When Daddy Troy first told me about this toy, it took about twenty seconds for me to turn around, fire up Amazon, and buy one. That was in October of last year. The fact that we used it for the first time this week, says way more about my shortcomings as a parent than it does this amazing kit. I have an excuse for the first two months (waiting for Santa), but the rest is all on me. Kit like this one tend to languish until the weather gets bad or I get to feeling really guilty. It was 70 on Sunday, so I must have felt bad about running off to all those SXSW dinners this week.
Regardless, we finally unboxed this kit this weekend, and it was a huge success, bringing my two sons (6 years apart, ages 11 and 5) together over a single project. They even allowed me to play. The kit models a roller coaster, with sections of track that turn, loop, and do various magnetic tricks. The track sections are attached to vertical supports. Sensors that might up and create sound effects are attached to a speaker box (which can also hook to an MP3). There are 10 or so preset track designs, and experienced kids can freestyle if they are up to the challenge. The instructions require some pretty intense attention to detail, and some trial and error may even be involved, but we managed to get out track set up in less than an hour. Tons if imbedded physics lessons and math work, as promised by the Gear Daddy himself.
The boys had so much fun that they actually continued to play with each other when they were done playing with the iCoaster. Something that warms any parent’s heart.
The thing is also a blast to run, and a bit hypnotic. You can DJ the whole operation, changing sound effects and theme music. The kids can watch it run and run. When my daughter came home, she pouted. It took many promises that she could work on the next one to calm her down. This gives me hope that this kit is not just a one-hit wonder. It will take several coaster constructions before I declare it a good value. But I am optimistic that we will get good use from this.
The kit is relatively expensive, though you can pick up the previous generation kit (like ours) for cheap. The newest kits feature magnetic track connectors.
With apologies to Troy and the entire production staff, some home movies below of my kids at work with the kit.