Christmas was a whirlwind for us. But now we are catching our breath and taking in the cornucopia of gifts that 'santa' brought. (Please note that we, his parents, bought him absolutely nothing. Everything came from his grandparents and our friends.)
There are 3 in particular worth mentioning.
Nanna picked up this toy for us, and I thought 'Oh no, not another toy,' BUT I must say that Hasbro Playskool Busy Gears holds the interest of our 11-month-old longer than any other toy we have, with the exception of Mozart's Magic Cube which is the best toy EVER. Yes, I do realize that the recommended age for Busy Gears is 12 months to 3 years, but I believe that is scaled way too high. As other reviews have noted, a bunch of spinning gears isn't very exciting for a 2+ year old.
PROS: bright gears, seems durable (so far), colors, lights and music are diverting for a little one.
CONS: No extra gears, stacking the gears is a miraculous feat, and the carrying handle is a ridiculous feature given that as soon as the product is held upright all of the gears topple to the floor (as nothing but gravity holds them on to begin with). Made in China.
BOTTOMLINE: A good bet. I'd definitely buy it again
I guess anything with the word 'busy' in the title must be good, eh?
Grandma and Grandpa gave him the Busy Zoo activity center. At first he only paid attention to the beads on the top, which he tried and tried to pull off. Now he is looking at the various doors and spinners on the sides, too. He crawls right over to it when I put him down and he enjoys it a lot. His Ultrasaucer has been left in the dust by Busy Zoo.
PROS: Bright colors, well made, not HUGE like the saucers and other toys
CONS: Still large enough and heavy enough to not be terribly portable. Made in China.
BOTTOMLINE: It's awesome ... but shop around before you buy. It is listed as $250 on
Amazon, but it was $50 at Target.
A friend of ours has finished having her kids and gave us her used 'Rescue Rider' fire truck. All 3 of her kids loved it. It's a little beat up, and it's missing it's horn and radio, but he just loves it. He pushes it around like he does his tiny toy cars. But what he really likes is that the seat opens up to reveal a storage area, and I've put blocks in here. So he loves to 'open' and 'close' the seat to see the blocks.
PROS: Made in USA, very durable as it survived 3 kids and still works, bright red color
CONS: I don't think this is made anymore, so it's not available for purchase. In fact, I don't think that Tim Mee Toys exists anymore. I've searched and searched, but can't find any reference to them other than vintage toys at Ebay. There is one review online at ePinions from someone who had issues with her child continually flipping over in the Rescue Rider, but my friend never had that issue with any of her 3 children, and I'm going to keep it on the carpet with my son, so I'm not too worried about this.
BOTTOMLINE: Any toy can be dangerous, depending on the child and the situation. We're going to let him continue to enjoy it, and maybe we'll pass it along to a 5th child someday.