ENCINITAS , Creators of this toy call it "Legos on steroids."
Other descriptions of the product are just as interesting , "Lego meets Nintendo," "Rube Goldberg meets Tomorrowland" and "radio controlled vehicles get vertical."
That just begins to describe the whimsy behind the Rokenbok system, put out by the Encinitas-based Rokenbok Toy Co.
Rokenbok is gearing up for the holidays with its Rokenbok system. Primarily a construction toy, like Lego, Megabloks or Erector, it allows children to build entire cities with monorail stations, construction sites and more, said Paul Eichen, president and CEO of Rokenbok.
Then the real fun begins. Once the city is built, children can pick up the radio remote control , designed to look a lot like the control pads for a Nintendo or PlayStation. Children can operate up to eight vehicles at a time as they travel through the child-designed city, Eichen said.
That allows children to load construction materials onto the conveyor belt, guide the monorail across tracks they built themselves, and even send the dump truck to the top floor of the elevator to pick up supplies, he said.
Everything is brightly colored, with small human figurines to stimulate children's imaginations. Add-ons to the basic set allow the system to be expanded, Eichen said.
But it's not all just fun and games. Eichen touts Rokenbok as an educational toy.
As children build with Rokenbok, they enhance their motor skills, while also developing cognitive skills, since the system requires children to think in three-dimensional patterns. It also teaches children basic mechanics and spatial relations, while operating the remote control system helps develop eye-hand coordination, he said.
That's why Rokenbok products have won numerous toy awards, including Toy of the Year for 1997 and 1999 from Family Fun Magazine, Coolest Interactive Toy from Game Week, The Right Toy at Any Age Award from Working Mother Magazine, and Parents Magazine Best Toys, Eichen said.