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I was getting to the stage of dispair while attempting potty training my 2 year old, so I decided to resort to out and out bribery. I took him on a special trip to a well known Toy store and told him he could pick a present which he could play with as long as he used his potty.
He immediately dragged me over to the Toy Story section of the shop which was not a great surprise. After spending about 20 minutes looking through all of the toys, he decided his favourite was this authentic bucket full of soldiers from Toy Story.
I was a little reluctant at first, thinking to myself, great, another thing to be left on the floor where I will no doubt stand on it and break it, but for my bribery plan to work he had to get his choice.
Anyway, we got as far as the car before he was keen to rip into the bucket and see what the present was really like. I agreed that he could have one toy out of the bucket to hold, as I imagined finding them under the seats when the bucket fell off his knee.
The bucket contains 72 toy soldiers as seen in the 3 Toy Story movies. There are 6 designs of soldiers, including 2 with parachutes. The bucket initially seemed pricey, but for my £12 from the toy shop I think that it was good value. It might have been even better if I had spotted they were in our big Tesco for £8, and also available online for that price.
Initially opening the bucket, the very first thing I noticed was that there was a certificate of authenticity on the inner side of the lid, proving that they were official toy story prodcts. The tub itself is quite attractive with American stars and stripes design, and is ideal for storing all the soldiers when they are not in play. The bucket is sturdy enough that it hasn't accidently been damaged when in storage or play. I was expecting it might crack, but the plastic is quite thick. The only thing I don't like about the tub is that the handle can detach, and then it is a faff to put it back on.
The soldiers themselves are all dark green in colour, matching exactly their appearance in the film. The are several designs available in the tub which really makes it a good role play experience for the kids. Each soldier has a sturdy plastic base so they stand up on their own really well. They are a smooth plastic so it feels nice in the hand, and each two inch figure is perfectly formed. My main worry that they would break if stood on has proved to not be true. The soldiers seem to be a bit tougher than i expected. Although it still hurts under foot, the soldiers don't show as much as a scratch. My kids have been persuaded to be quite good at putting the soldiers back in the tub though after I reminded them Andys mum stood on some soldiers in Toy Story One and one soldier got broken.
1) This soldier is knelt on one knee and holding a bazuka on his shoulder. The detail on the plastic is amazing. The bazooka has an eye sight on the top, and you can see the belt and pockets on his uniform, as well as his field phone and other containers attached to his belt. If you look closely at the face you can see eyes, the nose, the mouth and ears. Ever soldier has the same face.
2) This soldier is stood up. He is holding a rifle in his hands with one hand on the trigger.
3) This soldier has a slighly bent knee pose and is holding a detector for finding mines.
4) This soldier is stood upright, saluting with his right hand, and in his left hand he holds a pair of field binoculars.
5) This soldier is stood in a bent knee pose holding his rifle above his head as though he is moving through water.
6) The sniper - this is the only soldier without a base to stand up, as he is lying down on the floor waiting to fire his rifle.
7) The rocket launcher - this soldier is knelt on one knee and about to put a rocket into the launcher. He has a spare rocket in each hand.
8) This soldier is ready to fire. His body is slightly twisted at the waist and his rifle is held close to his body ready to shoot.
9) This soldier is also carrying a rifle. He is knelt on the floor and holding the rifle into his shoulder with his hand on the trigger.
10) This soldier is stood up with a small handgun in his right hand and a pair of field binoculars in his left hand.
11) The parachutist. There are two of these figures. They are attached with string to plastic parachutes. The parachutes are made of a thick plastic which can withstand being thrown in the air and falling to the ground. It is thick enough that it won't rip with normal use. The biggest problem with this figure is that the ropes get really tangled up, and woe betide if you use the two in the same area of the room. One drop then seems to mean more than 10 minutes of parental detanglement. It is a shame as they fall so elegantly and are a lot of fun for that few seconds.
These figures are well loved in our house. £12 did seem quite pricey, but when you look at how sturdy the figures are, and how much variety you get within the one bucket you then don't seem to mind as much.
One worth adding to the Toy Story collection.
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