Now I have a little boy all the toys I seem to receive for gifts are cars, trucks and trains and this train is one of my favourites. I actually quite like it as these toys are always quite fun to play with as you know what to do with a train and can drive it and zoom it around to your hearts content.
The thing I like about this train is that it is perfect for very small babies as opposed to say Thomas the Tank Engine trains which due to their size are for a bit older kids. The Early Learning Centre recommend this for about 9 months old and I'd say it can probably be played with before that age as I have it for my two month old son now.
I say it's for very little kids as its very big and chunky and quite solid and good for little hands to play with. It's a bit plasticky but then that's the nature of toys like this as it isn't the most sophisticated train ever. It is fun looking though and has some fun actions as well. The train has a yellow body and a red grill and nose. It also has big funny googley eyes that rotate when you turn it on and push it.
When you push on the train it bobs left and right, hence the name wibble wobble and it will also zoom back and forwards. The train has bigger wheels at the back than the front and wibbles on the uneven suspension.
The train will also make choo choo noises when you press it too but if this annoys you after a while like baby toys inevitably do there is an on/off switch underneath the train on the bottom. The train takes 3 AA batteries which came with the train and so far after 2 months of use we have not had to change them yet.
We got this as a gift but a quick check of The Early Learning Centre shows me this is now on sale for £12.80 and is a toy I definitely recommend.
For our twin boys first Christmas buying toys was quite a challenge. As new parents we were unsure as to what two toddlers would play with over the next year and so in all honestly used the ELC catalogue as a guide, basing many of our choices on whether a toy "looked good". Our method did seem to pay off and we came out with some toys which have proved good purchases. One of these has been the ELC Wibble Wobble Train.
***ELC Wibble Wobble Train***
The ELC Wibble Wobble Train is basically a large plastic train which when pressed the train moves forward bobbing from side to side and making choo choo sounds whilst playing music.
The train is about 20cm long by about 15cm wide and under 20cm in height. It has four bright orange wheels and the body of the train is made from bright yellow plastic with red plastic detail. The train also has a friendly face on the front of it. The train requires 2 size AA batteries.
ELC states the Wibble Wobble train is suitable for children aged 12 months to 3 years.
The Wibble Wobble Train is available from ELC stores and also Mothercare stores. You can purchase the train online from both ELC and Mothercare. The RRP for toy is £15.00. We purchased this in October 2010 for £12.50 from ELC. During the pre and post-Christmas sales ELC and Mothercare often discount this toy.
***Playing with It***
Like the majority of toys from ELC the Wibble Wobble Train is secured into the packaging with many ties. It takes around 5 minutes to completely remove from the packaging which I find is a task always better to complete away from your child.
The Wibble Wobble Train has an on/ off switch on the base of the train. This is a sliding switch. The centre position is off. Pushing the switch forward puts the train in the "try me" setting. This setting allows the train to move side to side and play sounds and music but not move forwards. Pushing the switch backwards puts the train to the on position. In this setting you get the full range of functions and the train moves forwards and wobbles from side to side whilst playing music. Unlike the majority of ELC toys there is no volume button which means the toy only has one volume which is loud. Therefore after around 5 minutes of play as a parent you do find the sounds do get very tedious and annoying.
To activate the toy you simply turn the toy on and press down on the top of the train. The design of the on switch means a parent will have to turn the toy on as it is quite small and fiddly. My boys are 19months and know where this switch is located but can't move the switch on their own. A child over 2 years old may be able to do so but because the switch is quite stiff it would require a lot of force to do so.
To activate the movement and sounds is very easy for a young child to do. You can simply press down on the top of the train. There is no real specific area to press therefore does not require a great deal of accuracy and even light pressure will activate the train. My boys were able to do this immediately at 11 months and I feel even for a younger child of 9 months this would be an easy task. My boys really liked playing with this toy and setting it off and chasing it and I feel this was because they could play independently with the toy and activate it on their own. At 11 months most toys require some assistance from parents and I feel my boys enjoyed the freedom of being able to play with something entirely on their own. The movement of the train seemed to encourage their physical development and even my lazier son would crawl after the train. Once they had been taking steps they also would run after this toy.
The movement of the train is very entertaining and amusing. The train bobs from side to side as it moves forwards which always makes my boys giggle. It moves forwards quite slowly which means a young toddler has the confidence to follow it as they have more chance of catching up with the train. It moves forwards for about 1 metre before stopping. As it moves it makes choo choo sounds and also plays upbeat fun music. We play with this toy mainly on laminate flooring and the toy moves very easily on this floor. When it means the rug it does not get stuck and has no problems moving from the laminate to the rug. The only issue I have found is that if the boys play with this toy in their bedroom they have a long pile rug. The toy does not move easily on this rug and although it moves it moves extremely slowly.
ELC state the Wibble Wobble Train it is suitable from age 12 months to 3 years. My boys were given this for Christmas when they were 11 months old and had no issues playing with the toy and I feel within minutes of playing with the toy they understood how to activate the movement and got the full benefits out of the toy. I personally feel that I would have been confident to let them play with this toy from 9 months. The toy has no parts that could come detached and the outer casing is rounded plastic. I would however ensure they were sat up playing with this toy if they were younger than a year old just in case they pulled it over on themselves because it is a reasonably large vehicle but not too heavy. I personally think this toy is suitable for up to 2 and a half years old as it is quite basic My friends little boy is 3 and although he will play with this toy, after 1 press he gets bored and looks to play with the other vehicles in our toy box which have less basic functions. I feel if you purchased this for a child of around 2 and a half years old they would not get the benefit and use out of it like a younger toddler would.
Like most other ELC toys the ELC Wibble Wobble Train is made from durable plastic and is made to an excellent quality. My boys over the last 9 months have thrown the toy and dropped it onto laminate or tiled flooring and the outer casing has not cracked or scuffed. The toy is still in full working order. The outer plastic casing is also very easy to keep clean and you can easily wipe over with a damp cloth.
This is a really fun toy for young babies and toddlers. The train is bright, colourful, durable and large and easy enough for a young toddler to activate the movement and music. This adds to the fun as a child can play quite independently.
Because the toy moves it also encourages movement which is a great way to encourage children to follow the toy and encourage physical development. For £15.00 it is not a cheap toy especially as this train does not have a lot of functions; it simply moves and plays music however my boys play with it regularly which has made it a worthwhile purchase. Like most ELC toys this is a very durable high quality toy, and even after 9 months of rough play including being thrown and dropped onto hard surfaces the Wibble Wobble Train is in perfect condition and full working order.
My main criticism of the Wibble Wobble Train is that ELC state it is suitable for 12 months to 3 years. Personally I feel the look and functions of this train are a little basic for a 3 year old so more suitable for children aged between 9 months and 2 and a half years.
Fun for children but can get slightly annoying for parents!