Product Type: Nikko Toy Car
Newest Review: ... that Wow pride themselves on making durable toys that don't break, don't use toxic materials and don't use small parts in their toys. This... more
Oscar Charlie Alpha. Am in hot pursuit of this toy. Over
Nikko Wow Police Chase Charlie Car
Member Name: historywitch
Nikko Wow Police Chase Charlie Car
Advantages: Lots of play value for younger children, cheap, no batteries, sturdy
Disadvantages: Motor hard to figure out, doesn't like being driven backwards.
Now that my little boy has reached twelve months he is much more mobile and is showing a lot of interest in pushing along cars and we have passed on all of his sister's car toys. However there is always room for one more car and he received this car as one of his first birthday presents.
It comes in an open fronted cardboard box with the car and the two figures nicely displayed inside against a bright cardboard backdrop. Sadly this is one of those toys that really make you work to get them out, usually with a desperate child whinging and trying to help you, whilst only really getting in the way. The car is fixed into the cardboard inner with a large piece of black plastic and two of those infernal wires to secure it all in place. The two figures are fixed with another wire each and it took me more than ten minutes to release the set from its box, fingers and ears sore from the wires and the whinging.
The police car feels very solid and is a bit heavier than I was expecting. Made of solid moulded plastic it is brightly coloured and has no sharp edges, its very safe for young children to play with. It doesn't seem like it would break easily, the only weak spot would possibly be the flip up roof which does feel slightly weaker than the main body of the car. The wheels are fixed into the body of the car so that the axles are completely hidden by the base and there the space between the wheel arches and the wheels are too small to allow a little finger to get trapped. At the back of the car is a magnetic hook which is compatible with the rest of the Wow range of toys, which is extensive and includes a combine harvester, ambulance and recycling truck. The flip up lid has a space on the top for the dog to travel and two further people sized spaces on the inside. The only other thing in the inside is a sticker showing the steering wheel and a few pieces of essential police equipment such as a radio and notebook. The flip up lid is worked by a small yellow button on the side of the car shaped like a fuel cap that is not immediately obvious on first viewing the car. The box claims that the policeman figure can be used to depress the button as well as a finger. The two figures are smaller and lighter than I was expecting and the dog is almost the same size as the policeman. I have no doubt that it won't be long before they are separated from the set, but they are not essential to having fun with this toy. One of the big pluses for this toy is that is doesn't need any batteries, at all, ever (wooohoo!); instead it has a friction powered motor inside which does the hard work for you.
Wow toys class this as a toy for children aged between 18 months and 5 years old. They claim that it will help younger children with their motor skills and sensory stimulation and older children with learning, social interaction, role play and imagination.
My son was very taken with this from the very first time he saw it and is in fact pushing it around my feet as I type this review. At about twenty-five centimetres long and twenty (ish) high it is slightly bigger than the car toys he usually pushes around, but he doesn't seem to mind. It took him a while to work the button to flip up the roof and he needed some guidance but now can do it by himself, to his evident pleasure. He loves putting the figure into the car and taking it out again, but it is quite difficult to shut the roof when both the policeman and the dog are in the car, causing frustration after a while. Obviously the dog is just not supposed to be travelling in the car! The dog travels quite happily on the roof now, as long as there aren't too many bumps on the road - I think its only a matter of time though before it ends up underneath a piece of furniture after a high speed crash. The policeman has turned out to be quite inefficient at opening the roof with the button, as the button is set too high for him to stand on the ground and do it. In addition his hand and the button are quite smooth and with the force required to push the button it isn't a very easy process to accomplish. We have given up and only use a finger now. The two figures that come with the car are small enough to slide underneath all sorts of things and I think its pure luck that they haven't become permanently separated yet, its definitely going to happen though given enough time.
The motor is very strange and we struggled for a while to work out exactly what you have to do. It isn't a pull back motor but instead you have to push the car forcefully, or 'rev' the car by pushing it forward a short distance, lifting it and repeating the action before letting go. The instructions on the box aren't very clear and for those who are too tired or drunk or [insert excuse here] it can be a bit hard to work it all out. My little boy hasn't got the hang of it yet and is happy just driving it himself, although it makes an alarming clicking noise when he is driving it backwards by accident. I don't know if this is damaging the workings inside but we have noticed a decline in speed since he has been doing this and it has started to click a little when it is driven forwards as well.
When working properly it does go satisfyingly fast and far, building up speed as it goes along, especially on our laminate floors. It can also tackle small bumps such as the little pieces of wood between rooms and so far has managed to stay upright despite repeated high speed ricochets of furniture! The one disappointment that we have is that it doesn't have any lights or sounds to it. It is supposed to have a 'realistic engine noise' which may be the whirr of the motor as it runs, but we remain unconvinced - perhaps the noise it makes running over the laminate floor is drowning it out.
This is a nice toy with lots of features for the price. It is chunky, sturdy and well made and would definitely appeal to children from the 1-3 year age bracket, especially with the passengers and the flip up roof. The lack of batteries is a major plus point for me, but the motor would take some children a while to work out as it isn't very intuitive. The potential damage and the clicking noise caused when the car is driven backwards is a concern and we were sad to see that there are no noises or lights with this car. Overall I think that this is a four star toy and we are definitely eyeing up the rest of the range, especially the ambulance and the combine harvester.
Amazon have this toy at £10.99 and I know my parents-in-law paid £12.99 from a local shop as they left the price sticker on the box!
Amazon also stock a large range of the other Wow toys and we shall definitely be getting some more of these for Christmas.
Summary: Ideal gift for a toddler.
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