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My little boy who is 20 months old got this ELC car transporter for Christmas off his Grandma. He is a proper little boy and loves his cars and vehicles, so this was a great present for him. My mum paid £20 for this from The Early Learning Centre. This toy is a lorry car transporter and comes with two little cars, which are my sons favourite part of the toy. They have a magnetic part to the front and back of them so you can stick them together, my son loves how they do this, and is understanding now how to do it himself. He just drives them both around the kitchen for ages, he loves putting them in my empty wine racks too, to 'park' them there, it really does get his imagination going! He actually rarely puts the little cars inside the car transporter, I have tried showing him they go in there, but I think when he is older he may use this toy as what it actually is! At the minute he plays with the lorry and the two cars separate! The lorry is a really sturdy well made toy, however the truck part that fits onto the lorry comes off much too easily! Whenever I put it on for him, which just slots on and does makes a noise too, it does fall off very easily. It always ends up in two pieces, it is very rarely hooked on together! The top part of the lorry you can press to make lorry sounds, but my son finds this slightly too hard to press at his age. It is a large button, but he finds it a bit too stiff to press easily enough, and isn't that impressed either with the noises it makes. This is quite small for a lorry too, but it is nice and compact and looks really cute. My son doesn't play with the actual lorry very often, but he does go up to it sometimes, and it is a really nice looking toy. It is well made, and strong, and I am sure my son will use it much more when he is older when he understands what it is, but at the moment he just loves the little cars! They are easy for him to hold, and he plays with them for hours!
My son has the Early Learning Centre Whizz Around Garage (see earlier review) which he loves and has various of their magnetic car sets to play on this with. Another more recent addition to his collection is this Car Transporter which the cars can be loaded up on. This cost £20 and is suitable for children from 12 months (suggested age range is 12 months to 2 years). It requires 3 AA batteries. THE TOY The toy is quite basic and is as you would expect it to be as a car transporter - a large lorry-like vehicle. The dimensions of the toy are: weight 2.22kg, height 37cm, width 40cm and depth 26cm. It is made of a glossy plastic and is quite strong and sturdy. The front of the lorry is a light green colour and the back 'loading' section a bright blue. The loading section has two levels to it and the bottom level is closed with a red door which also acts as a ramp to drive the cars up to the bottom level (just how they get on to the top level I don't know...!) There are four sets of wheels and it can be pushed nicely along the floor - being pretty lightweight. It can also make lorry noises when switched on (batteries included) but it also makes quite a nice 'quiet time' toy with this switched off. With the actual transporter come two of the magnetic cars that ELC make. Therefore, even if you do not have any of these cars already, it is a lovely stand alone toy. The cars come in red and blue and are chunky enough for a 12 month old to hold nicely in their little hand. These cars have magnets attached on their front and rear bumpers so can be attached to one another in a long line and pulled along. The transporter is compatible with these cars so you can add to your collection to fully load the transporter (we find it only carries four cars neatly anyway so you don't need to add many to your collection for this!). PLAY TIME At first, my son was not very interested in the toy at all. Gradually he began to explore it a little more, particularly enjoying pulling the ramp at the back down and pushing it back up in to place. He loves the magnetic cars and likes to hold and shake these or bash them together. He likes the size of these and is comfortable holding them in his hand. He also loves to press the buttons and make the horn noise. At 14 months, he is just learning to load the cars in to the transporter and enjoys doing this. He sometimes gets frustrated when the cars are in the bottom level as he can't always remove them again easily - particularly the first one loaded - as the fit is quite tight and snug and he finds it hard getting his hands and fingers around it. At the moment, he doesn't really push this toy around but I think that this is something that he will 'grow in to' and, as he gets older use it for imaginative play. MY OPINION The suggested age range for the toy of 12 months to 2 years seems a little short to me. Whilst I agree that the lower age should be 12 months - at this age they can gain some, if not the full, benefit from it. However, I think my son will still be playing with this beyond two years - his older friends and cousins still love this toy at 3-4 years. It is great as an imaginative play toy - it can be pushed around and lorry noises and loading noises made as well as completing his set with the Whizz Around Garage. The toy has encouraged my son to develop his manipulation skills as he holds the cars and pushes the buttons. It has also developed his hand-eye co-ordination and accuracy as he has learned to load the cars onto the transporter. There is not a lot to the toy, and it does not hold my son's attention for too long but, as an addition to his 'set', it helps to entertain him for quite a while with the garage. For £20, I would perhaps have wanted a little more for the money as this is quite a lot to pay for a child's toy. Maybe if a couple more cars were included so the transporter was filled it would be more worth this price mark. It is well made though and the ramp has remained firmly in place and attached, despite much pushing and pulling by my son's not so delicate hands. So, overall, this is a nice toy but a little expensive. Early Learning Centre do have quite frequent sales and offers though so you may be able to pick this up for a more reasonable price.
Little man is a huge car fanatic, and especially loves the ELC Whizz Around Garage and the various car trios that you can get to go with it, so when I saw the Car transporter which is part of the same family with 20% off just before his 2nd Birthday, I thought it would be ideal for him. The Car transporter is made of chunky vibrant coloured plastic, and is about 40 cm long by about 15 cm high. The front Cab part is a light green colour and can be pushed around independently, with 4 wheels. On top of the cab is a large button which activates the sound effects - alternating between the truck starting and a horn noise. The trailer part is bright yellow, and clips easily and firmly onto the back of the cab. It comes apart easily, but doesn't just fall apart when pushed. The back trailer door clicks down and up, forming a ramp for the cars to drive up into the trailer and keeping them in place when it is up. The Car transporter also comes with two chunky little cars in Blue and Red which can be attached together but the magnets at the front and back, and the transporter can hold four of these cars. My only slight bugbear is that these are the same colour as two of the cars in the Car Trio that I bought him to go with his garage - would it have been that hard to choose two different colours? The Car transporter is really robust and has taken several tumbles and crashes without as much as a scuff. It is temper tantrum proof and I would say it is on par with a little tikes toy. All the edges are rounded, and there are no small parts. This seems to be an updated version of the transporter as there is an older version at toddlers and the coupling between the cab and trailer seems a lot more flimsy as does the trailer door, so it's nice to see that this has been addressed. The toy is recommended for age 1 - 3 years, and we got it when little man was almost 2. I think this was a good age as he was able to couple and uncouple the truck and open and secure the back door. It has been a big hit with Little Man and he still plays with this every day with his various car trios, and I often find various other bits stuffed in the back of it. The Car transporter takes 3 AA batteries, and as it doesn't really do a lot sound-wise these are still going strong. The batteries are included and you will need a small Phillips screwdriver to replace them. There is a switch on the bottom for quiet, loud and off! I got the Car transporter for £16, which is 20% off its normal price of £20 and I think it has been real value for money. The car trio's normally sell for £10 so you get two thirds of a pack included which is a great extra. Available from ELC Stores and ELC.co.uk
This is the ELC Car Transporter, which comes with two cars. It is priced at £20, though I usually wait until I have a 20% off voucher from the Birthday Club. ELC sell good quality toys, and can be quite pricey at full price. It is designed for children aged 1-3 years. The transporter is made from strong plastic, and mostly yellow, green and grey. There are two eyes on the front of the cab, making it quite cute.The cars that come with the transporter are the magnetic ones, which also come with the Whizz around garage. The cars can also be used with the lid of the ELC sandpit, which has a track on it. The transporter can hold 4 cars, and extra vehicles can be bought, they are the magnetic trio cars. They are £10 at full price, however can often be found at half price. 3 x AA are required. These work the sound, activated by a button at the top. The back door opens, and becomes the ramp so that the cars can be pushed on. The cab and back part are connected, and often come apart. This can be annoying, but the children are still quite happy to play with it. I think it would be much better if the connection was stronger We also have the ELC Light & Sound Fire Engine, which has been played with much more. It is the same price, but comes with 3 figures and more sounds. I would recommend buying the fire engine, and not the Transporter.