A Review for Toys R Us
I love Lego.
I love the way it has evolved over the years to include vibrant new colours, sophisticated play sets and branded sets (Harry Potter, Star Wars etc and very excitingly, Spongebob Squarepants) yet still retains the essential qualities that make it a truly great toy.
I love the challenge of following the instructions to build a particular model.
I love trying to create models using nothing but the knowledge of the way Lego constructs and my imagination (although I usually end up with flat roofed square houses or a staircase - I am very good at staircases!)
Most of all, I love the sound that the bricks make (although the term 'brick' now is a gross over simplification) as you sift through them to find a piece you need. That sound, along with the smell of play dough and the feel of plasticine, is totally evocative of childhood for me.
My children have accumulated a substantial collection of Lego over the years and although it hasn't been played with much as boyfriends and exams take priority in their lives, they retain a fondness for it and are not too grown up to dive in and start building when a moment arises.
One such moment came when we were given the Lego City Cargo Train to review.
Taylor was so keen to get involved that she extended the age recommendation of 6-12 on the box with a Sharpie Marker to include her age.
As a mother to five daughters (until 6 months ago when I was totally amazed to give birth to a baby son) our toy cupboard has a mostly gender neutral feel with a slight leaning towards the girlie. A son, much to my husband's delight, has opened up a world of possibilities for boy toys and the very special way that boys seem to engage with their playthings. Without wanting to be a slave to gender stereotypes, the City Cargo Train is very much a Boy Toy and is giving me a taste of things to come.
At £129.99, this set does carry a big price tag but the large box was packed full of components.
Assembling these components according to the detailed instruction booklets was an absorbing task.
Once completed, the vehicles were beautifully detailed and quite robust.
The next phase was to assemble the track to run the trains. The remote control and battery pack required 9 x AAA batteries to power them, which the 2 year old was determined to help insert. It did take up quite a lot of floor space which meant a slight rearrangement of furniture in the conservatory but the ritual of moving table and chairs imposed an air of importance to the session.
The set functioned really well and generated a lot of excitement from the youngest (6 months) to the oldest (47 years!) The following video shows some highlights of our playtime.
I am looking forward to the Baby Boy being old enough to really appreciate this toy and would certainly be inclined to purchase additional sets that would enable us to build a more elaborate track system.
My only issue is what to do with it all now that play has ceased and ideally I would like my conservatory back as a useable room. Time to find a nice big storage box to keep it all safe and ready for next time... and really that is a very small inconvenience for such a good toy.