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Brok the Brachiosaurus from Vtech is one of those toys which in my opinion should be on the must buy Christmas presents list for 2012. He joined our family when my son was given some birthday cash for his 6th birthday. After exploring everything that was in the toy shop, Brok was selected and brought home with us. We paid £33.50. Brok is currently for sale for £25 at Amazon, although the RRP is £49.99 on this one, and its price seems to be going up and down on there as when we bought it the price was definitely closer to RRP. At somewhere around the price we paid, you are getting a good buy. I don't think many toys are worth £50.
Brok is an electronic toy, and requires 4 pencil batteries which came with him. There is an on/off switch on the bottom of the toy, and battery life seems quite good as we have been playing with this one for a couple of months and he is still going quite strong. I think it helps as the toy goes into sleep mode if left for a while until it is pressed again, so this saves wasting your battery power.
Brok is part of an entire range of toys from Vtech which are part vehicle/part dinosaur. In a way this reminds me a little of the transformers toy range, except that the toy is sturdy enough for children to make the transformation between vehicle and dinsaur without you feeling bits are going to fall off in your hands. The cheaper smaller dinosaurs are more in the price range of £12-15, and the recommended age for this range is 3 plus.
The set feels good value for around £30. You get a car transporter which is carrying a small sporty looking car, and a little toy pterodactyl. You can push the transporter around with a handle on the back of it, and pressing down in this same place raises the ramp. This means the car is then launched over the roof of the car transporter and down the front, which causes the pterodactyl to fly off a small distance into the air. This is highly entertaining for small children, and my two are in stitches watching the dog chase the dinosaur.
When the toy is in vehicle mode, touching the button or switching it on makes a sound like an engine starting, and an electronic figure appears in the cockpit, and says phrases like, Come on, Climb aboard, I've always got room for a friend, where to? This is accompanied by random hoots on the horn and blue lights, and an occasional change of the display from the driver into a dashboard looking display which I think is meant to be a speedometer.
The fun comes when you start to turn the vehicle into the dinosuar. There are little blue buttons to flip out the wheels into legs, and then you need to extend the tail and the head section by pulling on the neck. We didn't pull out the neck far enough at first as it needs to click fully out to transfer the screen into a dinsaurs eyes, and the toy will now start saying phrases in a different voice and make dinosaur sounding growls. You get phrases like 'I'm large and I'm in charge, bigger is better, I have to eat all the time to feed my huge stomach. 'All the time there are animated eyes moving about, and now there is a hinged jaw section under the cab so it really does look like a dinosaur even though not that much has changed from it being a car.
I think the ease of transformation, along with the range of phrases make this a lovely toy. Before we got the dinosaur phrases to work too I did think perhaps it was a bit of a dud for the money, but once my boys saw the dinosaur and heard the phrases then they were in awe of this toy. I also like how sturdy the toy is when it is a dinosaur on raised legs. Apparently you get 80 different phrases. I am not going to sit there all day and count them, but it does seem to do a fair few. It is random what you get when you press the buttons so I may not even have experienced them all yet.
The only downside is both the driver and the dinosaur speak with that american twang you get on toys. I kind of wish they would record British versions so our kids got more familiar sounding words. It irritates me when it says things like 'big rig' which is not a phrase we would use to describe a truck. Other than that, I like how it gets across some dinosaur information and I think that the character is quite cute looking.
It's not too loud, it's not that annoying, and I think it is a good toy for kids who like the thought of transforming toys but are not old enough to have the skills to do it on the transformers range. This is a good toy for kids who are no longer toddlers, but aren't really that old yet. Between 3 and about 7 is my best recommendation. I like that it is quite compact as a truck and will easily fit in the toy box or under the bed, and it is sturdy enough to not collapse and run about over carpetted surfaces. This has been a huge hit in my house, and I can't think of anything really not to like about Brok.
Brok the Brachiosaurus is an easy going tough guy, but don't get on his bad side! This 2-in-1 toy switches between a dinosaur and a truck in a few simple steps. Choose the dinosaur's eyes or which driver to be displayed on the LCD screen. Press the talk button to hear fun phases and learn dinosaur facts. Press the sound button or move the dino to hear dinosaur and car sound effects. Just Switch & Go!