When Sebastian and I looked through the toy catalogue before Christmas he had one thing in mind that he wanted. A race track. We have two small race tracks that he’s tried using the past few years which work ok but he still needs help with them. I wanted to find a race track he could navigate all on his own.
This summer Sebastian’s tray was outfitted with two custom switches to help him with communication as well as computer programs/games and iPad games. He’s worked hard at school and home to learn to target these switches. We are able to connect a Big Mac switch with messages for him to share or get our attention as well as connect it to something called a Tecla for Bluetooth usage with his iPad and our home computer.
Sebastian first started out building his targeting skills using switch toys. I found a lot of switch toys we were exposed to were very simple and he would easily get bored with them over time. They were cause and effect oriented and he grew out of them. When I searched the Internet for some sort of switch operated train track or car race track I didn’t find anything in Canada.
Instead my search led me to Excitim Ltd (Special Needs Toys), based in the UK; a company run by a husband and wife team. After contacting Mike via Facebook we began a dialogue and through his website I was able to find the a Rally Racer. They also had a train but we thought the race track would be better for Seb so he could play it with his sister. We knew Tallula would want in on the action too.
Switch toys are expensive which makes them out of reach for many families. But I felt the cost was comparable to a big hot wheels race track and I knew Sebastian would not only be able to play it with us but his cousins and friends. The cost was a bit heftier than I imagined after shipping and extra duty fees. However, I wondered if shipping time had doubled the cost. During the holidays it’s always about making sure you get things on time. It was also our big gift for Sebastian (though from Santa) and who am I fooling? We tend to get whatever we find that works for Sebastian because sometimes it is hard to find things that do.
The car arrived in its original box inside another box for shipping which kept it nice and safe. All pieces arrived perfectly wrapped and neatly organized. In fact, it was packaged so well we couldn’t test it out but just wrapped the box so part of the fun would be putting it together.
Putting it together.
Sebastian’s cousin Parker was keen to help put the track together and had no problem helping ali. I set about decorating the cars with the stickers while the boys pieced the track together and figured out the best placement for the yellow rails. Tallula waited on the sidelines ready to play.
What’s inside the box?
The Rally Racer comes with one blue and one red race car. The track runs in a circle and has yellow side rails, which are important; as the cars race around they can come off the track. There are two controls. One is a small push button control for the opponent and the other is a switch control box. So we attached Seb’s tray to the box which attached to the track.
How does it work?
When Sebastian pushes down the car goes around the track. He controls one track. His opponent pushes down a button to control the other track. They speed around passing each other and sometimes crashing into each other. Which was Sebastian’s favorite part when playing with his cousin Logan. Sometimes the cars flip or fall off the track so the opponent puts them back on and they go again. Sebastian has to push on his switch when he wants the car to go. When he stops, the car stops. This is good for strength training!
Is it portable?
One of the things I really like is its size. It breaks apart and fits back into the box so we can take it with us. The box is fairly flat.
Sebastian loves to play with cars but he can’t manouver them himself so when he’s playing with his friends or cousins he does a lot of watching and sometimes hand over hand. This changed all that. We took the track when we stayed with friends and all the kids had a lot of fun playing with Sebastian. We could walk away and leave the kids to play together without mom or dad helping.
And that’s really what it’s all about. Plus laughter. Lots of laughter and smiles. We give the Rally Racer an A+!
I am doing this review of my own volition. I want other families to know what a fun product this is and what an easy and helpful company Excitim Ltd (Special Needs Toys) is to work with. I paid full price for the toy as well as shipping and some duty charges upon receiving the item from USPS.