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Advice from anyone who has these toys...

(30 Posts)
SugarHut Thu 03-Oct-13 20:08:24

DS, 5, adores Lego style toys. He so far has a tonne of Playmobil, and the bigger style Duplo bricks. He's been eyeing up a lot of the Lego City stuff, and asking for big boys Lego - on the boxes, the ages seem to be either 5-12, 6-12 or 7-12. DS will be 5.6 at Christmas. He's also the type of boy who is used to doing everything first go, and gets rather cross if he tries to build something and he gets stuck/doesn't turn out quite right. Am I asking for trouble if I get him some of these sets as they are just a bit beyond his dexterity and the instructions will go over his head? How old are your DCs who play with Lego City? (ps...please don't advise "maybe these will teach him to practice and concentrate and not lose his temper" I have no intention of a frustrated 5yr old on Christmas Day, or time that day to sit and build it with him either.)

Also, he has a lot of really nice little cars, and he's asked for a big garage to put them in. What is available that doesn't look Fisher Pricey, but more like a realistic multi story, maybe with a repair centre, car wash, lots of places to park. Nothing Hot Wheels-y either. Does anyone have anything like this that they can recommend?

Also, Trash DCs actually play with these things?? They seem so gimmicky and don't seem to do anything. He has expressed an interest thinking they are "cool" but sort of has no concept of what they are. Neither do I!

Thank you smile

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 20:20:24

Mine is 4.4 but doesn't play with his trash pack stuff very often, I don't think for us it was value for money!

My ds has the big city garage from elc, but it doesn't look babyish and it stays together well. It has a car wash, lift, petrol station and car ramp. He plays with that quite a bit.

Can't advise re Lego as ds is much the same as yours and gets easily frustrated, we are at least away from tiny Lego I would say. Duplo is still used here.

desertgirl Thu 03-Oct-13 20:35:07

My DS had some of the small sets of the 5+ lego city stuff for his 5th birthday and managed to put it together himself from the instructions. Rather to my surprise tbh (and I suspect to his - he was v. pleased with himself afterwards). Since then the house has been lost under a deluge of small pieces.... It is now basically all he asks for at Christmas/ birthdays.

Not sure that helps... But why not try one or two of the smaller ones; more manageable than launching into a police station or fire engine, satisfying to him if he does manage, and if he does struggle, he still has other things to play with? Or would he not look at the instructions?

PatriciaHolm Thu 03-Oct-13 20:35:53

He'd be a good age for the Lego young builders monster trucks series - I think they are 4-7, but proper lego. DS was fine with them at that age.

SmokedMackerel Thu 03-Oct-13 20:38:23

Lego - Dd is the same age, we first got her some when she was 4 - you can get some Lego which is from 4. I think the models are smaller, so easier to follow. Dd has one with a few animals and a safari Jeep, which was v easy for her to build herself, because not many stages.
I would say with a bigger model it is harder because you have to look at each picture and see what has changed from the previous picture, and it is just harder to see with a more complex model. Also you get the boost of completing something quite quickly with a small model.
Some of the sets say something like Young Builders, easy to make. I think there is a fire engine one, that might be a good starter set. Or one of the big bricks andmore tubs. We have one with instructions for simply houses, shops and cars, and again, dd can do it herself with me just sitting next to her being encouraging.

MimsyBorogroves Thu 03-Oct-13 20:40:24

My 5 year old can follow the instructions for most of the sets up to the 12 year old ones, though he does need help with the fiddly/flimsy bits (he likes the expensive Batman/Star Wars/etc ones best, though)

zgaze Thu 03-Oct-13 20:42:10

My DS is only just 4 by a couple of weeks and is fine with the simpler Lego kits (Young Builders, done of the City stuff etc), follows the instructions well and will sit for a couple of hours alone making stuff. I cannot overemphasize how incredible this is for him, the limpet child! He's as keen on making up his own mega-super-spaceship type creations as building stuff to the letter too. I'm very happy he's latched on to lego like this because previously he was a bit of a demanding nightmare to play with tbh.

MistyB Thu 03-Oct-13 20:51:43

DS1 loves Lego. Has first very small simple kits at three (tiny cars), medium sized sets (bigger vehicles) we helped him with and first kits he made on his own when he was 4. When he was 5.5 he spent the entire day on Christmas Day building the Lego police station on his own. He opened nothing else all day. He did have help finding the pieces and company when he got stuck.

DS2 got a creator set with three different dinosaurs when he was 3. It is the most made and remade set we have ever owned but it does require significant parental involvement!!

SugarHut Thu 03-Oct-13 20:53:34

Never even heard of the young builders Lego. Googled it...looks ideal. Are all the sets quite small though, the boxes seem dinky?

stillhoping the ELC garage is lovely, but DS would roll his eyes... "it's for baaaaaabies" I need something that looks rather life like, he's really concerned at the moment that he is a BIG boy, god forbid I hand over something that has age 3+ on the box, we get into lengthy discussions as to why I would suggest he was anything like a 3 yr old baaaaaaaaaaaaaby. The garages I've found so far all seem to be flimsy Hot Wheels types, or bright plastic, or chunky wood. Any other ideas of where to look. Budget not important.

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 20:59:25

I think mostly the other garages appear to be hot wheels which will probably fall apart! A lot! Ours is the older style elc garage so is blue rather than the newer red and yellow.

Unless you went for a wooden garage but they look even younger IMO.

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:00:56

Tomy tomica do a few garage type pieces, ramps, car wash etc but they are all separate not as one.

SugarHut Thu 03-Oct-13 21:01:49

Yep, chunky/bright plastic, chunky wood or Hot Wheels not an option. I'm trawling google with little success...

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:09:34

Tomica hyper city is more grown up. It does come in pieces though! Ds has the petrol station, garage and car park. The petrol station is especially nice and the cars have boots that open or bonnets or both.

SugarHut Thu 03-Oct-13 21:15:50

That is perfect....I need exactly that, but much bigger and as one item. I'm usually really good at finding "just the thing" I'm going through page after page, can't believe how hard this is!!!

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:25:51

I think there may be a gap in the market - it seems to go wooden garages, chunky plastic garages, hideous hot wheels garages.
I know it's not ideal but I've superglued our hypercity stuff together! Fairly effective! The petrol station has a little car wash too, it is the most realistic I've found.

roslet Thu 03-Oct-13 21:30:46

If you search for "Lego packets" on eBay, then you can find brilliant stocking filler type vehicles that make a perfect introduction to building with small Lego. They are mostly ex promotional packs costing around £2 and the finished articles are about 8 cm long. We have had helicopters, a Batmobil, Toy Story Alien space ship, diggers, racing cars, jeeps, plabes etc.My son aged 5 has become so confident with following the Lego instructions on bigger models now, having got the hang of it by building with just 8 or so steps.

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:33:31

And I don't know if your son likes trains but this is great

We have had much fun making the trains and cars crash! We put the garage parts in the middle and made a little town. It's good because you can control the trains and the cars, the level crossing flashes and the cars zoom round.

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:41:23

This may be the only solution!

SugarHut Thu 03-Oct-13 21:45:50

Gosh those Lego Packets are amazing stocking fillers!!! Thank you so much smile

He does love trains. He has everything Thomas Wooden Railway has ever made. I can not move in his playroom for sodding trains. He knows he's not getting anything else train related until he agrees that the wooden heap goes grin

I've found something by Tomica called Big City Parking...can you put normal cars in these things? The primary reason he wants one is to park his existing cars.

Stillhopingstillhere Thu 03-Oct-13 21:52:01

I'm not sure, the hot wheels cars we have fit in the other stuff though, so probably. The regular size hot wheels anyway, not the bigger ones like the jeeps or 4x4s.

DTisMYdoctor Thu 03-Oct-13 23:40:58

DS turned 5 in the summer and can manage the lego city stuff marketed at 5 plus ok. He did start with some of the young builders stuff though. He also likes to do things himself and get it right!

Rubybrazilianwax Fri 04-Oct-13 13:14:45

My ds will be the same as yours on Christmas and will be getting a few lego bits and pieces. Although he does have 3 bigger brothers and sort of skipped the duplo stage because of is. When introducing lego to my eldest we started with the box of bricks and a few of the smaller sets of lego city like the little helicopters. I would definitely stay away from sets like the whole police station for a while yet.
A good tip I use is that they use a tray for opening each packet onto. Then do them as they are numbered. The lego sets do take a bit of learning the habit of doing each step.
P.s. It is my golden rule that nobody opens lego till after dinner on Christmas Day in our house. One year they opened stuff when I was in the kitchen and bits were lost and it was spoiled

soontobeslendergirl Fri 04-Oct-13 17:29:15

If you search for a parking garage you might find something more suitable:

soontobeslendergirl Fri 04-Oct-13 17:30:12

My boys had this one - which was passed on throughout the street and was always well played with:

kiwidreamer Fri 04-Oct-13 18:32:57

When my DS was just starting out in the world of lego we got him the delux box, that way he didn't have to be frustrated with instructions and just enjoyed the process of creating his own marvel grin. You can also buy packets of wheels / doors & windows / roof tiles... which will help him get really creative, I'd also get a couple of base boards and you'd have the beginnings of a really good lego stash and then if he really gets into it then maybe something kit-like for his birthday.

TBH the kits get made up and looked at like prize possessions but not really taken apart and built over and over, the delux box provides endless creative opportunities.

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