iPlay Lift-Off Rocket Review

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Do you feel a draft? Did we forget to close the door?

Ever since I was a kid geek, I wanted to be an astronaut.  What’s better than flying around space in a rocket?  Watching your kid play with a toy version!

When given a chance to review some “kid” items from ThinkGeek, I jumped at the iPlay Lift-Off Rocket.

Here are the features from the ThinkGeek website:

  • For ages 18 months and up
  • Has On/Off switch and volume control
  • Cockpit compartment with room for two astronauts
  • Kitchen compartment with a murphy bed that folds and has a toilet underneath
  • A Stow away dune buggy in the cargo hold and can store figures
  • Has a handle for easy and convenient transporting
  • Press button to see engines light up and plays realistic rocket sounds
  • Operates on 2 “AA” Batteries (included)
  • The Rocket is approx. 16″ high

Comes With

  • Alien
  • Moon Crater
  • Dune Buggy
  • Space Dog
  • Two Astronauts

img_2029The kit comes in one of those newfangled toy packages where every single bit is tied down with impenetrable metal twistie-ties.  Being impatient, I ended up using a very kid-unfriendly knife to free the toys from the box.

img_2035The figures (astronauts, dog, alien) are simple, one-piece semi-soft plastic toys.  No posable limbs, but nothing to break off, either.

img_2036The yellow “moon crater” and dune buggy fits all the figures, EXCEPT the dog.  I guess in space things are just not dog-friendly yet!

img_2038The cockpit fits two astronauts.  Won’t fit the dog or alien (yes I tried).  I noticed the hatch detaches from the hinge out if you tug hard enough.  I thought that was odd at first until I came upon the dune buggy hatch (see below).

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The middle compartment houses the kitchen/bedroom/toilet.  It’s rather well apportioned with a bed that folds up to reveal a toilet (complete with toilet paper roll and reading material on a shelf).  I’m sure the toilet comes in handy after drinking all that coffee from the pretend coffee maker on the counter.  The bed has a small divot for a helmeted astronaut.

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The lowest compartment is a garage for the dune buggy.  The hatch conveniently serves as a ramp, complete with wheel grooves.

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In a major design flaw, I noticed a seated astronaut can’t simply drive into the bay, without risking head trauma.

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Like the cockpit hatch, the garage “door/ramp” also detaches easily.  This time, I noticed a spring-loaded ball-and-socket hinge that makes replacing the door a snap.  I am guessing these removable doors are intended to prevent permanent damage with heavy-handed kids (or adults) who might try tearing off the hatches.   Nothing is worse than being in space and not having any doors!

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There is a button on the convenient handle which creates “background space noises” when held horizontally, and a “countdown” when the rocket is upright in launch position.  Red lights at the rocket “thrusters” flash in unison to the sounds.  A three-way switch on the rocket allows you to set to volume, or off completely.

Click for movie of the iPlay Lift-Off Rocket in action (.mov file)

(In the clip, my son is actually making supplementary “whooshing” sounds as the rocket flies.)

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You'll have to wait your turn to play!
You'll have to wait your turn to play!

My son was actually scared of the rocket when I made the mistake of demonstrating the sound of the countdown.  I think it startled him.  Now he calls it “scary” but yet at times, is perfectly content playing with it at Grandmas’ house.  I guess rockets and Grandmas go together somehow.

2 thoughts on “iPlay Lift-Off Rocket Review”

  1. David Flowers

    Great review Andy. Being a dad myself, I’ve found great pleasure in doing a re-take on the things I loved as a child. I love the take you took on it. Nice job, beautiful kid!

  2. It took everything I had NOT to play with the rocket myself! It’s that fun. Imagine my excitement when I found the matching “lunar rover” set in the store. Must… resist…!

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