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Chuggington is a childrens television show produced for cbeebies. My sons have been fans of this show since it came out a couple of years ago, and they have quite a large collection of the diecast engines which my mum bought for them. As well as the actual engine characters, there are also quite a few accessory carriages which give the set that bit more play appeal. One such set belongs to the engine, Irving, who works in the recycling yard in Chuggington. This little character loves to keep things neat and tidy, and is very proud of his work. He needs to sort through the rubbish generated in the town to recycle it. Here, he has two trucks to help him in his work. These trucks are slightly smaller than the engines, though still made out of diecast metal and with the same level of attention to detail. This set of two flatbed trucks is available currently on amazon for just £3 which is an absolute bargain. The RRP is £8. For this price, you get two trucks which both have their own coupling system, so you can attach one or both to one of the chugginton engines. This is a ball and socket system which is really strong once connected, but also quite easy for small hands to pull two trucks apart. The plastic base on these trucks is a bit smaller. Each truck has 6 wheels that all freely rotate, compared to 8 on the engines, and they are slightly shorter in length. The width is the same though, so they run just as well on tracks as the engines. My boys are really quite fond of this truck as the crane features a small magnet on the end of it. Inside the truck, you open two flaps on the roof, and there is a rectangular block which is painted in a metallic grey colour. The magnet is strong enough to pick the metal out of the truck. The crane has 360 degree movement around on the base of the flatbed truck. In theory this sounds great, but in practice, if you move the crane arm out to the side at a right angle with the base, then the weight causes the truck to tip. This does not derail the whole train fortunately, just the crane. However, the ability to pick up a bit of metal with a magnet is very appealing to small boys, and provides seemingly endless amusement. If you hold the crane truck by the base, you can move the arm of the crane manually up and down, so you can pick the piece of metal from the floor and manouvere it into the truck if you hold the crane truck tightly while you do the action. Its harder to lift the metal out the truck, and a bit tight on space if the trucks are attached together. The truck container that holds the metal swivels on two pivots at the front and back, so it is really easy to tip the metal on to the floor so you can pick it up again. Although a simple little concept, this set does seem to have provided a lot of fun for my children, and I think they would say this is one of the best sets they own. The paintwork has worn well with this set with little chipping, and the plastic parts of the crane and the container truck still work smoothly after many play sessions in 2 years ownership. I can't really think of anything negative here apart from the tipping issue, but that doesn't really seem to bother the kids much at all.
A twin pack of Irving's recycling cars used to perform his many clean up tasks. Diecast engine with easy Coupling System to connect and play to ensure engines never detach from each other.