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My eldest daughter received this when she was 1 year old, sheís now 4, so weíve had it for over 3 years, and it is still played with regularly, much to my disappointment! The Little People Red Bus is made by Fisher Price and is part of the ever growing Little People range.
Big Red Bus
With the bus you get 3 Little People & 1 wheel chair (I think anyway, we've got that many Little People now that I get confused), and I think you also get a piece of luggage.
The bus is a decent size and has an open top to easily allow the child to put passengers in and out. The back door also drops down, to allow the wheel chair to be 'wheeled' in and out, the side door also opens. Inside the bus there are spaces for 3 passengers plus driver (you can press the driver down and various tunes or noises will be activated). The plastic inside the bus is moulded with various things such as satchels, books, crayons etc. This is to highlight that it's a school bus.
There are various songs & jingles that the bus will say when you press the driver down.
"I'm rrrrrrrreally happy" and then he whistles the tune of 'If you're happy and you know it' then makes a brumming sound.
He also says:
"My wheels are rrrrrrrround" and then the tune of 'The Wheels On The Bus' is played.
Another one is:
"My stop sign is rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred" followed by lots of brumming.
"My lights are bbbrrrrrrrrrright" brum brum.
My overuse of letters above is an attempt to show you how his voice sounds; I find the busís voice quite irritating and he gives you the impression he's one of those 'people' who are always so cheerful, which I also find annoying. The tunes that play (wheels on the bus and if you're happy and you know it) are played so fast that you cannot sing along to them without sounding like a complete idiot. But I suppose the idea isn't for you to sing along, just to listen and enjoy...(?)
Through watching my daughters play with this bus over the years, I have come to realise that it is pretty well designed. Everything is easily accessible for young toddlers; the fact that it has no roof is a major advantage because if the child struggles with opening the doors, they can just have easy access through the roof; but saying that neither of my daughters have ever struggled with the doors and have always managed by themselves quite easily. This is where many toys fall down, they make moving parts too difficult to clip in and out of position, but Fisher Price have not made that mistake here. The cavity inside the bus is quite large, so a childís hand is unlikely to get trapped as they scrabble about trying to extract whatever toys they have put inside, but also there is plenty of space for the child to insert a whole bus load of toys, not just the Little People. The wheels also turn really freely and it is very easy for a child to wheel the toy around carpet, or laminate floor. So yes, I would say itís a well designed bus, simple yet very effective.
So is the bus any good for my daughters?
Well to be honest, I would say this is one of those toys that never gets boring and it still regularly comes out of the toy box for a good play session. At the moment their favourite game is ĎBrum Busí where my eldest fills the bus with her toy cars, then propels it across the floor, usually straight into a wall, and most of the cars jump out through the front windscreen. They both find this very amusing and will do it several times over.
But the bus has served many purposes in its toy life at our house. At first my eldest would just play with it as it was intended, with the Little People provided, and she would kind of use it in her many role playing sessions chattering away with the little figures. But as she got older things changed and she would stuff as many of her small soft toys in there as she could, and transport them around the house. Then she progressed onto just using it as a bus and playing with it in the garden. But currently, as I stated above, it is used as some sort of catalyst in causing massive vehicle carnage in my dining room. Both children still really enjoy playing with the bus and I often find myself tidying it away on a night, which is always a good indicator of a popular toy.
As you can read from this review, the bus has been put through its paces and yet itís still in very good condition, as you would expect from a Fisher Price toy. I really canít fault the quality of this toy, itís definitely a keeper.
At first I was not keen on the bus, mostly because of its irritating voice and silly tunes, but thankfully this was an aspect of the toy that neither of my children were particularly enthralled with (the apple doesnít fall far from the tree...), so I never had to listen to it very often, thank goodness! But as the years have passed, I have found a place in my heart to love this red bus, and with it being so well loved by my kids, I think it will be something I will keep for many years because it has played such a massive part in their lives. I will probably never be able to part with it, but itís never going to go out of fashion, so maybe it will come in handy for the Grandkids...
The one thing that lets it down is the voice.
It takes 3 x AA batteries which came provided with the bus, and Iím not even sure if Iíve ever had to replace them! But this might be because my daughters donít use the noise function very often.
An updated version of this bus is available from Toys R Us for £17.99, and of course you can get a pink one for £18.99 Ė donít buy into the pink culture!!