The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
When my son was younger he loved In The Night Garden, the children's show on Cbeebies. It is basically a bunch of various characters that play in the garden with a narrator telling the story of what they are doing. The two modes of transport available are the Pinky Ponk which is a flying balloon and the Pinky Ponk which is almost like a train but the carriages are not what you might expect. This is no ordinary mode of transport, rather than being confined to roads this vehicle can go across the grass, up and down tree trunks and anywhere it likes. I can't say I'd fancy going for a spin in it!
This vehicle is small, an introduction to playing with smaller toys perhaps as it marketed as being suitable from 18 months plus, before this age it is chunkier toys being played with but this is a nice bridge between the larger and smaller toys. It is made up of 3 sections which don't click together they simply slot into one another, peg to hole so going up and down tree's replicating the programme isn't possible in the real world. I did find that the vehicle was a good replication of the show, my son was easily able to recognise the Ninky Nonk and loved it's bright colourful colours.
The Ninky Nonk is made up of 5 separate carriages there is the front carriage which is orange and red but doesn't seem to be used by the characters. The large dobe which is green and yellow is used by the bigger characters. The extremely small house (which looks really out of place I think) is used for the Pontipines and Wattingers as they are small almost Russian doll type figures. Next is a very tall and slim blue and purple building that I have seen Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy use and finally a multicoloured strange shaped building that Makka Pakka seems to favour. Three of the cars have wheels allowing you to move the car effectively.
I bought this car from Toys R Us a few years back, I believe I paid around the £6 mark but having a look around it is available from many retailers and online stores for around £8.
My son was around 13 months when he first got this vehicle and he loved it, he easily managed to move it around as a 'car' so I would say this is suitable for children younger than the recommended age. However he pretty quickly became bored of it and by the time he was 2 and a half it lay untouched in the toy box and had been for a few months so I decided to get rid of it. At first it was bright and colourful and really attracted his attention but over time the paint started to flake off leaving the vehicle with white plastic patches which was rather unsightly.
I also found that he became very frustrated by the fact that the carriages didn't hold together very well, he liked to replicate the show but he never managed to as it never stayed together. It would have been better if the car was fully together and just movable at the joints. None of the doors open and it is not big enough to put any characters in anyway. The wheels are rather stiff and sometimes I found that the car was being pulled along rather than rolling along, I found this on both laminate and carpet but laminate it happened a little less on laminate than others. I also found that after just a couple of plays that the wheels start squeaking and they get progressively louder until it is an ear achingly screeching sound.
I think that this set is extremely limited in it's abilities, at 18months children are too young to effectively role play but as they get older the toy is ineffective and they become easily frustrated with the lack of ability to replicate the show.
Overall I feel this toy is very poor, especially for the money it doesn't work as it should and it with a few simple changes it would be much more effective and enjoyable.