* Prices may differ from that shown
I purchased the Fisher Price little people racing ramps garage from Tesco for £26 a few weeks ago. £26 was actually one of the lowest prices I'd seen from shopping around - everywhere else I'd looked for it (John Lewis, Toys R Us, Smyths and Amazon) wanted between £30 and £40 for it. Contrary to assumptions, this is a unisex toy in my view. When I was a child, I loved to play with toy cars and I don't see why my daughter can't do the same. If children enjoy exploring items then I don't think it matters about the toy's theme - not every item my daughter owns has to be bright pink, girly and involve flowers and teddies. This garage comes in multicolours of bright red, green, yellow, blue and white and she loves it! It's recommended age is from 1 to 4 years.
The garage needs to be assembled before it's first use, but I managed to do it within 15 minutes so it's not difficult to do - I am not good at DIY! Bear in mind a screwdriver is needed as there are several small screws that need to be fitted and tightened in order to hold it together.
There's several parts that make up the set - a helter skelter ramp that runs down one side, a ground floor, a middle floor and a top floor. There's also a lift that covers the whole of another side, visits all floors and houses the vehicles from the little people range. The set comes complete with two vehicles - a tow truck and a car. They come with two figures that slot nicely into the vehicles or can be played with separately. To begin with the two figures were my daughter's favourite parts and she carried them around everywhere without glancing at the garage! It was a step up from making a beeline for the box though.....
The yellow tow truck makes revving sounds which is a great extra and make my daughter laugh. As the toy has a wide age range, I assume this feature would be appreciated by older users of more pre-school age who use the cars across the floor and on the garage too. The blue car doesn't have any noises - it has moveable wheels so it can be used across the floor as a toy car in it's own right though and my daughter will push it and crawl after it. The people that slot into the vehicles are squeezy with an airhole at the bottom.
The Ground Floor
On the ground floor is the bottom of the helter skelter and where the cars end up after being pushed down. There's no covering at the bottom so they end up landing on the bare floor. As we have laminate flooring it means it becomes noisy when the cars are constantly landing - once my daughter finds she enjoys doing something she does it over and over again! There's a small plastic petrol pump and nozzle on one side that is a good idea but I think it's a bit feeble - they could have made slightly more of these although the nozzle is designed to fit perfectly into a small section on the vehicle to appear as though it's filling the car as it would in real life. Finally, here we find the opening of the lift and whenever it's at the ground floor, a small lollipop barrier moves up to let the cars drive in.
The lift is operated by a large green puller at the side that has a bell attached. The bell rings as the lift is pulled up and down - which is easier said than done for a child of one! My daughter's got the hang of it now and how it works - although it's been quite stiff even though she's played with it quite a lot (I thought it would loosen after a few uses) and is still quite hard for her to use. The lift calls at the middle and top floors and when it does, there's a ramp inside that tilts to push the car onto the level so that it drives out (although my daughter's impatient and drags the car out before it's had chance to!)
The Middle Floor
This is a bit pointless to me. There's not much there - in fact there's nothing and I think something could have been included to make it more interesting. It's just a case of moving the cars along the level - they can't join the helter skelter ramp from here so it just seems a waste. Older children would perhaps use this area as a parking level - although they'd need to purchase more cars to make it look like a real car park and fill it!
The Top Floor
This is the main attraction - where the cars meet the helter skelter. There are turret style flags at the top of the lift to indicate that the summit has been reached. The car comes out of the lift, drives along the level and then round to the ramp where the cars slide down (I've tried some cars from the Happyland range in the Early Learning Centre and those go down it too). Once my daughter realised that the cars disappeared from the top and appeared again at the bottom a second or two later, she was hooked and constantly plonked the car on and giggled as it rolled downwards! Most of the time she doesn't bother with the levels and lift - the cars just get put on the top.
My daughter loves this garage - she makes a beeline for it and cries whenever you pick her up and move her away. She can spent at least half an hour just engrossed in play and so she obviously enjoys spending time with it. At the moment she's wanting to stand up all of the time and the garage isn't sturdy enough to take her weight as she holds on to pull herself up.
From a parents point of view, I feel that although it is a good toy, a lot more could have been included for the price - the levels are boring and they could have included so much more - a car workshop or a car wash - I bet there are many more ideas that could have been incorporated too. I rate the garage 3 stars personally, although my daughter would probably choose 5 if she could.
Thanks for reading :o)
My son is now 5 years old, and he got given this garage when he was only 2 years old, and to this day he plays with it, its his favourite toy. His grandparents decided on getting Ethan this as he loves playing with cars, always has done, this was a great surprise to him when he opened it up and found out what it was. Even though he as had this garage now for 3years it is still in the same condition as when he got it for his birthday. He can be very heavy handed when it comes to playing with his toys sometimes, and especially when he is throwing a paddy, his toys easily break, but not this one.
ABOUT THE GARAGE
The garage is made from very strong and hard plastic, making it very tough and very hard wearing. This garage as been through a lot, like being sat on, stood on, thrown down the stairs, you name it, and still it didn't break. The garage you will see has a parking lot (well that is what we are calling it) to the right of it you have a lift with a bell on it, cars can go up and down on the lift, although the lift does tend to stick at times, but with a gentle push it does then work. You will also notice a bridge over the parking lot, this is handy for carry it around, or leaving cars on there like Ethan does and waiting for rescue to come and get them.
The ramps leading down from the parking lot to the floor is great, they simply latched together although can be quite touch to do it with it being hard plastic it's not very flexible. Because of the cars you get with it and with them being quite bulky it fits on the ramps great, and gives you an insight of the size of cars you can expect to fit on the garage. Ethan does have a lot of cars, some big, some small, and some that don't fit on the garage like lorries, but then instead of the big cars going down the ramps with the wheels covering the ramp fully, you can place 2 small cars on there side by side, as there looks like 2 lanes, Ethan loves this and races with his cars.
The bottom of the garage has little refill pumps, and a hose, although these don't do anything as they are there for show, so Ethan just tends to pretend when going by these with his cars. I have to say this little garage keeps occupied for hours with his cars, speeding down the ramps. The garage can be played by boys or girls, as I do know a few girls that like playing with cars, and Ethan cousins tend to play with this when they come around, and they are all girls.
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?
You will find in the box, the garage, stickers to jazz up the garage, 2 cars, one being a pick up truck and that actually make sounds, 2 people, the ramps to be attached, and the bridge to also be attached. Although they are quite easy to set up, but with it being hard plastic the ramps can be quite tricky as they are not flexible.
When Ethan plays with the garage outside sometimes especially in summer with his friends it does tend to get a little mucky, even through playing with his cars on it can get quite dirty and because he as had for sometime now, I decided to give it a wipe down, and looks like new again. I did use baby wipes to clean and worked a treat, although because you can dismantle the ramp and bridge, they can easily be washed in soapy water and put back on again, depending on how dirty it is.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE
As I have mention in the review Ethan's grandparents bought this, so I am unsure where they bought it and how much they paid for it. You can buy it from such places as:-
Argos - £36.97
Toys R us - £36.97
Amazon - £28.65
Ethan loves this garage and plays with daily with his cars, he as such good imagination, and I have noticed the last few times he as played with this he brings down his road map, and places it underneath the garage so it looks like the garage is on the road. He can sit and play with this for hours, well when he playing out, and with it being hard plastic I know it is going to last years, and won't break. Like I have mention this is good for boys and girls, and the colours are not one sex colours, they comprise of red, white, yellow and green so all neutral colours. Also when thinking about buying this don't think they would easily grow out of it, as that is what I thought the other week but he still plays with it and still enjoys it to this day. Well worth the money.
My wife and I received this garage as a gift for a son on his first Christmas from my parents after already having some of the little people range for him. This garage is an update from the one I remember having a boy in the 1980s, which was certainly less colourful (it only came in a rather dreary green) but had a sturdy wooden build and perhaps looked a little more realistic than this update.
This is a chunky, fairly robust beast (trust me, my son has tried on many occasions to try to 'dismantle' it without success!). It's been thrown, sat upon and generally manhandled and is still in one piece, so points for build. Bear in mind that although he first received it when he 14 months old (it got little use at that time), he is still playing with now he is a much bigger 21 month old (and at 3 stone 3 pounds it has got to be sturdy to take his weight!).
It comes with a couple of little people and cars, handy for imaginative play as one is a mechanic, whilst the other one is inexplicably holding a mobile phone (not exactly the message you want to give the little one whilst he's driving!). Again the build of the vehicles and the people are chunky and sturdy, and as my wife points out also androgynous (handy for both girls and boys). My advice would be not to plum for this when your kids are too young for imaginative play, we've had this for about 7 months and it is still only just coming into its own as an imaginative toy (even though it says it is suitable from 12 months).
Possible drawbacks for this toy (certainly if you are buying it for a younger baby) is that the mechanism to pull the lift up and down can be a little stiff (I think this is a design flaw as it sometimes jams on me!). As anyone who has experienced a toddler in the throws of a full scale tantrum, it is definitely better if his toys are not designed to irk him when things aren't going his way! I believe the version I had as a child featured a winding handle to raise and lower the lift and this would certainly be a welcome return for a future revision. Also the toy doesn't look that realistic, the colours I'm sure have been designed to appeal to babies (as a result of many lab experiments by child psychologists no doubt), but it doesn't exactly make for a hyper realistic toy and I wonder if this might hamper its usefulness as an imaginative play prop as my boy grows up. Also you really need to invest in quite a few of the little people toys for fully immersive imaginative play (which is no small investment), otherwise the garage prop itself seems a bit redundant out of context for games involving a rudimentary level of story.
So overall this is a good toy, it won't break on you anytime soon, my son at 21 months really enjoys pushing his toys down the ramp, but a couple of design updates could make this a real winner.
Christmas 2010 was my twins boys first Christmas so as you may expect as the first grandchildren on either side of the family my boys were spoilt by their grandparents. As the boys were coming up to 11 months at Christmas, our family was keen to buy them toys which they would play with as they became toddlers and the words "boys toys" were used regularly. The boys had a number of cars and these were a firm favourite therefore I suggested to Mr Lools' parents that a toy garage would be a great present. So for Christmas my boys received the Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage.
***Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage***
The Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is a 3 storey plastic garage which has a ramp that slopes down three storeys and an elevator that goes up and down. The garage is made from brightly coloured yellow, red and blue durable plastic. In addition to the garage you also get a car with driver that makes sounds, a tow truck and two people figures. The garage is reasonably large it is 54cm long, 46cm deep and 48cm high.
The Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is suitable for ages 12 months and over. The toy required 2 size AA batteries which are not included.
The Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is available from a number of retailers including Argos, Toys R Us, Smyths, Tesco, Very and Amazon. At the time of writing (Sept 2011) and indeed when the in laws were purchasing this garage the selling price of this toy varied greatly. Some retailers sell this for £34.99 and others (Amazon) are selling this toy for £50 which is extremely expensive. My in laws purchased this from Argos in November 2011 for £29.99. This is reasonable but the Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is more expensive than other garage toys which are typically around the £25 mark.
***Playing with It***
The Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage does require some assembly. When it comes in the original box you do find the garage in in many pieces that need fitting together. The instructions that come with the toy are very clear and show where you need to slot the varies pieces of plastic to build the garage. In total it took Mr Lools 10 minutes to put the garage together which is reasonable for a children's toy of this size. Mr Lools did comment that all pieces of the garage were easy to put together apart from the top plastic section which forms an archway over the top of the lift section of the garage. He did find he had to use a lot of force to push this section down. When fully assembled I could notice that this section did look wonky and we often find this piece of plastic comes detached as it is slightly warped and does not sit how it should do. This is very disappointing of the quality of the rest of the garage, cars and figures is good and the plastic is thick ad durable.
My boys were immediately drawn to the garage and the cars that came with it. I think for a young toddler the colours of the garage are very attractive as are the bright chunky car and tow truck. My boys were 11 months old when they first started playing with the garage. The toy has no small parts that could be a choking hazard therefore I feel from being about 9 months old when they could sit up unaided the garage would have been suitable. By suitable I mean they would have enjoyed pushing the cars and trucks down the ramp and watching them whizz around. I do feel for toddlers under 18 months the garage is quite limited as the lift is very stiff and the lever to push the lift up and down is stiff. When my boys were 11 months old they attempted to pull this lever but it took until they were 18 months old before they were strong enough to pull this themselves. For a young toddler this is actually very frustrating and my boys were wanting to play on their own but would often indicate they needed my help by shouting "up" when they wanted me to move the lift for them. As much as I enjoy playing with them this did get quite annoying as a parent and I would have preferred for the boys to have been able to use all of the functions on their own.
The size of the garage is brilliant for more than one child to play with. The reason I prefer this garage to other garages from other brands is the size. I didn't want to purchase my boys a garage each therefore this is a good size for sharing. What does let the garage down is that it is only comes with two vehicles which makes sharing quite difficult. For the size of the garage I personally feel another two cars with figures inside would have been beneficial.
I feel my boys now at 18 months old are getting real benefit out of the garage and feel after watching my friend's children play alongside my boys that they will do for years to come. Now they are able to push the lift up and down they take the cars to different levels on the garage and take great pleasure setting vehicles off down the ramp. As they do this they are making car noises and I feel they are really using their imagination. My boys do play with the cars that come with the garage and particularly like the car and tow truck because they make engine noises. The figures that come with the car are also very easy to put in and out of the vehicles. My boys not only play with the cars that come with garage but use other cars in the garage. This includes a range of small plastic cars from ELC which fit in the lift and down the ramp.
My friends little boy who is three years old really is attracted to the garage; more so than my boys and I feel this is because he is at an age where he can play more imaginatively. At the base of the garage there is a petrol pump and he spends his time filling the cars and trucks up, driving the cars into the garage, "parking" the cars and then setting them off down the ramp. What is particularly nice to watch is when he plays with other children and they take turns pushing the cars down the ramp.
The Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is very durable and I do feel it is made well enough to withstand years of rough play. Personally I would make the lift easier for young children to move up and down and also make the top section of the garage easier to slot together. My boys have tried to climb onto the garage and although I always discourage this the garage is sturdy enough not to flip over as the base is wide, and although light it does not tip. Even if a child pulls the garage towards them it will not fall on top of them which I feel is beneficial for younger toddlers nearer 12 months who can just sit.
All of the pieces of the garage can be easily wiped over with a damp cloth. The garage once put together is ready to use time and time again therefore it is quite bulky to store and we leave this at the side of the boys room as it does not fit into a toy box and we have no cupboard space for it.
I must admit my boys did seem happy enough with the Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage and when browsing the toy catalogues I would definitely have said this is the best option. But after almost 9 months' worth of play and watching the boys play with other toy garages I would say specifically the Whizz Around Garage from ELC would have been a better purchase.
For older toddlers nearer 2 years old the Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage is probably more suitable as it is larger and the elevator is fun because it can stop at different floors and the bell rings but for children nearer the 12 months mark it causes much frustration that they need help as it is too stiff to push up and down on their own. I also feel the Fisher Price Racing Ramps Garage would have benefited from more toy and car figures considering this garage is large and secondly quite expensive priced at £50 by some retailers.
For parents the toy is not the most complex to assemble but does require some assembly. The quality of the garage is satisfactory and the brightly coloured plastic the garage is made from is thick and durable but I do feel that the top section of our garage is twisted making it pop out of its slots occasionally and it looks wonky to the eye.
Not the best garage but not the worst either.
We have had this for almost a year now, however, I have mixed thoughts about it. My daughter loves the ramp to race cars around and whizz them off the end but my one bug bear is that she still can't get the lift up by herself at 2 and a half years old as it is so awkward and stiff.
Also there isn't really much point to the mid level section as the ramp doesn't have an exit on that level.
The tow truck and the car which come with it are probably the best thing about it. The tow truck has a number of noises (truch engine starting, reversing noise) which are activated by pressing down the little mechanic. It then has a tow hook on the back which you can hook onto the little car which comes with what I would call a 'yuppy' as they have a mobile phone in one hand! This car doesn't have any sounds. My daughter loves whizzing these around and using the little petrol pump to fill them up.
Some imaginative fun but I have seen better designs for the same idea and the old fashioned 1980's version was by far better!
It was fairly wasy to assemble and it still looks good.
Well this probably isnt going to be a good review of this product as to me it is a complete waste of money and as I am a very big fan of Little People toys it really did dissapoint me.
My son (1) got some christmas money off my Nan becasue she was poorly and couldnt get out to buy a gift as she wanted to get him something LP (Knowing what big fans we are) we decided to get him this off her.
I purchased it from Argos for £30 and couldnt wait to get it home. Obviously I was expecting a small amount of construction with it being large but it was all in pieces, unlike all the other playsets we have! Thankfully the pieces were loose in the box and not all wrapped in plastic! It was fairly simple to put together but it is the snap into place kind of toy that I hate, as fingers always get hurt.
After putting it together I didnt like it but thought I would wait and see the kids reactions. They were obviously excited about a new toy but it didnt last long.
My daughter nearly 4 tried to use the lift-the main point in the toy-but could not move it for the life of her. I came in to see what all the noise was about to find her crying because she couldnt move it-then to the shock of me I couldnt either! I had to really force-as in it felt it would snap-to get the thing to move but it kept sticking to the sides so was not a smooth ride up to the top. Because it got stuck when it hit the top level it is meant to tip up so the car wheels out itself but it didnt do this.
I thought it may be due to it being new so I took the time to sit and push the lift up and down over and over again thinking it may loosen up but it didnt!!
The garage now only gets used when mummys placed all the cars up top tidily the kids come and push them all down!
The accessories you get with it are good-a mechanic in a tow truck that makes a beeping noise and kind of drags the smaller car to the garage-though not very well and another driver on a telephone.
A friend of mine also bought this for her son for his 1st birthday and I saw it plonked in a corner at her home the other day and when I asked if it got played with she rolled her eyes and said no it was a waste of time! (wish Id asked before buying it!)
Overall I think this is a complete waste of £30 it doesnt look as good as other Little People toys and definetly doesnt have the appeal like their other toys! Very dissapointed.
A sturdy, great fun toy for any child.
I bought this for my 1 year old son for christmas and he loves it. The garage does need assembling but its very simple to follow the instructions and doesnt take longer than 10-15 mins, however the tools are not provided and you will need a long thin screwdriver to fit certain screws.
The garage comes with two vehicles, a car and a tow truck, and a driver for each. As with all the little people range the people from one set will fit them all, very handy if like me they seem to disappear!!!
Features of this garage are there is a lift which is controlled by a sliding handle on the side, a play petrol pump and car washer, two levels for parking and a ramp that goe from top to bottom. The lift tilts up when it reaches the top level, encouraging the vehicle to slide off towards the ramp. As the lift goes up and down a bell sounds ( like an old bicycle bell).
Negative points are few, however, the lift on ours doesnt slide up and down very easily and normally requires someone to help my son. the middle floor of the garage seems pointless as it is very small and hard to access.
This is a bright colourful toy that my son enjoys playing with regularly, I beleive it is good value for money when compared with other similar garages.