Regular readers may well have had enough of me going on about how much I love Bigjigs (but just in case you haven't read this post from earlier in the week) so I'm going to keep this post just to the facts about the review items in question.
Just before Little Miss C's birthday Bigjigs sent us our second Play Patrol review package – a wonderful selection of their Road and Rail accessories. This fitted in perfectly with the selection that we had already bought her as gifts and now she's lucky enough to have a fantastic selection with which to build a huge road and rail network – ready to challenge the Highways Agency and Network Rail.
For any child that loves trains and cars the Bigjigs Road and Rail series are perfect as they have so many different components available and you can always find something to fit in with any child's interests. The link items (which contain both road and rail sections) are particularly good as children are then able to really recreate things that they see in everyday life or on television.
Little Miss C is going through something of a Thomas obsession period at the moment and it's one of her favourite things to watch on DVD. She also loves recreating some of the scenes that she's seen. Being sent the Roadway Cutting was ideal as it allowed her to recreate part of one of the title sequences straight away. The Overhead Gantry Crane was also great for acting out everything being loaded and unloaded at the dockside. This particularly worked really well with the Fruit & Veg Train which we reviewed last year which has removable carriage loads.
To help build up our transport network we also received a pack of long road pieces. The only strange thing about this is that it's sold in a pack of three pieces. Yet the curved pieces come in packs of four, so if you wanted to make a road loop you'd actually need to buy two packs of straight roadway to do so. To me it would just make so much more sense to sell it in packs of four pieces.
Accompanying the link items and roadway was a train – the Duchess of Hamilton. The original Duchess of Hamilton is a streamlined steam locomotive which currently resides at the National Railway Museum in York. I hadn't realised before that Bigjigs made so many trains in their Heritage Collection, but it's lovely to see that young children are being introduced to these old engines through play. It also reminded me of the last trip Mr C and I made to the NHM and made me realise how much LMC would probably enjoy a trip now.
As well as the accessories we were sent to review we also bought LMC the triple engine shed which is perfect for when she wants her trains to go to "bed" whilst playing with them. The parking spaces were also a gift from her uncle and ideal for the games she likes to play in which the cars all park and people have to remember to buy parking tickets (I know – strange child!) They come with three cars and the spaces are handily numbered 1, 2 and 3 so that they can be used to help young children learning numbers. The cars are coloured red, yellow and blue, but the numbers on the spaces are red, yellow and green. Just swapping those green and blue colours would have added an extra learning opportunity to match colours too – hopefully something Bigjigs could take onboard for any future updates to it.
It goes without saying that everything we were sent and that we bought from the Bigjigs Road and Rail range is designed and build perfectly for little hands. The build quality is excellent, the paint work is bright and attractive and the rail components also fit with other wooden rail sets. Once a child has a starting set (and we started with the popular Figure of eight train set) accessories make perfect gifts and with so much selection in the range you won't be stuck for something new to buy them each year, whatever your budget.
Disclaimer: As Bigjigs Play Patrol Agents we were sent the following for review: Long road pieces, Duchess of Hamilton train, Roadway Cutting and Overhead Gantry Crane. The Fruit & Veg train was a previous review item. All other items mentioned in the review or seen in pictures were either already owned or purchased by family for Little Miss C's birthday.