Product Type: Character Options Toy Car
Newest Review: ... for £11.99 I had to get it. It comes with George Pig and Danny Dog already in their silver spacesuits. The George toy is really tiny... more
Pigs Don't Fly
Character Options Peppa Pig Space Ship
Member Name: savvyshopper6476
Character Options Peppa Pig Space Ship
Date: 08/04/11, updated on 08/04/11 (82 review reads)
Advantages: Suitable for boys and girls, main body is of solid construction
Disadvantages: flimsy doors, will not retain a childs interest for long, sound far too high
Last year my two small children had an insatiable fascination with the televised Peppa Pig series and all things Peppa and so it made perfect sense, or so I thought, that for Christmas I would indulge them in a selection of Peppa related toys. I have to be honest I am always slightly skeptical of toys that are hastily manufactured off the back of a popular children's cartoon as I feel it's just a way to quickly cash in on the shows popularity. My main concern is their price. You inevitably pay a premium for the brand association, several pounds higher than the unbranded alternatives. None the less I made my purchase and for the purpose of this review I will refer to the Peppa Pig Space ship as a rocket because in my opinion that is what it actually is.
Suitable for ages three years and over at first glance the rocket seems to be a suitable mode of transportation for space exploring pigs everywhere and small children who wanted to join them on the voyage. The rocket appears to contain all the attributes a good children's toy should have. It's brightly coloured. Being yellow and red it's not gender bias so should appeal to boys or girls. It's big enough for children to hold safely and play with. The handle size is more than adequate for an adult to fully place their hand through let alone a child. Grooves help to provide a firm grip although they would be better placed on the inner side of the handle rather than the outer so I assume that they are really there to add interest to the design rather than serve a purpose. Most importantly the rocket would not be complete without the obligatory sound effects. Reasonably plausible effects of a rocket launching along with two main phrases from Peppa that include "Space ship Peppa (oink) ready for take off" and "Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Blast off" are a nice addition. Other phrases burst into life after the rocket has been turned on for several minutes and include "Go right little space ship", "Go left little space ship", "Go up little space ship" and "Go down and land little space ship" along with one sound effect of Peppa laughing and oinking. A good idea I think to help teach children direction and assist with movement, dexterity and co-ordination but that's the only educational benefits I can see.
The rocket requires three AA batteries, only needed to work the sounds as there are no other features. Electronics are activated by a small button at the bottom of the rocket that can be either pressed manually or will automatically sound once the rocket has been lifted from a stationary position. Without any doubt, the volume of the electronics is overbearing and excessively loud. Not quite loud enough to distort the sounds emitted, Peppa's voice is still audible but certainly loud enough to be an over powering distraction if you are in the same room and it's by far louder than any other toy I have ever purchased. Oddly there's no volume control. Your options are either on, off or mute, a pointless option that simply allows the rocket's sound effects to be played without Peppa's speech.
The rocket itself stands approximately 31cm high and measures 13cms across at it's widest point in the middle, 18cms if you include the handle. Weight is 600grams or there abouts. It at first feels perhaps too light but the internal electronics located in the base add a little weight which in turn assists the three feet in keeping it stable whilst in an upright position. The rocket seems about the right size and weight for a small child to easily hold and control movement when playing. Made entirely of plastic that feels thick and chunky, all edges are rounded with the top slightly domed rather than being pointed. The overall ergonomic shape of the external area is a definite benefit eliminating sharp areas and a lack of intricate detailing in the plastic (which is completely smooth) makes the rocket easy to clean. The main body is strong and solidly constructed. The legs and handle are firmly secured to the main body and are clearly going to require someone a lot stronger than a child to pull them off and break them.
The rocket has three compartments that run vertically up the middle of the main body each with a small door to allow access. Any attention to detail prior to this toys release were clearly exhausted with the external elements and construction as the interior looks basic. Nothing more than a few stickers to suggest the control panel and some fairly uninspiring plastic moldings of space suits lacking in detail. The upper two sections both have a small plastic red seat, each rotates 360 degrees. It's fiddly for a child to add Peppa figures to the seats and the belts are hard for them to seccure, a few tugs by my three year old son and one seat has popped from it's socket. The doors are also poorly secured, the middle being connected by a hinge that wobbles in its socket and the upper and lower doors, both of which open downwards were forever coming out. Not a particularly major problem, more an annoyance having to endlessly repeat the process of replacing as it's too tricky for youngsters to do.
The rocket comes complete with two small figures (George and Danny Dog) in "spacesuits", I use the term loosely as they are just standard figures painted grey. It would have been more appropriate for Peppa to be included considering it's her voice used for the sound effects and my children were quite disappointed that she wasn't. I assume that Peppa was intentionally excluded from the set to encourage further profits by parents purchasing extra figures and that may well have worked if the toy had been utilised more. In fact this rocket has had the opposite effect and achieved nothing other than to confirm my original suspicions that these toys are marketed purely to maximise profits and sod the interests of the children who want to play with them.
Remove the two included figures and there is nothing left to suggest that this rocket pertains to Peppa Pig in any way. I feel it's over priced for what it actually is and I just can't work out what age group it should really be marketed at. Too bulky for babies, not enough features to retain a toddlers attention and certainly too childish for three years and over. There's nothing included to stimulate a child's imagination or retain any real interest. Sounds are all well and good but some additional sentences or push button options and simple lights would have been a nice addition and for the money I really don't see why they were'nt included.
Considering this was a gift for Christmas neither of my children have bothered to pay it any attention and yet they are still fascinated by the cartoon series. I'm not the toy expert in our house that job goes to my children and woe betide any toy that does not pass their specifications and rigorous quality control. Their virdict is fairly obvious by the fact that the toy gets no use.
Would I recommend this toy? In a word, no. There are far better versions on the market that offer a greater selection of features for less money and in any case Peppa figures can be purchased individually and be used in conjunction with any other toy. Currently the rocket, which is manufactured by Character, established in 1991 and is available from Argos at £12.43 in their half price promotion (normal price £24.87) but prices fluctuate from store to store. Even at half price, I'm afraid I still could not whole heartedly recommend. I've awarded two stars really for the solid construction of the main body. My advice for anyone interested in purchasing is to simply abort mission.
Summary: Your paying a premium for the Peppa Pig brand but not for quality
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