Top positive review
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Really Nice, Detailed Truck... With a Few Minor Criticisms
on January 23, 2011
I bought this truck for my daughter's 5th birthday. She'd seen it in the Bruder catalog that came with her younger sister's Man garbage truck, and talked about it for weeks after Christmas, so we didn't hesitate to make it her 'big' birthday gift.
I tried it out a bit when it arrived and was immediately impressed with the spinning drum. I put in a few marbles, and discovered that - as advertised - the drum can be cranked in one direction to mix the contents, and the other direction send the contents down the chute. Like our garbage truck, the inside of the drum is a simple Archimedes screw-type design. The chute comes with two snap-on extensions which can be stored on either side of the truck and can be easily attached/detached as desired.
Of course, my daughter's fondest desire was to make 'real cement' (ie. a water/sand mixture) and send this down the chute to, she says, make 'perfect sand castles.' So after unwrapping this truck, playing around with it indoors with marbles, shoving the cab full of her Playmobil people (which are really a quite nice fit, if slightly out-of-scale with the truck), she demanded an outdoor trial.
You actually can, technically, fill the drum with sand and water, this is true. And it will, if you don't dilly dally, come down the chute when turned in the correct direction. But, the drum is not sealed and this created a bit of an issue. Sand and water will dribble out on the part where the drum rests on the bed up by the cab, creating friction on the spin of the drum. This can be gotten around somewhat by manually turning the drum, rather than using the crank, but even then the drum is difficult to turn and she found this a bit frustrating and demanded my help on a few occasions. No big deal. This friction, I will add, also strips the blue stripes around the same area of the drum which are a vinyl-type appliqué. Not that this has ruined the truck's appearance or anything. It's a very small area. But.. I'd rather hoped that this truck might fare better as an outdoor plaything.
The second issue is that I've not yet found a way (and this could just be me being overly cautious or missing some obvious detail) to fully open the drum. It seems possible, but every time I attempt it, I think forcing it might break something. This becomes an issue when our curious three-year old stuffs Calico Critters, Playmobil people, wrapping paper and other large/oddly shaped objects into it. Of course, turning the drum is futile if the object is too big to go down the chute, so a grown-up has to turn the truck upside-down and try to wriggle the object between the obstacles to get it out. A little annoying and tedious.
All the same, the kids do love it. They are mostly content playing with it indoors, and my five year old is pleased with the objects that do work well in the drum: small rocks and marbles. She's also thrilled with having the doors to the cab open, being able to look at the engine compartment and simply zooming the truck to and fro. It's a massive toy, but it is very nicely made of sturdy, safe ABS plastic, and is attractive, realistic and superbly detailed. Most of the parts are durable enough for the 4+ set, save for the rearview mirrors. There also appears to be no water tank on this variation of the truck, so the people referring to that may be referring to another truck by Bruder.
For the price we got it for (it was a pretty drastic discount after Christmas) I think it was a fine deal, and will see lots of play - even if not the precise sort of play my daughter hoped for. I've come to the conclusion that Bruder trucks are really better indoor toys, after having bought this - our second one.
Country of origin: Germany