Two kids, a handful of Matchbox cars, and a table and chairs. As parents of a toddler and a preschooler, a typical night in our household consists of said kids playing with (and fighting over) the same toys, and tonight was no exception.

I received a Matchbox City Service Station for review from the folks at Matchbox and, after my husband put it together, brought it out to the kids. My two-and-a-half-year-old son, whom is an avid toy car collector and can usually be found racing them on the floor, up my arm, or on any other surface he can find, was thrilled and couldn’t wait to start playing.


K_with_matchboxThe Service Station has six working play zones: an elevator, a lift, car wash, ramp, air for tires, and gas pumps. He quickly learned how to zoom the cars down the ramp, giggling each time. He needed a little help with the elevator, which works by turning the fas sign clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on whether you want it to go up or down.

My daughter, at four-and-a-half months old, also enjoyed raising and lowering the lift, as well as running the cars through the car wash underneath the parking area. She quickly figured out how to work the lift, and also discovered that the gates go up and down and that the sign posts rotate as well.

After several minutes, my son’s attention span began to wane, and he started turning the sign posts as well – but too far, and he would pull them out of the toy. I can see why the Service Station is meant for kids ages three and up, because it was not quite durable enough for my two-year-old, but offered many different areas of play for my four-year-old. In addition, after a short time, they began fighting over the cars, the car wash, the ramp – anything they could fight over. Had they both been older, they may have enjoyed playing with it together as well.

Until our younger child is a little older, we’ll only get this out to let our older child play with by herself.