This wooden toy parking garage from Big Jigs toys is a classic, sturdy structure that accommodates cars of various sizes on its 3 levels. This toy car garage includes an elevator, car wash, mechanic shop and gas station, which help to expand a child’s imagination as they drive their cars and trucks thorough this versatile toy.
This item arrives flat packed, with some parts like the car wash and gas station pieces pre-assembled. 4 wooden cars are also included. The elevator and rotating device to lift it up and down required additional assembly. A screw driver is required to screw in 8 different screws to support the roof of the elevator shaft, as well as some additional pieces in place.
Assembling 85% of this city auto garage was quite easy and done within 15 minutes or so. The majority of the pieces, with the exception of the car wash and elevator fit together like a 3-D puzzle. The directions included a layout of all the pieces, as well as actual pictures in a step-by-step fashion, similar to how you might assemble a LEGO kit. Given that the pieces are painted, unlike many other wooden parking garages, it’s easier to differentiate them and eases the assembly.
The only challenge I hit was assembling the elevator. The lift itself was assembled, but the string needed to be attached to a wooden dowel. When the dowel is turned clockwise and counterclockwise the elevator will move up and down on the track. This took up the majority of the set-up time. My husband worked some magic to thread the string through the dowel by taping the end, feeding it through the hole in the dowel and knotting it.
There are several different types of classic toys that are mainstays in a playroom. For some children they might be dollhouses or play kitchens. For my son, wooden train sets and items like this city auto garage peak his interest. By classic toys I mean a toy that is might be made of wood, and doesn’t necessarily have a lot of automatic bells and whistles. The price points of these special toys can often be high, but not only do they fit within the decor of the home, they often times span the lifetime of the child and allow the child to expand to more intricate play schemes over time. I like to think of these types of toys as great gifts from grandparents or for special occasions like holidays. We gave this to our son when he mastered the difficult art of potty training. They are great for kids with multiple siblings or to hand down from one generation to the next.
My son has not only used the included cars with this garage, almost every other car, plane, dinosaur and train he’s owned has been given a ride in the elevator or spent a night in the parking garage. Just yesterday he constructed a train track around the parking garage, we just so happened to place the toy on his train table because it's easier for him to maneuver around the sides.
I do find that turning the wooden dowel to raise and lower the elevator can be a challenge, especially when trying to raise it up, then hold it, while you reach into the elevator with your other hand to move the car into the garage. My son doesn’t seem to mind, he doesn’t bother with the dowel, he just lifts the elevator using his hand, then pushes the car in. The little gate at the top of the ramp doesn’t always stay in place, but we’ve moved to additional locations. My favorite feature of this particular garage is that it has an “all-in-one” type feature by including a gas station and car wash included. Not that I wouldn’t mind my son expanding his city, but given that we have a small playroom it serves several different needs for our family.