“ Brand: Fisher Price / Type: Fire station playset with a fire truck and figures „
My children first became obsessed with this fire station set round about Christmas 2009 when my nephew received it as a present. Every visit we made, both boys would head to this and then be sat there for a good hour or two with very little fighting over it. My mum got it into her head that it would make a great present for my 2 year old son Sam, and she also bought the imaginext rocket set for my 4 year old son.
The Imaginext range is by Fisher Price. It is instantly recognisable to me because each set has some place on it where you can stand the characters and they have a little round area with 2 feet inprints. In this set, there is a piece attached to the firemans pole so that you can stand the figure on it and it will spin round the pole to the floor by itself. There is also a piece on the fire engine, when you stand the firefighter on it, the ladder turns round.
Other sets in the range are the toy story garbage dump set, a rocket, a pirate ship, a batcave and a castle. All the sets contain all the pieces needed to have a really fun imaginative game, which is why it holds the kids attention for quite so long.
The firefighter set it aimed at children aged 3-8. Younger children like my son can play with it, but you just have to be more careful as the pieces have some small parts that could cause choking if your child is inclined to put stuff in their mouth. (Thank goodness we are past that stage.)
This set is extremely well made. Although the plastic does not seem that thick in certain areas, the pieces are all robust and easy to play with without breaking. By this i mean you can open doors and windows and they don't fall off. The pole has a little bit of flex if you are rough, so it bends a little but not enough to snap or lose its shape. The fisher price brand can be trusted to make well thought out and safe toys.
The fire station itself is quite tall, and it is on a hinge so it opens out. One section is inside the station and there is an upstairs section which is a room where you can place the computer and the bunkbeds so the firefighters go up there till there is a fire. They can the slide down the pole, and go get in the engine and drive through the doors.
The other half is steps and a tower so the firefighters can practice their techniques. My kids love this bit as it is like the tower at the firestation in our town and we have visited there every year to see the engine and the station on their open day. The set is therefore very realistic to their experiences.
You get 3 firefighters, and each also has a mask and vest that can be put on or removed. This bit is quite stiff to do, so my 2 year old needs help to get the mask back off again, but that is what Mummys are for. Right? The set also comes with a net to catch people jumping out of a window, an axe, a walkie talkie and some jaws of life for cutting into crashed cars. The set is completed with a water cannon and a hook for the roof and a flag. The water cannon is a bit pathetic. It is really hard to get it to fire out the water at all. (This is a bit of plastic that shoots out like a gun.) My kids can't do it at all, and i can't manage it every time, so we don't tend to use this feature at all.
On top of all this, i think it is excellent that it then comes with a fire engine too. And it is not a pathetic one that does not a lot. The crane and platform go up and down and swing to the side. There are stabilising arms on each side to stop it toppling over. The figures can fit in the cab, and it also at the touch of a button lights up flashing 6 red lights and making a siren noise. (No volume control, but you can't win them all.) The doors at the back and side open so you can store your tools in it too. Then there is a hose that pulls out the side and can be wound back up.
I can really see why this one captures the interests of my two completely. It has not been played with quite so much since they had their own one here, as they were just bombarded with so many presents from very generous friends and relatives. However, this is one that will be come back to time and time again.
This is perfect for role play as there are so many features to it and it is so realistic to real life. I highly recommend this set. My only complaint is it would be better if the set had a solid back so all the accessories could be stored safely in there, but that is just me being a bit picky.
The imaginext sets are quite pricey, but i for one think it is justified, particularly with this set as fire stations and engines will never go out of favour with small boys in particular.