Seeing this product had a (mostly) negative single review, I decided to offer up my opinion and try and re-address the balance. For though I agree that this product is flawed, I do not agree with the previous reviewer that it is terrible or indeed dangerous!!
For starters, this is currently priced at £34.99 as new from Argos. Now, I wouldn't personally want to spend that much on this as I do think there are better garages available out there, but I am sure if you shop around you should be able to find it cheaper! (Amazon has it for £19, so there's a big difference straight away!)
Secondly, whilst I do agree that the lift that takes cars up to the top floor of the garage IS stiff and missing the lever that lifted it up on earlier, previous models, I do not think that that ruins the enjoyment of the WHOLE garage. My daughter, for example, is just as happy lifting the cars up to the top floor herself rather than using the lift and this doesn't seem to bother her unduly but I DO agree it is both annoying and enfuriating and even a bit of the good 'ol WD40 hasn't helped alleviate matters!
Anyway, back to the rest of the garage......this toy essentially consists of a two storey garage with a ramp that spins round from the top floor and deposits cars back on the ground. It has a petrol pump and hose at the front of the forecourt and comes with two vehicles, a car and a tow-truck, and two Little People characters. Both vehicles make noises when the Little People in them are pushed down.
My daughter loves and thinks it is another of her favourite toys ever. (I am convinced she says that about ALL her toys!!). Though you only get two cars for the garage, the majority of other Little People vehicles also go down the ramp and though the petrol pump is a little bit hard to play with, it is very close to the base of the garage making it hard for little fingers to grasp, it is still a nice feature to have included. The lift has a bell on it that rings at each level when it arrives though, as my predecessor has also mentioned, the first storey is only accessible by said lift making that floor a little redundant!
Overall, this is a nice colourful toy garage that is not without its faults but still lots of fun despite all that.
It is fairly well made, coming from the highly respectable toy company Fisher Price as it does, it is just a shame that a little more thought and care hasn't been put into a couple of its issues!
Of course, personal opinion is subjective so you have to make up your own mind about these things in most cases but personally, both me and my daughter can live with the few flaws and have lots of fun playing with this together!
I remember playing with the Fisher Price garage when I was a child so when my son turned 1 I bought this for him as birthday present. I was expecting a good quality toy that would be well used and easy to play with, this was not the case.
The first problem arose when assembling the thing, it was very stiff, and the instructions were not easy to follow, it took me over an hour to get it right and involved the use of a small screw driver, which was very fiddly. Once it was assembled it looked like fun to play with and was quite sturdy.
The garage includes cars that travel up, down the ramps. It also comes with a tow truck that makes reversing noises and a driver, which is actually fun to play with. Another car and driver are also supplied, though the driver is holding a mobile phone in his hand, which is a bit odd in my opinion, though I'm sure my son is yet to understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving!
There is a lift with a bell that dings when it goes up and down. In my day it was operated using a turning lever that went round and round now you are supposed to push it up and down. The problem with that is that the lift is so stiff my son cannot get it to move up and down without resorting to using his whole body weight, its dangerous as his fingers can get caught and when he pushes the lift back down he does so with his hand and arm in the lift shaft so he hits his face. Also when the lift reaches the top the cars do not slide off as they are supposed to.
The ramps are ok, and the cars seem to go down them well. But you cannot get the cars onto the ramp from the middle level, which makes that level obsolete. The petrol station is located underneath the ramps and this makes access to it difficult.
My son has stopped playing with this toy now as he was getting frustrated with the inoperable lift and I thought it was becoming dangerous, so it has been relegated to the attic out of harms way. I paid £25 for it from Amazon, and it has only been used a handful of times, what a waste of money, it's not worth selling on or giving away because it's such a rubbish toy. I am very disappointed, considering the usual high standards I expect from Fisher Price toys. I would not recommend this to anyone.