Our house is filled with girly, girl toys. Pink, princesses and more pink – with a little purple thrown in for good measure. Every time I try to step out of the mold and introduce my daughter to something more gender neutral, she rebels complaining that it is too “boyish.” The only exception to the rule appears to be Toy Story toys. (Her Toy Story Bath Toys, also still a hit.)
I was a little apprehensive presenting the girls with a Toy Story Zing-Ems Rocket Rumble Playset for Valentine’s Day. (The day of pink and purple, uber girly hearts, and mom wanted to go gender neutral!) I thought it looked like a fun toy, but essential it is a race track. Would my over-the-top princess declare it to be a “boy toy?” She did not. In fact, it was a total hit! Hallelujah, we bridged the gender gap! (At least with this toy.)
Perhaps it is because this toy is so unlike anything in our house, you won’t find any race tracks in our princess land, both girls are all over it. Of course, little sis loves everything K does, so it was no surprise when she reached over, picked up the playset and tried to walk off with it. But what made me even happier was when she “asked” to play with it while K was at school.
Note: This toy is intended for ages 4+ because it contains small parts that could be a choking hazard. But as any parent of multiple kids knows while you can protect the first-born from toys with small parts, subsequent children are surrounded by small objects. I do keep this toy where little sis cannot reach it, but under supervision she loves it.
An important thing you need to know about the Toy Story Zing-Ems Playset is that it only comes with one Zing-Em (Buzz). Unfortunately, to really get the full-effect and fun of this toy you need a minimum of three characters. That means you are gonna have to shell out for an additional pack of toys. Zing-Ems come in two-packs, so you only need one more set (but your kiddo might want to collect them all!). Pack characters include Slinky with Rex, Woody with RC, Jessie with Trixie and Buzz with Zurg.
Once you have three Zing-Ems, the Zing-Em playset works very much like a pinball machine. Pull back the lever and shoot your Zing-Em into space. As your Zing-Em rolls down one of three ramps an obstacle will be mastered – knock down the Zurgbot (the little yellow flap on the dark blue ramp shown flattened in pictures above), knock a character off the treacherous asteroid field (middle) or knock a character off the ramp (light blue). (See why you need at least three guys?)
Over and over and over again.
We’ve all had fun knocking off the Zing-Ems, as we fended off little sis from stealing the Zing-Ems mid play!
My one complaint is that it is very lightweight. The toy snaps together easily, but the pieces are so light that you have to hold it with one hand and pull the lever with the other. It take s little coordination for my four year old to do, another reason I am sure the box says 4+. That aside, it’s a fun toy.
The best price I found for this toy is on Walmart.com for $12.97 (it is not yet available in stores, but you can order online for free in-store pickup). The Zing-Ems action packs appear to only be available from Amazon at this time for $11.99 each (shipped free with orders of $25 or more or Prime.
I am a Mattel Disney Insider and toys were provided to facilitate this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.