Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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Review: Pop On Pals Amusement Park by SpinMaster

Since our 3-1/2 year old twins have a big brother to look up to, they have leapfrogged some of the toys that our oldest liked to play with when he was their age. It was nice to be able to introduce a toy like this amusement park from the line of Pop On Pals toys, which is simpler than the action figures and other playsets the twins are accustomed to.




This toy is actually recommended for ages 2 to 4. As you can see, everything is made of chunky durable plastic and there are no small parts or choking hazards. Other than the amusement park itself, the only loose pieces are one figure, 3 interchangeable rings, and the car for the roller coaster.


Aside from the short musical tune, some of the points of interest to be discovered by the child are which parts of the toy actually move. For example, the gondola swings back and forth, the ferris wheel turns and has hanging seats, and the stack of bottles tip backwards.


One unexpected feature of the Pop On Pals Amusement Park is the yellow seat and yellow switch attached to the back end of the roller coaster. When the seat is pushed down, it triggers one of two things to move. It either turns the ferris wheel or makes the gondola swing. The large switch below this seat can be pushed to the right or to the left in order to control which of those two things will be moving.


Although my children were delighted by this toy at first, they began to lose interest after they discovered everything. I think this toy is ideal for a 2 year old to play with alone. If Spin Master would like this toy to appeal to children older than 2, then here are some suggestions I have . . .
  • Include more than one figure. There are 9 places for figures to sit, which suggests that this toy was meant to be played with by more than one child at a time.
  • Include more than 3 interchangeable rings. This was extremely limiting as far as what roles the lone figure could play in this amusement park setting.
  • Make the roller coaster car move down the roller coaster more smoothly. The way it is now, the child needs to slide the bottom of the car into the crevices on both sides, which is not intuitive. Then the child needs to move the car along the path. If the child lets go of the car, it does not continue on by itself, but rather it will fall off instead.
This playset retails for $34.99, which seems a little high to me considering how limited the toy is. I think it would be a nice gift for a younger child if you can find it on sale.


Visit PopOnPals.com to view the full line of Pop On Pals figures, vehicles, and playsets. There is even a fun free online coloring activity on this site. You can find Pop On Pals toys in the U.S. and Canada at major retailers, such as Toys R Us, Walmart, and Sears.


Thank you to SpinMaster for sending us a sample toy free of charge to base this review upon. This article was written as part of a Team Mom campaign.