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This off-shore racing set is part of a series of Nano-Tropolis construction kits that kids can build themselves and then play with. All the model pieces come packed in a hard case that reverses to form a piece of roadway and connect this environment to another Nano-Tropolis systems. A cardboard backdrop with a beach scene helps to evoke the shoreline setting for this particular environment. This set builds a pier and three vehicles—a tractor-trailer with a working siren, flashing light, and trailer hitch; a speedboat; and a beach patrol vehicle that can be propelled by an included vehicle launcher. The parts are made in the familiar Mega Bloks fashion, which snap together without requiring glue or extra tools. This building system comes with 470 pieces, many of them very small. Although an instruction book with detailed three-dimensional diagrams is included, younger children still may need some help from adults during assembly. --Cristina Vaamonde