Tuesday 22 November 2011

Britains 1:32 Farm Toys review

Back in the summer, I reviewed a fantastic Landrover and Bobcat excavator that were sent through from the Britains Farm Toys collection. As you can see in that review (here), the whole family - including (or should that be especially ?!) Madhouse Daddy Mike and the visiting Madhouse Grandad - were absolutely blown away by the realism and attention to detail of the 1:16 scaled down models. This time, we were offered some of their 1:32 toys to see what the kids thought of them.

First up was the Dual Purpose Building. As you can see in the top picture, it is a big barn-type building ideal for keeping cows in as well as parking up your tractor. (More about both of those in a moment !) You can again see the attention to detail and realism of the model, so it is ideal for getting kids to really look carefully and learn about various aspects of real life farming. It is all made of plastic but seems very solid and sturdy.

The only downside - as a parent ! - is the number of small parts that need to be carefully put together to create it. At first glance, you'd need a PhD in engineering to work out how it all goes together ! There are 28 - yes, I counted them ! - tiny screws, although they do get a bonus point for providing a screwdriver in the box so you don't have to go looking all over the house for one. I will be totally honest - I put this one aside for a day when Madhouse Daddy Mike has the time (and patience) to put it all together (Christmas morning or Boxing Day sounds perfect to me !) and moved on to the other toys.

Next up was the JCB TM 310S Loader. Scaled down to 1:32, you still get a realistic toy with great attention to detail that is ideal for kids to play with. The girls recognised the JCB name from the iPad app that we reviewed (here) and Juliette said it was the digger from Bob the Builder ! Pierre calls it a tractor and got straight down to pushing it around on the floor running over the cows - hmmm, might have to work a bit more on the humane running of a farm theme !

The toy, like the Bobcat excavator and Landrover from the 1:16 range, is very sturdy - it's made from metal with plastic trim so resists rough playing with no problems at all - and it's well thought out for playing too. The articulated steering, which means that the front and back move independently, makes it much easier to move around (and steer into cattle - maybe he thinks that's what cattle-steering is !!) and the different accessories - a grabber for moving bales of hay, pallet lift prongs and a bucket for shovelling ... mud (!) - are great for inspiring imaginative farmyard role play.

But you can't have a farm without animals (well, you can actually, but not in the mind of a 2 or 6-year-old !) so we were pleased to discover some cattle too. Now, Britains being a seriously realistic farm toy manufacturer, you don't just get cows, you get specific breeds of cattle - Friesian, Texan Longhorn, Jersey or - as I believe these are - Aberdeen Angus cattle. The anatomical correctness of these led on to an interesting discussion about the difference between cows and bulls and some rudimentary biology. ("No, you don't get milk out of that bit, that's not udders, that's the daddy. Yes, it's his willy. Yes, you only get milk out of the mummy cows. Yes, that's right,  just like you used to get milk out of mummy's boobies but daddy couldn't give you any" !!!)

Well there you have it - it's not just a lot of fun to play with, it's educational too !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £25.99 for the Dual Purpose Building, £17.99 for the JCB Loader, Aberdeen Angus £4.99

for more information : http://www.britainsfarmtoys.com/

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