About 3 years ago, Ravensburger brought out the successful GraviTrax marble run system. Now there is a much-awaited further development: GraviTrax Pro vertical. What’s new? Is the purchase worthwhile as a supplement to the previous GraviTrax starter set and the available extensions?
Build, push, catapult: With the GraviTrax marble run system, you don’t build a simple track that leisurely runs the marbles from top to bottom. There are trampolines, catapults, loops, hammers and the fabulous Gauss cannon that makes the ball race off at increased speed. In this way, kids (and their parents) playfully learn how the laws of nature work during construction. Because the explanations for the sudden bursts of power and speed boosts are: Magnetism, gravitation, gravity, kinetics!
The ingenious thing about the marble run is the many different components, extensions and action pieces that have been continuously developed by Ravensburger over the past two years and continuously feed the fun for the fans. Now a new starter set is coming onto the market, along with two action bricks and an extension, which is supposed to bring a real innovation: GraviTrax Pro vertical. And it already looks quite different from the outside: Larger box for larger components and all in black instead of white as before.
On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find our review of the previous GraviTrax marble track with lots more information about the construction toy. Because this article is mainly about the update GraviTrax Pro vertical.
Note: The game manufacturer Ravensburger has sent us a starter set and the two new action bricks as review copies. However, this review is unpaid and reflects our honest opinion. I purchased many more action bricks and a second starter set for more components myself out of enthusiasm.
One little word reveals the biggest innovation in the new GraviTrax Pro Vertical Starter Set (as well as the “slimmed-down” expansion): vertical. It goes high up! While the construction of the previous marble run was mainly horizontal due to the limited number of components, now it’s vertical construction!
First things first: Pro is fully compatible with the previous GraviTrax system. It is therefore a very comprehensive extension, so to speak, and can be installed together with all the old parts!
There are three major basic innovations that the GraviTrax starter set includes: new large height blocks, vertical walls to connect them and free-floating balconies on which the marble run can be further built. The starter set also includes a new type of track that was not included in the old GraviTrax starter set and was previously only available in the tunnel extension. The 4 innovations in total are:
Also included in the new Pro starter set are familiar components such as baseplates, a transparent plane, curves, switches, crossings, a gauss cannon, freefall and splash, tracks of various lengths, height stones and more.
The GraviTrax universe now consists of many extensions and action bricks. It is not necessary to own as many as possible to enjoy the game. My tip: It is definitely worth buying two starter sets (or even better a GraviTrax Pro Starter Set to be able to build well upwards) as well as some action bricks, which help to speed up the ball and provide variation when building the marble run.
Build an attractive course high up and horizontally at the same time: This is made possible for the first time by the GraviTrax Pro vertical update of the marble run system. With the new starter set, you can now build complex marble runs vertically, with tracks that loop around balconies, snake through columns and make completely new constructions possible. The starter set also includes a basic set of basic components for newcomers. As an extension, GraviTrax Pro vertical (whether the starter set or the cheaper extension) offers even more variety and variance and for real fans, there is really no way around the starter set.
All parts of the new Gravitrax update are fully compatible with all previously released parts. For the first time, the new columns, walls, balconies and short Bernoulli rails make it possible to quickly build attractive marble tracks vertically. Because with the previous parts you had to use practically all the height bricks for such a project and could not build so well horizontally. In this case, the transparent walls and some columns can be built through with rails or snake downwards through the balconies. The new rails ensure that the ball picks up more speed. In addition, however, the new GraviTrax Pro vertical starter set also includes old familiar components and, all in all, more complex ball tracks are possible with this “professional” starter set than with the previous starter set.
What is still great is that all the extensions and action pieces can be colourfully combined with each other. The new possibilities to build vertically add even more excitement, variety and action to the construction toy. GraviTrax still thrives on the fact that you don’t just build with a starter set, but that the many extensions and action bricks also bring variation to the play experience. Without these, even with the new Pro starter set, the marble run variants would soon be exhausted and the game would lose its appeal for children in the long term.
As usual, the quality of the components makes a very good impression. They are made of sturdy plastic, the balls are made of metal. The columns and walls are compact and stable and the balconies hold the weight of the components without wobbling once they are firmly clicked into place.
The new action pieces are, for my taste, very dependent on chance and on having multiple tracks leading to them. They are not easy to install like the hammer, but their use has to be planned.
At launch, the GraviTrax Pro vertical starter set costs a whopping €79.00, a hefty price. However, it contains so many parts and attractive new components that it is well worth buying.
Finally build vertically quickly without using up all the height bricks and attractive new construction possibilities. For GraviTrax fans, the new starter set is a must-have, as it enables far more complex marble tracks. Seen in this light, the new Starter Set is itself an extension of the system and fills a gap.
It is also attractive for newcomers, here the choice of the right starter set depends more on whether you are more interested in building high up.
As usual, the starter set comes with construction plans to build on, and children and adults can also get started quickly with the help of an app.
More complex tracks and finally attractive vertical building. The new Gravitrax Pro vertical update is a successful expansion of the action-packed marble run system and a real must-have for all true GraviTrax enthusiasts!
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