Fisher Price toys and Mattel in particular have been attracting a great deal of negative attention, but even with all the recent recalls and negative media when my daughters both refused to release this toy from their hot little hands I knew I had to allow them to try it at home. It’s not on any recall lists; it’s not painted so I shouldn’t have to worry about lead. It’s the Fisher Price Little People School Bus.
The bus itself is in the primary colors of yellow, red, and blue. The main section of the bus is yellow, with a lift up seat where children can store toys or other little “treasures” you may or may not wish they had brought into the house to show you. There is a blue handle so that toddlers may use it to steady themselves while they are walking around outside or in the house. Older toddlers or preschoolers will enjoy being able to sit and scoot the bus around the house or neighborhood. The “steering wheel” is actually two handles similar to a bike and designed for little hands. I think they are a little too small as I have to use those handles to pick up the bus and carry it to put it away.
Sticker decals which are factory applied add to the authentic look of the bus and the sticker eyes and nose create a friendly face features. Inside the “cab” of the front of the bus are two “little people” Carlos the Bus Driver and Maggie, who wears a yellow rain hat and slicker – I have never been able to determine why. Little fingers may rotate the red stop sign on the bus located on the side to simulate the stop sign on real school buses. In front of the seat there are two more little people, who are unnamed but appear to be children.
So many children’s toys are not complete without lights and sounds and the Fisher Price Bus is no different. On the top of the front cab section are two red lights which flash when the lights and sounds buttons have been activated. The bus driver and “Maggie” move up and down when the lights and sounds buttons have been played. Some fine motor skills are encouraged with the ability to push the little people children up and down while riding on the seat. On the seat portion there are three buttons that you can push to activate the lights, and sounds. The sounds include the honking of a horn; the bus driver calling out to get on board and approximately 4 other comments and sounds.
While there is no on/off power button, there is a sound button located on the bottom of the bus to allow for hi and low sounds as well as mute. It is lightweight so I have been able to easily transport it from house, to car, to park and back. It is sturdy, durable, easily washable, and both children enjoy it so much that I almost wish I had purchased two, but it does give me the opportunity to teach them to take turns.
The Fisher Price Little People School Bus Ride On retails for $26.99 and I have found it online Amazon.com, Target, and Wal-Mart. It came with three AAA batteries. Ours was purchased at Kohl’s inside the store where for some reason the children can actually reach the toys, causing parents to almost have to buy them so that they don’t leave the store with people wondering why their children are screaming at them.
The only changes I would recommend for this toy is that the little people could be removed from the school bus to use in other little people toys. The girls have the Little People School Bus and it would be nice to have more people to put in it as well as the Little People swings from a playground set. Additionally, while it was easily put together (insert blue handle and then you are done), the handle removes very easily, just about every time I pick the toy up. It does provide for some wonderful gross motor development and balance time.
If I were to rate on a scale of 1-5, it would probably be a 3.5. The children love it; they were frustrated at first because they too wanted to remove the people but they have figured out how to store toys in the seat, push and pull it around as well as ride on it. They ask to take it to the park whenever we go and all their friends gathered round it in an attempt to play with it too. I guess that’s the mark of a good toy purchase – all the other children want to play too.