A child's toy review, written by his amazing father Chris.
There was a palpable sense of excitement as my three-year-old son Max opened the brown shipping box from Goodfind Toys to find three Mega Bloks Paw Patrol: The Movie building kits inside. He took each one out and studied it to see what it might contain.
“Paw Patrol Lego! Let’s open them!”
I opted to pass on explaining the nuances of building block brands and instead helped him open the new toys.
Max is a seasoned toy tester, having spent several hours a day playing for most of his life. He has cycled through dozens (hundreds, even?) of toys and games that have come from his grandparents, thrift stores and previous toy testing experiences for a parenting magazine.
Safe to say he is a play expert.
He’s also a big fan of the Canadian-made Paw Patrol TV show, despite my (mostly failed) attempts to ease him over to other forms of entertainment. Instead, the show’s universe has inundated every aspect of his being, from his Halloween costume, to his yogurt drinks, to his toothbrush.
He hasn’t seen the movie yet — or even really heard about its existence — partly because I don’t find much educational value in the show and am wary of its overall messaging.
All that said, let’s see what he thought about Mega Bloks’ Paw Patrol: The Movie building kits.
While he unpacked the parcel, I tried to get his thoughts on the toys.
“They’re good! Let’s open them!”
I kept asking questions to see if I could probe his three-year-old psyche for insight, but really he just wanted to get at them NOW, which seemed like as deep a dive as I was going to get.
“Open them! Open them!”
He wanted to open Chase first.
“I really like Chase today,” he said.
Usually Skye is his favourite, but she wasn’t in this batch from Goodfind.
I opened the first box and he dumped the contents onto the floor.
Protip: Make sure to check inside the box after you empty it since pieces can get stuck. Keep in mind too that there’s one more block affixed in the box in a display window that needs to be removed by an adult.
“Do you want to build it with me?” he asked.
I accepted, after cleaning up the puddle my melting heart had made on the carpet.
Each kit includes a booklet containing building instructions that are easy enough to follow. We built Chase’s motorcycle, police cruiser and uh, chair? (It’s actually the pups’ HQ, apparently). We build them together, mostly with Max finding the appropriate pieces and me locking them onto each other.
In the subsequent kits (Marshall’s fire truck and Rocky’s recycling truck), Max was able to find the pieces and snap some in place. Some needed “daddy power” to assemble but otherwise we were doing well. Max was super focused as we made each one, completing them and then testing them out. By the third kit Max was figuring out how to read the “structions” himself.
The Marshall kit also has Zuma and a hovercraft as a bonus. (I guess poor Zuma doesn’t sell well on his own?)
Shortly after building them all, Max sat and played with the toys while I made lunch.
He was quiet except for the beeping noises he made as the vehicles backed up and the occasional chatter between the pups.
But when lunch was ready he didn’t want to come to the table because he was too busy playing.
It went something like this:
Dad: Ok it’s lunch time. Let’s pause on the Paw Patrol toys and eat some food.
Max: I wanna play!
Dad: You can play after lunch.
Max: I don’t wanna play after.
Dad: Oh? What do you wanna do after?
Max: Keep playing!
Max also brought Chase’s motorcycle and Zuma’s hovercraft up to his bed the first night, but settled on having them stand guard on his night table.
Zuma and his hovercraft also eventually became bath toys.
THE NEXT DAY
Max was still enjoying the figures, and had started mixing their pieces together. Chase’s siren topped Marshall’s fire truck, while Rocky drove.
“Marshall will borrow Chase’s siren,” Max explained before making an ungodly shrieking noise as the “new siren sound.”
We also started giving the toys missions, like finding Rocky’s missing recycling truck arm.
His continuing interest meant that I was able to make dinner while he played with the toys — instead of wanting to watch Paw Patrol.
ONE WEEK LATER
Over time, Max has integrated the Paw Patrol crew into his other toys, building roads and ramps with his magnet set, and creating a garage for the vehicles with his Duplo (which fit with these Mega Bloks just fine).
After banging them around for a week, most of the vehicles have stuck together. Some of the smaller pieces have come off but nothing has outright broken.
If you’re only getting one, I’d suggest just getting the kid’s favourite pup.
If they love them all equally, I’d say (of the ones we tested) Marshall’s set is the best value since you get a vehicle that provides some action as well as the bonus Zuma toys.
Max’s Thoughts: “Marshall is the best because it’s my favourite one.”
Check out more Paw Patrol toys at Goodfind Toys.