Look Mommy, I Can Hit the Ball Just Like Jeter

Sep 1, 2004 (Updated Sep 3, 2004)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive classic toy with lots of potential

Cons:Can't submerge to clean

The Bottom Line: This is a simple and inexpensive classic toy. No one would go wrong to have one in the house.

You just have to love toys that stand up to the test of time. The Rock-A-Stack is one of them. Fisher Price has been making some version of this toy for at least 30 years. I had one as a child and my youngest recently received one for her first birthday.

The Basics
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-A-Stack consists of five colorful rings that slide on a post attached to a base. The base is shaped so that it rocks gently back and forth when given a gentle push. This toy is recommended for ages 6 months and up.

The post is cone shaped with the larger diameter at the base and it tapers to the top. The inside and outside diameters of the rings vary, so when the rings are slipped over the post in the “correct: order, this toy still resembles a cone. The base is about 5” square and the total height is about 8”.

Four of the stacking rings are solid colors, while the last and smallest ring (3 ” diameter) is a rattle. The bottom half of the ring is solid red while the top is clear. Inside the ring are three small balls that roll around and make a pleasant rattling sound when shaken (not stirred).

The Play Values
Although we have several stacking toys this is the only one either of my children ever stacked. The other ones we have are fabric and the friction between the material on the post and the rings makes it difficult for young children to slip the rings over the post. Since this toy is all plastic that frustration is eliminated.

Both of my daughters enjoy this toy, but it different ways. Never underestimate a toddler’s ability to find a new way to play with a toy!

The One Year Old
My younger daughter seems to enjoy the toy when I can get all of the pieces together. She is very good at un-stacking the rings and is learning to put them on the post. This is one of those toys that she really needs someone to get down on the floor and play with her for maximum enjoyment. When she isn’t in stacking mode, she likes to toss the rings around the room. They are narrow enough that they slide easily under the couch and get lost, along with tons of other toys in the house.

Something I do not like about this toy is that the rings need to be put on in the approximate largest to smallest order if they are all going to fit on the ring. Since my 14 month old is still figuring out how to even get the rings over the post I hate to see her frustrated when she runs out of room.

Cleaning is something to keep in mind. The manufacturing process for these rings produces a small pinhole in the side. If you submerge them, water does seep into the rings and it is difficult to get out. I would suggest limiting washing to wiping down as opposed to dropping them in a sink.

The Three Year Old
We watch a lot of baseball in this house. Since Yankee home games usually start just as we are getting the girls ready for bed my older daughter gets to watch a little baseball with daddy while I get the younger one settled down for the night.

About a week after my youngest received this toy my older wandered into the kitchen and announced “Look Mommy, I can hit the ball just like Jeter,” who is her favorite Yankee. I turned around to see that she was swinging at one of our myriad of balls with a small yellow bat. I couldn’t begin to imagine where the bat had come from and since I was in the middle of cooking I didn’t have time to investigate.

Later that night when I was cleaning up the playroom I noticed the base of the Rock-A-Stack was missing its post. My daughter had figured out that the post unscrews from the base and to her it made a perfect bat. It seems as soon as I put the toy back together for her little sister she has it apart to play baseball. Perhaps for her approaching birthday we will buy her an actual bat, but for now I continue to let her take apart the Rock-A-Stack for some batting practice.

Final Thoughts
This is a cute and inexpensive toy that most children seem to enjoy. Although we received it as a gift I know it is sold for less than $4 at discount stores. For that price I think it is easy to say it is a good value.

Other Brilliant Basic Toys
Stacking Action Blocks

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