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Bob the Builder is a firm favourite with boys and girls alike. His slot on Cbeebies along with all the DVDs and other merchandising available make him a household name and children love all the catchphrases that the various characters have.
Travis is a tractor and doesn't actually belong to Bob, but instead has his home on Farmer Pickles' farm. He helps Farmer Pickles get lots of work done around the farm but also lends a hand to Bob whenever it is needed. He also tries to stop Spud the scarecrow from getting into trouble although usually not very successfully.
Speaking with a country accent he is well known for saying, 'OK Farmer Pickles,' and has a jolly laugh along the way. He can pull a trailer and help to move things around the farm or on the building site.
Like Scrambler this toy is sometimes also sold with a trailer, but also comes with a couple of hay bales too. The toy my son has doesn't have these attachments with it but the tractor is just the same as the other version shown in the picture above.
Green seems to be an appropriate colour for Travis with all the work that has been going on in Sunflower Valley where the environment is very important to Bob and the other residents. Travis also has a red grille, which looks like a big mouth and a fixed eye on either side of this. He has a red funnel at the front and it goes up and down, as he is pushed along.
***The Friction Test***
All these toys are classed as friction so I couldn't possibly describe it in detail without the friction test that I put all these toys through before writing about them. This takes place in two areas of my house, the kitchen/dining area where the floor is laminate and the living room, which has a carpet. I think it's important to test on both surfaces for grip and length of roll.
This tractor has two little wheels at the front and two big wheels at the back and it is the big black ones that have the friction motion to them. I think that this probably had something to do with the results, as I hardly had to push it at all and it flew across both rooms.
It goes a little bit slower on the carpet than the laminate but stays on course well and doesn't veer off the way some of the other Bob toys do. On both surfaces it went well over 14 feet and was stopped by objects at the end of the rooms.
Travis is one of the original members of the team although for me, he looks a bit menacing with the way the eyes sit on the side of the grille. This makes him look angry and maybe not as friendly as some of the other characters.
This being said, I don't think my son has noticed this at all and loves playing with Travis. It's a shame that we got this toy for him before the trailer version came out because he would have loved that although he does have other farm vehicles from another set so this isn't really a big problem for him.
The toy is well made and stands up to a lot of play. He's had this one for a couple of years now and it looks as good as new. They are obviously made to withstand bumps into things like furniture. It also washes well so playing in the garden in the summer isn't really a problem. My son loved to take it out into his sandpit last year with the rest of his Bob toys and we just gave it a hosing off to clean it up and then left it in the sun to dry off.
Toys like these really get children to use their imaginations a lot and I have to sit and smile to myself whether he is on his own or playing with friends because all these toys end up talking to each other and funny voices are put on to replicate those in the television series.
With my son also having a farm set and the little Farmer Pickles figure that you can buy separately, Travis fits in really well and we often end up with the farm and a building site being constructed with building blocks or Lego so they are pretty versatile toys to have.
What I like about them best though is that they don't cost an absolute fortune, like some other merchandising around. They all retail for under £10 for the friction ones although you can pay a bit more if you want the talking varieties. I tend not to go for these though, as I prefer my son to voice the vehicles himself and then he can make up scenarios as he goes along.
There are always new vehicles coming out all the time so adding to the set is easy at Christmas or birthdays and I would say that my son will get a good couple of years play from these yet so they are well worth the money.
Dizzy is a pull back toy although some toy manufacturers list him as being friction too.
***Price and Availability***
This toy was bought from Tesco for just under £5 and is still available there or from Amazon for this price. I haven't been able to locate the version with the trailer at present so cannot comment on price for this one but I know that the Scrambler version with trailer sold for a couple of pounds more.
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When K was little he loved Bob too, and had loads of the characters...I only wish we'd held onto them all now as I could have given C them....we ended up donating them to the school fete on one of our big clear outs! x
tazzywazzy 05.02.2008 19:45
i nearly bought this at christmas for my secret santa, in the end I went for two wwf wrestlers that were on offer (also in tescos!) hope you are well xxx
pmcds 05.02.2008 17:41
We have a couple of the friction toys. Good review.