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Best Dump Truck Toys For Kids

Dump Truck Toys Overview
For some reason, kids love dump trucks. We have spent countless hours walking and strolling around construction sites in our developing neighborhood looking for dump trucks and other construction site machines. When our son first started talking and learned how to express his desires, one of the first requests he made was to buy him a dump truck! We bought him the Bruder Mack Granite Dump Truck. It is a fairly pricy toy, but it was worth every penny. In the section below, I reviewed three different types of dump trucks our son owns. They greatly differ in size, age recommendation, and the price. Each dump truck toy serves its purpose and is designed for specific needs and preferences: sophisticated (Bruder), heavy duty usage (Megablocks) and occasional light play (Tonka).

Bruder's Mack Granite dump truck toy can be classified as a Ferrari in this this toy category. Not surprisingly, Bruder company delivered another superb toy for kids. This dump truck is perfectly scaled to the real thing, as are all other Bruder construction site and service vehicles. Bruder toys are made without the use of glue or screws. In other words, all parts are precisely manufactured to slide into each other. It is truly fascinating design. This toy weighs about 10 pounds, and it is highly sophisticated, so please be aware of manufacturer's age recommendation.

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Megablocks Cat dump truck is a large plastic toy for kids. This large yellow dump truck stretches almost 18 inches, which will give you some idea of its truly impressive size. Small kids can easily sit on it, but I don't think toy has been designed for that purpose. This dump truck comes with a set of large blocks, which can be used for creative construction play, or simply loaded and hauled by the big dump truck. Megablocks Cat large vehicle dump truck is made out of soft plastic. Overall ergonomics is excellent, which is the feature I like very much.

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This simple basic dump truck toy is only five inches long. It is one solid piece made out of somewhat soft plastic, so it feels like it could be squeezed. All four wheels spin smoothly even when driven over dirt and sand areas. Tonka dump truck is designed for a simple play, without any accessories and moving parts, excluding the wheels. It is designed in such way that it can take a decent level of abuse, such as, being thrown around, pressed from the top, bumped against objects, exposed to outside elements, etc.
Main Features and Selection Criteria 
There are several key features of dump truck toys that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing these toys.

Truck's Size
If you are planning to take your dump truck to parks and sand areas, I would not recommend dump truck toys longer than 12-14 inches. You will probably end up carrying it to and from the park, so pay attention to weight too. Anything heavier than 5 lbs might not be a good idea. Choose wisely. When it comes to playing at home, due to storing limitations, our limit was somewhere around 20-25 inches in length. Our son's Bruder Mack Granite dump truck is 21 inches long, which is a fairly big toy.

Spinning wheels are a must-have feature almost at any age, since kids easily relate that feature to real life. However, you want to make sure that dump truck toys with small parts, which is usually the wheels themselves, are age appropriate. Following manufacturer age recommendation is probably a good idea. Also, if you are planning to take trucks to sand playgrounds, you might want to check out how easy is to clean their wheels. Typically, this is not an issue with most dump truck toys in today's market, but some more sophisticated trucks are not designed for heavy usage in dirt and sand. 

Loading Bin
At some point in time, a simple one solid piece dump truck toy without any moving parts will not cut it. Usually around age two or three, kids are looking for more sophisticated features, such as, truck's loading bin has to be fully operational. After all, the whole idea of dump truck is to be able to load, carry and dump stuff. Older toddlers tend to mimic machine sounds, as the load is being deliver to and out of the loading bin.

We stayed away from dump trucks with moving doors until our son turned two. Usually, trucks with small moving parts, such as doors, are recommended around the age of three. For younger toddlers, it is much better if the truck is one solid piece, such as, small Tonka trucks.

I would strongly recommend looking for dump trucks with accessories, such as, building blocks (Megablocks CAT) or a driver (Bruder's truck driver). Our son liked that Bruder dump truck in particular had tons of matching accessories and machines that go with it. In addition, matching toys are made to scale in respect to each other, which plays a big role with older kids.

Sound Effects
I have seen some trucks with sound effects. However, that novelty wears off after some time, and kids move onto something else. I would rather focus on the truck's functionality and the quality of wheels, loading bin, and doors. Sound effects are a plus, but not a deciding factor. Also, you are looking at battery replacements here, fetching tiny screws and looking for matching screwdrivers.

Light Effects
Similar to sound effects, light effects tend to quickly fade out, so to speak. Kids might tinker with them a little bit. However, since they can't really play with lights other than turn them on and off, this feature becomes just a nice to have feature, and not a must have requirement.
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