Geo Trax are a line of train toys from Fisher Price. The trains come with tracks, switches, and ramps that snap together and the trains then roll on them. The track requires just enough force to stay together and survive a 2 year old stepping on them. The tracks and trains have survived multiple drops on concrete and show no wear for their trouble. The toys aren't cheap but you do get what you pay for.
Last night while Mom was taking Alyce to a dance recital rehearsal I stayed home with Luke and we played with trains. I cleared out a space on the living room floor and set to work. I don't have a plan when I start building but quickly something takes shape. Luke, bless his heart will grab a piece from the crate we keep them in, hand it to me, and mumbles something about it. I usually thank him for his part and try to use it but a lot of times I hide it while he isn't looking.
Both Luke and I like tracks with ramps and bridges so I always try to include a few raised sections. I'm also a fan of the switch tracks but the kids don't bother with them so they usually stay set to the longest route. One piece that is indispensable is the orange station. That piece is there to help set up the trains. It isn't hard to get a train on the tracks but if you use that thing you can drop all of the cars in a chain the train is guaranteed to be on the tracks when it leaves the station.
With our purchases we picked up 3 remote control trains. These trains are controlled by a kid friend infrared remote. Each train gets a matching remote and it allows the driver put only their train in forward and reverse. With as much play as they get you'd figure we'd be chewing through batteries but we have yet to change them in a month of usage. While Alyce and I like the remote control trains Luke is more of a purist and likes to push his around the track. Technically he should be pulling the train around the track to avoid derailments but Luke hasn't figured that part out yet so he does suffer the occasional crash.
When Luke is playing he is a joy to watch. He likes to get down on the trains level as he pushes them by. I think he gets a lot out of seeing them move past. Watching him crawl around the set and sticking his arm around pylons is pretty neat. He is learning lots of good skills doing this like thinking a few steps ahead to get his body into position for where the train will go. When Luke gets really into it he will be so focused on what he's doing he doesn't notice me anymore and sends the train around and around the loop.
For the $100 or so dollars we've invested in this toy system I'd say we've gotten our monies worth. The majority of the toys our kids have don't get played with as much as they should. This is the first one that's really captured their imagination and held it. It's also a toy that I get as much fun out of as the kids do.