Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fireman Sam Drive & Steer Jupiter

Fireman Sam, Drive & Steer Jupiter, Remote Control toy

We have quite a few toy cars at home ever since Clay fell in love with cars. A few of them were remote controlled. They are all similarly designed, with a button for forward, reverse, turn left and turn right. He did enjoy playing with them, although buttons were more randomly pressed. Recently we were sent a Fireman Sam Drive & Steer Jupiter to review, which is a very impressive remote controlled vehicle for toddlers, and Clay is quite good at controlling it too!

Fireman Sam, Drive & Steer Jupiter, Remote Control toy

The Drive & Steer Jupiter (rrp £29.99, suitable for 18 months+) comes in 2 parts - the fire engine Jupiter and the steering wheel like remote control. The remote control has 5 buttons: Start, which represents the ignition key, Forward, Reverse, Sound (Fireman Sam saying "Great Fires of London!") and a Turbo button to make Jupiter speed up. To turn Jupiter left or right, simply turn the remote control left or right.

Jupiter has 3 sets of wheels. The front wheels are being controlled by turning the remote control left or right, and the middle set of wheels are controlled by the forward and reverse buttons. The Jupiter has its own sound (Fireman Sam theme song and the fire engine siren), which can be muted (next to the on/ off switch at the base). Jupiter also have a movable ladder, though not remote controlled.

Proper remote controlled vehicles tend to require a good amount of power to make them work and last, and even though the Drive & Steer is designed for toddlers to play with, it is a proper remote controlled toy, just like those designed for adults. So it does take up quite a lot of batteries to play (8 x AA batteries in total). 

Clay let out a big bright smile when he first heard Fireman Sam's theme song played by the Jupiter! He didn't realise that it wasn't the only thing Jupiter can do until we showed him how to make Jupiter move using the remote control. Both him and Abby had lots of fun trying to steer Jupiter around, and we have all bee fighting over for our turn! Even though Clay is only 2, he quickly understood how to move Jupiter forward and backward, and even managed to turn Jupiter within limited space. So don't be surprised if your little one can drive and steer Jupiter better than you do!

The Drive & Steer Jupiter is a really impressive toy (and it's for toddlers!), not only does it simulate real life driving motion (the way you steer the steering wheel is exactly the same you would to steer a real car), it even has a turbo button to make Jupiter goes faster, making it really exciting to play! Perhaps older children can use it to practice their steering skills before they are old enough to learn how to drive! The only confusing time is when you drive Jupiter towards you, so it's recommended to stay behind Jupiter when in control.

It's very thoughtful of the creators to add a mute button on Jupiter, to give us parents a quiet time while the little ones play with it. However, I would appreciate it even more if they can mute the sound on the steering wheel as well to make the mute function more effective. Clay's small hand kept finding its way to the sound button, and many "Great Fires of London!" in a row can get a bit too much!

A down side for us is that our carpet is fairly thick, making it hard to remote control Jupiter (and many other toys) on it. We do have small patches of uncovered areas in the living room, but the fun is limited. Even so, as Fireman Sam is one of Clay's favourite program at the moment, he doesn't mind at all that Jupiter doesn't move. In fact, I started off letting him play without any batteries for the first few days and he still loved playing with it!

Overall, we think that this is a fun toy enjoyable for anyone who can walk and use a remote control. With it being professionally made (the way the Jupiter is controlled), it will be a very popular remote control toy! You can now buy Fireman Sam Drive & Steer Jupiter from Character Online.

Disclosure: We were sent a toy to review; all opinions are honest and our own