First and Foremost: A big thanks to sblaydes, lead in K & F and Education, for adding this product for me. It was very quick; sorry I took a little while to actually write the review!
Recommend this product?
If you have read some of my other toy reviews, you already know that my Mother-in-law has a real problem with buying gifts for the boys
At least in my opinion! She comes loaded down with gifts of clothes, toys and the like, and while she is here she will buy more. Our house is overflowing with toys, both good and bad, and several have already been sold at online auctions or garage/yard sales. Just before Christmas this year she arrived, duly loaded with toys, one of which was the Battat Take-Apart-Plane. Was this toy destined for the auction/yard sale fate, or was it meant to be a great addition to the boys already large arsenal of toys, toys, toys?
What is it?
Battat Take-Apart-Plane is a plastic biplane complete with propeller and cockpit. The plane comes assembled with a battery powered drill and drill bits, and your child can take the plane apart and put it back together to their hearts content!
The Plane itself is composed of 21 parts, including the wings, wheels, top, bottom and tail portions of the body, the cockpit and propeller along with the various screws to hold it together. Our plane is different in color than the one in the picture, having red wings, yellow body, and blue tail section with a green propeller. The screws vary between Phillips heads and hex nuts, and they turn out of the body fairly easily by hand.
The plane when completely constructed is 10 ½ long, 10 wide and a little over 6 high. For the safety conscious, the smallest part on the plane is the screws used which measure a little over 2 ½ long by ¾ wide at the head and ½ wide on the business end. This is definitely small enough for children to stick in their mouth and try to swallow, so keep a close eye on your child if you have one that shoves everything in their mouth and runs
All of the body parts are constructed of molded, colored plastic except the cockpit. The cockpit in our case is completely see-thru. The plastic is durable and rugged, and has stood up to months of abuse by our boys, attesting to the good quality of the toy. There are no stickers on the plane at all, and as a matter of fact the only adornments on the plane are rivets along the body and flaps, all molded into the original piece.
This toy has an included drill to insert and remove the screws and nuts. It is accompanied by three bits, a Phillips head, flat and hex socket. The Phillips and flat bit can be used to back out the various screws on the plane while the hex socket is included to remove the nuts holding the wheels on. The drill itself has about a 5 ½ handle and 5 body with a trigger and a direction selector. The drill does indeed drive in forward and reverse, and there is even an off position between the setting for forward and reverse on the direction selector. The drill is constructed of the same molded plastic with a hollow handle and body. The body holds the drive motor while the handle encases the three AAA batteries to run the drive. The batteries have a cover with a Phillips head screw to keep the child from opening the battery case.
Now that you have an understanding of what is included, lets discuss our experiences. My wife and I share the same feelings on this toy, and that is that it is a very worthwhile addition to the toy chest. This is one toy that will not end up in the online auction or the yard sale anytime soon, that is for sure! This has provided hours of entertainment for our boys, tearing it apart and building it back together.
I was initially impressed with the drill, as it actually works in both forward and reverse. The batteries last and last, as we have not had to replace them in almost five months with quite a bit of use. Also, the drill did help my son and me to share a moment at Christmas. You see, my wife bought me a Ryobi 18V cordless tool set, which included a drill. I was of course playing with my new tools on the floor like a little kid, and here comes Aidan to plop down next to me and start mimicking my moves! It was adorable, and would have made a great picture had we thought of it!
From a parents perspective, I would make note that the recommended age for this plane is 3 and up. Based on that recommendation and the relatively small parts, we were very careful with the boys while playing with this toy. Our oldest, Aidan, is three and is past the stage of shoving most things in his mouth. His almost-2-year-old younger brother Keenan, on the other hand, is still in that stage. Finally, the 8 month old, Kiefer, will still happily shove anything in his mouth, including the potentially choking screws. That being said, I would not recommend this for children under 3 without close supervision.
Ok, so what did the boys think?
As I stated above, the boys play with this plane a significant portion of the time. This is one of the most played with toys in the arsenal, and I think it is simply because they can tear it apart and put it back together. It seems to fill a deep-seated male desire in this functionality, it would seem
The airplane itself is constructed of sturdy plastic that stands up to abuse. The screws are fairly easy to turn out and in without the drill, and doing so increases the dexterity of your child. The toy is like a puzzle, difficult for the boys to put together at first. You could see the gears whirring trying to figure out how the darn thing went back together at first! They have become very good at it with practice. One problem we have had is losing a screw for a short time, as they get carted off and dropped. We search for them immediately due to the baby, and so far have had a 100% find rate!
The only downsides of the Take-Apart-Plane are the smallish screws, necessitating the age rating, and the fact that we do not have two. My wife and I often have to find another, equally exciting toy for one boy to play with while the other takes apart and reassembles the plane. Then after a short (very short) time, the boy without the plane will remind the other that it is time to share
Guess how that ends up?
Battat Take-Apart-Plane is recommended for ages 3 and up, and I would stick to that. If you receive this as a gift for a younger child, just closely supervise them to ensure the screws do not end up in their mouth. Other than that, this is a great toy that our boys love to play with, and the addition of the power drill is a nice touch. We received this as a gift, but I have found it on the web for $15.50, which I think is a great deal for the amount of playtime we have found with it. It is somewhat educational, training dexterity and problem solving skills. A hearty two thumbs up!
I hope this review has been helpful for you in your decision making. Please rate the review and leave a comment if you feel so inclined!
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Amount Paid (US$): gift
Type of Toy: Plane, Kite, or Rocket
Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years