* Prices may differ from that shown
When a friend asked if I wanted her son's old wooden garage I said yes immediately! My son is completely car (or rather vehicle) mad - I am now a firm believer that this is a nature thing not a nurture thing! Until his first birthday the toys he played with were exactly the same as those his sister had at that age, which included some cars and trains. Whilst she had never really bothered that much with them, the minute he started to crawl he would 'brum' them round the room and quickly developed an inner car seeking sensor! The speed in which he can seek out a car at a toddler group or friends house is incredible!
When my friend offered me the Plan Toys Parking garage we already had the ELC Whizz around garage (bought second hand for £8!) which my son loved, but I knew that eventually he would grow out of it, so accepted this one in readiness for that happening as it seemed more grown up. She brought it round just before my sons second birthday. I have never seen him so excited! He loved it from the second he saw it!
The garage has four levels. The first level has two petrol pumps at one side and at the other side is the entrance to the car park, the cars can either turn left up the ramp or go straight on into the lift. To operate the lift you turn the large black disc on top of the garage (my son can easily manage this). The lift can be stopped at the second and third levels. On the second level there are several parking spaces and a ramp up to the third level, where there are some more parking spaces. The fourth level has the disc to operate the lift and also a helipad! If you buy the garage new it comes with two cars and a parking attendant. I also think they must have added some extra features over the years as those currently on sale also have a car wash and a toll booth built in.
The two ramps are not permanently fixed but are held in place by two little pegs (for each ramp) on the garage. Each ramp has two holes for the pegs to fit into. If the ramps come off then my son needs help to pop them back on but I'm sure it won't be long before he can manage to do this himself. He loves driving his cars up and down the ramps and then parking them in the parking bays. I have been surprised that, although he does play with the lift, this is not the main attraction for him. In fact, the Plan Toys Parking garage is a perfect example that simplicity and quality can appeal to children more than the beeping, lights flashing, button pressing toys that so many people seem to favour these days. The ELC Whizz around garage is now at Granny's as he had no interest in it once this one arrived.
The Plan Toys garage is quite pleasing on the eye - in my opinion! I much prefer having this in the corner of the room than the ELC Whizz Around garage anyway! Another aspect of this garage that appeals to me is that Plan Toys are a very 'green' company who only use environmentally friendly materials. The wood they use is reclaimed preservative free rubberwood and they create new material and process to minimize waste up to zero. We have various Plan Toys items and have been very pleased with all of them, the quality is always very good. Their current marketing tag is 'Sustainable Play' in which they are trying to encourage parents to make sustainable choices when selecting toys for their children. This is something I do try to do, generally any plastic toys I do buy for my children I buy second hand as this helps to ease my conscience!
My friends son, who was the original owner of this garage is now 10 years old, and it went to another little boy inbetween him growing out of it and my son getting it. So, at a rough guess this particular garage has been in use for around 8 years and I can honestly say it looks almost as good as new! There are a couple of slightly splintered bits on the edge where it has obviously been bashed with something (or against something), but apart from these two bits the red paint around the edge of the levels is not at all chipped. The Plan Toys Parking garage costs around £50 and I would say it is worth every penny. There are lots of extras you can buy to add on to it to enhance play, such as the Plan Toys Road System, Rescue centre, Gas Station and Car Repair & Service Garage. This garage was such a hit with my son that we bought him the Road System Deluxe for his second birthday and I can imagine more bits will be appearing at Christmas!
This parking garage is equipped with three floors of parking space, an elevator tower and a helipad. The set includes a car, a gas station and car washing machine. The design is scaled to accommodate other metal, die-cast, or plastic vehicles.
- Stand alone toy or use with the Plan Roadway System - A versatile and adaptable toy - Robust toy that shows great attention to detail, eg easy to use lift - Durable for young children