disclosure: we were sent the GraviTrax add on sets featured for review
For my son’s ninth birthday last ear we bought him the GraviTrax Starter set and his grandparents bought him the Building Expansion set. They were an instant hit with my son, and over the last year, he’s spent hours building different track layouts. Working out what works and just as importantly, what doesn’t work, using gravity to move metal marbles around the tracks. Made by Ravensburger, I already knew that the quality would be good, and a year later all of the elements look as good as new. I also knew he’d love the idea of having some GraviTrax add-on set fun with elements that have been added this year.
We recently received four different GraviTrax add-on sets: the Expansion Tunnels, Expansion Tiptube, Expansion Volcano and the Expansion Trampoline set. It’s worth pointing out that these are not stand-alone sets, you will need to already own the main Gravitrax Starter set to be able to play with them.
The Gravitrax system is aimed at anyone over the age of eight, and it’s totally addictive. The baseboards are made from thick board and fit together rather like a jigsaw. You can make large squares, rectangles or even long straight runs. The different elements of the track slot into the board and you have risers, rails and transparent levels to help you make your tracks, then you let gravity work its wonders.
The Expansion Tunnels set comes with two baseboards, four curved tunnel inserts, two straight inserts, two three-way tunnel point inserts, two vertical U-turns, two raised plastic rails, two O-plastic rails, six three-way element bases, two straight element bases and two baskets.
The set also comes with a leaflet giving you a couple of layout designs to show how you can use the expansion tunnels with your existing set.
There’s minimum assembly required to get you started, and my nine-year-old is able to put all the pieces together without any assistance. Then it’s on to the fun, and track creation. There’s also a free Gravitrax app (from both iTunes and Google Play) that you can download to test our tracks out and get new layout ideas, but my son very much likes to try things out for real, so we’ve not really tried the app ourselves.
Tracks are as easy or complex as you want them to be. This is one of the examples provided in the leaflet and it really didn’t take my son long to assemble at all. You use the risers for the starter pack to give elements height and away you go.
It was great fun to watch the balls travel through the tube tunnels. My son’s yet to fully use the two raised and O-plastic rails but actually we both like the fact that you don’t have to use every element in each design and it just gives the whole idea of GraviTrax longevity as far as I’m concerned. Each time you construct, you can create a totally different design.
The Expansion Tip Tube comes with the Tip Tube Base, one long rail, two medium rails, three short rails and a ball bearing that fits into the end of the tip tube. (We had to get Daddy P involved to get the ball to clip into place properly).
The Tip Tube it tilted upwards when placed in the GraviTrax track and as the balls come along the rails the go inside the tube, hit the ball bearing at the base and make the Tip Tube tilt downwards, releasing the balls along a different track A great, simple idea, that my son thought was excellent.
Next up, and probably our favourite GraviTrax add-on set fun has been the Expansion Volcano set, which comes with one Volcano Base, one long rail, two medium rails and three short rails.
With this set, you press the volcano base down and place three balls inside and as a ball hits the trigger, the volcano erupts and the three balls explode down three different tracks.
My son has had so much fun adding this element to different designs.
The last set we received for some GraviTrax add-on set fun was the Expansion Trampoline set which comes with two Trampolines and two Angled bases.
The trampolines let you bounce balls across the track. My son has learned another lesson with these elements as you need to make sure you angle the bases in the correct direction to help the balls bounce, otherwise, the trampolines don’t bounce the balls in the right direction.
This little video gives you a taste of what you can do with the GraviTrax sets.
I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate links below for the items reviewed and the two sets we already owned. (I do earn from qualifying purchases). We can thoroughly recommend the GraviTrax range, it encourages children to problem solve, helps their concentration levels and they work on their manual dexterity as they build their tracks. It’s a wonderful way of expanding their creative skills and as I’ve mentioned already, the quality is great. Another bonus for us parents – we’ve managed to pack all of the sets reviewed here in our original Starter Set box along with the Expansion Building set. One box, with loads of play potential.
Have you tried GraviTrax before? Next on my son’s wish list? The GraviTrax Expansion Lifter which looks amazing.