Newest Review: ... the boat but ours has never lit up so I suspect this is yet another aspect of the toy that doesn't work properly. The Flyboat is designed ... more
Rubbish, Rubbish, Rubbisher!
Wonder Pets Flyboat
Member Name: chrisandmark
Wonder Pets Flyboat
Advantages: The boat itself (ie. the red bit) is solidly constructed
Disadvantages: Oh god, just read the review - this Flyboat is one big disadvantage!
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to win a Nick Jnr bumper pack, which was basically a couple of hundred pounds worth of character merchandise - it arrived in November so the majority of it I wrapped up for my (then) three year old, cutting down massively on the cost of Christmas that year. One item in the pack was this Flyboat from the Wonder Pets series, Hollie was a huge fan of this show and already had some of the plush characters so I couldn't wait for her to unwrap this and start playing with it.
She loved it, absolutely loved it to the point of ignoring everything else that Christmas Day and playing only with the Flyboat. Until we realised what an utter puddle of poo it was, that is.
The Flyboat does look very much like the one featured in the Wonder Pets show; it comes complete with a plastic character depicting each of the Wonder Pets (Linny, Tuck and Ming Ming for those of you not in the know) and these are pushed onto small plastic pegs to keep them secure inside the boat while it's being played with. The Flyboat makes a few noises including a tinny rendition of the Wonder Pets theme song and various (equally tinny) catchphrases from each of the characters, it apparently is supposed to feature lights at the side of the boat but ours has never lit up so I suspect this is yet another aspect of the toy that doesn't work properly.
The Flyboat is designed to wobble as you push it along so the wheels don't feel very well attached to the body of the boat, I have absolutely no idea why it should wobble as that just makes it really awkward to push around - if the wheels were fixed to create a smooth ride it would be much better in my opinion. As it is you can't push it and let go because it'll just come to a complete stop as soon as you remove the pressure of your hand on the Flyboat; Hollie's play area is our large hallway which has a wooden floor, ideal for most cars and wheeled toys but unfortunately even this perfectly flat surface isn't enough to give any kind of 'ooomph' to the movement of this stupid vehicle.
Then we have the sail. Irritating as heck. It's not fixed to the bottom of the boat but slots into a small space in the centre, god only knows why they made it removable as without the sail the boat just looks silly - and it falls out every two minutes anyway so rather a silly design in my opinion. Actually I've just been glancing through Hollie's toybox and can't see the sail anywhere so I assume that's lost now, not that that will bother Hollie as she gets so frustrated with this appalling quality toy that she rarely plays with it anyway. The same goes for the figures, even when you use force to press them into their places in the boat they don't stay there - oh, they will for a couple of minutes but the slightest bump or knock of the boat will have Linny tumbling over the side which is yet another frustration for Hollie as she likes her toys to stay where she puts them. Mini control freak.
As far as the actual Flyboat is concerned it's constructed pretty well, much as I hate to say it. The boat is made of a thick chunky plastic (as are the figures) so is seemingly indestructible, the wheels are well attached and even sharp tugging isn't going to make them fall off - as I've already mentioned Hollie's has never lit up from the day she received it so I assume this is a flaw that I hadn't noticed until I came to write this review as I didn't even realise the lights running along the boat WERE supposed to actually light up!
The Flyboat is powered by three AA batteries, which are included when you purchase it. I've never had to replace these batteries in two years, but then again this is so rarely played with that it's not all that surprising really.
I can't recommend this silly toy, I just can't. While the structural quality might be there, it seems absolutely no thought has gone into designing the thing at all in relation to how annoying small children find toys that don't work as they should. Mark made a good point about the fact that the sail can be so easily removed (aka. fall off), he wonders if it's been made like that for ease of packaging and he's probably right considering ours arrived with the sail not attached to the boat. I think it's actually quite dangerous as the sail is attached to a long 'pole' which isn't ideal to have a toddler running around with (worries about eyes!), I've just remembered where Hollie's sail is - I now recall taking it off David a couple of months ago as he kept prodding us all with it when he discovered it lying in the bottom of the toybox. At this present moment it's in the drawer in the kitchen, within the hour it'll be in the bin.
If you do decide you want to buy it (fool!) it'll cost you in the region of £20 from any Wonder Pets stockist. The minimum age is eighteen months but I actually think that's a little low considering how many times the 'bits' have to be reattached to the toy, it's highly frustrating even for Hollie who at five can put it back together again herself so god knows how her miserable baby brother would cope with the irritation of a falling apart toy like this. Nope, it's just not worth the moans - it's going in the bin rather than being relocated to his toybox.
Summary: Save your twenty quid, this isn't worth even a fiver. Rubbisher than rubbish.
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