Mother and Baby

VTech Electronics Toot-Toot Friends Kingdom Pirate Ship Review

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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2020 Shortlisted Best Toddler Toy

At a glance:

This interactive pirate ship from VTech is filled with excitement as your little one opens the ship up to find its very own treasure island. They can create their treasure island adventure with three characters, launch a cannonball and escape the spinning octopus. 

How did this product make your life easier?

Gail: I really loved this product, it was easy to put together and really helped encourage my toddler that is 18-months-old to play independently. I think the product is bright and keeps my toddler well entertained. The play people are large enough for my toddler to move around with ease and helps him build confidence.

Jodie: This product requires little assistance from mum, my 16m old can easily use this toy, she’s able to push it along, open it to reveal and play with the inside and manoeuvre the characters to the different place points on the ship. I really like that the characters are chunky. The toy is lightweight but durable (to put into perspective she can pick it up and stand on it) without any signs of flimsiness.

Lisa: To be honest it doesn't really make my life easier. My 18-month-old daughter loves the pirate ship, she likes the sounds and pressing the buttons. The characters are a great size too as she can easily pick them up and put them in their places. She plays nicely with it, it's too heavy for her to lift. It only keeps her occupied for about 5 minutes, enough time for me to make a coffee but not enough time to drink it. She is too little to press the Canon button or understand the instructions on the sound buttons. If I was to play with her she'd play for longer. 

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Amy: I would 100% recommend the Toot-toot Friends Pirate Kingdom Ship to my friends and fellow mums. The product is compact but still large enough to hold a group of children's attention. We put it in the car to go on our family holiday with and all five children loved playing with it during the rainy days whilst we were stuck inside.

Lisa: Yes I would recommend this product. It's very well made, the characters are a good size, and have three different sound buttons which light up. It has a good use of colours and you can fold away easy then open up for more playing. The octopus is brilliant, my daughter likes it when I push it on the carpet to make its legs move. My daughter doesn't push it herself (not sure if that's down to her age) it's slightly more expensive than I would pay, although I can see why it's the price it is. A good use of detail inside and out and easy to clean. 

Meenal: It's a good toy for either a boy or girl, has some educational value with the interactive buttons and obviously good for development because of role play as they get older. It's easy to clean as it is wipeable. There are no small parts so it is safe for a child of 15 months. It costs around £40 which is quite expensive but as I think it would last a few years of play I think it would be worth it overall.

Would you choose this product to win?

Lisa: After putting it together my son played for over an hour before we’d even introduced the extra characters and it was at least 2 or 3 days of play before we introduced the sound functions! Some of the characters, like the octopus and the canon, are a little too advanced for my 20-month-old but I love that it means he’ll grow into them. The longevity of the product is apparent and the value for money from this product is a very attractive feature.

Parveen: I would definitely choose this product over others and I think it should win. I have used other toys of the same company but this one has loads of features to match the needs of the child as they grow up. They will never get bored and they learn from this toy. This is excellent value for money as my child can use this product for a long time. It is also compact and strong. The price is very attractive and I already plan to buy one as a gift.

Nicola: I wouldn't vote for this toy to win but that is largely down to my concerns about buying new plastic toys and encouraging others to do so. I prefer more sustainable, open-ended toys. I also feel that both the pirates on the ship being boys (Stanley and Monty) and then the matching 'princess' set being advertised on the box is sexist and unnecessary. My daughter immediately wanted to buy the princess set as she thought the pirates were too boyish. This is not something I want to promote in my homegirls can be pirates and boys can be princesses too!

What changes would you make to this product?

Meenal: It is quite expensive so I probably would not buy this unless it was for a birthday or Christmas present for someone. The stickers take time to apply to the ship but otherwise, it was ok to put together. Perhaps they could break the stereotyping of pirates and have a female one in the future! this might make it appeal more to children of both sexes!

Anjali: If I could change one thing it would be the voices used for the product. They seem slightly out of keeping with the quality found in other Toot Toot products and sometimes seem to be unclear and slightly staccato. This product is used to encourage independent and imaginative play and also learning - hence it isn’t important that the language and tone used are clear and appropriate.

Lisa: I would imagine the stickers could get a bit grubby after a lot of play meaning the product would lose its glossy look but I could live with that. My main gripe, if you can call it that, is that there’s only one cannonball! Although a great product for supervised play, when the canon is involved I’m constantly fishing under the sofa or behind the bookshelves for the missing cannonball! It’s small, light and fast and it travels a long way so gets lost easily! It would be good if more were included with the product or if you could buy a set of five separately!

While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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