Ambulance 143*!

29 Sep

Guess who?

Close to midnight of the 20th, as I got ready to turn in for the night, I noticed a box on my side of the bed. It wasn’t there when I stepped out of the room to answer the call of nature a few minutes before. The bedroom was dark and quiet; it was difficult to recognize markings on the box in dim light. I had a funny feeling about it and I would’ve asked my husband but he was fast asleep. What could be inside the box?

I reached out for it tentatively. It was crudely wrapped in newspaper and packing tape, with ragged edges that looked like teeth, not scissors, had been used for cutting. It rattled a bit, but it was light. There was no card. I sat down for a few seconds, thinking of what to do next.

And then A♥ leapt up and I almost had a heart attack! Gift ambush!

I pretended to be peeved; after all, he had made a promise not to do this type of surprises anymore. But A♥ is A♥, and he can be as bullheaded and stubborn as I am when it comes to certain things. He knew that I had been looking for the ambulance as early as June. He also knew that Paramedic Thomas Nightingale needed wheels to get his services going in Kitty Little Lanes. And so, while I pretended to take my time ripping the newspaper into shredded bits, deep inside, I was thrilled to the bones. Kinikilig, as they say in the vernacular.

Thank you, my dear A♥, for this lovely surprise. As usual, you are right- what’s an anniversary without a Sylvanian?

The Sylvanian Families Ambulance

The Sylvanian Families ambulance is one of the newest vehicles added to the lineup of these realistic toys, released late last year and promoted on the official Sylvanian Families website early this year. As Sylvanian Families move forward into more modern themes by introducing technology to the mix (washing machines to replace old issues of scrub boards and crank-washers, microwave ovens to replace wood-burning ovens, cars to replace ponies and carts; even “electric” lighting is now possible in Sylvania), attempts to upgrade the Sylvanian lifestyle are often tempered with more vintage designs. Thus, the ambulance looks nowhere near its modern counterpart but takes inspiration from older versions of the same vehicle. (See picture below.)

The ambulance comes in a box measuring 15.75 x 6.75 x 7.75 inches and weighs 2.6 lbs. It retails HKD550 in toy stores in Hong Kong. It is not available in Manila as of yet. The vehicle does not come with a driver figure (Paramedic set is also sold separately) although SSK sells a value-added pack of ambulance with driver for GBP39.99 (ambulance driver still unknown).

Unboxing the set slowly while taking pictures with the other hand is a feat designed for the ambidextrous.

The cardboard filler is removed from top to reveal its contents.

See sides, front, and back views of the ambulance

As expected, because this is a Flair product, the movable steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle. I love that the stick shift moves and rotates, although it takes a bit of an effort to reach in using stubby fingers.

The back doors of the ambulance open to reveal a spacious cab where mobile treatment facilities are carried, stored, and used. Transporting patients, like accident prone Owen Bearbury, is also a breeze with its roomy interior.

Half of the treatment cab’s roof can be lifted to create a more generous play area. This feature is particularly useful for those with chubby, chunky hands like mine (most adults).

Accessories include

    • light green stretcher and a thin red blanket
    • clipboard
    • pair of surgical scissors
    • two pairs of forceps
    • intravenous tubing and bottle
    • sphygmomanometer (blood pressure apparatus)
    • thermometer
    • syringe
    • two bottles of clear medicine
    • clear jar
    • two square dressing boxes
    • three oxygen tanks
    • oxygen mask with gauge
    • handy first aid box
    • an extra round canister

There is a small, plastic, silver-painted bell on top of the vehicle. Unfortunately, while this is supposed to function as the vehicle’s siren, it does not make a sound. This is the only weak point I see in the whole vehicle. If this release was meant to appeal to boys and adult collectors, then they made a mistake in thinking bells and whistles are not additional selling points. A metal bell or, better yet, a mechanized siren that switches on and off would’ve been a real treat.

Paper and sticker accessories are provided in two sheets. Instructions for use are also included. Some of the other features of the ambulance are shown in the instructions page. Among these are the sliding cupboard doors, built-in hooks for the clipboard and IV drip, storage racks for oxygen tanks, a fold-out chair, and even guide rails for the stretcher (so that the wheels don’t move while the ambulance is mobile). There is also a pull-out ramp to unload the stretcher. Sylvanian Families really did think of everything (well, almost).

All in all, the ambulance is a well-made toy, with lots of extras to entice children (and adults) of all ages. Although it is twice as expensive as the family cars, the price difference is worth the extra play it provides. I think it will remain one of my favorite toys for a long time. 🙂

Rating:

It would’ve been perfect but the bell was a letdown. Now, if I had a free driver (but, please, not another Timbertop!), I’d forget about the bell, heehee!

To complete your review experience, here is a stock photo of the ambulance with the Paramedic figures set. Below that is a short video from Flair Leisure to promote the Sylvanian Families Ambulance. Enjoy!



*143 is a fictional emergency response number, a coded message for A♥. (*wink*) If you have a real emergency (and you are in the Philippines), call 117.

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4 Responses to “Ambulance 143*!”

  1. Madame C September 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Very nice review. I especially like that you gave a bit of history by including the photo of a very old ambulance where this SF ambulance was patterned. Nice touch there. Yes, the bell is a bummer.

    • Kittymama September 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks, Madame C! 🙂

  2. Indiana Lori September 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Loving this! Hoping I can get one for the girls for Xmas!

    • Kittymama September 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      I think Kelly and Sara would love this too! 🙂

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