**The car and remote**
The car resembles the family car from the Peppa pig TV show perfectly. It was instantly recognisable to my little girl, and so she was very excited when she opened this toy. This was one of the first things she wanted to unpack and start playing with. Then when she noticed the remote control with the car she was even more excited. The remote is very simple. It is a fair size but not too heavy so that small hands find it uncomfortable to hold. The age range is specified as 18 months plus, and you can see it was designed for smaller hands. The buttons on the remote are large so very easy to press, and the simple pictures show what each button do. There is a button to send the car on a boost, and also to toot the horn which my little girl really enjoyed. They do work, but the boost is not overly impressive more like a spurt of acceleration. The horn is actually one of the best loved features by my little girl it is loud enough without being over the top.
For some reason in the car you receive a Mummy pig, Daddy pig, and Peppa but there is no sign of George. My little girl actually became really upset thinking they had left George at home and started searching her peppa pig house. I had to find a George pig from one of the other sets and rescue the situation. There is a moulded seat waiting for him, but we found it really weird he was not already in the car. Also Mummy, Daddy and peppa are all fixed inside the car. They are non removable which my daughter was a little upset about as it limited how she could play with the car. She could not put the characters in and out herself which she found very disappointing.
This is where the car really begins to disappoint. Both of my two eldest children were very excited to use this car. Within around half an hour of use the first time they were both very bored and moved on. Since then the car receives maximum ten minutes play so I am glad I did not pay the full retail for this toy. After our experience of this toy I would say that the age recommendation is way to low. It is a great idea for the simple turning technique, but teaming that with other buttons to press while controlling the car just made it far too difficult for my little girl who was six months over the recommended age range. The theme tune is the main sound provided with this toy other than the horn, and let me just say I am so glad there is a switch to turn this off. It is extremely annoying to hear the theme tune played over again and again and again so the mute button provided really did feel like a life saver. I know that children toys are often annoying for parents, but even my daughter got sick of it and it is usually her that hits mute! The concept seems very easy, there are two buttons on the steering wheel to go forward or backwards. Then as you would with a normal steering wheel you need to tilt it from left to right for it to move the corresponding direction. This was actually one of the things that drew me towards purchasing this for my daughter; she received it for her second birthday so I thought this simple system of steering would be fine for her.
The problem is even with the eight batteries you have to stand literally on top of the car for the steering to work. If you stand any further than maybe one step away then the radio signals just seem to cease to work. The annoying theme tune plays over and over again but the remote has absolutely no affect on the car at all. Trying to explain to a two year old to stay as close as possible to car was hopeless, and so she resorted to pushing it along by herself and forgetting the remote. Even when you are standing directly next to the car the steering is useless. You have to really turn the wheel completely round as far as possible for it to have any effect on the car at all. This combined with having to press the forward or back button at the same time means my little girl had no chance at being able to control it at two years old. My son was three at the time and although he was able to control it a little better he still found it extremely frustrating as the car moves so slowly and really only moves forward and back correctly. We have tried to use a number of different batteries including rechargeable, but it has no affect at all. Another downside is this toy takes a whopping 8 AA batteries. We always have a stash in the cupboard ready for birthdays and Christmas, but it is a huge amount needed for such a small car. The worst part is the batteries run down really quickly so after a month of very occasional use we found they needed replaced.
There is absolutely no way I could recommend this toy at all. We found this in B&M around Christmas time when they have a large stock of toys out, and as my daughter's birthday is in January we usually pick her presents at the same time. We only paid £9.99 for this which was too much, but I was shocked to see the usual retail is around £30. The theme tune is so annoying that even my children use the mute button, the steering is difficult although it is supposed to be made for little hands, and the amount of batteries it takes is ridiculous. My daughter does like to push it around as a push and go car, but you can purchase one designed for exactly that for a third of the price. There is no George pig provided, and even at two years old my little girl was very upset. My three year old son liked it a little more, but on the whole it received a short amount of play on very few occasions.