Concerned with out son's obsession with baby dolls and vacuum cleaners, we decided on an extremely male big toy for Christmas, the Fisher Price Shake N Go Crash Ups Speedway. This figure eight race track features tracks for two cars, which are included, a "death crash ramp", two tunnel-ramps, and a starter pedal. The age recommendations for the track are 3 to 7 years.
The object of this track is to vigorously shake the cars (which is how they are revved for action, along with the help of double A batteries), then set them both loose on the figure-8 track and watch them crash head first into each other, which causes the hood and doors of the vehicles to fly open.
The track and cars are mostly plastic, and while the cars themselves are sturdy, the track is not. It takes up about four feet of space when put together, and stepping on the pieces, which simply slide together, may cause cracking. Assembly time for the track was around 30 minutes. Getting each piece in the right spot is difficult, since they all look the same. This is not a toy that you would want to tear down and remake on a daily basis.
For my son, who won't be 3 until the end of February, shaking the cars proved to be difficult. He does not have the muscle or stamina to shake them long enough to get around the track one time. With our help, we can get the cars racing, but the timing has to be impeccable in order to actually make the cars crash. More often than not, they simply do their respective figure eights until they run out of steam, or shake as it were.
The action that gets the biggest laughs from my two year old is allowing the cars to fly off the "death ramp" which is at the side of the track, and with the push of a button, a small wall lowers to allow the cars to go straight off the 3 inch jump, bringing them crashing to the floor with doors flying open.
While I have no doubt that my son will get a lot of use out of this toy as he gets a little stronger, I think that physically, he is not quite ready for the vigorous shaking. In the meantime, his father and I are getting a great arm workout by shaking the cars for him!