Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Product Review: Toystate Take-a-Part Cat Truck

Edit 1:13pm: I am thrilled with the customer service department at Toy State Toys!  They were not only really fast in their response, but they are shipping replacement screws ASAP.  As I mentioned originally, it's entirely likely that we just got a fluke.  The customer service department just guaranteed I will buy Toy State toys in the future!

My son had his 3rd birthday party on Saturday.  I had gotten him several sets of toy power tools and a plastic toolbox, etc.  As a fabulous compliment to it, his aunt and uncle got him a ToyState Take-A-Part dumptruck.  It comes with a "power screwdriver" tool that takes out large, plastic screws and drives them back in so the child can take apart the truck and put it back together again.  The idea is superb and the kids all (ages 2-11) had a great time playing with it (as well as the other tools) at the party.

Today (4 days later), one of the screws broke in half.  I can understand if it was a rough and rowdy kid who was a notorious toy-breaker, but this is the kid who is very methodical and careful with his toys.  He likes to clean up.  He insists on using toys the way they were meant to be used.  I did some in depth online searching for replacement parts and they just don't exist.  I'd pay for a bag of extra screws to have around in case they get lost or something.

Of course, like all toys nowadays, you have to destroy the box to get the stinking toy out, so I'm sure I'll get a hassle when I try to exchange it at the store.  I didn't have to try and exchange it.  The manufacturer has handled the problem with stellar speed and congeniality. I really do did want to exchange it too, because he simply loves the thing.  Cried like crazy this morning when the screw broke.

So. . . my review is that it's a great toy for creativity and fun.  It's not so hot in the durability department. At least, the one I got didn't turn out to be.  It's entirely possible we just happened to get one that was a fluke.  The real test will be to see what, if any, response I get from the manufacturer about it.  I have an email out and have mentioned the break on twitter and facebook.  I'll keep you posted on how they respond.  That is, for me, the real test of if I'll patronize a specific company in the future after a negative experience with their product.

My review now stands as this: As I mentioned, this is a great, crowd pleasing toy full of imagination and staying power.  All three of my kids (ages 3, 5 and 11) and both of my nephews (ages 2 and 3) adore it.  I'm going to keep a close eye on the durability of the screws, but please know that on the chance that one breaks, the manufacturer has great service and are willing to replace the broken piece.  I cannot be happier with my experience with them.

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