Pros: Great learning potential, cute and fun
Cons: Not durable, only one car, difficult to store
I originally purchased the Little People Fun Park second hand for my 12 month old daughter. More recently, I found it on clearance for $8.00 at Wal-mart and decided I would give it a second chance. My original review was based on my second hand purchase, but I have updated the review to reflect my most recent acquisition. Unfortunately, my rating has to remain the same given my negative experience with both toys.
How does it work
The Fun Park is a neat toy in that it helps young toddlers learn with three cause and effect activities and it entertains older toddlers with endless opportunities to use their imagination. I had purchased the older version of this toy for my nephew two years ago (same basic concept) and he was showing me just yesterday how much he still enjoys playing with it. Ideally, a child should get at least a few years of play from this toy.
This toy comes with:
1. Roller Coaster. There is a piece at the top of the roller coaster that you lift up to send the roller coaster car down the ramp. Cheering and clapping sounds can also be heard. When the car goes down the ramp and through the door, there is a monkey on a parachute that descends into a tank of water.
2. Spinning Cups (part of the Roller Coaster piece) that spin and make music when you turn the knob in the middle of the cups.
2. A detachable piece that has the flying airplanes. You push a button on the top and the airplanes spin in a circle.
3. A ticket booth
4. Two Little People: Sonya Lee and a clown
5. One lone roller coaster car
6. A flag that attaches to the roller coaster or the top of the ticket booth
The Little People can ride on any of the rides or stand behind the ticket counter and sell tickets.
What I like
This is not a very complicated toy, but it is a little more challenging than the Little People Animal Sounds Farm where you just push buttons to make noises. This requires a toddler to push down hard on the Airplane ride to get it to work, twist the knob hard on the Spinning Cups ride or lift the lever to get the car to go down on the roller coaster. It requires a little bit more thinking and muscle power. I love how the Airplane ride functions like the traditional ball spinner toys where you push the button on the top down and the balls go around. My daughter is really enjoying this aspect of the toy. She also loves to dance to the music that plays when the Cups start spinning around. She can not figure out the roller coaster, but she knows that if she opens the door the parachute dropping sound will come on. Lastly, she likes to manually make the monkey in the parachute go up and down. As she gets older and more into pretend play I think that she will get more out of this toy.
Update: My daughter is now 15 months old and is very excited to make the car go down the ramp. She has not quite figured out that she needs to lift the lever to send the car down the ramp. Usually, she just pushes the car or tosses it down the ramp. She does like putting the people in and out of the little car and will carry this around the house with her.
The Little People that come with this toy are cute and my daughter loves them, but I was a little disappointed that both Sonya Lee and the clown had significant smudging and were dirty.
What I don't like
Unfortunately, I have found quite a few things about this toy that I do not like:
1. It is very difficult to turn the spinning cups. My daughter has not yet been able to do it herself. I don't know if this is due to age or not. I actually opened the toy and tried to lubricate the mechanism, but that did not help. Update: This seems to be an intermittent problem. Sometimes it works just fine.
2. The roller coaster angle has to be just right for the car to go all the way down and through the door. On my toy, the car tends to get stuck at the second support post. Then, even if it makes it past that point it does not have enough momentum to make it through the door at the end of the roller coaster. I was able to get the toy to work if I elevated the two support posts, but then the toy overall was not stable anymore. I think the reason that this is not working might be because it might have been stepped on. This is a toddler toy and we all know that they step and climb on just about everything. I wonder why Fisher Price did not stick with the ramp from the previous version of this toy that was made out of hard molded plastic (except for the loop, which I have read also had issues).Update: I changed out the ramp from the old toy with the new ramp. The ramp did work marginally better, but failed to open the door 25% of the time.
3. There is only one lonely very small car. The only place to store it is on top of the ramp, but even then it is not really securely fastened. I am already wondering how long this car will be around.
4. Update The on/off switch for the new toy was stuck in the "on" position and the toy would not work at all.
One final note, assembly of this toy is not difficult, but once assembled it can not be disassembled.
Other Little People Reviews by mom_to_m:
Fisher Price Little People Lil' Movers Boating Fun
Fisher Price Little People Fun Sounds Playground