Wednesday, November 4, 2009

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Review: Tonka Bounce Back Racer

If you are contemplating buying a first r/c vehicle for a child this year, the Tonka Bounce Back Racer should be on your list of considerations. I was able to try this double-sided race car out with both our kindergartner and our twin toddlers to get a feel about to which age group this 3+ toy appeals.

Take a look at our Bounce Back Racer in action . . .

What I thought about our Tonka Bounce Back Racer:

1) This car is somewhat lighter than it looks. It is made of rubber and soft plastic. Although our toddlers could pick it up, they have dropped it several times because it is so bulky to carry around. After just a few days, my children managed to create a small split in the rubber on the side of one of the tires. This did not affect the toy's performance though.

2) This toy seems to be geared more towards toddler and preschool-aged children because its capabilities are very limited and the controls are very simple. The race car can only move forward or backwards. Any turning is achieved by a slant in the floor or by bouncing the race car off an obstacle.

3) Aside from the single-button remote, the only other switch on this toy is the on/off switch. Because of where this switch is located, we have had several occasions where the car shut off accidentally while it was driving over some blocks, which must have pushed the switch to the off position.

4) The remote control did not have a long range. The remote pretty much needed to be pointed right at the car within a distance of a few feet for it to receive the signal.

5) Although this car is lightweight, it is still able to knock down barriers. This is something that all my children found to be entertaining.

6) My husband thinks that the tires may have more traction outdoors. Although we did not have any problems with traction on our hardwood floors, the car did not climb or flip as easily as it may have on uneven terrain.

I think this toy has pros and cons for both toddlers and kindergartners. For toddlers, the controls are easy to master, they do not mind following the car around, and they are entertained just by watching the car crash and bounce off various things in the room. For kindergartners, this car is limited, but with some ingenuity, our son was able to create conditions in which the car could better perform. For example, he was able to build a ramp that would make the car flip over whenever he desired.

You can currently find the Tonka Bounce Back Racer at the Hasbro Toy Shop or at most retailers of Playskool and Tonka products.

Thank you to Hasbro-Playskool for providing us with a review product free of charge.