Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fisher-Price Toy Review

I've talked about HouseParty.com here before and mentioned several of the cool party packages I've won and hosted.  Well the latest package was the best I have ever seen - from Fisher-Price no less!  I was SOOOO excited to win this package and get my friends together for a play date to try out these awesome goodies because I know Fisher-Price has always put out quality, durable kids toys.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a group together to host the party - just too many things happening at the time for me to get anyone to show up the day of the party.  But I want to share these products with all of you who might be looking for toys for your little boys or that perfect impressive gift for Christmas.

Soooo - what did they send me?  
Not one, but TWO complete play sets aimed at preschool-aged boys (but I will tell you my 9 year old daughter has played with them almost as much as her brother)!  The box Fisher-Price shipped the toys in was so large and impressive looking that my UPS guy took the care to put it away in my barn for me and left a note on my door so no one else would see this giant box from Fisher-Price sitting on the porch while I was at work.  There was no way I could hide this monstrosity from the kids until the party so I let them help me open it...the shrieks and screams of "oooohhhh AWESOME!" "that's SO COOOL!" and other cries of joy were better than most Christmas mornings.  Little Man was so excited he was literally jumping up and down clapping his hands at each item we pulled out of the box.

Then they shipped me a second box full of take-homes for my guests - coloring books, a DVD for each guest, coupons, goodie bags (they even sent tissue paper to finish the goodie bags!), and mini catalogs.  Because I wasn't able to end up getting guests rounded up for the party, we added a couple of small Halloween goodies to the giveaway bags and Little Man's daycare class will receive them at their Halloween party tomorrow - he is very excited to give them to his friends and tell them all about the cool toys.
The first play set is the Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle - complete with a battering ram that shoots disks, an ogre with a club, a flying dragon, and a host of knights with armor and each with its own companion fighting animal.  
This castle is the coolest thing!  It makes noise, there are moving and removable parts, it has interactive response with the ogre, it expands and closes up, there is even the requisite treasure chest and dungeon.  
The dragon is one of my favorites - when you pick it up by its handle its wings flap and its head extends forward with the mouth opening and making appropriate dragon noises like its really breathing fire and roaring.  The color and size are impressive and attention-getting.  
The ogre is your typical green hulking ugly ogre complete with a removable club.  When the ogre is close to the castle, he will grunt and make noises and the castle responds with knights talking about the ogre's approach and getting ready for battle.  The ogre and dragon are both large enough and have no small parts so they would be good for younger kids who might still mouth their toys a bit and can't play with the smaller parts the knights have.  
Oh and let me just talk about the knights.  There are several different knights and each has his own "theme".  Their helmet armor is removable and each comes with a couple of different weapons, shields and banner flags to hold.  They are colorful and detailed enough to keep the older kids from feeling like they are playing with "baby" toys.  Each has his own companion animal.  
One rides a horse that is shrouded in the appropriate long blankets and has the mechanisms and wheels so you can pull him back and then let go and he will go across the floor on his own - really neat for riding him into a line of enemy knights to knock them down!  Another has a huge eagle, there is an impressive lion, and a big black wolf.  
Each knight's helmet armor is themed to match the animal he is with.  My son suddenly became obsessed with knights and for about 2 weeks after this arrived insisted that he was a knight all the time.  We even ended up getting him a knight helmet and sword at the dollar store so he could dress the part because he is so into it now.  The black wolf knight seems to be the favorite of both kids.
The battering ram is a great sense of amusement - you load the disks, put its knight (who has a ram helmet armor) on top and push down on the knight to shoot the disks and make the battering rams punch forward.  The funny part is the noise it makes - to me it sounds like squawking chickens - not sure if that's what its supposed to be but we find it very funny.  We have spent many hours playing with this set since its arrival (yes, we - I have gotten down and played with it many times with them and discover something new about it every time) and the kids have been excited to show it off to anyone who comes to visit.
The second play set is the Rev'n Go Stunt Garage.  This garage comes with two of the Rev'n Go cars to get you started.  
It features a car launcher - you back the cars into the chutes and press the orange handle on top of the garage and they come racing out onto the ramp and launch onto the floor.  The unusual shape of the wheels allows the cars to run tilted on their side or keeps them from flipping over when they come off the chute.  
There is a service area where a car can be put on the lift to be serviced or gassed up.  There is also an RPM power gauge area to see how powerful your car is.  The roof area works as a great storage area for extra cars or to stack the ramps when putting the set away.
We also received the Rev'n Go Stunt Car Hauler which is impressive on its own and comes with one car.  It holds up to five of the cars and features a fold down ramp that doubles as a stunt ramp.  
The Rev'n Go Cars have that pull-back action and can do many trick with or without the car hauler and garage.  They come in bright colors and fun modern designs that my kids love - the green dune racer is Little Man's favorite.

Besides all those goodies, the castle, ogre and dragon come with a DVD designed to help stimulate the children's imagination and show them the ways the castle and accessories can be played with.  Fisher-Price sent me enough of those DVD's for all the goodie bags.  I figured this would be the sort of 2-minute cheesy DVD that usually accompanies products and, oh man, was I wrong!  This DVD was fully a mini movie that my kids both watched intently from start to finish and loved!  I think they've watched it about 5 times already.  My son ran around the house like a mad man after watching it trying to emulate all the scenes from the movie - I wish I would have grabbed the video camera.  
I also will mention that I liked the packaging.  You all know what I mean about how difficult it is to get this kind of stuff out of the boxes on Christmas morning.  These were mostly secured without much plastic and almost all paper twine ties rather than 10 million metal and plastic twisty ties.  

So as you can see we are huge fans!  I hope this helps you get an early start on your Christmas shopping!

*Note:  I was not paid for this posting, but did receive this party package free from Fisher-Price as a hostess through HouseParty.com.

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