Pros: Adorable, educational tractor toy for toddlers
Cons: Price, Baby wants to sleep with it at night...
My toddler absolutely adores anything on wheels and also has a bit of an obsession with horses. When we saw the Funtime Tractor (which is also featured in one of his favorite "Baby Einstein" videos) available online, we figured it would be perfect for him.
The Funtime Tractor is a cute tractor toy for toddlers. It features a large green and yellow tractor with a cheerful farmer in the driver's seat. Permanently attached to the tractor is a yellow trailer with 5 animals inside: a pig, horse, cow, chicken, and sheep. Each animal fits into a uniquely shaped indention in the trailer's flooring, and once an animal is in position pushing down on the figure triggers a short snippit of that animal's sound. The tractor and trailer are made of a hard, shiny plastic. The farmer and animals are made of a slightly softer, less shiny plastic. The tractor's wheels have some rubber tread to help give it some traction when in motion.
There are more than just the animals' sounds though. Pressing down on the farmer (while in his seat) triggers a friendly greeting from the farmer and a cheerful rendition of the "Old MacDonald" song. If you press on the tractor's steering wheel the tractor's horn sounds and the headlights light up. If you press down on the smoke stack you will hear some fairly authentic tractor sounds (the engine knocking and catching, regular driving engine noises, beeping as though it had been put into reverse, and tractor-turning-off sounds) as the tractor rolls forward for approximately 10 seconds.
The farmer and his animals are all fairly large, chunky characters that are a great size for a toddler's hands. They all have very happy, smiling faces and are all roughly Fisher-Price Little-People sized.
The manufacturer recommends this toy for children ages 12 months and up. Four "AA" batteries are required (included).
Our Thoughts and Experiences:
It is safe to say that the Funtime Tractor was my toddler's favorite Christmas present. It was nearly impossible to get him to go anywhere without it (which caused trouble at dinnertime when we wouldn't allow him to eat with it). He even wanted to sleep with his tractor, which took up way too much room in his crib (okay - I'll admit that we let him fall asleep with it in his crib a few times, but we'd sneak in and take it out after he was sleeping soundly). He would squeal with delight and yell "Tractor!" whenever he saw it on-screen during the Baby Einstein video (Baby MacDonald).
My son was a few months shy of turning 2 when he received the Funtime Tractor for Christmas, and he never had any trouble putting the animals back into their appropriate places on the trailer. Because each figure's "slot" in the trailer base is shaped differently, you can't have the chicken triggering the horse's whinny, for example, but some children may get frustrated if they can't line the animal's feet up with the proper place on the trailer. My son is particularly fond of the horse, and would frequently carry just the horse around if we didn't allow him to take the whole tractor along with him. As much as he plays with this toy, the battery life has been very, very good! We've had it for 5 months now and still haven't replaced the batteries.
The toy has proved to be extremely durable and has withstood much abuse from my son. He loves to trigger the engine sounds and rolling forward, but typically refuses to let the toy roll very far from him, so we've gotten very used to the sound of the toy straining to roll away as my son hangs on and doesn't allow it to move. The toy handles it well - the gears haven't been stripped and the toy doesn't pull away so hard that it frustrates my son. When he does allow it to roll it goes fairly well over both our wooden floor as well as our carpeting, but won't climb over toys on the floor or any obstacles it might encounter.
The toy is on the large side -- it's nearly as long as my son is tall. My toddler will often want to pick it up and carry it with him, but because the back trailer part is hinged (but not removable) it will move from side to side, making carrying the toy a bit of a challenge for him. There's actually a light bar over the top of the driver's seat (which isn't pictured in the photo of the toy up above) that serves as a fairly good handle for the toy, making carrying the toy a little bit easier on my little guy. Luckily, because the animal's feet are recessed a bit in their slots on the trailer, the animals tend to not fall out as he fumbles around with the tractor.
My biggest complaint about the toy would be the price. It is a great toy with lots of nice features, and is a wonderful toddler-proof tractor that is great for teaching animal sounds, but $27 seems like a lot to pay for a fairly simple toy. My son adores it though, as we knew he would, so I don't regret the purchase at all. The "Old MacDonald" song is nice and fairly lengthy, so you don't get sick of it too quickly (with the lyrics "...and on that farm he had some animals" rather than each animal being listed separately), but as with anything you can have too much repetition, and my son loves triggering the song.
+) Fun tractor toy for toddlers
+) Plays animal sounds and tractor sounds
+) Plays "Old MacDonald" song
+) Rolls forward as song plays
+) Comes with 6 figures: a farmer, horse, cow, sheep, pig, and chicken
+) Featured on the Baby Einstein video "Baby MacDonald"
-) Rather expensive
-) A noisy toy
-) My son loves it a little too much
My son absolutely adores his Funtime Tractor. It helps teach animal identification and animal sounds, as well as manual dexterity as toddlers attempt to put the animals into their uniquely shaped spaces on the trailer's floor. The pieces are a great size for little hands, and the toy has proved to be very sturdy. It certainly is a hit with our little guy!