My 1st JCB On Site Charlie Crane Playset
Reviewed by Sophie Rix (and son aged 2 years)
The box itself displayed the picture of the toy both front and back and explained everything the toy could “do”. It was taped at the joins similar to the packaging of many items these days and once you cut the tape, the box had a ‘flap’ that opened allowing easy access without spilling everything out onto the floor. Once opened and the contents removed, the box is surplus to requirements as you are required to ‘build’ the toy and once built it no longer fits in the box. The box however, is strong enough to be kept for the toy to be stored in if you wished to dismantle the toy and put it away.
My sons’ first reaction when seeing the box was clearly “excitable” and he couldn’t wait to get the box opened! He straight away shouted “digger” at the sight of the vehicle on the box.
Upon opening the box you are presented with all you need to play but it does require assembly by an adult. There are fairly clear instructions on how to put the toy together and there are minimal parts so it isn’t too time consuming or complicated. You are also required to ‘stick’ the stickers on the completed build to bring it to life.
All the pieces are solid plastic and hard wearing with smooth, polished surfaces/edges and ideal size for toddlers hands. The JCB vehicle is very well designed, a replica of the “real thing” and easily identifiable by its bright yellow and black logos. It has rubber edged wheels with treads which makes it all the more appealing. Once set-up, there is a turn table and a petrol stop/garage for the JCB, some bricks and barrels to load and play with as well as a couple of ramps and a tunnel – not forgetting the amazing, talking Charlie the Crane! The addition of a site foreman and his office within ‘Charlie the Crane’ completes the set and allows full ‘role play’ of a construction site.
My son LOVED this! Well so did my 3½ year old daughter although her interest did eventually dwindle. My son loved driving the JCB vehicle around the set and through the ramps, in-between ‘knocking’ down the brick wall with the crane and barrels. ‘Charlie the Crane’s’ button to make him talk was (and is) repeatedly pressed to hear him say a number of phrases, with my son trying to talk along with them where her can or just smile a very big smile!
I would definitely recommend this product to people with little boys (or JCB /construction interested girls!) of ages two and above. I would say it is fairly acceptable value for money at the current retail price (approx. £25), depending on what your child is interested in and their age. I wouldn’t pay any more for it though as it doesn’t do ‘enough’ to warrant it. There is a limit to what your child can actually do, my daughter being that bit older got bored after a while but my son remains interested in it as it is based around his current interest – vehicles!
You are paying a little, well A LOT more for the ‘brand’ but to some degree it is acceptable as you feel you can 100% trust it. There are also different ‘add-ons’ you can purchase to expand the set, from something as small as another construction vehicle right up to similar sized sets to create a bigger ‘site’… I have a feeling we will be expanding very soon… at the very least so my daughter has a vehicle too but also because my son does enjoy playing with this for quite some time – which is unusual for him as he usually loses interest in things quite quickly!
Rating: 4/5 – it is going to cost me more money to expand, but willingly I will, based on the quality of this set. I would say expansion is probably a necessity as your child develops/grows older – mainly to keep them interested, but like many toys for this younger age range, they are outgrown quickly and so this one certainly isn’t alone in that.
Available to buy from Golden Bear Toys here.