Pros: lots of track and trains, smooth and safe surface, perfect height, sturdy
Cons: complicated to put together, unclear directions
With two older siblings, it sometimes seems as if my son has everything already. There are ride-on toys galore at my house, as well as Lincoln Logs, Tinker-Toys, a variety of playsets which include garages and airports. Finding something unique that he likes and which we can fit in the house is a challenge when Christmas and birthdays roll around.
One thing he always enjoyed more than my daughters was a wooden train set someone had purchased for one of them. Hed take it out and play with it on my mothers floor quite a bit. Just before Christmas last year, I saw the Battat Train Table with Storage Bins at our local BJs Wholesale Club, I just knew it would be the perfect present for him.
The Battat Train Table with Storage Bins is made of wood, so it is quite heavy. Even just getting it out of the store and into my mini-van was difficult. The wood is smooth and coated with a thick white surface which cleans up very easily, so no messy fingerprints!
We made the mistake of putting this (piece by piece) in the attic until Christmas Eve and then putting it together. I dont know how else we would have done it, but trying to assemble it on Christmas Eve at 11 PM didnt turn out too well. The directions are not clear. At one point, my husband being the if-it-doesnt-fit-then-force-it-to-fit kind of guy decided that he needed to drill more holes in the Battat Train Table with Storage Bins. I quickly put a stop to this and perused the directions for myself at which time I figured out that hed used the wrong part in the wrong place and we just about disassembled the whole table to start from scratch. However, once it was all done it was well worth the grief.
Once complete the Battat Train Table with Storage Bins measures 20 inches high by 33 inches wide by 48 ? inches long. Its fairly large and if wed still had the old configuration of our house, we wouldnt have had a place for it. All of the pieces screw together, so taking it apart really isnt an option. As it is now, its a major piece of furniture in my sons room. If you dont plan on keeping this together all the time, then I wouldnt suggest purchasing it.
The Battat Train Table with Storage Bins is very sturdy. It has to be since one of my sons favorite things to do is climb up into it and use it as a stage. The play area of the table is printed in various patterns of green, brown, gray, and blue in the shapes of trees, bushes, ponds and roads. It sits a few inches below the sides so the play pieces wont fall out.
And what play pieces! The Battat Train Table with Storage Bins came with a wooden train and track set with well over 100 pieces! For his initial viewing of the table on Christmas morning, we set the table up using all the pieces the way it is shown in the diagrams. This includes two trains of four pieces each, a couple of bridges, a round house, and a wide variety of uprights, train tracks, switch tracks, and signs. All of the wood has been perfectly smoothed - there are no rough edges for anyone to catch their fingers on or that Id worry about splintering.
The storage bins underneath are made of plastic and come in different bright colors. Each one of the six bins measures 13 inches by 15 ? inches. They hold all of the wooden train pieces, plus now we have been using them for his Imaginext toys which he also plays with on the Battat Train Table with Storage Bins. The bins dont slide out - they have to be lifted. This is nice if my son decides he wants to play with the trains in a different room. Its easy for him to take out a bin and bring it where he wants, then put the pieces back in the bin and return it to its place under the table when he is through. Yes, he does do that. My son is a neat-freak at four.
Danny plays with this table a lot - and most of the time not as a stage. It is the perfect height for him to use when he doesnt want to play on the floor. He can easily lean over the edges and set the wooden tracks up in a variety of different patters. As I said, hes used it for other playsets as well since its such a convenient place for him to play. I love the storage bins. It makes it very easy to keep his floor clear of things I might step on if I venture into the room when its dark.
The price was really good - only $120. I know we will get years of use out of it, and it will be in fine shape to pass onto other children or a nursery school when the time comes that he doesnt want it in his room anymore.
© 2004 Patti Aliventi