Best Gift Ideas - Toys Under $45: Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand 'n Play Rampway
The Wheelies Stand n Play Rampway
Little People Wheelies Stand 'n Play
Large, Bright, and Fun
If your child likes cars and race tracks, in bright colors with lots of 'bells and whistles', this could be the gift of the year. Aimed at ages 18 months up to 6 years, the Fisher Price Little People Wheelies Stand'n Play Rampway is huge, brightly colored, and loads of fun.
Just because we grew up doesn't mean we can't have fun
When my son was little, he was impressed with big toys. Smaller ones were just fine too, but something large was always sure to find favor. The Stand 'n Play Rampway is 2 feet tall, and nearly 2 feet square. With vivid yellows, greens, and blues, it grabs the attention like a psychedelic stop light. My boy is in his 30's now, but I may still give one to him for Christmas. He's just a big kid at heart. I should know, Monique says he's actually more mature than I am.
2 Tracks, 2 Cars
The Stand 'n Play: Double the Fun
The Stand 'n Play is
pretty cool, though. Comes with 2 cars, and
two different tracks to send them down, plus a lot of extra eye candy and
noisemakers. I like the lift, when you
bring a car up by the lift, it makes an attention-getting ratcheting noise,
sure to please most children. There's a
filling station, spinning signs, and plenty of sounds. The cars go
zipping down the tracks at high speeds after being released from the
gates. You can race them together, or just play for fun.
Long Lasting Play Life
The Stand 'n Play Rampway comes with Rampway and two Wheelies cars. Rampway has built-in carry grip and storage space. Measures 22.5" x 22.5" x 24", and weighs just under 10 pounds. You'll need 3 AA batteries to power the sound effects. Make sure you've got a small phillips head screwdriver for the battery compartment. Recommended for children ages 18 months to 6 years old… so if you get it early, the Rampway will have a long playability span.
Speaking of playability, the Stand 'n Play Rampway has a lot going for it, but as always, the final decision lies with the kids. Judging by parental response, some kids enjoy it briefly and set it aside… but most children will happily make the cars race downhill hour after hour.
Fisher Price Stand n Play TV Commercial
Comes with 2 different Cars
Simple Assembly, High-Speed Fun
Assembly is reasonably simple, but the instructions are very basic, with only black and white images. You can figure it out with a bit of common sense, but it would have been nice if the instructions were color coded. The set comes with 2 Wheelies Cars, 19 track and set pieces, 7 screws, Eddie and the Mystery Driver DVD, and black & white instructions. The set seems sturdy and strong, with kid-friendly smoothed edges.
Once assembled, it's bright colors and ease of play add to the attraction. Given it's height and the steep ramp, the Little People Wheelies cars zip down at high speed. Occasionally they'll go so fast one will fly off the track, adding to the excitement. To a certain extent, this is a positive feature… but some parents report the cars fly off too often. If this happens, check all the joints and connections of the track, and make sure it's all tight with no gaps.
It's all in fun
Kids can surprise you... so be sure they play safely
The cars are very light (part of the reason they can go 'sailing'). Several parents report the track is compatible with many Hot Wheels cars (or any car of similar size and weight), and the heavier toy cars can be more stable in staying on the track. A little experimentation is necessary when using cars other than Little People Wheelies; some work better than others.
This is a fun option that an older child will enjoy. With younger children, personally I'd recommend supervision if they're playing with heavier vehicles than intended. I do like the notion that it's compatible with other cars, but I've seen how far and hard a toddler can throw a Hot Wheels car… being a parent can be full of surprises!
Room to Grow with Little People Wheelies Sets
With 2 separate tracks, one child can play alone, or two can race. The road curves around, down, and through tunnels on it's way to the exit. Kids can fuel up, take the cars up and down on the lift, and drive around to their imaginations' delight.
There are other Wheelies sets too, so if it's a really big hit with the kids, you'll find plenty of follow-on gifts for the future.
Little People Wheelies
DVD Video "Eddie and the Mystery Driver" included
Included with the playset is a DVD, "Eddie and the Mystery Driver". This video is widely available on Youtube, but unless your toddler already has his own laptop, you'll appreciate the DVD so it can be watched over and over without tying up your computer time. Cute story, with a good message. Eddie is the fastest driver in the town of Wheelieville, in a world where EVERYBODY has a passion for driving. Or… at least he WAS the fastest driver, until a mystery driver shows up.
There's actually several episodes available on Youtube, so if your children enjoy Eddie and the Mystery Driver, maybe you'll have to share the laptop after all.
Eddie and the Mystery Driver - Included in the Stand n Play on DVD
Quality and Responsibility
Worth knowing: Last year, Fisher-Price issued a recall on the included cars. Apparently, some were made in Mexico and the wheels had a tendency to come off. The recall was to replace the defective cars with cars that kept their wheels. By this time, it's not a concern with new sets, but it's something to be aware of if you find a used set.
I expect top-quality toys from Fisher-Price. But nobody's perfect all the time, and the true test of a company is how it reacts to adversity. The fact that they stepped up and replaced the original cars with better ones tells me Fisher Price is serious in its commitment to quality.
It's the end of the road
On Track for Fast Paced Fun!
Overall, Fisher Price has knocked the ball out of the park with the Little Wheelies Stand 'n Play Rampway. (If you'll pardon the mixed metaphor) It's fun, easy to play with, and can hold children's attention. Plus it's expandable; with several related Wheelies sets and cars, there's room to grow. That makes future gift-choosing much easier. If they're too young for complex Hot Wheels tracks (and similar sets), but still like cars, the Stand 'n Play Rampway is a good starting point on their way to Nascar.
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