Melissa & Doug Stacking Train
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108 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2003
At first, I wondered if the Stacking Train was ever going to entertain my son. You see the cars slide off the linking dowels, if pushed down too hard. Well, at least when traveling on carpet, which is the main playing surface in our home. What's more, the order in which the blocks stack onto the cars is essential for movement. The blocks don't have to stack in perfect order, but certain blocks must be stacked in the appropriate places, otherwise the wheels cannot rotate. My husband and I noticed how aggravated Will became when he first started playing with the Stacking Train; thus, we intervened as the toy frustrated him so. Once he became familiar with the puzzle, (2 weeks later) he began to enjoy playing with it. The Stacking Train soon became a favorite, and now, 7-months later, it still amuses him for 30 minutes or more a day.
I have found that sometimes the age recommendation on toys is not always accurate. This plaything is appropriately labeled for 2 and up, and will probably continue to entertain my son for another 6 months or more. As a side note, the stacking order is quite complex for little minds. Although this does not take away from the fun-factor, it can add to the level of frustration. This mommy had to go on-line to see the stacking sequence so she could teach her son.
The Stacking Train is a well-built puzzle! It has been tossed around, stepped on, and even chewed upon, yet keeps on rolling. There are NO sharp edges on this toy, but we have had a few minor mishaps when my son, who plays rough, has pulled the dowels off the cars. We glued them back with wood glue, and the following day this choo choo is back to rolling around on the floor. Recently, my son lost one of the blue dowels, which links the cars together. I called the customer service number, found on the bottom of the toy, and the company replaced the entire train for nothing. Now that's excellent customer service! Overall, I recommend the Stacking Train as it's engaged my son for hours on end, plus the educational values are significant.
Other Points of Interest:
· No batteries required
· There are NO safety concerns with this plaything, i.e. strangling, smothering, cutting, or swallowing
· Gender neutral plaything
· No assembly
· Lifetime guarantee
Happy Playing,
Mary
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143 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
I bought this toy for my little girl last year. I was shocked to find that there had been a recall on it in Canada..they have stricter testing methods than we do in the US.

"this train has been recalled in Canada for containing high levels of barium. Apparently barium can cause (according to Health Canada), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps as well as more severe symptoms."

There was also a recall on their geometric stacker.

The Melissa and Doug representatives were AWFUL!! The said it was an isolated incident and not a big deal!!! It is dishonest and wrong that they never issued a recall here and there was hardly any information on this recall available. DO NOT BUY THESE TOYS!!!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
After only 1 week of normal child's play - blue parts of this train started to stain my daughter's hands. Also paints is chipping off of several parts of this train.
Shouldn't the childn't toy be more durable???
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2004
My almost 2 year old daughter received this for Christmas this year (1 month ago).
She loves to play with it as a train - she lets her stuffed animals ride it and even tries to ride it herself.
As a puzzle, she has mastered the 'take it apart' aspect, and is learning to put it back together. It is a well designed puzzle that will be challenging for younger toddlers - some of the reasons that you'd choose block X over block Y are subtle - but it is still a serviceable train most ways you can put it together, although it might look odd.
It is very durable and safe. My daughter has sat upon it, stood on it, and dropped it on a wooden floor. So far it is still completely intact. Nothing has chipped or come loose.
This is another great Melissa and Doug product that will be enjoyed for many years, provided we can avoid losing the pieces. Toddlers can play with it on a simple level - it is a train - or a more complex level as a puzzle.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
Our train from batch GJ12325 was not sanded, and it is very easy to get splinters if you pick it up without gloves. We were disappointed because it was a birthday gift for a 2 year old boy, and obviously he can't touch it. I have attached photos of the train in the customer photos section. 2 stars because the child would have LOVED this train if it had been made as a safe toy for children, it looks like a really fun design. He also received a Melissa and Doug Alphabet Art Puzzle that was not sanded. I wonder what's going on at Melissa and Doug. I have sent them an email, and I will update this review if I receive a response.

Update 9/27/13- Suzanne with Melissa and Doug has offered to send a new puzzle and train. (Very fast response.) I will update and let you know the condition of the replacement.

Update 1/13/2014- Suzanne with Melissa and Doug did send a new train out very quickly, but it was also in need of sanding and covered in splinters. I haven't had time to buy sand paper, sand all the little pieces and match the colors so I can touch up the paint yet, this birthday present has turned into quite a project. Melissa and Doug should recall the defective batches that are already out there and pull this product from the market until they are able to solve their quality control issues.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2003
My son ended up getting 2 sets of these trains. I can't tell you how much he loves them. The first set he got as a gift last year when he was 10 months old. He got a second set as a gift a month ago (at 20 mos) and we were going to return it, but he became so excited when he saw them, we let him keep it. I am so glad we did, he has combined the trains, can now sort the blocks by color, "parks" the trains and takes them everywhere. Our Parent Teacher Educator commented that he plays really well by himself, ESPECIALLY with the trains. They look simple, but they are great for children to develop imaginitive play.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2010
Like the M&D pounding bench, ,my son enjoyed playing with this and yes, sucking on the pegs. But my daughter won't be because I read that this was recalled in Canada for toxic levels of chemicals. M&D didn't bother to recall it here because the American market is full of suckers who accept lax toy standards. I'll be replacing it with a stacking toy that is NOT MADE IN CHINA and NOT MADE BY M&D.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2009
Thank goodness my sister let me know that this train that we have and loved has been recalled in Canada for containing high levels of barium. Apparently barium can cause (according to Health Canada), " nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps as well as more severe symptoms."

I've never even heard of barium in toys. I had never been concerned about Melissa and Doug toys until my sister told me that they were all made in China. It isn't made clear that they are and a number of good toy sites (and Whole Foods) sell them. However, since then I have noticed the paint chips off of many of the toys, and I am no longer confident that the paint is completely non-toxic and safe.

My daughter has gnawed on this Melissa and Doug toy and many others and it was with sadness yet relief that I have thrown them all out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2011
This is a nice looking toy - simple - cute. Looks like a great buy for all children. We try to give our son wood toys, because we had simple wood toys and they really are more entertaining that many modern electronic toys. The problem with this train is that the colors are water based, so if you child has any type of moisture on their hands, the colors will start to run. I called the manufacture and they said that this was intended - which does not make sense to me. Why not seal the colors with shellac or similar???

Conclusion, do not buy this, unless you are 100% sure that your child will never use the toy with wet hands.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2004
We bought this for our youngest son last Christmas. He is now 2 1/2 years old and still plays with it almost every day. It is very well made, and very reasonably priced. In the beginning, we had to sit with our son to show him how to put the train back together, but now he's a pro. This is a toy we'll be pulling out for a grandchildren in the years to come, as long as he doesn't feed any of the blocks to our dog!! I highly recommend this toy; it gets more "play time" than our leappad, lego table or Vtech toys.
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