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Harold the helicopter
Our three-year old daughter has a wide interest in toys, characters and activities. In other words, she has the attention span of a gnat!
Consequently nearly all of her toys are in almost pristine condition, including this Thomas and Friends Harold the Helicopter that has been used for pretend play for the last 18 months.
This very cute, friendly white helicopter is an excellent replica of Harold. It has been die cast then coated in plastic. Weighing less than 100 grams, it has two moving propellers and two fixed runners, all of which are white plastic. Each side of the helicopter has red "go fast" stripes and the name Harold printed in clear, upper case letters.
Millie tells me that she likes that Harold has a "strong, hard plastic outside but he is still smooth". She particularly likes his smiley face and she enjoys helping him take off and land. She usually plays with this toy when she is alone, and as a stand-alone toy or as a visitor to her dolls house.
This helicopter has lasted well. Consequently I am unable to determine how the helicopter would fair in a tussle between children or if thrown across the room or garden in a fit of pique.
My husband paid £8 for this. Our daughter's interest in this item has been even less longstanding than her interest in - and attention to - some other characters and toys.
Therefore while we would not buy this toy again for our daughter, I believe that it would be a suitable gift for a train-mad child aged over 2.5 years.
My little grandson has recently discovered Thomas The Tank Engine and it reminds me very much of when my own son used to love this character. Over the last couple of months I have bought him several toys in this range. Harold the Helicopter is one of them.
I used to watch this programme when my children were little and we always enjoyed it. Now Thomas The Tank Engine is on our television regularly and we have the DVD. It is slightly more modern now than it used to be with characters with more modern engines but the idea of it all is very similar to the good old fashioned programme. It tells of the tales of the trains, how they get stuck in the snow and have to deliver important mail and so forth. the stories are always very tame but seem to really capture my grandson's attention and he is very excited when it comes on.
What Harold Toy looks like
Harold The Helicopter is a plastic toy which is about 10cm long and 6cm tall. It is white and has little wheels underneath his skates. The blades on the top of the helicopter are black and these turn round. It has a red stripe along the side, a little face on the front and his name written next to the stripe. He is rather plain looking, no bright colours and no fancy patterns but this does not stop my grandson from wanting to play with it!
My grandson likes to push this along the floor because it has wheels it will freely go across the floor/table and he always says 'weeeee' as he does so. It is cute to watch. He also likes to spin the propeller round too and laughs if it goes fast. He hasn't quite grasped the idea that it is a helicopter so it flies rather than gets pushed along but that doesn't really matter and it is all part of his learning, I know that before we know it he will be having it hover around the sky rather than be pushed along the floor and the fact that it has wheels just makes it very appealing to push along. My grandson loves it, it's a very good size for him, his little hands can hold it well and push it along with it being a problem.
This is a very practical toy. Because of it's size it's ideal for preschool age children to be able to hold and play with. My grandson is nearly 2 and he is able to play with it quite happily. It isn't too chunky that it would take up lots of room but not too small that it would be flimsy and a choking hazard. It is plastic so pretty tough and easy to clean, we've had to wipe off some sticky finger prints from it. I cannot say how much it would withstand though, I do think if it was dropped from quite a height onto a hard floor bits may break off it.
I think this is a lovely toy. It has really amazed by grandson he gasped with delight when he saw it and instantly associated it with Thomas. It's quite nice that it is a different character to a train so it has more of a variety of his ever growing collection. I'm hoping he will soon learn about it flying so he will play with it in a different fashion to the others but for now it is fine. He enjoys playing with it and i think it is good quality. It cost me about £6 which I'm pleased with. I wouldn't pay much more but I am happy with what i did pay.
As I said in my earlier review of James the Engine from the Take and Play series, my son received some of the tracks from the range for his second birthday. We have added various engines and accessories along the way and one of those that we have purchased is Harold the Helicopter. This currently cost £7.95 on Amazon, it is £5.97 at toys r us where there is currently a 3 for 2 promotion (Sept 2013) so this represents better value. It think we paid around £6 for it.
Harold is the helicopter from the Thomas the Tank Engine series and this toy is a very accurate representation of the character. It is recommended for children aged 3 years plus but I have no problems letting my 2 year old son play with it. Aside from being quite heavy (82g) which could be dangerous if thrown, it has no small parts and has smooth edges so is perfectly safe in my opinion. The main body of the helicopter is diecast, so solid metal. Underneath this, there are two plastic runners attached for the helicopter to land on. These are a solid white plastic and screwed firmly in place - they are very sturdy. The body of the helicopter and runners are coloured white and there is a red stripe along the side of the helicopter. 'HAROLD' is written in red on either side of the helicopter too. The helicopter is a nice size for a toddler's grasp - 4 x 3 x 7.5 cm. There are two plastic propellers attached - one on the tail with two blade and a rotary blade on the top with three parts. These are a dark grey plastic and attached with a silver metal pin so stay in place well and spin freely. On the front of the helicopter, Harold's friendly face is painted on, with a raised nose.
My son loves his Harold and it makes a nice addition to his set as it is a change from the engines that go round the track - he can make it fly and land on various points. He also uses this on the helipad of his car garage so we have had double the use from it in that sense. It fits into his grasp nicely and it is smooth to the touch too which adds to it's appeal. The propellers are easy to push round and he loves to spin these. They have been bent one or two times by his heavy handedness but, so far, remain intact. The only real damage that is visible from his play is a few chips and scratches to the white paintwork - notably around the raised nose - to reveal the silver metal underneath.
When reading various descriptions of the toy, they seem to indicate that there are magnets contained - as there are on the engines in this range - but there are not. The addition of a magnet underneath would add to the play in my opinion as this would enable the helicopter to interact with the trains in the set and maybe lift them up etc. Overall though this is a nice diecast helicopter that compliments the set nicely. As with most things in this range, I think it is overpriced for what you get but it is of good quality.
Harold take n play / Size: small / Take-n-Play a durable die cast engine that features Smart Magnets that connect either way / and allow you to connect other engines or tender at either the front or the back / Works with Fisher Price Take-n-Play portable playsets