[Written: April 2011]
This isn’t just for children, every house should have this set 🙂 I recommend going to YouTube, typing in “Quadrilla melody basic set” and watching the first video that comes up (2min34sec) All of the runs in that clip are made with this one set.
I got this for my eldest daughter’s 4th birthday and she is definitely at the lowest end of the age range for this. When we first opened the box and tried to follow the instructions I have to admit I was a little lost and it seemed too easy to knock down but it was very easy to get the hang of, is very stable when put together properly and the chunky wooden pieces mean that it is possible for even a younger child to start putting tracks together. I think for younger children like mine, the musical tones are needed although I would think older children (and adults) would get hours of fun out of any Quadrilla sets. Watching the marbles is surprisingly therapeutic.
My 21 month old also loves this and under VERY careful supervision it is fine with younger children. One of her favourite toys is a click-clack track and this is an extension of that idea (with so much more fun) so she loves putting the marbles in and watching and listening. However, definitely be careful with younger children in the house – the wooden pieces are generally okay (there are a couple of small pieces but most are a good size) but the marbles are apparently very tempting to suck and tantrums ensue when they’re put out of reach!
All the blocks are colour coded and each coloured block has a different purpose so after a few plays, it’s easy to grab the pieces you need. There are enough pieces in this set to make many different runs (unlike some “starter” sets), and picture based instructions to allow play to start as soon as the box is first opened. The 5 musical tones are actual notes (it’s possible to get extension sets with a full octave) so this is a great extendable present for anyone musical too (search “Quadrilla old Mc Donald” on YouTube!). The quality of the pieces is very high, this is a product made to be enjoyed for a long time.
Definitely a favourite for everyone in my house, and a contender for favoured plaything. If I could, I think I’d give this 6 stars out of 5!