Monday, 16 July 2018

GraviTrax Starter Set from Ravensburger

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It is almost a miracle these days when a child leaves all his techie gadgets to play with a new construction set for hours and hours. That's exactly what's happened with our latest track set
- GraviTrax Starter Set, a new STEM track system from Ravensburger (RRP £49.99).

This is a truly splendiferous set which is both fun and educational. You will get hooked, whether you're a child or a parent.
Experience the power of gravity and use your imagination to build dazzling engineering constructions.
The STEM system - Science, Technology Engineering and Maths - is a super tool to teach children about gravity, magnetism, kinetic energy and fun.

Today we're showcasing just a GraviTrax Starter Set, but this set could be extended with extra track packs and add-ons (watch out this space for another review in August).
It is suitable for ages 8+, but a younger child will enjoy it as well, with an adult supervision (but not the preschoolers due to small parts).

construction set

This fantastic set comes with 18 different construction elements (120 pieces overall): a base plate in four big pieces with holes which hold the hexagonal tiles in place, three different lengths of track, small and large hexagonal tiles used for construction pillars and metal balls - these elements are called essentials.

construction set

Then come the Basics: a launch pad, curve pieces, basic tiles, landing and finish line.

construction set

Specials include junction tiles which allow balls to cross paths, 3-in-1 pieces which combine up to 3 tracks into 1, 2-in-1 pieces, switch which diverts the balls into different directions and magnetic cannons.

Level 2 includes a Vortex which funnels the ball from one level to the next. It is caught by the Catcher or the Splash, Freefall which drops the ball to the next level, Catcher which catches the ball after it drops through the Vortex of Freeball, Splash and Level for creating multiple elevations.

A construction plan booklet is enclosed, with 9 track system examples in 3 levels of difficulty.
The booklet helps understand the basics of construction.

We started with the easiest track A.

construction set

Here it is, shown in slow motion.

Moving onto the track B.

construction set

And track C which uses three balls:

construction set

Track D: as you can see the level of difficulty is increasing.

After trying the first four plans, Eddie asked me if he could try building his own track, without the booklet.
It was not the easiest task, as the balls wouldn't roll all the way, so he had to figure out how to place the correct heights to enable the ball to continue rolling. I loved how concentrated on the task he was, and how determined to solve the engineering problem.

construction set

Eddie was very proud of his freestyle track, and I agree, it is pretty cool.

That's another of his freestyle creations. He was much taken with this clever set.

I'm not going to show every single track from the booklet, but here is the most complicated level - track H. You have a step-by-step instructions booklet, but even with it, it's not that easy to align  all the tiles correctly. But it's totally worth it.

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As you can see, the possibilities are endless, and with the extra track packs and add-ons the Gravitrax system could be extended indefinitely

The hot weather won't hold forever. If you're looking for a creative, imaginative play set for summer holidays and beyond, I can't recommend GraviTrax highly enough.

Disclosure: We received the construction set for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are our own.

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