I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband is really into superheroes. His comic book collection is impressive to say the least and when it comes to fatherly duties, teaching the munchkin all about Marvel ranks high on the priority list. At almost 3-years-old the munchkin can wield an imaginary Thor’s hammer, Hulk out and shoot pretend spider webs along with the best of them.
All of which is to say that when the Playskool Spider-Man Stunt City Playset arrived last week there were two excited boys in our home. I don’t know who was more eager to open the box, the munchkin or my husband.
In addition to coming with a Spider-Man figure and his motorcycle, there are lots of great ways for little kids to engage with this toy. The stunt city folds up to become a fortress, or it can open up as shown in these photos to become Spider-Man’s base of operations on one side and the site of an adventure with his foe The Lizard on the other. Do you see how Spider-Man is perched on a window in the photo above? Well if you pull that green claw on the right, The Lizard roars out of the window and Spider-Man actually does a little flip where he hangs on to the windowsill just like he would in a movie. It’s pretty neat and simple enough for the munchkin to position Spider-Man himself before pulling the lever and making him flip.
From the rooftop there are two ways for Spider-Man to descend in appropriately heroic style. He can slide down a twirly pole as shown in the image above (he actually attaches to the blue spiral thing at the top) or he can be attached to a while “spiderweb” arm on the other side of the playset, which allows him to sorta leap off the building as if he’d just shot some webs and was making an escape.
But perhaps the neatest feature on this playset is Spider-Man’s ability to actually climb the exterior of the building. You can see him doing it in the picture above. You just place him at the bottom of the red wall and there are little magnets in his hands that connect with magnets inside the fortress. As the magnets in the building move up towards the roof Spider-Man climbs to the top. (Accompanied by heroic music, of course.) Then when you put him on the roof his feet attach the middle part of the “Spider-Man” sign and he does another flip.
Needless to say, the munchkin loves this toy.
One more feature that can’t be neglected is the garage at the bottom of the playset, which has a slide on one side where Spider-Man can ride his motorcycle out of his headquarters. When you have a vehicle-obsessed little boy that’s a nice little addition since of course all of his other cars can join in the fun by driving through the garage and cruising down the side. Let’s just say Spider-Man now has a fleet of Matchbox cars in addition to his motorcycle. :)
The only negative thing I can say about this toy, and I’m stretching here, is that it does have sound. It plays music while Spider-Man is scaling the wall and says things like “Stuntacular!” or “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t mind these sounds, especially given how much fun the munchkin has while playing with the set, but if you tend to steer away from toys with noise the sound effects are something to be aware of.
For a 3-year-old I think there’s just enough in this set to interest them and encourage imaginative play. Overall, we recommend this toy for superhero-loving preschoolers. :)
Full disclosure: The Playskool Spiderman Stunt City Playset was sent to us for the purpose of this review. My take on the toy reflects our own experiences with the playset.