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on November 6, 2001
I am a grandfather of 4 and my 2 year old grandson just loves this item. We got it for him for his birthday and he has not stopped playing with it. He could race the cars for hours and hours. This toy is worth it.
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on November 6, 2002
I am sure most of you can relate that toddler boys take everything apart and leave them in shambles around the house. Not this one. It comes in one piece and has stayed in one piece. The only complaint is the noise, but that can be remedied. The educational value, I suppose, is seeing how cars go down and seeing which is faster. My son has had it for a year and still plays with it from time to time.
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on April 16, 2002
I bought this for my almost 4 year old and 17 month old daughters to play with together. They share it pretty well, but my 4 y.o. has figured out that the gold car ALWAYS nudges out the silver one and so, naturally, that's the car she always wants to play with. Luckily, you can use other cars (Matchbox clones) in there - as long as they're not too tall or long (the 1959 Lincoln is a little slow!) - so my toddler isn't always the LOSER. Like other people have commented, we have also experienced the sound going off when no one was around (not even the cat). I probably would take the batteries out if it went off more often but so far it's only happened a couple of times. If you're trying to keep it secret from the kids, though, note that the toy comes with batteries already installed, and the box DOES emit noise! (The UPS man was laughing when he gave it to me!)
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on December 27, 2005
After reading the other reviews posted for this product, I felt compelled to put my 2 cents in.

First of all, the concept of this toy is simple, racing cars down two spiral tracks. Admittedly, for a grown-up, this could get boring in a matter of moments. However, the toy is not intended for use by grown-ups; it is intended to be used by preschool-aged children. And, to that end, it gets the job done. My two younger children, ages 3 1/2 and 4 1/2, love this toy. Yes, they have tried to send their Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars zooming down the race track; some work and some don't. While we originally purchased this racetrack as a supplement to our son's evergrowing collection of Matchbox-ish cars, we are not disappointed since the toy has taken on a life of its own.

Every parent knows their child's interests; if your child loves to play with cars and race cars, then this toy is sure to please. If your child prefers Legos or Duplos to racecars, then this isn't the toy for you.

Our son loves to watch things go... and if it takes him five tries to find a Matchbox car that fits without getting stuck, he'll patiently plow through the bucket... but once he finds the one that works, his squeals of delight echo through the room.

This toy is very sturdy, well-constructed and much more compact than the only Fisher Price garage currently available. And, as for the complaints about the noise, while this toy does attempt to imitate race car sounds when you push the lever to "start" the race, the sounds only last for about 30 seconds or so. I've yet to hear the toy "speak" on its own or while left unattended, and it's certainly not loud enough to cause any disruption to a home accustomed to the sounds of small children. Overall, a great alternative for the car-loving preschool set.
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on November 7, 2001
Perhaps my son is too old for this. We got it when he turned three, and it's sat on the shelf for a year. He takes it down and plays with it occasionally, but it really doesn't hold his attention. The best part was discovering that one of the cars goes faster when it's backwards. However, a 20-month-old friend of ours thinks this is great--he played with it for over an hour, which is a looong time for that age group.
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on January 28, 2005
I bought this toy from a resale shop and am a little disappointed. My son loves this toy and it does keep him entertained. However, the two cars that come with it are the only ones that really go down the ramps well. My son constantly tries to get his Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars to go down them. They don't. I wish Fisher Price could have made it so that these types would also work. It would have made my son and me lot happier and more satisfied. He is easily frustrated because they get stuck more often than not. It is a very durable toy that has endured a lot of rough play. A great concept.
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on October 29, 2002
If you want to save your sanity, take the batteries out of the thing before you give it to your child. It does not inhibit the function of the toy, but it will save your sanity!
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on August 18, 2006
My son loves this!!!! I could type that 100 times and it would still be an understatement. Here is the deal though, it only uses the cars it comes with and regular matchbox cars really don't work on it. That is frustrating for me to watch because he ends up just stacking cars on it. However, he is two and probably doesn't care. Also, it doesn't take long to lose two tiny little cars that are espcially for that set. So, my son loves it either way, but it really would be better if you could use any matchbox car on it.
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on October 31, 2001
My 2 year old son loves this toy however he can no longer play with it because the cars have been lost. I tried calling the mfg only to be pushing lots of buttons and being put on hold to then find out to call back at a later time. The toy would be good if they sold extra cars. We've tried using other cars on it but it doesn't seem to be the same as the originals.
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on June 16, 2005
First off this toy is LOUD. There's no on/off switch so the only way to turn off the racecar sounds is to take the batteries out. I think that the racecar sounds are rather obnoxious, but my daughter likes them.

It is very durable and once it was assembled, not one piece has broken off despite my 2 1/2 daughter's best efforts. :)

However, ours goes off all the time for NO REASON AT ALL! Seriously, there's been plenty of nights I'd hear it across the house in my daughter's room continously making noise over and over sitting in her closet. Needless to say it now 'sleeps' in the garage when she's not playing with it.

Other than that, it's a very popular toy with my daughter and the neighborhood kids. Even the 8 and 9 year olds across the street will play with it if she's playing with it outside. It's a simple concept, but maybe that's why it works.

There also seems to be a few differences with our version and ones previously reviewed. Our two cars are red and green, driven by a Snoopy dog look-a-like. I haven't noticed either car being faster than the other, so maybe Fisher Price fixed that problem? Also, her normal Matchbox cars fit the track (the exceptions being the fancier Ford Expedition and other larger Matchbox cars which are too tall and bulky).

We spent $9.99 for this at a Toys R Us store, so for that price I don't regret it, even if ours is slightly creepy.
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