Being a creative soul I love finding something that can take a long time to do but that keeps me totally engrossed. I am sure I have a touch of mild OCD as far as sorting things into categories and tackling projects in a methodical manner so when we were offered the chance to build up the new Meccano Off Road Racer from Spinmaster I just knew Ethan would love to take a leaf out of my book and tackle this project.
How wrong could I be! Typical teenage boy he was bored before even sorting the pieces so I jumped at the chance to take over and was in my element for a good 3 hours! BLISS!
The ideas for Meccano were first conceived by Hornby in 1898 and he developed and patented the construction kit as “Mechanics Made Easy” in 1901.
After sorting all 406 pieces into piles, measuring screws and plotting out which of the 25 projects I would take on I decided on the Off Road Racer, there are 24 other choices including dirt bike, buggy and so many more concepts.
The instruction booklet shows how to build 3 of the models available and the other 22 are available to download online. I opted for what looked like the largest project and set about putting it together with the help of Evie (7). Although the kit is aimed at children from 9-15 years Evie was more than capable of helping me sort and put together the pieces needed for each step.
Some of the smaller nuts and bolts were very tiny indeed and it took a little bit of maneuvering to get them in place with the help of the 2 very handy tools included in the kit – one to help hold the nuts steady and the other an allen key. We love the fact that this is comes with a working motor so people can race against each other if they have the same kits. The only problem we found was that the rods were tempremental and if not in the exact position would cut out quite easily.
Overall this is a great S.T.E.M toy, the Off-Road Racer challenges builders to develop and apply skills used in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. If you or your child enjoy spending time putting things together and fancy a bit of a challenge then Meccano is the ideal solution! I know I will be taking this apart and trying some of the other options – after Ethan saw it built up he changed his mind too so i may end up doing an update on some of the other machines we build!
RRP: £39.99 However it is reduced to £29.99 on Amazon at the moment!
We were sent the Meccano kit for the purposes of this review, all views and opinions are our own and genuine.