There’s something so exciting about large, squarish packages coming through the post. Forget Scrip, I was like a small child at Christmas when I unwrapped this one. Unfortunately, she was peering over my shoulder at the time so any thoughts of giving this to her as a surprise went out the window. ‘Is it for me?’ were the words that came tumbling out of her mouth.
And yes it was (as long as I can have a go too). The BRIO Roller Coaster Set, from Marbel Toys, looks exciting from the box and the fact it’s tall, twisty and little wagons go whizzing down it means it delivers on the excitement as well.
BRIO is such a well-loved, heritage brand – at a friend’s house last week Scrip and I found some of her original, 30ish-year old train track mixed in with her 3 year old son’s – and it was still going strong. I love the fact BRIO wooden trains and tracks are so well crafted (don’t make the mistake I did of thinking IKEA offers the same quality for less money; it doesn’t). And what’s really nice is that we can add some of the new Roller Coaster parts to Scrip’s existing collection.
But onto the Roller Coaster itself as it definitely deserves its own description. Putting it together I did have to put my engineering skills to the test slightly as it didn’t come with instructions (as well as putting my sight to the test as the only diagram on the box looked like a layout for the miniature BRIO characters to follow rather than me). I think I put it up correctly and no moaning was forthcoming so it actually can’t have taken that long. When it was ready to go the first thing Scrip said (with delight) was how high it was and how the ‘slide’ looked really good. A hit.
There are no batteries – which is a real highlight – and 2 years 8 months old Scrip quickly worked out that the carts rolled onto the platform (one at a time) and were hoisted up by hand to the top. I then helped her click the mechanism into place so the platform tipped up and let the cart speed down the ramp all the way to the bottom. She squealed with excitement.
The two little plastic passengers (it comes with two wagons and two lego-esque passengers) were soon cheerfully waving goodbye to each other as the ascent started before the cart came careering down then crashing into the other one at the bottom (we eventually worked out there was also a safety bar to keep the little people in their carts – so no further high speed accidents).
We played for a good 20 – 25 minutes before moving on to other toys. And she came back to it later on and also said how much her Daddy would like it, which made me laugh (but was probably true!) She was also looking forward to playing with it alongside her nannyshare buddy the next day.
On the down side, I did find the structure wasn’t as sturdy as some and it didn’t stay standing after a day’s play (but that could have been my construction – see above).
I’d say at close to £50 the BRIO Roller Coaster is an investment but one worth making if you know the little one in question likes trains or cars of any sort or already has a BRIO collection. Scrip certainly gave it a big smiley thumbs up; especially once we’d worked out the little people’s safety procedures…