“ Manufacturer: ELC / Type: Buses „
My youngest daughter (15 months) has had this for a few months now, it was an unexpected gift received sometime last year. It's not one of her favourite toys but when she sees it she does play with it and enjoys it.
This is the Woodland Wonders Acorn School Bus, and it's a fancy pink bus with a driver and 4 Woodland creatures. It's from the ELC's Woodland Wonders range, which I think must be a new range in their store because I have never seen it before.
The bus itself is pretty sturdy and well made (survives my daughter bashing it around on our laminate floor). It has an open top and the back door also opens, so your child can choose whether to insert the creatures from above, or through the door. There are 6 specially moulded seats in the back for the little creatures, and the driver has his own special space up front, with seat belt included!
There are windows down both sides of the bus, and also in the front. These windows are large enough for the creatures to fall out of, but not quite large enough for baby/child hands to remove the creatures through, and this has caused some distress.
The driver seat when pushed down also activates a pleasant little tune, and a beep of the horn, which also indicates that this toy needs batteries (2xAA - not supplied).
The driver and the woodland creatures you get with this bus are quite basic and to be honest when I realised this was made by ELC I was quite shocked and wouldn't have expected something like this to come from there. The driver is the largest of the creatures and he wears a blue jacket and his hat comes off, which interested my daughter quite a lot, but the problem is that his hat never stays on, and has either been lost in the depths of our toy box, or sucked into the magical black hole that resides in our living room, especially designed for small items. It's also quite difficult to get the driver to stay sat in his seat because the seat belt actually gets in the way!
The 4 woodland creatures are plastic and very small; I would say not much more that 2cm in height. To me they don't seem like they were actually designed to go with this bus, the seat moulds in the back of the bus seem to be a lot larger than the animals they were intended for, and so therefore the animals don't tend to stay put in the bus while it is being pushed around by a child. And like the drivers hat, a couple of these animals have also magically disappeared.
I have the bus sat next to me at the moment, and inside the bus is a squirrel and a rabbit (came with the bus), and also a ladybird, a cat, a chipmunk and a beaver (not supplied with the bus but something my daughter has chosen to take for a ride since the other occupants have vanished). The driver is also missing, probably gone looking for his hat.
I have to say, the bus is lovely, it comes in 2 shades of pink with lilac and pale yellow trim. It feels like it will stay together despite poundings from various children, and the wheels turn freely allowing easy passage across thick pile carpet, and very easy passage across laminate flooring. But I am disappointed with the creatures supplied. They just seem really small and just not good enough.
But as I have said above, the bus can be used to transport whatever little things your child chooses, it holds quite a lot!
Judging by the ELC website, there are many toys in this range, but on the basis of this bus, I will not be adding any more from this range to my daughter's toy collection. First of all because I am not that impressed by the creatures. And second of all I think they are way overpriced.
Available for £20 from ELC.
Recommended age 3+.