Product Type: Learning Curve Toy Train
Newest Review: ... Chuggington characters on the box, cue excited little boy. So we open it up, get everything out and then start tackling the constructio... more
Chuggington Interactive All Around Chuggington Set
Member Name: WoozleWife
Chuggington Interactive All Around Chuggington Set
Advantages: If you can buy it on offer and leave it permanently constructed it is an interesting toy
Disadvantages: Takes an age to build and the quality of the track and connections isn't as good as expected
The main selling point of the 'interactive' range of the Chuggington train sets is that the trains can 'talk' to one another and certain parts of the track can have some dialogue too. In this set there are a collection point, a drop off point and the train sheds with Vee. Each section has sensors / buttons to press to get the 'interactive' elements to work. So we thought - excellent, looks like we'll have one happy chappie! It has little bits of cargo to carry around, supplied with a Wilson and a little truck carriage. It has a twisty section of track and a turntable at the sheds.
Come present opening time he frantically tears at the paper revealing those unmistakeable Chuggington characters on the box, cue excited little boy. So we open it up, get everything out and then start tackling the construction... Very complicated, so much so that said excited little boy declared he would go and 'Do Playdoh while you make it, just give me a shout when you're done.' Leaving Daddy and Stepmum to piece it together. Putting in the oodles of batteries and hoping it all works. So some half hour or so later we wearily call to the boy, busy in the kitchen with his Playdoh, that it is now ready. In he comes and is enthralled with it, however is constantly falling over it all, knocking the supports over, wanging Wilson down the twisty track section so he flies off the edge and even gave Vee a rather hard time.
He likes the fact that when the Chuggers are in the shed that they make sleeping noises, however he gets super frustrated that he has to keep pressing the bit on top of the sheds to get Vee to say 'Wake Up Chuggers' and has often lost his temper having to press it several times to get her to say it (as she has to go through her repetoire of other phrases!)
After a few times of playing with it we've noticed that the connectors between the sections of tracks are already showing signs of wear, and I can imagine that if he lived with us full time and was playing with it more regularly that it wouldn't last long, unless it was a toy that was left out fully constructed all the time. The drop off point has a red light at a little gate section - and this has stopped working on ours (had done after only a few plays) so even though the batteries are still good, the light has given up the ghost - and said little boy always asks each time why it isn't working. We did get two other Chuggers to go with it - Brewster and Koko and yes they do talk to one another and I'm guessing the claim of 300 different phrases must come from having every single item of Chuggington Interactive as I only seem to be hearing the same few phrases over and over again.
The set itself is somewhat limited and samey and we are now loathe to put it together each time he wants to play with it as we know that 20/30 mins of putting it together now leads to about 10 mins of him playing with it before he gets bored. We know that family have got him the bridges and tunnels set for Christmas 2011 but due to all kinds of problems we've not been able to exchange gifts yet so not sure how easy it will be to add this into the existing set.
It would be better if they had spare truck carriages as currently with three Chuggers they have to share one truck to pick up and drop off the goods.
There are several other sets which can connect up to this one, but I think that if you have the room to keep toys like this out all the time rather than having to dismantle it and rebuild it each time, it's not going to last tremendously well.
When he first had it he really struggled to connect the Chuggers to the truck carriage and found that often the Chuggers had trouble staying on the track, especially round corners.
I think it would have been better to have a more traditional wooden set with more flexibilty on building the track to how you want. I think there is too much stock these days in having 'interactive' things that make noises, have flashing lights etc and that perhaps it leaves more for the imagination to have your child make their own train noises!
In all it's an ok train set for us - it spends most of its time in a toy box and now hardly gets played with, but when it was the new toy on the block it was played with for hours on end at least three times! Perhaps once we get the other set to connect up it might be a more entertaining toy.
Summary: A mediocre train set loathed by parents but often occasionally loved by children.
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