Product Type: Wow Toys Toy Car
Newest Review: ... from one or the other! The set would fit perfectly alongside other products from the Wow Toys range, particularly as there are potentia... more
The Wow Factor!
Wow Toys Off-Road Ollie
Member Name: jo1976
Wow Toys Off-Road Ollie
Date: 17/11/12, updated on 25/05/13 (35 review reads)
Advantages: Good quality, appeals to large age range, no batteries required
Disadvantages: Friction power not very strong
I purchased this 'Off Road Ollie' play set for my youngest son's second birthday, having spotted the set at a heavily discounted price of £6.70 on Amazon earlier this year. This seemed a real bargain for a set which includes a chunky colourful van, trailer, three wheeled motorbike and even a little figure to drive all of these vehicles! The set has been really well thought out to include loads of interactive features and each element can be played with individually or played with as a set.
The high quality of the set is immediately obvious. All of the components are plastic but the material used is very strong and thick, using bright, attractive colours and with excellent attention to detail. This set has to run the gauntlet of our toy boxes and has survived being thrown about, dropped and played with over the last three months and each piece still looks as good as new. Even though some of the detail has been added through the use of stickers, these come ready applied and are showing no sign of peeling or fading. Key features, such as the eyes and lights, are painted on so should be even more durable despite regular play.
I must admit that I was a little sceptical about the relatively high suggested age range for these toys. This set comes with a recommended age range of between eighteen months and five years old, which seems like a pretty unrealistic range given my experience of children at both sides of the spectrum. My doubts were soon proved wrong when I witnessed the reaction of my five year old to his younger brother's new toy. Both boys seem love playing with this set although they play with it in very different ways. My older son will use this set in a very imaginative way, acting out scenes with the little figure and enjoying sending the man out on little errands on either his bike or van.
My two year old enjoys the mechanics of the set and is absolutely entranced by the button on the side of the van which causes the sun roof to pop open. Unlike similar toys, the button is really easy to press, even for children at the very bottom of the recommended age range, and the roof pops open instantly. Likewise, he finds it really easy to press the roof back down into position so this is a toy that he's able to play with independently without becoming frustrated. At two, my son also loves the simple process of pushing the car and bike along and is also fond of repeatedly hiding the man inside the van. This fun little game keeps him entertained for ages.
The trailer attachment is equally well designed, using a simple but effective magnetic attachment which keeps the trailer firmly attached when being pulled about but is equally easy for a clumsy toddler to remove when he chooses. The trailer also features a fold down flap at the back which clicks satisfyingly into position and secures the trailer. This flap serves the dual purpose of forming a secure enclosure for the bike, which fits perfectly inside the trailer, and also creates a fun ramp for the bike to ride up and down as desired.
In terms of safety, I feel confident that this is suitable for children at the lower end of the age recommendation, possibly even younger. The figure provided does appear quite small but, realistically, it's just too big to provide a genuine choking hazard for little mouths. My two year old has done his best to try and swallow it but has had to make do with a bit of a suck and a chew - fortunately, this has resulted in no ill effects to either party! All of the other components are sturdy with rounded edges and no pieces that are likely to break off or chip.
With so many different elements, there is even the possibility of similarly aged siblings being able to play together with the set although that isn't something that realistically happens in my household, unfortunately. My two year old and five year old just end up fighting over the same pieces and it always end in tears from one or the other! The set would fit perfectly alongside other products from the Wow Toys range, particularly as there are potentially three places for a little figure to fit inside at a time. (One can ride the bike and there is room for two figures inside the van.) These might solve some of the arguments around sharing with my boys, although I'm not entirely convinced!
In all, this is a really well designed and robust set, designed to offer lots of stimulation and ongoing play value. My only criticism of the design would be that the friction mechanism isn't particularly strong or effective, even on a tiled rather than a carpeted surface. This doesn't appear to affect my sons' enjoyment of the set at all and is a small price to pay for a toy that requires no batteries and no maintenance.
The set is currently available for £12.29 from Amazon which is almost double the amount that I paid, but still considerably cheaper than the prices charged for Wow Toys sets from independent toy stores or garden centres, where they tend to be stocked.
Even at this higher price, I do believe this set offers good value for money as there is so much potential play value within one simple set and the age range that the toy appeals to is so broad. This Ollie set is the first Wow Toys set that I've ever purchased but is unlikely to be the last. I am happy to recommend this to anybody looking for a durable gift for youngsters this Christmas and beyond.
Summary: An excellent quality play set that appeals to a wide age range
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