I purchased this garage for my 4 year old son. Assembly was a bit of a pain. The instructions aren't overly clear, and although it's not rocket science, there are a few types of pieces (the black parking spots, and the blue lift shaft) that have subtle differences. If you start applying stickers, as the instructions suggest, without noticing the subtleties you'll need to remove them and reapply. We spent more time fixing mistakes than actually building the thing. The build of the garage is pretty good. I think it will survive a four year old abuse for quite a while. That said, a the pieces are easily detached. My son keeps removing all the red barriers, and occasionally the blue ramps fall detach from the garage. Eventually I'm sure we'll loose some pieces. Does it work with other small cars? Yes and no. I purchased a set of Matchbook cars. Some of them are fairly successful at racing down the ramps others are not. There divider between the two lanes has open spots (allowing cars to change lanes?) Quite a few cars consistently get stopped as that partially change lanes and hit a barrier. It actually happens to all cars, but some more than others. Can I park a lot of cars? No. Sadly, I think the most unfortunate part of the design is that you can't park cars. Most of the parking spots have a slight tilt to them, causing the cars to roll into the 'racing' lane. And even if they don't, most cars are long enough to interfere with the racing. So I had to find another spot to organize my son's cars. Overall though, the build is pretty solid, it looks good, and my son enjoys using it so it's still a success. I imagine there are other garages out there that do better though.
We have tried MANY different car track type toys over the last 3 1/2 years and we wish we had found this product years ago! Our 6 1/2yr old, 4 1/2yr old, and 2 1/2yr old all play with this toy constantly. It is very sturdy and has stood up to the 2 1/2 yr old leaning on it occasionally. None of the other garage/track related car sets we've tried have withstood the slightest bit of use. The tracks always broke if you looked at them funny or the cars wouldn't run on the tracks at all. The tracks in this garage are made of very heavy and sturdy plastic and seem to be attached very well. This is not the cheap stiff plastic used by Fast Lane or the soft, flimsy, won't stay connected for 2 seconds plastic of Hot Wheels. The little flags come out of their sockets and get moved around, but that's kind of fun for the kids. The start gate concept is great (although it occasionally comes out with enthusiastic use, but it also pops back in easily) and the boys love racing the cars from the top all the way to the bottom. And yes, two cars actually run side by side in their separate tracks all the way down to the bottom! We have looked for years for a toy that provided the thrill of a long run and satisfaction of consistently working. If only we had found this toy sooner! The elevator also works quite nicely. It occasionally gets yanked out of its groove by our 2 1/2yr old and gets stuck, but a little nudge back into place and it's back in smoothly moving business! Very well made and well worth the price! One note, when assembling, plan on it taking around an hour and note that all of the decks are not the same. There are two basic types of deck that alternate. We didn't realize that on initial assembly and had to switch two of the decks around. Luckily, the decals are also really well made and are flexible, plastic-y, and sturdy (not papery) and easily peeled off and restuck without any peeling corners or tears. We highly recommend this product to anyone with car loving children!
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