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I came across Roominate at a Toy Expo over a year ago, and I’ve been following the company ever since. Roominate aims to make building and engineering toys more appealing to all children, especially girls. In a building world dominated by primary colors, Roominate offers toys with a softer palette. Appealing to girls (and boys!) in a different way. Today I’m writing a Roominate RV review because we’ve had the opportunity to check out this toy, one of the newer Roominate sets available and one that is compatible with the new rPower Hub that brings these sets to life.
The Roominate RV, like their other sets, is combines building and engineering to make a moving toy. First, children build and customize the RV. Kids can use their imagination a little here, using the furniture pieces to customize their mobile home. Using the included motors children can then wire the vehicle to make it actually drive! We loved this because it’s almost like having two toys in one. The RV itself is a great playset – complete with a little figure and plenty of pieces to create you own furniture designs. And once they’re done playing, kids can turn it on and watch it go.
The pieces are simplistic in design – something that we really liked. It allows the kids to really focus on the building and wiring. The simple design also make it really easy to use the pieces as a blank canvas in creating your own accessories.
One thing that’s really exciting to me is the rPower Hub. We didn’t have a chance to test it ourselves, but adding the seperaetly sold rPower Hub gives kids the ability to program and drive the RV from their smartphone or tablet! It’s compatible with all other Roominate sets as well, so if your child already has a collection the rPower Hub can be used to program all of their circuits.
I have heard some complaints about the RV not being very sturdy or being too difficult to put together and I definitely wanted to look into and address that in my review. While most Roominate sets are labeled for ages 6 and up, the RV is definitely better suited for ages 8 and up. Because of the wheels and axles and the fact that there are a lot of moving parts – this set is definitely suited better for older kids. I don’t think it is any more fragile than other popular building sets. You’re not gluing or screwing pieces in here, this set is deigned to go together and come back apart so that kids have the chance to rearrange, customize and rebuild. Rough play or too much handling will cause the pieces to break apart.
Overall? We love the set. I love Roominate’ s styling and their selection of sets geared towards younger girls. This set is definitely not suited for very young children and we would recommend it for kids around 10 personally, or maybe a patient 8 year old.
You can purchase the Roominate RV for $30 on Amazon, which I think is a good price for the amount of play time your child will get out of this set. The rPower Hub can be purchased seperately for $24.99, which will add another dimension of play to all your Roominate sets!
And check out the Roominate site to see all their other offerings, and to see how kids are using Roominate to unlock their creativity and love of engineering!
Check our our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for more STEM toy ideas!