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
Racing ramps but not much else
Fisher Price Little People Racin' Ramps Garage
Member Name: scooch12
Fisher Price Little People Racin' Ramps Garage
Advantages: Keeps my daughter entertained, the helter skelter is fun, bright colours
Disadvantages: Not much to do apart from the ramp, not sturdy enough to help little ones stand up
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)
Summary: A good item but could have included so much more to explore
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