Toy Roller Coasters for your Home

Let’s look at three toy roller coasters made by children’s product manufacturer Step 2.

Music in Motion Roller Coaster [Toys R Us] is a motorized vehicle that your baby sits inside and travels in circles on a plastic track. Product photos indicate there is an ever-so-slight bump on two sides of the circle to provide your 9-month-old that amusement park thrill. Step 2′s web site only lists a 35lb maximum weight limit, while Toys R Us states Step 2′s suggested age range is 9 months to 3 years. Toys R Us also provides its own recommendation: 2 to 4 years.

Who would want to spend $40 on a parent-pulled wagon taking kids around town and to the park when you could pay $190 to travel in circles in your living room?

Photo of the Music in Motion Roller Coaster.

Up & Down Roller Coaster [Toys R Us] kicks it up a notch, sending your toddler down a gravity-induced 10′ track complete with one minor rise and two dips. The $100 you spend on this toy is totally worth the one full hour your 2-year-old will enjoy it. Plus, you can haul this coaster in from your garage each time one of your kid’s friends visits.

Photo of the Up & Down Roller Coaster.

Extreme Roller Coaster
[Toys R Us] is the new hotness for 3-year-olds. It is a tall ramp for shooting your child on a wheeled rocket sled down and out, all for $280. The real innovation in this coaster is that the rocket sled is returned to the top of the coaster by rolling it up the ramp. That’s right, stairs are built into the ramp.

How tall is this coaster? I don’t know. Tall enough that the manufacturer feels the need to disclaim, "bike helmets not included." Incidentally, the African-American kid below has no helmet. Other marketing photos show two white kids wearing helmets. The coaster also looks a little shorter in the photo below because the lawn obscures part of its base.

Photo of the Extreme Roller Coaster.

Here are the safety warnings listed in the assembly instructions [PDF] that are handily provided on Step 2′s web site. It reads like a list of everything I could imagine kids trying to do with this toy, but boy wouldn’t it be fun.

  • Install and use the Extreme Roller Coaster only in areas free from obstructions. Place on level ground at least 6.5ft. (2m.) away from a fence, building, overhead branches, laundry lines or electrical wires:
  • Never use over concrete, asphalt, packed earth or any other hard surface. A fall from the unit could cause a serious injury to the equipment user.
  • When temperatures fall below -18ºC/0ºF, outdoor use if this product is not recommended. In cold weather plastic materials lose resilience and may become brittle and crack upon impact. Store product in a warmer, protected place, when possible.
  • Check all connections and screws twice monthly during usage season and at the beginning of each season for tightness, and tighten as required.
  • Do not allow children to play on the Extreme Roller Coaster until it is fully assembled.
  • Adult supervision is required. Children do not have the judgment necessary to avoid many accidents. Be sure that children operating this vehicle can do so safely and that they are supervised at all times.
  • Never use near steps, driveways, steep inclines, roadways, alleys, swimming pool areas or other bodies of water.
  • Never allow more than 1 rider.
  • Instruct the rider to sit on the seat when the vehicle is in motion.Instruct children not to use the equipment in a manner not intended and not to climb on equipment when it is wet or snow covered.
  • Attaching items such as but not limited to jump ropes, clothes lines, pet leashes, cables and chains may cause strangulation hazard.
  • Always wear shoes or sneakers when operating this vehicle.
  • Adults supervising play should insure that children are dressed appropriately in well-fitting clothes and are not wearing potentially hazardous scarfs, ponchos or other loose fitting clothing.
  • Instruct children to use caution when ascending steps with or without car.
  • Be sure cars rear wheels are seated in “wells” on platform before attempting to sit in car.
  • Instruct children to use safety handle on car to keep hands and arms inside vehicle when it is motion. The child should be instructed to keep hands away from fenders when pushing the car up the ramp or when riding down the ramp.
  • Instruct children to fully seat themselves before pushing car off platform.
  • Instruct children in the surrounding area to keep out of the path of the moving vehicle.
  • The use of a properly fitting bicycle helmet is strongly recommended.
  • Oil all metallic moving parts during usage period.


9 Responses to “Toy Roller Coasters for your Home”

  1. Ted Miller says:

    The safety warnings clearly say to keep hands and feet in the vehicle at all times. Wow! Just like a real roller-coaster!

    Wait, let’s look at that marketing picture again…

    May 4th, 2007 at 6:20 am

  2. Jeremiah says:

    The absolute lamest thing about those infant roller coasters is that the pieces are not designed fit in multiple configurations. I don’t have $200 to spend on a little circle track, but if I did you can bet I’d want to buy MORE sets and set up a proper roller coaster course throughout my house. And that little loop and the ramps should use the same car and be compatible. Come on, people, think big!

    May 4th, 2007 at 7:42 am

  3. STL Mom says:

    I knew a family that had propped their up and down coaster up on some blocks so it was steeper and ended in their wading pool. Kids age 3 and 6 found that very fun! So if you ignore the safety instructions, you can get more years of use out of these things.

    May 4th, 2007 at 10:59 am

  4. KDM says:

    Oh, the coaster! My m-in-law bought the Step2 on for my son one when he was 9 months old. He liked it the first 2-3 times he rode it, then became terrified of it. After 1 1/2 years of thinking he would suddenly fall in love with it, we finally put the thing in the attic. He’ll be three next week and is still terrified of anything that moves electronically or makes noise. I blame that *&^% coaster :). Also, for the parents, your child may not get dizzy but you will watching them.

    May 6th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

  5. connie says:

    we have the second coaster picture…the ramp with the little trolley car. my youngest still enjoys the little car but often hops on with too much enthusiasm, sending him and the car toppling over the opposite side, however my big kids love to ride a skate board down it and now that our pool is up for the summer (in ground pool) they have created a very clever little ride. they attached a floating foam ‘boogie board’ to an old skate board via duct tape. with a good solid push you can launch yourself halfway across the pool! ive even tried it myself!

    a friend of ours has the third coaster listed… im sure my kids could get into all sorts of trouble with that. the previous mentioned ramp comes to about my knee at its tallest point, this one come almost to my waist and if the car hits anything at the end of the ramp…grass, dirt, anything to slow its resistance the child continues to fly off the front of the car and fall backwards just in time to bust their head on the car..there is nothing to hold the child to the seat except a small dent where the heel of the foot rests…
    if you can find that middle one cheap at a garage sale it might be worth it, otherwise dont waste your time…very accurate reviews here, thanks!

    May 10th, 2007 at 12:19 pm

  6. Maureen says:

    We bought the Up ‘N Down coaster three years ago and it was worth every penny (and more!). Next to the dress-up costumes and play kitchen, it’s gotten the most consistent use of any of our toys.

    It’s easy to take apart and set up, so when we’re stuck inside in the winter and the little ones need to burn off some energy, I bring it up from the basement. For the most part it lives outside and is used by everyone from my 18 month old (who can do it by himself now) to the 12 yr old across the street who rides his scooter down it.

    The only sign of its three years outside is that the orange section has faded to peach….that’s it. I can’t recommend this toy enough…my kids absolutely love it.

    September 17th, 2007 at 7:59 am

  7. Naomii says:

    My husband and I purchased the extreme coaster for our daughter for christmas. Even for a three year old, it is a little high up. But with constant supervision, she has a blast. The box says she can continue to play on it until age eight. I think she will continue to enjoy it until then too. :)

    January 12th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

  8. Karen says:

    I bought the middle one for my nephew when he was 1…he’s now 16 and many children have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the little set-up. My 8 year old and her friends have found all kinds of ways to ride the little coaster down the ramp. Definitely worth the money and has held up extrmely well!

    June 11th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

  9. observer says:

    the last one looks like nothing more than a glorified slide and a little car on top. i would rather buy a wagon and let the kids play with it. it would be alot safer and get more use.

    January 20th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

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