Christmas products and offers started appearing even before Halloween and it is no surprise that Cbeebies have already started to sell Christmas edition DVDs and special box sets ready for parents to buy for their children to open on Christmas day.

But while every year television shows for all ages usually release a DVD with some of their holiday specials, I will be reviewing three box sets that the BBC’s children department have released, which are based on their three big shows: Charlie and Lola, In the Night Garden and Chuggington with a view to see what buyers will receive and if they are the best DVD compared to previous releases for those looking for ideas on what to get children for the holidays.

Charlie and Lola Gift Set 2011 – I Can’t Stop Hiccuping!
Charlie has a little sister, Lola, who is small and very funny. Each episode focuses on the relationship between brother and sister and handle the small issues that children usually encounter everyday, from trying to eat a tomato to learning how to ride a bike. The series is filled with numerous and recognizable characters in a 2D animated style that blends different textures and fabrics that makes each of the ten minute episodes lovely and entertaining to watch.
This set comes in two versions, each based on the main title characters that comes with their own doll alongside the tenth DVD within the series.While the dolls are cute and look very comfortable to hug, they are the main reason for both of the sets to be purchased at around ten pounds as you can buy the DVD separately at most retailers at five pounds and under.

Meanwhile, the DVD in question offers a respectable amount of nine episodes and while this does not include any bonus material, the episodes included are as always a delight. The stories include Lola getting the hiccups, Charlie and his best friend Marv trying to come up with an invention and Lola confronting her fear of thunders, all in humorous ways.
For ten pounds, the children should love having their very own doll, as long as they already do not have the DVD packaged inside it. However, this is not the best DVD set available as for the maximum of an extra five pounds you can get the complete series on DVD (granted, without the exclusive cuddly doll).

In The Night Garden Gift Set – Isn’t That a Pip
Last year marked the end of one of the most iconic Cbeebies shows in recent years by Ragdoll Productions (who previously made the Teletubbies) and so they have decided to release a new DVD set before Christmas that should get the young fans still watching this unusual, yet lovable, show. The series is about toy characters who inhabit a magical place that is set between the waking and sleeping from a child, seeing Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and the Tombliboos interact in this brightly colourful and imaginative place.

Featuring a DVD and three storybooks, some might think that they are getting their money’s worth as this is the exact same price as the Charlie and Lola package and getting three books as well as the DVD itself. However, all the books and the DVD are already available to get by themselves and raises the problem of children already having the products that are featured as the show is very merchandise heavy and makes a lot of money for the company. It does have another problem and that is it too has a DVD of the entire series for a few more pounds and grown-ups might think to skip this and buy the other set.

While the set does not include any exclusive items, it is a nice, cheap present to get a child that adults might be interested in.

Chuggington Gift Set – It’s Training Time
Probably the most successful television series about trains since Thomas the Tank Engine, Chuggington is based at a railway station where three ‘trainee’ Chuggers, Brewster, Koko and Wilson, must tackle tasks and obstacles to receive good merits and special badges. This computer animated show features characters who are based on various models on different trains and a wide range of locations that all of the Chuggingtons go to in order to achieve their tasks.

For a computer animated television show, it is a good quality that really brings some life into the characteristics and designs for the numerous trains. It’s also great to see each episode focussing on the characters trying to get one of their badges and pass various tests to teach children the subject matters that are featured.
Much like the In the Night Garden gift set, this particular package features a DVD and a small collection of books, with the exception that the books are actually six little books and a pack of ten stickers within a little library box. Again, this is also a ten pound set that people might be very interested in getting for young children and at a good price for what is available, as longs as they do not have the products from this set already. One advantage that this set seems to have compared to most sets on this series is that other box sets are a bit more expensive and it’s nice to see the company trying to offer buyers alternative and cheaper products to get for children and fans alike.

Overall, these sets are nice little packages for the youngsters who love and adore each of the three shows and despite my complaints that only one of these sets actually has some form of an exclusive item in it, they are all at a good value for a nice Christmas present. The only reason they are not going to be at a five star rating is the fact that the children who might enjoy these gift sets would probably already have the DVDs or the accompanying item.