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**The walkie talkies**
My son loves cars, and he had been asking for walkie talkies for months after playing with some at his friend's house. So for his birthday we decided to get him these cars 2 ones. On first appearances these walkie talkies look really good. They are modelled exactly on the lightning McQueen car from both Cars movies so they are instantly recognisable to little one. I knew my son had wanted walkie talkies for a long time so I was excited when I found there were cars ones available. The detailing is perfect; they even have wheels which my son thought was fantastic. The wheels do not move, but my son was still very pleased with the design. They are made from durable plastic, and despite it stating on the box we needed batteries we found there were actually some included. The walkie talkies are well made so they can withstand rough play from little one, and although at first I thought the aerial was maybe a little too long so it could be snapped easy, we have found it has also proved to be very durable. There are different variations available, with different character walkie talkies. We decided on the two Lighting McQueen characters as my children love him, and I knew there would be no fighting over them. They are available from a number of stores, but we purchased ours at Argos for around £10.
To use these walkie talkies it seems simple, the instructions state to hold down the button while talking so the respondent can hear you. Then when you are waiting for a reply, you need to release the button to hear the communication from the other side. The thing is the button is extremely hard to press. Even I find it awkward to push in so I believe the age recommendation is set too low. After a lot of use of this toy, my five year old can press the button in but he still becomes frustrated with it at times. It takes some real force to push the button in, which is annoying for small hands. The walkie talkies are a perfect size for small hands, and the microphone to talk into is nice and large so every other aspect seems to be correct for younger children apart from the most important function.
There are no volume switches on either of the walkie talkies which I believe are a huge downside to these toys. This means no matter how close my children are they just cannot hear each other, and they are either on or off no in between. There is a slight crackling and you can hear a background noise, but the actual speech is impossible to hear coming through the walkie talkie even when the button is released. It does suggest keeping it away from any interference, and we had nothing obvious that could be causing the problem in the house. My children decided to try and use them outside while they were playing in the garden. The interference is definitely reduced as there is no background noise, but the volume is still way too low and very difficult to make out.
My children were determined to get these walkie talkies to work. They tried over and over again without success. They seem to work at times while at others they are absolutely useless. My little boy who is two is currently being referred for speech therapy as he is refusing to talk so I was hoping that these might encourage him. I know the age recommendation is set at three years old, but there is no way he can use them without the help of me or his dad. My three year old girl also finds it very difficult to press the button she does give it her best shot, and after a lot of practise manages to push the button in, but becomes frustrated with them.
They still get used as my children sit close enough so they can hear what is being said by the other, without actually using the walkie talkies. This means they are used more as a role play accessory rather than their actual purpose. They do not work while sitting in different rooms as the volume is just too low. They tend to get five minutes play while my children try to get them to work, and then they are just left in the toy box. My children are persistent and try over and over again without any success. We have tried replacing the batteries in case it was a problem with them, but even with Duracell we find they still do not work.
I cannot recommend these walkie talkies at all as they just fail to work. They look impressive, and are very durable however they are not fit for purpose. We thought that maybe the age recommendation was set too low, and that is why my children had difficulties playing with them, but my son is two years over the age recommendation and is still unable to get them to work. They are around £10 to buy which seemed reasonable, but after finding out they are basically just bright pieces of plastic they are not even worth that. Honestly not worth a penny. We have had a number of the Cars 2 toys, and most have been very well loved by my children. There are only a few that are disappointing, and unfortunately this is one of them!
The All New Cars 2 Walkie Talkies Feature designs of Lightening McQueen from the New Disney Pixar Cars 2 movie. These fantastic walkie talkies are great fun for use outside and indoors. Simple push button to talk and release to listen design and feature tough but flexible antennas so they will not snap whilst out and about on adventures. The pack includes two Lightening McQueen Walkie Talkie in the Cars 2 Movie design. Includes Belt Clip Batteries 2 x 9V. Recommended For Ages 3 and Up