a few months of play, and we could find no way to reattach it. This did upset my son as this was his favourite part, and so the Jet received a considerable less amount of time being played with.
The durability of this toy is a huge let down. Within the first day of use we found that the wings began to fall off. The wings just click into place which means with even the slightest bang they come apart within seconds. Next, after a few months of use we found the hook that pulled the vehicles into the back of the Jet had broken off meaning my son was not able to recreate his favourite scene from the movie anymore. This was one of my son's very favourite parts of the Jet so he was disappointed. As only a few weeks had past when the problems began, I was going to return the toy not fit for use, but my son begged me not too. He was happy with it other than that so he decided to keep it anyway. Now two years down the line there are a number of pieces missing from the Jet, one whole wing has snapped off lost at the bottom of the toy box, the top compartment of the Jet has also gone missing, and the missiles were lost after just a few weeks.
This toy now looks like it has been on a full on crash, and although my son enjoys it and still plays with it there is no way I could recommend it due to its poor durability. There are a number of things which make this appealing to children, and it was well loved in the time he was able to play with it. The thing is this toy is a prime example of a character toy that is priced way too highly, and is lacking in the quality you would expect from a toy being used by a young child. This Jet retailed at around £30 when the movie was first released, which is unfortunately what we paid for it. You can find it now for around £20, but in all honestly I would not even pay that as it is so poorly made. There are much better toys available from the cars two range, and out of all the ones we own (which is most of them) this is the biggest disappointment. It is recommended from three years plus, and with all the fiddly parts I would suggest sticking to this age range.