Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Micro Scooters

A Mini or a Maxi scooter?

mini or maxi scooter
There are two questions we are asked a lot. One of them, “would you like another slice of cake” is one of our favourites.  The other, “should I buy a Mini or a Maxi Micro scooter?” is not as tasty but still very simple to answer….
Deciding on which scooter is right for your child is important.  Important for you and for them so we’ve compiled a guide to help make the decision between the two scooters as easy as pie (or second slice of pie).
  • For children ages 3-5 years old
  • Lightweight frame makes it perfect for younger children to lift and carry over kerbs
  • Best for younger children or those new to scooting
  • Children find it easy to learn how to scoot on the Mini Micro because of the tilt and lean style of scooting.  A child leans their body in the direction they want to go. Great confidence boosting and co-ordination building skills.
  • Rear brake
  • Soft padded handlegrips to give a comfy grip
  • Robust and oodles of fun.
We do believe the Mini Micro scooter is the best scooter for young children in the market.  Aside from the technical superiority it is loved by children and parents because it suddenly gives freedom to the whole family.  No more  buggy tantrums, getting out of the house becomes hassle free and being out of the house becomes fun for everyone.
The Mini Micro scooter is for children
  • who need to improve their balance and co-ordination skills
  • who fight about going in the buggy – use the Mini Micro instead!
  • who are steady walkers
  • who weigh less than 3 stone 1lb or 20kgs
  • who are eager to get around and are developing a sense of independence
  • who have hyper mobility issues. The Mini Micro is a great aid to those children who struggle with movement functions.
The Mini Micro scooter is NOT for children
  • who are nearing their 6th birthday (you would be better off buying a Maxi Micro scooter)
  • who are not yet walking

Should I buy a Maxi Micro scooter?

maxi micro scooters

The answer of course is, yes!
The older sister to the Mini Micro scooter, the Maxi Micro scooter;
  • Is for children aged 6-12 years.
  • Has an adjustable handlebar – meaning you can adjust the height of the handle allowing the scooter to grow with your child.
  • Has 3 puncture free wheels to aid balance and co-ordination
  • Has a strong, tough rear brake (some scooters don’t have a brake at all).
  • Steers with the same tilt and lean style as the Mini Micro scooter.
  • Has a robust, durable frame making it a resilient and therefore a long lasting scooter.
The Maxi Micro IS for children who;
  • Have outgrown or are about to outgrow their Mini Micro scooter (around the age of 5)
  • Is recommended for children who enjoy the tilt and lean style of scooting
  • Weigh less than 7 stone 12lbs
  • Who are new to scooting and would benefit from the confidence a three wheeled scooter provides.
  • Are impatient! The Maxi Micro scooter is very simple to put together.
The Maxi Micro scooter is NOT for children who;
  • Weigh more than 7 stone 12 lbs (that includes mum/dad wanting to “give it a go”)
  • Who are younger than 3 or 4.  The Maxi Micro scooter is a heavier scooter than a Mini Micro. Younger children simply will be unable to manage its weight and size.
  • Would like a two-wheeled scooter.
Cuthberts stock a range of the Mini and Maxi Scooters in store only, our stores are listed on our website at www.cuthberts.com 

We would like to thanks Micro Scooters for allowing Cuthberts to publish this article which originally featured on the Micro Scooters blog.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

VTech Toot Toot Drivers Police Station

After looking at the VTech Toot Toot Drivers Fire Station last week, we've now swapped emergency services and we're now testing out the Police Station.

The Police Station is a considerably larger set than the Fire Station, and although it doesn't need batteries in the main body of it, there is still a huge amount going on. The set comes with a Police Car  (requiring 2 AAA batteries) and the play set featured five Smart Points these activate the car to say different appropriate things when it passes over each of them.

When cars arrive at the Police Station there is a flip-up gate that they have to wait behind whilst checking in at the security booth. They then pass on to the up and down vehicle lift and once the car is at the top it can then be launched down the slope by pressing the alarm on top. Also on top of the police station is a radar or satellite dish that a child can turn around and clicks when it moves - helping them build their manual dexterity.

At the base of the slope is a spinning roundabout where a small handle can be used to move cars around it. In the main body of the Police Station is also a jail cell which the car fits neatly in to. The play set also comes with a traffic cone and road block barrier.

The Police Station is one of the larger parts of the Toot Toot Drivers range and therefore there's loads going on to keep your little ones amused. It's also physically big enough that two children can play side by side on it too. The Police Station connects up with track and other parts of the VTech Toot Toot range.

As with all Toot Toot products, the Police Station is well designed for little hands to do everything and also inspires lots of vehicle based role play. So many young children love playing with emergency service vehicles and all the different responses from the police car in this play set make it a firm favourite with our little tester.

The VTech Toot Toot Drivers Police Station is available in store (St Albans, Letchworth and Hatfield Galleria), along with the rest of the Toot Toot Drivers range.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

VTech Toot Toot Drivers Fire Station

We've blogged before here at Cuthberts about the VTech Toot Toot Drivers range which is still really popular with customers. Last year we featured the Toot Toot Drivers Airport and now we're looking at the Fire Station which was released by VTech in 2012.

The Fire Station consists of a main building unit with an entrance gate that lifts up when a vehicle approaches. There is also a slide piece which connects on the side, allowing a fire engine to make a quick getaway when there's an emergency.

The Fire Station has two different volume settings that can be found on a slider switch on the front. On top there is a light up siren which can also be twisted round. There is a music button on the front panel, and also a fire extinguisher button. One the side on a fire hose which can be turned, much as you would a real fire hose. When any of these buttons are pressed the station responds with music or one of several phrases. When playing any of these the siren light on top flashes.

The Fire Station does not come with a Toot Toot vehicle, but these are available separately. In the entrance way of the Fire Station there are special detectors so that the station recognises which Toot Toot Drivers vehicle has driven in to the Fire Station and it greets it by name.

We've even put together a video review and demonstration for you.

The Toot Toot Drivers range continues to be popular with pre-schoolers, especially as the chunky cars and track are perfect for little hands. All the buttons to press on the Fire Station and the interactive way in which it greets vehicles also mean that it's ideal to hold children's attention and keep them busy. The Fire Station connects to all other parts of the VTech Toot Toot Drivers range and any of the vehicles can be used with it.

The VTech Toot Toot Drivers Fire Station is available online here and also in store (St Albans, Letchworth and Hatfield Galleria) along with the rest of the Toot Toot Drivers range.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Kidkraft Pirate Play Set

There's no doubt that children love pirates. Give them a chance to don an eye patch and wave a sword about and both boy and girl swashbucklers will jump at the opportunity. They manage to come up with hours and hours of pirate related role play and that's exactly what they'll do with the Kidkraft Pirate Play Set.

This play set contains a large pirate ship (measuring over 60cm long and over 60cm high) which is beautifully decorated both inside and out. Inside the ship there is great attention to detail with the illustrations showing everything from the ship's parrot in its cage to the hammocks in which the pirates must sleep. The ship hinges in the middle so that it can open out, allowing children to play inside easily too.

On the outside of the ship, as well as the ship's wheel (which turns) there is also a tall mast featuring two billowing sails (complete with pirate's skull decorations) and a rope ladder leading up to the crow's nest at the top. The play set also come with two pirate figures (both positionable), a set of steps to allow the pirates to climb to the upper deck, a treasure chest full of gold and a cannon to defend from the enemy.

The pirate ship actually comes in flat pack form and requires and adult with a screw driver to put it together. The instructions enclosed are easy to follow and all the screws and other parts are very efficiently labelled to make the job as easy as possible, but it is still a bit fiddly and can take about an hour in total. If you're wanting to give one of these Pirate Play Sets as a gift then we'd definitely recommend you assemble it first to save yourself a job on Christmas morning!

Once assembled the play set is incredibly sturdy and perfect for hours of imaginative play. Our little reviewer has already staged numerous battles between the two pirate characters and sailed the ship round the world several times. It would make an ideal gift for any pirate loving child this Christmas.

The Kidkraft Pirate Play Set is available in store and also online via the Cuthberts shop and retails at £54.99.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Lego Minifigures Series 11

In the run up to Christmas it can be all to easy to forget about some of the smaller toys that we sell that are popular all year round - and Lego Minifigures are one such toy.

Back in the summer we blogged about the special series 10, including the Mr Gold figures that were hidden in some bags. As far as we know we weren't lucky enough to sell a Mr Gold, but that hasn't dented our enthusiasm for series 11, especially since we know that a Minifigure bag would make a great addition to any Lego fan's stocking on Christmas morning.

So who is inside series 11 then I hear you ask? Those clever people at Lego keep coming up with more great ideas for the mini figure characters and this series is no exception. Here's the full cast list:
  1. Barbarian
  2. Scarecrow
  3. Pretzel Girl
  4. Evil Mech
  5. Island Warrior
  6. Gingerbread Man
  7. Holiday Elf
  8. Yeti
  9. Mountain Climber
  10. Welder
  11. Scientist
  12. Saxophone Player
  13. Diner Waitress
  14. Grandma
  15. Constable
  16. Lady Robot

If you want to know more about each of the Minifigures in the series then look no further than Jay's Brick Blog. There's a full three part guide to series 11 (part 1, part 2 and part 3) and I honestly don't think there's anything about these characters that you won't find out there!

Bags of series 11 Lego Minifigures are available in all our stores (St Albans, Letchworth and Hatfield Galleria) and are priced £2.00 each. We also have some stocks of previous series if you're still looking to finish off earlier collections.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Pre-Schoolers for Christmas

When it comes to pre-schoolers many of the toys which we think are going to be most popular this Christmas come from television programmes that are popular with this age range. When watched in moderation television can be wonderful for encouraging children to play and as a basis for them to start acting out stories on their own.

1. Tree Fu Tom - Ultimate Tom - £23.45

Each episode of Tree Fu Tom sees Tim put on his magical belt and be transported to the world of Treetopolis where he has adventures with his friends and uses his magic to help get them out of scrapes. Sometimes he needs a bit of help and calls upon "the big world" for assistance with spells. This is where the children watching at home are asked to perform moves in front of their TV sets to help send the magic to Tom. The series was actually developed on conjunction with the Dyspraxia Foundation so that the moves children are asked to do to help Tom perform his magic are beneficial to children who have developmental coordination disorders.

The Ultimate Tom is fully posable and also has wings which pop out to help him "fly". By pressing the chest the music from the TV programme plays when you tilt him into a flying position. Both his Sapstone belt and his Holopax (to those of you not familiar with Treetopolis lingo - it's the thing he wears on his wrist!) light up and when they are pressed you hear Tom say one of 30 phrases from the TV show.

Tree Fu Tom fans will love Ultimate Tom and soon they'll be helping him perform magic to save his friends in Treetopolis.

2. Doc McStuffins - Time for your Check Up Doll - £13.50

Dottie McStuffins is a six year old girl who wants to be a doctor, like her mum - and also happens to star in her own TV show on Disney Junior. With the help of some of her cuddly toys, she "pretends" to be a doctor by fixing her toys, earning her the name of Doc McStuffins. As soon as she goes into her playhouse and puts on her stethoscope all her toys come to life. The DocMcStuffins series on Disney Junior has received a huge amount of praise, especially for showing a girl in a leading role like this. Thanks to Doc young girls have been inspired to want to become doctors and help "fix" people just like she does.

This Doc McStuffins Doll comes dressed in Doc's favourite clothes, including her white coat, and with her stethoscope round her neck.

Here on the Cuthberts blog we've previously reviewed the Interactive Doc and Lambie Doll which is also available.

3. Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag - £24.99

Once your children have finished playing with their Doc McStuffins doll it's time for them to pretend to be Doc herself and that's exactly what they can do with the Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag. The bag is exactly like Doc's one in the television programme and includes an ear scope, syringe, thermometer and two plastic plasters, plus a stethoscope that speaks 15 phrases from the show. If that's not enough you can also buy the dress up set which includes Doc's white coat and a doctor's name badge with interchangeable inserts.

4. Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse - £24.99

The appeal of Peppa Pig to small children is incredible - even for those that have never seen the television programme! Rumour has it that even William and Kate named their little Prince after Peppa's brother.

Children who love Peppa will also love being able to act out their own Peppa stories with the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse. This playhouse ingeniously folds out (meaning less storage space required when it's not in use) and also has a handy carrying handle so children can move it around. Inside the house there are four rooms, all looking just like they do on the television, and each comes with furniture. Peppa and George Pig figures are included and other figures from the Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles range also fit with it.

5. Playmobil 5810 Pirate Corsair - £30.00

Pre-schoolers love acting out stories and that's exactly what pirate lovers can do with this Playmobil Pirate Corsair.

The Corsair comes with a skull and cross bones sail, a working cannon and anchor winch and three Playmobil pirate characters. It is also fully waterproof and means that children can continue their Playmobil adventures in the bath (although a top parental tip is to make sure you've taken all the small pieces out before pulling the plug...)

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Pre-Schoolers are available either online or in our stores (Hatfield Galleria, Letchworth and St Albans). If you want any more recommendations for what to buy your little ones this Christmas then please pop in and talk to our staff.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Toddlers for Christmas

Following on from last week's Top 5 Toys for Babies, this week we're looking at what we think toddlers will love this Christmas. One to two years olds are at that exciting age when they're starting to take much more notice of what's going on around them, becoming really inquisitive about the world  and able to move around confidently too. It's an age when they really start to "play" with toys, rather than just explore them and that's what we've tried to reflect in our top 5 list.

1. VTech Toot Toot Drivers Garage and Airport - £39.99 and £29.99

Since VTech launched their Toot Toot Drivers range it has been hugely successful with both boys and girls. The cars are the perfect size for little hands and they're also really easy for them to push around on the floor. The range is also full compatible, meaning that you can add to it over a period of time as your child grows up. As well as the large components like the garage and airport, you can also buy cars, additional road and now a train station too.

Local blogger Mrs C reviewed the garage back when it was first released and here on the Cuthberts blog we also reviewed the airport in detail just last month.

2. Mini Micro Scooter - 3 in 1 with O Bar and Seat - £74.99

Older children have been enjoying Micro Scooters for a few years now, but even toddlers can get in on the act with the Mini Micro Scooter 3 in 1.

The 3 in 1 set set gives you a normal Mini Micro Scooter (suitable for ages 3+) but also an O Bar handle and an seat which fits on to the O Bar handle. This means that for young toddlers they first use the scooter as a ride on toy and then when they're ready the seat can be removed. The O Bar handle gives them more stability and easier steering than the normal T-bar handle and means they can gain confidence before moving on to the T-bar handle once they're around three years old.

There's a review of the 3 in 1 Micro Scooter available here and the Cuthberts blog can also provide you with an excellent overview of the entire Micro Scooter range that we sell. The 3 in 1 Micro Scooter is available in either pink or blue.

We don't sell Micro Scooters online, but if you pop into any of our stores we will happily show you the Mini Micro 3 in 1 and explain how it all works and grows up with your child. If you already have a Mini Micro Scooter in the family, we also sell a pack containing the O-bar handle and seat.

3. My First Brio Railway - £29.99

Wooden train sets are huge hits with toddlers and again are things that can grow with them. The My First Brio Railway is a perfect introduction to the world of wooden railways and simple enough for young children to be able to play with it effectively.

The wooden track pieces fit together like jigsaw pieces and the set also comes with handy ramp pieces at each end so that toddlers can guide the train up on to the tracks, rather than having to place them on correctly. There's a sweet little tunnel to guide the train through and the train itself comes with three carriages which attach together with magnets. The First Brio Railway is also compatible with the rest of the Brio range, as well as with other wooden railways.

4. Wow - Dexter the Digger - £22.99

One of the best things about the Wow range at Christmas time is that it doesn't require batteries! Dexter the Digger is Cuthberts' best selling item is the range and a huge hit with children.

Like all Wow toys Dexter the Digger is incredibly sturdy and perfect for little hands that might not always be gentle with their toys. Using a slider on the side of Dexter's digging arm he can be moved to scoop and pick up the three boulders that he comes with. He also twists in the middle so that he can turn and drop the load anywhere he wants to. To help keep him in check Dexter also comes with a builder figure called Bill.

5. Peppa Pig Lullaby Peppa - £21.99

For children you love Peppa Pig this Lullaby Peppa is the perfect bedtime companion. If you child presses the heart shaped area on Peppa's tummy then she plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and also projects gentle starlight up on to the ceiling, which will then fade away after 20 minutes. The combination of music and light will help to relax your little one and make it easier for them to fall asleep. 

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Toddlers are available either online or in our stores (Hatfield Galleria, Letchworth and St Albans). If you want any more recommendations for what to buy your little ones this Christmas then please pop in and talk to our staff.
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