It's hard to believe that Fireman Sam, or Sam Tân as he was for two years in his native Welsh before being translated into English, first came to our screens in 1985. The original series ended in 1994 but he made a comeback in 2005 and has been fueling the imaginations of generations of little boys (and girls) ever since. Pierre is a huge fan so he was over the moon to receive some of the Character range of Fireman Sam playsets and figures to discover.
The first thing to catch his eye was the Fireman Sam Quad Bike (RRP £9.99). This comes with a Fireman Sam figure with moving arms and legs and a very cool helmet - there's a great safety-first message here for the kids - which is just as well because Sam has a bit of trouble staying on the seat and falls off quite a lot. Pierre loves pushing it around on the floor (and the table, the walls, my legs ... !) making vrooom noises and giggles like a loony when he falls off ! It's quite small (20 x 13cm) but is the perfect size for toddlers to play with and Pierre certainly loves it.
We also discovered the Mountain Lodge Playset (RRP £14.99) which got another squeal of delight from Pierre. This is great for encouraging creative roleplay and storytelling because it has several interactive elements such as a staircase to walk the enclosed Tom Thomas figure up, a stretcher (which Pierre was delighted to discover can be attached to the helicopter that is sold separately and that he had already) and - best of all - a flip down fire for Sam to put out !
If you want to recreate the whole of Pontypandy in your child's bedroom, this playset is one of four buildings available, alongside the Fire Station (with Sam), the Boat House (with Penny) and the Supermarket (with naughty Norman Price).
We also got a twin pack of Fireman Sam character figures (RRP £4.99), in our case Sam and Tom, two that we'd already received with the toys. I thought this might confuse Pierre for his make-believe role playing but he wasn't the slightest bit worried and just said they were twins or people in fancy dress pretending to be Sam and Tom ! I love the way kids' minds work !
The toys are all great on their own, but it's when you start building up a collection that you really start seeing your child's imagination come alive. We had Tom number 1 having a barbecue and setting the mountain lodge on fire so that Sam had to come whizzing in on his quad bike and call in Tom number 2 with the helicopter and stretcher to take an injured Tom to hospital. (When I asked what was wrong with him, Pierre said he'd burnt his finger !)
star rating : 4.5/5
for more information : http://www.character-online.com/products/Fireman-Sam/
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.
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