Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sprig Toys: A Review of the Sprigwood Eco-Trucks

Let me start off by saying I have no connection to the Sprig Toy company and I have not in any way been endorsed or encouraged to write this review. As I commenced my Christmas shopping, I decided to revisit a product we first bought for our son for his first Christmas in 2008 and I decided I needed to share my thoughts on this great line of creative kid's toys!

Before our son was born, we began shopping at Scholar's Choice - a Canadian educational toy and learning store. Always on the hunt for interesting, sustainable and creative gifts for our nephews and niece, finding this store was an absolute dream. The staff is knowledgeable, helpful and very much know their products. When we were expecting, it was a no brainer for us to return to this store and find toys for our son.

For us, our toy criteria was simple - good playability, encourages creative, imaginative play, Eco-friendly, simple in design, good construction and when ever possible be "sustainable" and comprised of child safe compounds. Although we only ever planned on one child, we wanted durable construction too!

We found the Sprigwood line based on a suggestion of the clerk. The bright yellow construction vehicles not only smell amazing, they were made in Canada, designed in the United States, made of a composite of wood and recycled plastic and the design and moving parts were simple, durable and well thought out. The first vehicle we purchased was one of the Eco-Trucks - the dump truck to be exact.

We've now had this vehicle for three years. It has been loaded, drug around, crashed, buried, pulled around some more, loaded and crashed and played with over and over by every child that sees it! It has held up better than any other toy TroubleMaker has owned! It looks fantastic still - even if it's a little bit worn on the edges - and it smells as good as it did on the day we bought it! It has as many miles on it as it is a much loved toy and had the string my Dad tied on to it the year TroubleMaker was one finally wore through and fell off this past summer! With a Canadian retail price of $19.99, it is affordable and absolutely a step above all the well known "Construction" type trucks on the market.

Since the first summer brought a few arguments on who was going to get to pull the "Good Guck" around ("Guck is how TroubleMaker says "Truck"), we invested in the "Diggin' Dirt" - the Eco Truck Loader.

Now, TroubleMaker had his perfect toys. A digger to unearth every single rock and stick in every campground we camped in during TroubleMaker's second year of life. Dumping the bucket into the waiting dump truck, emptying the truck and starting all over again. It too had a string tied to it and was lugged around on numerous walks. It too survived several enthusiastic two year old children pulling, tugging and digging!

At some point, we also purchased the Baja Scout. An ingenious product that smells as yummy as the trucks with a clever, faceless character sitting in the driver's seat... The best was yet to be learned about the Scout - when you pump the truck, it charges the helmet on the driver and becomes a batteryless flashlight! Hundreds of pumps, crashes and hours of play later, it is an amazing toy with even more play value as TroubleMaker ages! It's a science lesson and a toy all in one!

And not to be forgotten (well, actually, it was) is the Discovery Rig. Another "kid charged" adventure toy! We bought this last spring for TroubleMaker's 3rd birthday... And forgot to give it to him! My husband just found it, hidden, in our garage two weeks ago... I can't wait to get this one out of the box! Now TroubleMaker and I will each have our own flashlight to play with in our fort!

If you are looking for a well made, well thought out toy, the Sprig Toy line is an excellent choice. With a love for the environment, a dedication to producing a quality product with high play value and durable, kid tough construction any of the offerings will put you in good stead!

All images from the Sprig Toy website.

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