Monday, 21 May 2012

John Crane Pintoy Junior Chair

Lazy Girl and The Bratlings have been trying out John Crane and an item from their wooden toys and furniture range to see whether wood beats plastic when it comes to kids.


John Crane is an online retailer based in Nottingham, and from humble beginnings has grown via nifty usage of Facebook and Twitter to create a buzz amongst parent's looking for sturdy toys. In the days of recession and even well known brands going bust, John Crane has survived due to its word of mouth following and great range of old fashioned toys and furniture.


A few years back, we bought a wooden table and chairs from a very well known Scandinavian retailer, so the kids could conduct their messy play far away from our family heirloom dining table. However, a toddler sized Littlest decided to do his usual brand of demolition, and although the table survives to this day 2 years on, the chairs lasted six months before he had completely broken them. The joints of the chair really weren't very solid, and, as a result, the slightest knock by an over eager child and they came loose, and despite attempts to glue them back, they ended up being binned pretty quickly.


So, Littlest was the best person to test out John Crane's version- a Pintoy Junior Chair.


When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the weight. It was far heavier and thus more solid than the previous wooden chair we'd had. There were no visible areas where a knock could mean the legs fell off. On first impression it looked much better equipped to deal with anything that was thrown at it.


The Pintoy Junior-Big on construction, but big on price
The tantrum test proved it a worthy contender for dealing with kids. After claiming ownership of the new chair, Mini came home from school, and straight away wanted to have a go too. Of course, this did not go down well with Littlest, and the chair was man handled across the room via Littlest dragging it by the leg across the floor, before picking it up and thumping it down in a gesture meant to confirm it as his to his sister. When this happened to the old chairs, they did not take it well, however, the Pintoy dealt with this mistreatment with not a sign of damage or loosening of nuts and bolts. 


To really test the safety and structure of the chair, I picked it up and dropped it from a greater height, and it landed on its all four legs before resting on its back. Again, the Pintoy dealt with any abuse or rough play directed at it, and is looking just as good as when it came out of the box, its not become shaky or left me worried it may collapse.


At £40.95, (although delivery is free) the chair is probably not for everyone. Yes, it's sturdy, it will undoubtedly last much longer than one which costs half of its price. I do think this end of the scale chair (as the price is for one chair, not a set of chairs and table) is a luxury buy, and the price will put many off. Its small so really will only last until they reach about 5-Mini is already too big to be comfy with it, and of course the table would be needed too as its far too tiny to reach a dining table. Of course, resale wise once your children have outgrown it, its going to stay in good enough condition that you can do that, but you'll be hard pressed to see a return on your original outlay.


A great little piece of well constructed furniture, which looks good and lasts tantrum abuse. Sadly, the price is just a little too high for many.


You can find John Crane toys on their website or at Facebook

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