Pros: Lights and sounds action. Floor activity. Portable and easy to carry.
Cons: Loud. No volume control.
We are in the process of transitioning some of my 3 1/2 year old daughter's old toys to her 9 month old baby brother, and recently rediscovered the Chicco Toys Animal Train.
The Bells and Whistles
The Animal Train is an electronic activity toy. It is shaped like a train, but lays flat on the floor for play. It has 7 sets of wheels (14 in all) along the bottom, so it can also be used as a push along toy. The handle at the top gives the impression of smoke rising from the train, and it is decorated with blue stars that light up when the train is turned on and when each sound is activated. There are 8 animal sounds and 4 train sounds, each activated by a different shaped button. The animals are: a blue dog is the conductor, and the passengers are a yellow sheep, purple horse, green cow, orange pig, green cat, red rooster and purple duck. Each animal makes the sound associated with itself when pressed. The other 4 buttons light up when pressed and are red, yellow, green and orange. These buttons make train sounds such as chugging along and bells and horns. There is also the ever important green on/off switch!
Still chugging along
My daughter received the Chicco Toys Animal Train for Christmas 2001. She played with it until I put it away for the upcoming baby in Spring 2003. We've had it out again for my 9 months old for about 6 weeks now, and have yet to replace the batteries. 2 AA batteries required - they were in it when we received it, but I'm not sure if they were included when purchased
On the right track
Both of my children have thoroughly enjoyed this train. The friendly animal faced buttons are fat and easy to press - even when the baby just bats at the toy when it is laying flat on the floor. The wheels turn which makes for exciting additional play, and as your child grows, it becomes a push along toy also. The train makes no electronic sounds when pushed along, just the clicking of the wheels
The final stop - Mommy's thoughts
Even though this train is loud, and there is no volume control, it is not a continuous noise, and not as annoying as some toys can be. The kids love it, and have fun playing with it. On a stretch, it could be educational, as the animals sounds are accurate - even if the colors of the animals aren't. The red rooster is as close as it gets. It's cute, different, and very durable.