Pintoy Police Range – Review

Our first official assignment as Craniacs has arrived! A massive box of Pintoy Police toys.

I dived into the box and pulled out a Police Car complete with Police Officer driver, A box of 3 Police officers and one prisoner, and then shock horror a flat pack John Crane Pintoy Police station.

Don’t get me wrong I knew how big the Police Station was, so I should have been expecting it to need some assembly, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. So when I realised I actually had to put this thing together I was a little worried.

I shouldn’t really have worried, I will admit it took me a while to get to grips with the instructions (I am a complete DIY novice, and absolutely no good with these things) but it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be, only a few screws really and I was all done. It probably took me just over 30 minutes all in all, and left me feeling very proud of myself and I think the boys were impressed that i’d built their new toy for them too.

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This whole set is soooo cute, possibly too cute considering the subject matter, although I think it’s nice for little ones that the robber obviously doesn’t look too menacing. The main part of the Police Station has a backdrop of the officers changing room with lots of fluorescent coats, police helmets and lockers adorning the walls. In front of that you can place a perspex panel, representing the move from the back office side of the police station into the public area. There is a booking in desk with a pretend swivel chair, which Jacob thinks is for reading the news? There are also 2 more chairs provided for the waiting area.

Next door is a Police Cell, complete with a working slidey perspex bar covered door. Thomas with his particular penchant for the bad guys loves the prison as he calls it, he’s especially fascinated with the background picture of the toilet on the wall, Why are boys obsessed with toilets?

Jacob’s highlight of the range is the Police Van, it’s solid and chunky and again looks possibly too cute. My favourite little touch are the 2 delightful little wooden walkie talkies that come with the Police Officers and Prisoner box set.

I would recommend the John Crane Pintoy Police range of toys for parents of little ones who are looking for a toy that is something extra special, something that is built to last, is timeless and that will really fire up your little ones imagination.


John Crane and Tidlo – Timeless Toys

Tidlo is the new name for John Crane’s own brand of toys previously known as Branching out. Having seen some of the new range myself at London Toy Fair last month, I can very happily report back that Tidlo will still carry on the John Crane tradition of brilliantly well made, colourful and fun wooden toys, thankfully only the name is changing.

Tidlo is derived from the danish word Tidlos meaning timeless, hence the tagline Timeless Toys. When I first heard the name I instantly liked it for some reason it made me think of tiddlers, so I think it’s a nice and original name for a children’s toy range.

Some of my favourite Tidlo products from Toy Fair were the Motorbike balance bike, SQIJ blox, High tea shape matching cupcake set, and the gorgeous kitchen station (I can only dream of having a real kitchen as nice as this one).

Much to my relief the arrival of Tidlo does not mean the end of Pintoy, John Crane will still be distributing this great range.

John Crane will also be distributing Lilliputiens, an amazingly gorgeous range of young children’s soft toys all created by a group of belgian mums.  This range  is so much fun, full of beautiful quirky and individual toys. My highlights of the Lilliputiens range are the Little Doctors set, the too cute baby handbag and the huge Walter Dragon cushion.

John Crane had a great stand at Toy Fair and thanks to the lovely Helen for showing me around.

Just can’t wait to get my hands on some of those great products now!

John Crane Pintoy Doll Family

If you’ve been reading Toybuzz for a while you may remember me mentioning how much I love Pintoy toy’s even without actually owning any. Well all that changed last week when i was sent the lovely Pintoy Family by the John Crane blog to review.

There are 4 members of the doll family, a Mum, Dad, Girl and Boy. Apologies for only having mum and dad in the picture but Jacob has become quite attached to boy and girl and have taken them away with him to his grans for the weekend.

Despite having two boys, they have both surprised me by how much they have played with these lovely dolls. Although Thomas wont call them dolls he calls them the mummy and daddy action figures. They are actually some of the best action figures he’s got, they bend easily, stand independently, and don’t have several plastic pieces just begging to be snapped off like most other toys.

The Legs and arms are made of rope with wire underneath I think, with stable little wooden feet and hands reminiscent of old fashioned clothes pegs . Which makes them really easy to bend, and stand in loads of different positions. It’s also great that Thomas and Jacob can make them stand and sit by themselves, as they sometimes get frustrated when they can’t get their toys to stand up properly.

It’s also nice to see some dolls have a realistic wardrobe for once. There’s no mini skirts and crop tops here, all the dolls are dressed in normal everyday trousers, skirts and t-shirts.

There are some many great products from John Crane that I haven’t got the time to mention them all, but I will mention a few products that compliment the Doll Family really well. The Woodlands family dolls house is probably my favourite of the houses from John Crane, It’s just so roomy and easy for little hands to get right into whilst playing. The amazing dolls house furniture available like the bunks beds (which can also be two singles if you wish) Washing machine, Even ironing board make this house really come to life.

Going back to the very funny John Crane Blog, writer of the blog the lovely Jenny Wooden mum is currently running a photo competition ‘Where in the world is Jenny Woodenmum’. Well inspired by recent blog photos of Jenny and family thoughtfully looking at a globe wondering where to go next, me and my boys decided to send Jenny off to Egypt. OK so we were missing some sand, but did manage to find Jenny a camel and a pyramid. Jenny was even lucky enough to discover the secret of the Sphinx and find some Hidden treasure inside.

Wonder what Jenny and family will do with there newly aquired millions? Tune into the blog next time for the next exciting instalment!

Can you pinpoint where you’ve seen these toys before?

I’ve come to the realisation that Pintoy is one of my favourite toy companies. Even though I don’t even own any of their products,  almost by osmosis Pintoy has become a part of mine and my children’s playtime.

Next time you visit your parent and toddler group or that trendy child friendly cafe, take a good look at some of the toys. I will take a bet that amongst those toys will be some wonderful wooden creations made by Pintoy.

These are not the kind of toys that are advertised in a big flashy television campaign, or tied into a cartoon franchise but children instinctively enjoy them anyway.

Pintoy is a Thai company which uses Rubberwood to make it’s toys. Rubberwood is harvested from replenishable forests when the Rubber trees have reached the end of their natural cycle. Pintoys are distributed throughout the U.K by John Crane Ltd.

I love the look and feel of wooden toys and their everlasting appeal. Whether they’ve moved on from Finley the Fire Engine to Fireman Sam, the wooden fire engine will always be a children’s favourite. There also so hard wearing and sturdy as well, Ive been going to the same toddler group for over 3 years and the dolls house still looks brand new.

Since beginning to write this site I’ve become acutely aware of what toys my children are playing with, Whether that’s at home, at a friends house, in the toyshop or even at the Doctor’s surgery.

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So whilst at my local parent and toddler group, I picked up a few of the toys my sons always make a beeline for . On closer inspection I found  that all the wooden ones were made by Pintoy. That night I took a look at their website and was surprised at how many products I already knew and my sons had already played with.

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A big design feature I’ve noticed with a lot of Pintoy products is that their really geared towards co-operative play. The Woodlands dolls house and Fire engine for example both have removable roofs to help make room for lots of little hands to get inside and explore.

The kitchen set is a great height for youngsters and with no electronic lights or sounds, it’s perfect for take some good old imaginative play.

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My sons have also always enjoyed playing with the rainbow slope, where you push small cars and they roll down a series of slides until reaching the bottom. They always run straight for this when we visit the cafe, and I’ve seen countless other children doing the same.

I think it’s good for them to play with different toys when we go to new places, but I love them so much I want some in our home. So I’ve decided that their will definitely be some Pintoy toys on their birthday and Christmas lists, even if they don’t know that they want them yet.