For as long as I can remember the geekson’s favourite movies have been Cars and Cars 2 from Disney/Pixar. More recently we’ve introduced him to the world of Planes, and he has fallen in love with Dusty Crophopper, the hero of the film. This summer we took him to see Planes: Fire & Rescue in the cinema, and it immediately became his new favourite movie, with him begging me to put it “on our TV” as the closing credits rolled. We’re awaiting the DVD release with baited breath, I can tell you! So he was very excited to be sent the new Fire Blastin’ Dusty from Mattel toys’ Disney Planes range to review.
The Fire Blastin’ Dusty set comes with a large model of Dusty Crophopper with his fire plane pontoons which he gains in Planes: Fire & Rescue. It also comes with 6 blue ping pong balls and 3 plastic fires. The ping pong balls can be loaded into Dusty, and then a lever on his back releases them one at a time so your child can attempt to put the fires out like a real fire plane.
Fire Blastin’ Dusty has a voice box, with a number of pre-loaded sentences which he says as your child plays. He also has a motion sensor, and sometimes will issue instructions to turn either left or right. Turning him in the right direction will earn praise, turning him incorrectly will result in your child being told “wrong way!”. We found that the motion sensors were not particularly accurate, and it was 50/50 whether Dusty would detect the way he was being turned correctly or not. In addition Dusty’s repertoire of phrases includes “oh no, I missed” and “Bullseye!”, and these come out at random intervals, often not matching whether your child has hit their target or not! That said, it didn’t seem to bother either of my kids.
Fire Blastin’ Dusty has been thoughtfully designed to operate as much like the real Dusty as possible. His propeller turns (but you have to spin it manually). Through a rather nifty scooping mechanism Dusty can pick up his ping pong balls by simply rolling over them on the floor, much as the Dusty in the film fills his pontoons by flying low over the water.
Disney Planes Fire Blastin’ Dusty is recommended for ages 4 and up. We found that the four year old geekson’s hands weren’t always strong enough to operate the firing lever on his own, and sometimes his big sister had to help him. Again, this didn’t detract at all from his enjoyment of playing with Dusty.
We have found in the past with toys that come with small accessories that it is very easy for those accessories to be left lying around, and to part company with the main toy. This means that when the kids come back to play with the toy again, half of the pieces are missing. I particularly like the design of Fire Blastin’ Dusty where all 6 ping pong balls snap into the bottom of his pontoons when not in play, meaning they don’t go missing. It’s really neat, and the geekson loves putting the balls away. Sadly there is no such smart storage for the fire pieces, but the balls are more fundamental to the operation of this toy – the geekson is quite happy to fire them at any obstacle he sees!
Fire Blastin’ Dusty is available from toy stores, both in the high street and online, and has a recommended retail price of £49.99. I found it on Amazon (affiliate link) for £45.99. Now this is more than I’d usually like to spend on a single toy, but it is a big toy, and I think my son will get a LOT of play time out of it. It would be great as a special present, especially with a certain festive event approaching… The geekson absolutely loves it, so we think it is an excellent purchase for little Planes fans everywhere.
Disclosure: We were sent a Disney Planes Fire Blastin’ Dusty by Mattel for review purposes. The Amazon link within this post contains my affiliate information – if you make a purchase after clicking I will receive a small commision payment at no extra cost to you.