Stay out in front with the Buildex Blaze Racer
The Buildex Blaze Racer uses our patented grid-lock construction system to create a high performance speed machine. This quality wooden construction kit teaches valuable skills while providing hours of fun. Step by step, detailed, illustrated instructions are included for easy to follow directions.
Buildex construction kits do not require the use of glue.
Size: 300mm x 125mm x 50mm
Having seen these at the trade fair, I was really keen to get my hands on a kit to play with. I figured that since I have a long history and total passion for construction toys, I would have no trouble with this. I was wrong. This was a little tougher than I thought, and I am impressed at anyone under the age of 30 who can assemble this kit without difficulty.
A couple of aspects that gave me a little trouble:
- Getting the nose piece in - the little hook that the "bonnet" piece latches over - was actually quite tricky. It didn't want to slot in as easily as the instructions showed. I had to take it out and gently sand it a little to make it fit in smoothly.
- The body shell was awkward to get locked in place. I finally managed it, as soon as I worked out where I was supposed to slot the edges into. The instruction for this are a little unclear.
- Beware that you don't over-tighten the screws that hold the front wheel assembly together. They are made of plastic and *will* shear apart if you overtwist them. I know this, because this happened to me during first assembly. Luckily, I had some model glue handy and was able to fix it. As the only genuinely "fragile" parts in the entire kit, I think including a couple of spares would be a great idea for the manufacturers to consider.
Apart from those small but significant hiccups, this is one amazing little kit. No glue required, and the only tools you need are included in the kit: a couple of small plastic spanner/screwdriver combo tools. This makes it a wonderful toy for kids. Having built it up myself and let my youngest have a play, I then disassembled it and rebuilt it with Mr5's help. I decided to leave off the body panels and that proved to be a wise choice, because with some guidance (and helping hands in a few places) Mr5 was able to reassemble the car... this time with the white panels showing.
Which brings me to a point I think is just brilliant... some of the panels - the highlighters if you will - are reversible and have white on one side and yellow on the other. This means you can customise the car in a number of different ways by changing what combination of panels show one colour or the other. Both Mr5 and I thought this was a wonderful idea that adds value to the toy, and extends it's play-life.
Though on the higher side of an ideal price, this is a toy that will survive the rigours of youthful play a lot better than the cheap, mass-produced plastic rubbish drowning the store shelves these days. It doesn't morph into a robot, it does sing or play music, dance or drive itself around... which means there is far less to go wrong or break. And if something does break on this, some careful clamping and application of the right glue will likely restore this to usefulness. Something that can't be said for many other car toys, even ones in this price range.
Overall, I was very impressed, especially with the streering rack - simple but very effective, and a total hit with the young lad. So far, despite a months of rough play - he's not gentle with the games he plays with his toys, our little man - the car is still in perfect working order, if a little scuffed in places. This ranks right up there with other great 'durable' toys like 'Tolo' so gets good marks from me. I would be keen to explore some of the other kits in the series, such as the train!
We were very lucky to be chosen to review this very cool Car Construction Kit from Baby First. My 2 year old son loves cars and is gathering quite the collection of cars in his toy box so he got very excited when he saw the box with the picture of the car on the front. We had decided that our 11 year old would put the car together for him to give a good test of the age range and also because she loves craft and construction activities.
When we opened the box we looked at the instructions first and had a look at what we would need to do Miss 11 was fairly confident that she knew what she was doing and let me know she was fine to do this by herself so I made a cup of coffee and sat back and watched. She got straight to work on Step One and by the time I turned around next half the car was completed! She said it was very easy. When it came time to put on the wheels she did ask for help but only because she didn't think the screws were tightening enough but we soon realised that the front axles were supposed to move for the turning system.
The next bit that caused her some difficulty was putting on the plastic body shell, this wasn't difficult but was a little bit frustrating tucking in all the little tabs and slotting it in to place to cover the body of the car. With a little bit of help from me we soon got the cover on and Master 2 was sitting in wait to have a turn with the now completed car. His eyes lit up when he realised that yes his sister was letting him have it and he was roaring round the lounge floor pushing it along. It does say not for children under 3 but we let him use it with supervision and the rest of the time it stays on the shelf in his room.
It is a really cool little car to play with it rolls around nicely and the little steering wheel actually turns the front wheel system which we all thought was pretty awesome. Given that no glue is used it is so sturdy and wouldn't easily fall apart. It is all slotted together apart from a couple of little parts that have little plastic screws, but they slot in so firmly that it really is a bit of a task to get them apart again so it is really durable as a play thing for young children. Master 2 has certainly given it a good run for it's money and it has stayed in one piece!
The age range suggested is 6-10 which I think is okay but I would think a 6 year old would need assistance to be able to complete it. My 11 year old could do it on her own but she has had a lot of practice reading instructions and completing similar projects. For unassisted building I would definitely put it at the higher end of the age range. Given that the instructions are really clear and provide illustrations to help you get a visual aid of each step. The other thing I liked was that parts were individual bagged so you didn't have a whole pile of parts out before you needed them.
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Suitable for ages 9 months and over.
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