These have been tough toy times, and whether Laurel is aware of this on some psychic level, or whether she’s simply narrowly obsessed with art and puzzles these days, her response to The Discovery Channel’s Ready Set Learn! Paz's Lift-Off Rocket unfortunately was lukewarm, despite my thinking it’s actually a pretty cool toy. I’m reviewing this product today in conjunction with The Parent Bloggers Network.
I should disclose that we’ve been tended away from plastic and batteries from day one; we’ve never purchased anything battery operated for Laurel, but she has, of course, had exposure to plenty of such toys at day care, or via gifts and hand me downs. Laurel has ignored some of these toys altogether, and gone totally bonkers over others (typically ones of the music making variety). I decided to give the rocket a shot since: a) the electronic component seemed reasonable (i.e., not ridiculous in the sensory overload department); b) I really liked the idea of exposing her to a typically boy type toy; and c) I thought the compartments and various pieces (read: dollhouse-type make) might appeal.
On the latter, structurally, the rocket ship comes with three compartments: cockpit for two, fully loaded kitchen (impressively appointed with a stationary microwave, coffee maker, and toaster…), bath/bedroom (with fold down bed) fixed against one of the pod doors, and a loading dock where the (included) explorer buggy can stow. The set also includes a moon crater to help set the stage and the four astronaut pals, Paz, Dog, Pig, and Rabbit. The electronic aspect of the rocket is about as unobtrusive as they come; there’s one button to trigger takeoff sounds and one alternate sound. Generally, the make is solid, although the doors did periodically pop off if yanked too hard, but this was just a function of the type of hinge used (ball and socket joint type of thing), not of any parts actually being broken. The doors popped back on very easily.
Laurel was really excited about the rocket ship for maybe the first week of play. She really liked putting all of the friends in and out of the compartments and pushing the moon buggy around. She periodically has been excited to show the toy to visitors and friends, but otherwise, the rocket hasn’t garnered daily play in the way her puzzles and art supplies have. I do still think it’s a cute toy and will leave it in circulation to see if she comes around to it, or will reintroduce it if it seems relevant whenever we get to talking about planets.
It’s unfortunate that we weren’t quite ready for lift off with this one, but don’t let that hold back your little explorer!