Pros: Adorable chunky animals. Interesting things for little hands to explore. Very cute train toy.
Cons: While the toy plays 5 songs, pressing the smoke stack only triggers 1 of them...
My toddler son is OBSESSED with vehicles - particularly fire engines, buses, and trains. Every time I went to a big discount chain-type store my little guy was infatuated with the Fisher Price Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo Choo that was invariably on the toy-aisle shelves, and I could certainly see why. Eventually I broke down and purchased it for him, and it has been one of his favorite toys ever since.
The Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo Choo is an adorable, chunky animal train for babies and toddlers from Fisher Price. Included with this musical rolling train are 3 adorably chunky animals and lots of little things for baby's fingers to explore.
The train is oversized and chunky and comes in 2 pieces - the red engine and 2 connected yellow animal cars. The train has a wide-open area for placing animals of various sizes, and has 2 bars on either side with 2 spinnable, slideable leaves. The train's cars connect with the engine via a large loop on the car that fits over a large nub on the engine - making it easy for little ones without much manual dexterity to operate. There is a medium sized train car with a springy red bird on the side and a small train car with a bar along the top (so the monkey can hang from his tail) and bananas that can slide up and down the vertical bars on either side.
There are a few interactive features on the train's engine. Pressing the smokestack will play the "Animal Train" song (and when in the "Move-Along Fun" mode the train will roll forward). Pressing the bell will play 1 of 9 animal sounds. Placing an animal in the engine (or pressing down on the floor of the engine) will play 1 of 4 short animal songs. Every time a song or sound-effect plays a light in the smokestack flashes.
The 5 songs that the train plays are cute, original compositions. The longest song is played whenever the smokestack is pressed. We call it the "Animal Train" song and the lyrics are about coming onboard the train to learn about animals and have fun (complete with train sounds, which my son loves). The 4 shorter songs (played whenever you press on the floor of the engine) each aim to teach about the animals. One is about animal sizes, another is about the noises they make, another is about their different colors, and the fourth has little animal facts (a sample lyric is: "Polar bears live where it's cold, lions like it hot, tigers can run very fast, and hippos cannot").
There is a power/volume switch on the back of the engine. The modes are off, low volume, and high volume. There another control that switches the train between "Sit and Play" mode and "Move-Along Fun" mode, which controls whether or not the train will roll when the smokestack is pressed.
The included animals, like the train, are large and chunky and just perfect for little hands.
The yellow giraffe is jointed at all 4 legs, where his neck meets his body, and where his neck meets his head. Each joint clicks as you move it. The spots on his neck and legs are raised, providing an interesting texture. There is a bead or two inside his body, so he rattles as you shake him. His tail, ears, and tuft of "hair" on top of his head are made of a softer plastic and would be good for teething. The bottom of each foot is a different color and has a different raised texture (orange star, red nubs, purple lines, a green swirl).
The blue elephant is jointed at all 4 legs, his neck, and his trunk. His large purple ears each have an interesting texture (one has lines, the other bumpy nubs) and his ears and tail are a softer plastic that would be great for teething. Like the giraffe, the bottom of each foot is a different color and has a different raised texture.
The brown monkey is the smallest of the animals and doesn't have any movable joints. His tail is made of a softer plastic and would be good for teething. He has a bead inside his body, making him a good rattle. His tail is curved into a hook so he can hang from his tail on the bar across the top of the last train car, or he can simply ride inside the train car.
The manufacturer recommends the Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo-Choo for children 6 months and up. Three "C" batteries (included) are required.
Additional "Amazing Animals" animals and train cars can be purchased separately.
Our Thoughts & Experiences:
My toddler was always fascinated with the Sing & Go Choo Choo at the store so I knew that he would enjoy it even more after we brought it home, but I'm surprised by quite how much he's played with it. It currently lives in our kitchen where it occupies my little guy whenever I'm fixing our meals, and it does an excellent job of keeping him busy. He loves rolling things anyway, so he scoots the train along the floor with some frequency, but when he tires of that he takes the animals out and puts them back in, moves the animals' legs to get them to stand or lay down, the works on hooking and unhooking the cars from the engine, etc.
I had worried about purchasing a toy labeled for "6 months and up" for my son who was 1-and-a-half, thinking that he might be too old to get much enjoyment out of it. I'm pleased to report that I was wrong. There are certainly lots of features that would entertain babies younger than my little guy, but my guy is at a good age where he can have fun manipulating these animals himself and exploring each of the features this train has to offer. He doesn't chew on the animals' ears but he does carry the giraffe around with him (apparently the neck looks like a good handle) and likes moving their heads and legs (because of the audible "click" the joints make as they move). My son has plenty of other cars/trains/vehicles of varying sizes, yet he consistently spends a lot of time with his Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo Choo every day.
My one complaint about this toy is the fact that pressing the smoke stack only plays one song. While the song is cute, I get really, really tired of it. My son triggers that song more often than he triggers the other 4 songs (which play when you place an animal inside the engine, or simply press on the engine's floor). The smoke stack looks like a big button, so my son is drawn to it. I wish that it rotated between the other songs as well.
We purchased our Sing & Go Choo Choo from Target where it came packaged with 1 of 2 additional cars for free. You could choose between the zebra car and the lion car - we chose the lion because my son has always loved the lion character on Baby Einstein. Both the zebra and lion cars are available for purchase separately.
+) Adorable train for babies & toddlers
+) Off/low volume/high volume control
+) Can switch between "sit and play" and "move-along fun" modes
+) Plays 5 different, original songs
+) Includes 3 animal figures (giraffe, elephant, monkey)
+) Animal figures are geared toward babies & learning (teethable ears, rattles, etc)
+) Other cute baby-centric features on the train cars (spinning leaves, springing bird, raise & lower the bananas)
+) Easy for little hands to connect the train cars to the engine
+) Additional train cars/animals available for purchase separately
-) Pressing the smoke stack only plays 1 song
-) The train is rather bulky and some day we'll need to store it
I think it is safe to say that our Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo Choo is my toddler son's current favorite toy, and it has been his favorite for over a month now. He's nutty for anything on wheels anyway, but there's simply so much for him to explore and do with this toy that it keeps him occupied like no other right now.