Like a lot of young boys my three year old son is very interested in construction sites and machinery. He loves nothing more than to stop and watch the diggers and excavators whenever we pass by a building site. For this reason, at Christmas last year, I bought him a small selection of the JCB My 1st Talking range of toys.
As well as the usual diggers and tipper trucks, there is also a forklift truck within this range named Larry Loadall. In a previous job I was actually a forklift truck salesperson, the only woman in my team and although to begin with I knew very little about operating these machines, I very quickly became the most profitable sales person. I was therefore quite excited to buy him this little counterbalance truck and to explain its use and workings.
JCB have a section on their website dedicated to this range at www.jcbexplore.com/content/myfirstjcb/ Each character has a personality, voice and even accent of its own. JCB describe Larry to be:
"Larry is a very loyal and dependable construction machine with a very special set of skills. He's able to extend his arm to long reaches and carry heavy loads very high. Always chipper, Larry works particularly well with Joey and Joey regards Larry as his best friend."
Larry Loadall is just the right size for a toddler to push around, he fits neatly across the palm of my hand. His main body is orange and black, a recognisable colour for JCB products.
There do not appear to be any loose parts on this toy, unfortunately on others in the range I have noticed that where parts are joined on they tend to be a little rickety.
Larry has a mast to one side which lifts up and extends out a little. When pushing this back down however it is a little stiff. The forks at the end of the mast are on a hinge and rotate round. Unfortunately this really hinders any efforts to lift anything with the forks as they simply drop down.
At the top of his cab Larry has a red flashing beacon and a button which activates five phrases. Larry says:
"I can lift the highest"
"I'm Larry Loadall"
"Let's have some fun"
"No job is too big"
"I'm here to help"
Larry also laughs and emits engine sounds. When pushed along his wheels make a clicking sound.
At the bottom of the toy there is a small switch to turn it off and a battery compartment. The toy takes two AAA batteries which are included.
Larry Loadall is available from Amazon at £9.99 with free delivery. The recommended age for this toy is 12 months plus.
My son adores this toy, as well as other character that he has from this range. He groups them together on the rug to make his own construction site. They are therefore a wonderful toy to encourage role play as well as the educational benefits when explaining how and where they are used.
In summary this is a lovely addition to the My First JCB range. There is just one minor fault which could be improved and that would be to make the forks rigid rather than rotating!