Get your little one ready for the thrill of his young life with the Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster. No need to take a trip to the amusement park to allow your child to experience the excitement of a coaster ride—thanks to this amazing innovation in fun, your little one can take a coast down a 10 foot ramp in a sturdy, brightly-colored car which is just the right size for a wee rider. Although some parents and caregivers express concerns over the safety of the toy, there are many features of the construction designed to minimize risks of slipping or falling off. Although it’s clear that some amount of supervision is required for use of the toy, which is recommended for children ages 2-5, that should really go without saying when you’re considering buying your child any interactive toy, not to mention an entire roller coaster.
- Easy Assembly
There are no tools required to put the roller coaster together as the pieces simply snap in place. It can be taken apart and put back together within minutes. This is a huge plus considering that many toys these days practically require an engineering degree just to get into, not to mention the assembly.
Step 2 has gone to great lengths to make sure that their product is safe for little ones. For instance, there is a well at the head of the coaster that keeps the car in place as the rider gets onto the car in anticipation of the ride ahead. In addition, the non-slip steps that attach to the track keeps children from falling as they get on and off the ride.
The molded plastic construction of the coaster makes it durable enough for inside or outside play. The car and the coaster are both very sturdy and can safely hold up to 60 lbs which should be plenty considering the intended age group. Some parents even report using the toy themselves though this is clearly not the manufacturer’s intent, not to mention it’s a little disturbing to envision.
Children can use their imaginations to play with the toy in a myriad of ways, not just to go up and down the coaster. The car can be used on its own and even has a handle on the back so a parent or older sibling can push or pull the child around on a joy ride. The ramp portion of the coaster can be used for many purposes as well from rolling balls down or creating a path for stuffed animals to frolic through. If you choose to leave the ramp up for them to play with, your kids will find an infinite number of ways to experiment with it. Up & Down Roller Coaster can be considered as one of the best summer toys for toddlers.
- It’s bulky.
Your kids will love the lengthy 10ft ride, but before you buy, you might consider whether you will share their affection. Even if you take this bad boy apart, it’s still relatively bulky and the pieces don’t stack together perfectly, so it can be a storage nightmare if you don’t have the space.
- It may be tear-provoking.
Although clearly, Step 2 has made every effort to make the product as safe as possible, there may still be some falls to deal with, especially among 2 yr-olds, the youngest recommended age group for this product. Of course, anytime there’s climbing, there’s the potential for falling, but you may need to provide some extra supervision with this toy and avoid using it on hard surfaces. Moreover, if you have several children taking turns with the toy at once, you will need to be on-guard for little ones walking in front of the ramp as the car comes down the track.
- It’s pricey.
Even if you catch a sale, you’re likely to pay at least a hundred dollars for this toy. Whether or not you are able and willing to spend this much money on a plastic toy, even a very sturdy, very fun plastic toy, is a personal decision. Some parents think the wow-factor is well-worth the sting to the pocketbook while others are immediately turned off by the price tag.
What Others are Saying
The reviews on this toy are overwhelmingly positive, earning it a full five stars on Amazon. Review after review raved about how much fun the toy was for their children, citing hours and hour of fun over periods of years, which may indicate that the toy could indeed be a good investment despite the sticker shock. The few (and I mean very few) poor reviews dealt mostly with safety issues. See for yourself:
- “Hours of Entertainment!”
- “Most fun ever!”
- Lots of FUN!”
- Exceptional Toy!”
- “Loved by ALL”
- “Kids Love It!”
- “Still using this for 3rd summer”
- “This is a toy that grows with your child”
- “DANGEROUS!! USE WITH CAUTION!!”
- “Lame toy”
- “I wished my toddler used it more.”
Along with several poor reviews citing the safety issues associated with this toy were a few which expressed concern over their kids’ evident lack of interest. Apparently, some children aren’t impressed. Generally speaking, the older the child, the more likely this is to be the case. You may want to consider your child’s personality and risk-taking behavior when deciding whether this toy will be enough of a thrill to make it worth the investment.
The Bottom Line
The Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster received rave reviews, and the fun-factor for the vast majority of children is truly amazing, especially for what could potentially be an indoor toy. Sure, there are some safety concerns, but when there’s a toddler involved, there’s always safety concerns—toy or no toy. Kids this age need supervision no matter what they’re doing, so as long as you’re willing to do your parental duty, the risk for someone getting even moderately hurt is pretty minimal, and the chances that your kid will have an absolute blast with this mini roller coaster is virtually guaranteed!