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In our house, you can often hear the sounds of my daughter calling out "Are you there, Charley Bear?" and though Charley Bear isn't amongst her favourite programmes on telly, she does love repeating this little line from the show until it can become excessively annoying. Kids, heh? We bought this little playset for her at the height of Charley Bear mania. For those of you who don't know the show, Charley is a bear, obviously, who gets up to all sorts of mischievous adventures, all of them narrated by James Corden. This toy set currently goes for around £5 on Amazon though, as I recall, we spent a little more than that on it. Since it started, in our house at least, the attraction with the show has slightly waned but Emilie, my daughter, still plays with this in her vintage-styled dolls house that she owns so I guess it was a good buy. The set consists of a small plastic Charley Bear figure, a toy box, bed and blanket and several of his toys. These include a ball, a toy racing car and a small rocket; presumably just a few of his favourite things. The toys are a little small though so this is probably not best suited for younger children which is odd seeing as this show is on CBeebies so that is exactly the audience demographic! Thankfully, Emilie has never been one for putting things in her mouth! All of the bits n bobs that you get in this set are durable and hard-wearing so won't be broken any time soon! This is always an advantage and at least you are getting a good quality product with this set. Still, there is not much you can do with this small set and it does smack a little bit of a shameless cash-in! Not that there's anything wrong with that so long as you are aware what you are buying into!
Father-in-laws are a great source of gifts - unless of course they get completely the WRONG gift... My daughter is only 20 months old, but has good dexterity and is good at amusing herself. She also loves Little Charley Bear - anything needs doing around the house and she will happilly sit and watch an episode or two, so we are grateful for it's invention! Unfortunately, my father in law also knows that she loves Charley Bear, but hasn't got a clue about age ranges. We came home (after grandad had been babysitting) to find her happily chewing on peices of this Charley Bear Bedtime playset. When we looked at the box and saw that it was for aged 3+ we were angry at grandad, as the peices it came with were clearly going to be too tempting for Zoe not to put in her mouth at this age. We then had the problem of getting it off her. The set comes with a Charlie bear figure, his toybox, a rocket, his bed and a ball. The ball has been 'lost' (in dad's draw) as it's a definite choke risk at this age, as has the rocket. The box is great for storing other items (such as grapes or raisins - apparently), so that is fun. My daughter also likes putting Charlie in his bed and practising going to sleep - we use it to say 'Charlie is tired' before putting her to bed - which has helped with the bedtime routine. Nothing broken so far either which is a good sign. My daughter could destroy an army if left alone with it for 20 minutes... All in all this is quite fun - and definitely gets a thumbs up from my daughter - I would wait until they are a little older and have stopped trying to chew/eat everything not nailed down though - or at least make grandparents read the age range before buying gifts!
My youngest boy who is 18 months old is little Charlie bear mad the first toy he received from the Charlie bear range was the bed room set. It is recommended from 3 + and I can see why they recommend this as when it arrived from Amazon each part of the play set are very small which was our first disappointment. In the set you receive Charlie bear figure- This is the best part of the set he is a decent size and the perfect copy of the character from the TV series. His arms and legs move and is all round well made this is my little boy's best part of the play set. Rocket - Made of solid plastic, bright and again the rocket is very small but it's made well and sits well on the floor. My son was never really interested in this although he does like trying to lock it in the toy box. Bed - The bed itself is very flimsy as soon as Logan began to play with the set 2 legs snapped at once they could have been glued back on but then the next 2 broke so we gave up and put it in the bin. For the small time he got to play with the bed there was another flaw the blanket. They provide a blanket so that you can tuck Charlie bear into bed but it is just too small does not fit on the bed correctly and can be a fiddle. Toy box - This is another good piece to the set the lid comes on and off so ball and rocket can be stored inside it is well made sturdy and one of the best features of this play set. My son loves finding new things to store inside and it is handy if you want to keep the little pieces safe after play as they can just be stored in the toy box. Ball - Very small again and rolled away under the sofa the first time my son put it back on the floor we did recover it and store it in the toy box but after the 10th time of chasing a small red ball around the front from this too was removed for my own sanity. Car - This looks attractive and was one of the first things my son reached for but unfortunately under closer inspection the wheels were loose and I was scared of letting him play with it in case they came of so this headed straight to the bin before he even got a chance to play with it very poorly made like the bed. Over all I was rather disappointed with the play set it was small, half of the toys were very poorly made and ended up in the bin within the first day but the bear figure and toy box were the 2 things that I think were actually worth playing with in the set. I do think that retail of £9.99 is over the top and would not recommend you to purchase it for this amount maybe if they make the toys more durable but in this current state no way.
Little Charley Bear is a Cbeebies character who has wacky and imaginative adventures with his toys. The show is narrated by James Corden of Gavin and Stacey fame, which means we don't watch it very often as his voice irritates me irrationally. My parent's in law bought this for my son as part of the 2 for £15 offer at Argos, but its RRP normally is £9.99. Currently it is available from Amazon for £8.99. Recommended age is 3 years and up and this is one of those toys that probably needs some parental supervision if you are giving it to a younger child. The set was astonishingly difficult to get out of its box, every bit being wired, secured with an elastic band and sellotaped into the box. It took me ten minutes to get everything out with a pair of scissors, which is a long time with a small child pestering you constantly to play with it. The pieces you get are a moulded plastic bedframe with a small cloth covering, a Charley Bear figure with moveable arms and legs, a toy box with a lid and three small toys - a ball, a toy car with movable wheels and a small red rocket. The bear figure is good quality, thick plastic, heavy and with moulded fur. My son was very eager to play with this and he is a regular traveller in Postman Pat's van, Fireman Sam's fire engine and every other form of transport we have that he will fit into. His arms and legs are easy to move and pose and haven't popped off yet, which is a fate most of these sort of toys suffer in the end in our house! The toybox is nice too, the lid is snug but easy for small children to pop on and take off at will. It's quite a sturdy item and is the favourite place for my son to keep raisins and cheerios! The rocket is also good, made of firm plastic and it amazingly didn't break even when trapped between my foot and our laminate floor, it was my foot that suffered instead. Its quite small so we lose it quite regularly at the bottom of our toy box, none of the set has really stayed together due to the number of different small pieces. The rocket has fared better than the ball however which rolled off somewhere and has got itself thoroughly lost. It's a solid, plastic ball though, would be fun to roll around if we ever come across it again. The diameter of the ball means that it won't easily become a choking hazard, but its still worth watching young children when they are playing with it just in case. It wouldn't be a good thing to have around an older baby or young toddler. However the other pieces of the set are not such good quality. The little bed frame has been on our kitchen worksurface for three months, waiting for the purchase of superglue. One of the legs fell off the first day it was out of the box and the other three are wobbly. The culprit seems to be insufficient glue and I am not very impressed with this item, the plastic is very flimsy and I don't think it will last long even when fixed. The bed cover is a cheap rectangle of white cloth which is too small to properly cover the figure when he is lying on the bed. The little green car is very fragile and the movable wheels look very easy to snap off and swallow if it is placed in a mouth. At 2cm long we have confiscated this little bit for the moment as I don't trust my son around it on his own. I don't think it would survive an adult foot accident as well as the rocket did. For a three year old who is a fan of Little Charley Bear this would be a lovely, if somewhat limited gift. Once you have put Charley Bear in the bed and the toys in the box there is not much else you can do with it, although the figure is adaptable to other games. If we hadn't mixed the set up with other toys I suspect it wouldn't be played with very much at all. In addition the quality of most of the pieces is not good and the bits are easy to lose, leaving you with an incomplete set. I wouldn't recommend it for a house where there are younger siblings who might attempt to chew or swallow any of these pieces, although the bear figure would be fine. The price is a bit steep for the quality, I wouldn't pay more than £6.99 for this given the quality and the fact that the only really usable and fun part of the set is the Charley Bear figure.
There's always time for one last game before going to sleep with the Little Charley Bear Bedtime Playset . If, like Charley, you can't resist playing with your toys before bedtime then this is the playset for you. It comes with a poseable Charley figure and a box packed with toys for him to play with, plus a little blanket for when he's finally ready to be tucked into bed. The Bedtime Playset is great fun for fans of the Little Charley Bear TV series. Colours and styles may vary