Ask me to dress or undress a doll, bake cookies or set out a teddy bears' tea party and I could do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. However, pass me a train-set or a box of Meccano and it'll take me a bit longer to work it all out ! Yes, I know there's been a whole "Pink Stinks" campaign about how wrong it is to have gender-specific toys but there are some things that girls (or Sophie and Juliette, in any case) have just never really been attracted to in the toy shops. We're therefore having great fun discovering all these new "boys' toys" with 16-month-old Pierre !
I'd seen the adverts on TV for Tonka's Chuck's Stunt Park and it looked brilliant. As they say : "Zip, zoom, turn and even flip — this Chuck’s Stunt Park playset lets you perform all of these cool stunts and more with your Chuck The Dump Truck vehicle!" As all parents know from bitter experience, the actual toy doesn't always look as good as it did in the adverts though, so would this one live up to the hype ?
Well, in a word, yes ! Pierre, but also the girls and, if I'm honest, the parents (!), absolutely loved watching the cute little dumper truck doing all the impressive stunts. He giggled every time it did the flip-flop action but the girls just couldn't get enough of the daredevil two-wheeled hanging trick ! They kept making him do that bit over and over again, turning the hand-crank elevator to get him up the mountain so that he could do his daredevil stunt on the way back down, until Pierre had enough and grabbed the little car and sent it scuttling across the floor ! Yes, it also works off the track ! Actually, I say track but it hasn't actually got a closed circuit to go round. You just put all the separate pieces wherever you want. This seemed a bit strange to me but didn't seem to bother the kids at all.
The playset contains a Chuck dumper truck and a 6 piece track, including a lights and sounds lift, monkey bar stunt, tumble stunts and 3x 90 degree turn pieces. The track needs 2 x AA batteries which are included, but what you might not initially realise is that the car itself also needs two extra batteries, which are not enclosed. We pushed it around the track before realising this and it does work without the extra batteries but is obviously more impressive when it's motorised !
The girls have been squabbling over whose turn it is to make Chuck do the stunts which is always a sure sign that the toy has received their seal of approval ! I do like the interactive nature of some of the stunts and the impressive nature of the actions. I've never seen any other racing track type of toy on the market offering such exciting tricks.
Recommended age: 3 years+
star rating : 4.5/5
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