* Prices may differ from that shown
My son is your typical three year old in that he loves to play with cars and trains. In fact all of his other toys nowadays go unused in favor of his cars and trains. As this is a relatively new phase for us, I've really been enjoying searching out fun toys that he can play with while also using his cars. I realised that there is a huge gap in the toy market for toy car roads and car play tables. With toy trains, you can buy many different brands and types of train track for toy trains to drive along and lovely table sets with lots of tracks moulded on top to create a town to explore. But with cars there are virtually no versions of toy roads or tables that you can buy and play with unless you are going down the motorised route with Scalextrec etc. I spent hours looking for a road track or table that would slot together and allow my son to enjoy that element of play with his cars too and not just his trains. I had no luck with a road set but did come across this Step 2 Deluxe Train & Track Canyon Table in the process.
The Step 2 Deluxe Train & Track Canyon Table is a very large multi function play table. The American brand 'Step 2' are one of my favorite children's brands because of their attention to detail and the innovative way they take standard children's toys (particularly role playing toys) and make them absolutely fantastic. You won't find a British toy brand that makes play houses and play kitchens like Step 2! We have had several of their items over the years and have never been disappointed, however their price is very high and unless you're prepared and able to break the bank then this isn't a brand for you. I keep a regular eye out for sales as that's generally the only time I can afford to buy from Step 2. This table was no different.
The idea of this Train & Track Canyon table is that it acts as a play table which inside has roads and tracks with hills and bridges for your cars and trains to explore. It then doubles up as a normal table when you put the lid on. It was exactly what we wanted and the added bonus of being able to put the lid on and then use it as a table was great!
The table itself is a large plastic play table, the main body of which is all one piece. When it arrives you don't need to do a huge amount of assembly but you do need to do some. Altogether it took me about half an hour to put it all up and to make it ready to play. The included instructions are clear and easy to follow and make the whole process very easy and understandable. The first thing you need to do is to attach certain parts of the track in place which are secured with small black plastic push screws. You don't need to screw them in place, just push them very hard. It's hard work doing all of them as there are about thirty to do, and your thumbs will hurt afterwards but I did it myself with no real bother. After this you need to attach the legs in place which does require some elbow grease as you need to pierce through the main plastic frame with proper screws. I couldn't do this myself and needed to wait for some help but the legs still slot in place and hold perfectly well without them in the interim. The most time consuming part of the set up was the stickers, there were so many of them and some are very long and difficult to place correctly. It's easy to follow the instructions with where they all go but as a lot of the track is bendy, I found some of the stickers didn't stretch and fit their parts of the track so in several places we do have small breaks where you can see the plastic as the stickers aren't long enough to meet in the middle. After you've done the stickers you're good to go!
The track table inside is all made of molded plastic so you don't need to constantly set up the track all the time. This is great as my son plays with his constantly and would be quite impatient if I had to set it up every time!The tracks themselves switch between looking like train tracks and roads so your little one can enjoy playing with both inside. In fact the tracks are designed to fit all of the common toy car and train brands including Brio, Hot wheels, Thomas & Friends and Matchbox. This is great for us as my son has a wide selection of different brands and although Disney Cars are his favorite we found that most of them fit well too. Only larger characters struggle with the roads and tracks but then they can drive around the bottom level of the table where it's a clear cut out section so they can still be included somehow!
Where the table is completely made from plastic, the separate lid is made from thick wood. It's very heavy in fact and we have to store it well out of the way because it's curved edges make it prone to falling over and if a child was playing nearby it would hurt if it fell on them! The lid is removed by a small finger hold in one end and is very easy on and off. I find it so useful that this track table can be put away so easily. When my son wants to play with it, it's all set up and ready and when he's done I can just put the lid back on and store his other toys on top. It's also great for storage inside too as we keep our cars and trains inside too.
I generally find Step 2 products to be very durable and well made and this is no exception. The table may be made from plastic but it withstands the weight of children leaning on it and occasionally sitting on it. Although it's not designed for it, I don't worry about it collapsing under weight. My son also plays with great enthusiasm with his and I'm finding it to wear very well. We haven't yet had any stickers peeling or damage and we've had it for several months and it's played with on a daily basis. I also find it's very easy to keep clean which is great for me as it only takes a quick wipe and it's clean.
Overall I couldn't be more pleased with this track table! Although train tables seem to be far more creative, with whole towns on top of them this is the only toy car suitable table I could find and we are very happy with it. It's the perfect height for small children so my son has no trouble accessing the tracks and roads and he spends hours playing with this. Price wise Step 2 sold them directly for £120+delivery however they have now stopped selling them and places like Amazon charge double that which is just simply ridiculous. Luckily Argos had a sale on their usual £159.99 price, making it £83.99 which is what I paid and I am very pleased with that price considering how highly I rate this.
Overall this gets a very happy five stars!
Some accessories included (will vary)Art supplies and cars not includedThis extra large table with built-in, multi-level track provides hours of imaginative and interactive play. The moulded-in track and seven non-removable bridges provide immediate play value for children and convenience for adults– layout remains intact.The one-piece hardboard lid with one white side converts the unit into an activity table.The table height allows children to stand and play comfortably and the horizontal design makes reaching to the centre easy for younger ages. With a scratch-resistant surface.