Age Range: 3-8 years
Manufacturer’s Description: This fantastic figure of eight roadway set makes the perfect gift for imaginative youngsters! It contains a range of wooden road pieces and accessories for youngsters to manipulate, allowing plenty of scope for extended play. It can be used with other playsets in the range to expand activities, and is ideal for enhancing dexterity and coordination.
Rating: (5/5 stars)
Review: We have been playing with wooden railway for the past year, growing our collection, and Georgie thinks it is just great. When we saw that Bigjigs Toys have roadway as part of their range, we knew that we would have to get some for Georgie sometime, as it expands and complements your railway. We were delighted to be sent this figure of eight track to test out, and start off our roadway collection.
The figure of eight track includes 6 corner pieces, 8 straights (although you only use 7 in the suggested track layout), a bridge, along with several buildings, road signs and people. You get three vehicles to drive around your track, and I was pleased to see that not only are they different colours, they are also different shapes to represent different models of car. As I have come to expect with Bigjigs, the play pieces are all made to a high quality finish and the toy was packaged well & in an eco friendly way.
Unlike the railway track that Bigjigs do, the roadway corners are not double sided – this means that you are stuck with 3 lefts and 3 rights with this set. Looking at the track, it is obvious to see that double sided corners wouldn’t work with the structure of the roadway, but it is a shame – after being used to flipping railway track over to turn the corner around, Georgie now has to hunt for the corner that goes in the right direction instead.
As we played with this product, I found myself admiring the little touches here and there. The beauty is definitely in the details, with drains on the edges of the road, one of the signs being a “road narrows” sign for the bridge, and even the flowers in the window box on the back of a house. The car wheels are moulded to look like tyres, and they even have tiny door handles painted on.
Georgie really enjoyed playing with this toy, and we played with it for ages the afternoon it arrived, first building it like “the map” in the traditional figure of eight, with all the accessories placed around it to make a small town. After that we got out some railway and had road going under rail and rail going under road, with the road pieces all put together in one long wiggly road.
I was pleasantly surprised at how long of a road we could build with the track, when we weren’t too worried about the ends going anywhere! Georgie quite likes it when cars go flying off the end, to be honest. It is the perfect opportunity to yell “crash!” at the top of your voice.
During breakfast the next day, Georgie was asking to play with her new toy, so as soon as the weetabix (aka edible concrete) was scoured from her face we got the track out on the table and got stuck in building different layouts. We had to build it on the table as Lydia (aka the Great Destroyer) was awake, and it is much safer for the sake of the small wooden people if these things are built out of her reach.
We made a long track with a bridge at the end which worked quite well as a sort of drag strip, and then finally settled on a long thin figure of eight track. Georgie learnt that she could pop a car on top of the bridge and give it a little nudge to send it racing down the track, and I impressed her by sending it flying back and actually managing to aim it well enough to go up and over the bridge.
Already we have had hours of fun with this toy. I think you can see the joy in Georgie’s face in the photos I took. Georgie has been racing cars, naming their colours, counting them, and talking about the people and buildings. She surprised me when she set up the traffic lights like a pedestrian crossing and had one of the little wooden people cross the road after the car had stopped!
As well as being a lot of fun, this roadway is great for development too. There is the educational side of it, with different colours to talk about as well as being able to count all the various bits. Putting the track together improves your child’s dexterity, and there is a great puzzle solving element to this toy too, as they have to work out how the pieces could fit together to make the road they want.
Georgie and Dad ended up going out to the road outside the house to look at the drains, after looking at the drains painted on the sides of the road.
This product is shortly being rebranded and has changed slightly from the original, so although the box lists 5 longer pieces and 2 shorter pieces, you do in fact get 8 longer pieces. The instruction sheet lists 7, with the total piece count on the sheet and box adding up to 36. There are in fact 37 pieces to this toy. The new branding should have the updated information on. Obviously this doesn’t affect how fun it is to play with, but I wanted to include it in the review!
We had one or two pieces of track where the curved piece didn’t line up exactly with a straight, but I think these slight imperfections are part of the package when you are making toys with wood instead of moulded plastic. I love the way wooden toys are all slightly different to each other.
I couldn’t resist making a little video for this review, as it is our final mission as #PlayPatrol agents. We have loved working with Bigjigs Toys over the past 8 or 9 months! Full credit to my brother for coming up with the song choice!
Bigjigs do several items that work with both their rail & road tracks, and we will definitely be getting some of these link items, along with more roadway track, in the future so that Georgie can do more wonderful road & rail layouts! Her third birthday is coming up and her Uncle Mike has already ordered her the Level Crossing and Container Shipping Yard. I can see that our new living room floor is going to become a bustling metropolis with very good transport links!
I can see that this toy is going to be a firm favourite with both of our girls as Lydia already loves to play with the Bigjigs cars too, pushing them backwards and forwards.
We give the Figure of Eight Roadway 5 stars.