Monday 24 September 2012

The VTech Toot-Toot Garage Review

There are many occasions where I feel a little sad at the prospect of Leo growing up. With that said though now that he is getting that little bit older, the toys that he can play with are becoming more exciting! Just take the VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage for instance that The Entertainer Toy Shop has sent Leo to play test.

Ever since it’s arrival in our house a week ago, everyone has had a little play with it, mainly being Leo’s Daddy, Aunt, Uncle and myself. Leo was really having to battle for a go on this toy, until Mummy told everyone to leave it alone so that Leo could have a chance to play!

When the delivery arrived with Leo’s very special toy inside, he got very excited by all of the sounds and music that were ringing out from the box. From this point forward he knew there was something very special inside and he was not about to be patient with me while I opened it! While I was there with the scissors cutting away all of the plastic that was holding the much desired toy in the box, Leo was running around the room with his new tow-truck.

The interactive VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage is a very fun looking toy, it comes as standard with a tow-truck vehicle which is great for whizzing up and down the twists and turns of the ramp or my favourite, taking the car up in the lift, letting it roll onto the turn table, which then puts it in prime position to ride the ramp all the way to the bottom!

I know…I did tell you that we ‘grownups’ have been having a little play with it!

The tow-truck is the perfect size for little hands to hold, and Leo can be perfectly content just rolling the car around on the floor. The car itself sings and says phrases independently but when you pair it with the garage there are even more ways that they can interact between one another.

When the car goes over a sensor just before it heads down the bendy ramp, it activates the fun  ‘Weeeeee’ phrase to signify the car going down the slope. I really liked this as I had just said exactly the same thing to Leo, when the garage said it too. Leo looked at me like I was a mad woman!

The garage offers Two different modes to play around with, music mode and learning mode and you can change it at any point during game play. There is a great centre piece that features buttons to activate the lights and tunes. There really is hours of fun to be had with the garage due to the many activities that come with it, the car wash and petrol station both reward the child (and parent…) with fun sound effects and phrases relating to the activity in hand. There is even a car parking space and helipad space up on the roof for those busy days where hustle and bustle is just a constant factor in their imaginative play.

Leo does not play with it in any real context quite yet, but that will come in time. At this moment in time he loves all of the lights and music that cheer him forward in playing with his exciting garage. Watching Leo play with the garage with the bright colours and happy tunes, it is very easy to see why it is so appealing to a toddler.

What I really like about the Toot-Toot Garage is that it is all connected and relevant, and offers a great interactive base for using the garage in conjunction with the vehicles. If you place the tow-truck at the top of the ramp on the welcome stand and press the vehicle down on the sensor, the garage will recognise which vehicle is placed there. With this recognition comes a song all about that particular vehicle. As I said earlier the garage comes with the tow-truck but there is a whole range of other vehicles that you can purchase separately and use compatibly with the garage.

Leo is just coming up 15 months old, so he has a little way to go yet before he can use the garage for make believe play and benefit from all of the garages features, but he is thoroughly enjoying all of the lights and music, that in it’s self is worth it’s weight in gold as it keeps him entertained while I get on with something. And if by chance he does tire of the garage he still seems to be able to entertain himself with just the tow-truck, so I can just imagine his excitement to be in receipt of the additional vehicles!

The structure of the garage is very sturdy and is not about to get flattened by your toddler’s weight being exuded over it. I know this as I have witnessed Leo playing almost on top of it. It is very reassuring to know that it is not going to get broken accidently by Leo deciding to sit on it, the only bit I think may be considered a little delicate in the wrong hands is the helipad section that can very easily be taken on and off. Each time Leo takes it off, I place it back on but if he was to sit on it, I wouldn’t be surprised it if was to get broken. On a whole though the entire garage is extremely well built and I haven’t got any worries of Leo turning into Godzilla and crushing it into the ground.

The way that the garage is built makes it look as though there are areas to add on new bits of infrastructure. At this point in time I am pretty sure that it is just the garage and the vehicles, but there may be plans to expand the line in the future as there are places for extra bits to click into place. I think this would be great and I would be very happy to see more products in this range.

The VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage has been a big hit in our household, children and adults alike. I am sure that as the months go by that Leo will continue to love the garage more and more as his understanding and imagination continue to grow. We will certainly be adding some extra vehicles for the garage to Leo’s Christmas list this year!

You can purchase your VTech Toot-Toot Garage from The Entertainer Toys for £39.99. I feel this is great value for money based on the play value that Leo has shown this garage. Leo is usually the kind of mischievous little monster who would rather sit and play with the television remote control, however when the garage is out to be played with he will sit there and pay all of his attention to it.

I will leave you with a short clip of Leo enjoying his VTech Toot-Toot Garage. Please ignore the television box behind him as this had just been delivered... and the crumbs on the floor...Leo is a little terror and I did not have chance to vaccum prior! :-)

Disclaimer: I was sent the VTech Toot-Toot Garage for the purpose of this review, however all views and opinions are completely honest and my own.

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