Amazon gives it 5 stars.
I know, because I read the reviews. Hundreds of satisfied customers raving about the quality of this toy – the speed, the size, the durability. Important details to know when purchasing a $300 ride-on Fisher-Price Jeep for your favorite 5-year-old.
The biggest perk in all of those reviews, is that not one of them mentioned the phrase “some assembly required”. WHOO HOO!
I say “whoo hoo” because I am not a woman with skillz. With a world population of 7.125 billion, my mechanical competency ranks near the bottom, only slightly higher than community college philosophy majors. Seriously. Just getting my lipstick to roll up and down without breaking off is a pretty big deal for me.
So when this package arrived, it was in a box. A box. And not the jumbo kind you might see on The Price is Right where they drop open one side to reveal an assembly-line-fully-manufactured 3-dimensional vehicle, but a FLAT box that could contain, oh say, a chalkboard . I felt a stabbing pain shoot down my left arm. I consoled myself, “It might not be so bad. Maybe it’s just a matter of slipping on a couple sets of wheels and popping up the roll-bar. Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.”
And with that, I drove to my daughter’s house where this little Jeep would find its new home. She met me at the garage door. When I opened the back end of the van, she mumbled something nondescript and gave me that look.
You know… the one that says,
“What have you done, woman???”
We proceeded to unpack the box. Once we had all 169 parts – please don’t skip over that number – ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE PARTS scattered across the garage floor, it looked like an impossible page from “I Spy Extreme”.
I knew and loved
as a child
had just become
my mortal enemy.
I reached for the manual. Kacey immediately swiped it from my hands. “Oh no you don’t. We both know what happens when you try to read instructions. Just sit down and look cute.” She reconsidered. “On second thought, go to the kitchen and and get a screwdriver. You DO KNOW what a Phillips head is, don’t you??”
Do I know what a Phillips head is? It’s a crosshead screwdriver named after Henry Frank Phillips of Portland, Oregon, but actually invented by John P. Thompson who sold his self-centering screw design to Phillips in 1935. Duh. Do I know what a Phillips head is. Then I mumbled something motherly like, “I’ll Phillips your head” and went to retrieve the tools.
I unwrapped parts and handed her pieces and made up cheers as she moved through the 42-step instruction manual for the next hour. I even pre-assembled smaller parts that she would, of course, later have to disassemble. During the dashboard installation she discovered a working radio that plays songs from Disney’s “Frozen”. She mumbled curses my direction and sent me away to fetch food and coffee.
After Step 16, Kacey had a conference call for work, so I decided to try my hand at connecting the pieces. She glared at me over her reading glasses,
skepticism oozing from her eyeballs, but I stated emphatically,
“I CAN screw things!”
“Oh…that’s what SHE said,” she grinned mischievously.
I managed the hood, doors, hinges, steering column, wheel, and even the seats before she rejoined me. I was patting myself on the back when she found a leftover pin. After backtracking the steps, seems I had neglected to install said pin in the steering wheel mount. So while she undid what I had wrong-did, I flipped ahead to the final few pages of the manual. “Hey! Don’t read ahead and spoil the ending!” she teased. I told her I found no intrigue in this tragic saga, and just wanted to see how many more pages I had to endure. With that, she threw a sheet of 44 decals at me and said, “Shu-up and put on stickers.”
Three-and-a-half hours from start gun to finish line, and the 12-volt battery-powered 5-star-rated Fisher-Price Frozen Jeep Wrangler, suitable for children ages 5-8, was complete and ready for the birthday girl.
But for Christmas, that kid is getting socks.