I’m always on the hunt for travel-themed toys for my son. Not necessarily toys that are great for travel, but ones that inspire thoughts about travel and adventure. My son has a great interest in airplanes and airports. He likes to tell me where the airplanes are going and what they are going to do at the airport.
Diggin sent us their Boxset Airplanes to review. It arrived just in time for a play date, so we unboxed it and the kids immediately got to work unpacking the pieces and trying to build the runway. Then, they immediately brought the pieces to me to put together before they rushed back to grab the airplanes. They were actually silent as they decided where to put the runway pieces and explore the box. The only argument they had was when one wanted to turn it back into box so he could carry it around while they other still wanted to play.
After the play date was over, my toddler continued to play with it for a few more hours. He incorporated his cars/trucks from the movie Cars and created quite a few elaborate scenes with airplane crashes and emergency vehicles. Then he had the airplanes fly around our house finding objects and bringing them back to the airport. We also Facetimed with my Mom in Hawaii where he showed her the airport and all the airplanes and talked about where they were going.
I could see this product being fun to take on a trip. I’m picturing my son playing with it on the floor of the airport in front of the window at the gate where he normally stands to watch the airplanes take off. I could also easily see this as a fun item to set up in a hotel room to occupy him while we’re getting ready for our adventures.
This product says it’s geared for kids ages 3 and up. My son was 2 months shy of 3 years old when he first started playing with it and it was the perfect fit for him. If you have younger kids, you’ll want to keep an eye on the connector pieces since they are small.
We’ve had the toy for more than a month and I’m truly surprised that he will play with it for several hours everyday. He loves to pack it up and tote it upstairs to his bedroom where he will promptly open it up and play with it. Then, he will say it’s time to clean up, pack it back in the box and carry it downstairs to show us something.
My son recently flew to Hawaii with his Grandma and when he returned, he was excited to use his announcer voice and say phrases like “Get ready for takeoff” and “We’re coming in for landing” as he plays with the airplanes. He was able to reenact he whole flight with Grandma for us using the airplanes, runway and airport, including the flight attendants offering him juice!
The label on the box also advertises a train version and a car version. My son immediately said we “needed” those. If they will also provide as much entertainment as this one, I’d say we just might “need” them, as well!
What I like:
- It’s super portable! My toddler can carry it all by himself.
- It’s durable! It has been tossed, stood on, and tumbled down the stairs, but you wouldn’t know by looking at it.
- It comes with 2 airplanes, so two kids can play with it as the same time (and possibly a third kid if no one fights over the helicopter.)
- The airplanes and helicopter are Seattle Seahawks colors!
- The size is proportional to use with race cars, trains, Harold the Helicopter, etc.
- The runway is easy for my toddler to take apart and he can put the whole thing away all by himself.
- I love all the graphics on the box itself.
- It promotes imaginative play and I can see kids of many ages wanting to play with it.
What I don’t like:
- The connector pieces for the runway are aggravating for little kids because they come out easily but are tricky to put together at first.
- It looks like it would be compatible with Thomas wooden train tracks/accessories but they don’t quite connect, which was frustrating for my son.