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
- Moon Crater
- Dune Buggy
- Space Dog
- Two Astronauts
The 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.
The 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).
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.
The lowest compartment is a garage for the dune buggy. The hatch conveniently serves as a ramp, complete with wheel grooves.
In a major design flaw, I noticed a seated astronaut can’t simply drive into the bay, without risking head trauma.
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!
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.
(In the clip, my son is actually making supplementary “whooshing” sounds as the rocket flies.)
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.