Product Type: Fisher Price Toy Car
Newest Review: ... as you'd expect from Fisher Price. The colours are quite a bit brighter on the box than they are on the actual toy. There's a bit of put... more
A garage that isn't great!
Fisher Price Little People Racin' Ramps Garage
Member Name: Lools_24
Fisher Price Little People Racin' Ramps Garage
Date: 27/09/11, updated on 15/11/11 (90 review reads)
Advantages: Bright, colourful, larger than many other toy garages,
Disadvantages: Higher price than garages from other brands, lift sticks
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.
Summary: A bright colourful garage from Fisher Price.
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