Besides dinosaurs, trucks and cars are my kids’ favorite toys to play with. They love riding them around our living room, and it is great to see what kinds of games their imaginations can come up with. The best thing about toy trucks is that they are great for all ages and there so many different kinds. My boys have so many trucks, it’s hard to keep track.
In this guide, I will talk about some of the favorites in our house and compare them to favorites of other kids and parents. You will learn about different types and what features are the most fun. All of these products have something unique about them, which will hopefully make your decision easier when you are ready to purchase a toy truck for your child.
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Table of Contents
- What Should I Look for in a Toy Truck?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toy Truck for Kids
- Our Top Picks for the Best Toy Truck of 2021
- #1: Hot Wheels Monster Trucks 4-Pack (Best Value)
- #2: Altair Radio Controlled Off-Road Monster Truck (Best Premium)
- #3: Cat Construction Steel Toy Dump Truck (Best for Outdoors)
- #4: VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Dump Truck (Best Learning Toy)
- #6: iBase Toy Transport Car Carrier Truck (Best Multi-Function Truck)
- #7: Funcorn Toys Pull Back Vehicles Set (Best Pull Back Trucks)
- #8: Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On (Best Ride-On Truck)
- How Long Will My Child Play With a Truck?
- Verdict: Your Best Toy Truck for Kids
What Should I Look for in a Toy Truck?
I’ll admit that I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about toy trucks before I had my boys. Now I feel like an expert. Certain features are necessary, which my kids love and I always look for when shopping for a new one. Below I have compiled a list of features that are the most important and that you will find in each of the toy trucks that I will talk about.
Indoors or Outdoors?
There are specific toys on this list that are meant for outdoor use and others that are meant for indoor use. Some can work well for both, but you will probably want to determine what is going to be best for your kids.
If the toy that you choose needs batteries to move or provide lights and sounds, it will be important for you to make sure that you have the right type and number of batteries on hand.
Ease of Use
Some of these trucks are best suited for specific age groups. You will want to make sure that the toy you choose will not be too challenging for your child.
Even though most of these toys don’t differ much in size, there will be certain situations where you will want something smaller based on the size of your place space. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue with our top picks, but it couldn’t hurt to keep it in mind if you live in a small apartment.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toy Truck for Kids
The first thing that I like to do with all items is taking what I know and compare it to what other parents have to say. Reviews are really helpful when you are buying online because they can tell you a lot about what you are looking at before you purchase. So, to determine the best of the best toy trucks on the market right now, I made sure there weren’t any standout negative comments on the products that we don’t own and that there was a variety. Every child has different interests, and I always feel it is important to try to include something for everyone.
Our Top Picks for the Best Toy Truck of 2021
#1: Hot Wheels Monster Trucks 4-Pack (Best Value)
Anything that is made by Hot Wheels or resembles Hot Wheels is always a hit in our house. So, it was no surprise that these monster trucks are my boys’ favorite. These are made by one of our favorite brands, so I knew my kids would be happy and the trucks would also be high quality. Plus, it is a multipack, so it was such a great deal for the price. Read on to see what some of the best features of these toy trucks are.
They Are Made to Last
Since these are monster trucks, you can probably use your imagination to figure out how rough your kids are going to be during playtime. This is what these toy trucks were made for. They were meant to “crush” and “crash,” and they are definitely durable enough to handle some tough love.
There Are Many Styles
The great thing about these toy trucks is that they are very affordable. So if your child ends up really enjoying them, it won’t cost you a fortune to add to their collection. That being said, there are many styles and colors to choose from. Your kids will want to receive more and try to collect them all. That’s exactly how my boys are.
What are some other features of these Hot Wheels toy trucks?
- Recommended for ages 3-6 years old
- Giant wheels for action and stunts
- The package provides stats for the truck inside
- 1:64 scale diecast
These trucks make great toys for boys or girls. They crush, go over obstacles, or you can just push them around as my kids do. They are more fun than your typical toy cars, and much larger, making them perfect for smalls hands. Your child will get a lot of use out of them and not just at a young age. The best part is that your kids will have a blast if they bring them to play with their friends.
#2: Altair Radio Controlled Off-Road Monster Truck (Best Premium)
Remote-controlled cars and trucks are not for every age, and that is something you must consider before purchasing. Also, this is the best premium because of its price. You will see that this toy is the most expensive out of all of the other trucks on this list. Still, there were a lot of positive reviews for this one, and I know that my boys will be wanting something like this once they are a little bit older. Let’s talk about why this toy is the greatest splurge compared to the others.
It’s Made for Indoor or Outdoor Use
The all-terrain wheels on this truck make it able to handle riding on all sorts of uneven ground smoothly. With its larger 1:10 scale size, the outdoors gives you more space to play. Its heavy metal construction of the body makes it the most durable of all the toy trucks on this list, so it can handle just about any situation.
It is Powered by a Remote
What makes this toy truck the most unique is that it is the only one on this top list that uses a remote. That changes the way it is played, allowing options for races and competitions where adults can join in on the fun.
It’s Very Fast
Something you won’t see with any of the other toy trucks is real speed. This one can reach up to 30 MPH, which is very impressive. This isn’t a feature you will find with any of the other toy trucks on this top list. In fact, you don’t often see it any other remote-controlled truck period!
Here are some more features of this radio-controlled toy truck.
- Recommended for age 14 years and up
- Requires 1 Lithium battery, which is included
- Great for street racing with friends and family
Even though this isn’t one of your typical toys for kids, it is nice when things like this can bring families together. I know that my husband or I would love to hang out with the boys and drive these trucks once they get older. This may not have any lights or sounds like some of the other trucks, but it is still so much fun. It is the perfect choice for older kids who want to get outside and experience something new.
#3: Cat Construction Steel Toy Dump Truck (Best for Outdoors)
My boys love to get out into our backyard to play every chance they get. So of course, they like to have cars and trucks that can handle a little dirt to play with while they are out there. This particular toy dump truck was exactly what we were looking for and more. It may be simple, but with a little imagination, it can really bring outside playtime up a notch. Keep reading to find out why I included this toy truck on our list.
It Is Durable Enough to Withstand the Elements
This feature was extremely important to me when I was shopping for outside toys for my kids. I wanted it to be able to last. This is one of the strongest trucks that we have ever owned. I’ll admit, we have even forgotten it out in heavy rain, and it still works great. I would definitely recommend this toy for anyone who wants a toy truck that can handle all types of weather conditions.
It Has a Lifetime Warranty
I always like when companies stand behind the quality of their products. This is no different. This is one of the only trucks that I have seen that offer any sort of warranty at all, let alone a lifetime warranty. Their customer service is impeccable; you can contact them with any questions or concerns, and they are always ready and willing to help you in any way they can.
Below are some more features of the Cat Construction dump truck.
- Recommended for ages 3-6 years
- Real working dump bin
- Extra-large wheels for rugged terrain
- Made with sturdy steel and plastic
- Ships in easy-to-open and recyclable packaging
My kids love using this dump truck in their sandbox and for collecting rocks. It has held up so well for all of its use by two little rambunctious boys. If you want one of the most durable trucks for your child to use outdoors, then look no further. Don’t let its simplicity fool you; it was made for developing imagination and hand-eye coordination, so it is great for your little one.
#4: VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck (Best Low Cost)
This was the first toy truck we ever had in our house. My older son got it as a gift when he turned a year old. My younger son loved it so much that when he turned one, we purchased a second toy for him. They don’t play with them much anymore now that they are three and four, but those trucks have seen a lot of playtime. Read on to see what I love most about these toy trucks.
It Has Lights and Sounds
This feature matters a lot to babies and young toddlers. They love anything that lights up or talks. I can almost guarantee it based on my experience with my own kids. These trucks were no exception. The buttons each teach a different color, tool, and phrase to help your child with recognition. Three balls are included, and the truck plays a melody when they are placed down the chute.
It Has a Pull String
This string gives your child more than one way to play. They have the option to sit on the floor, push the toy around, or press buttons. If they are wanting to be active, they can walk around and pull the truck around the house. My kids loved being able to pull their toy trucks around more than anything else.
What are some other features of the VTech Drop and Go dump truck?
- Recommended for ages 6 months to 3 years
- 2 AAA batteries required
- Hinged bucket with a lever for dumping
- Counts when you add rocks
The great thing about this toy truck is that it is perfect for learning and development. This toy has lights and sounds, which keep your little one engaged and entertained. If you have an infant or a young toddler, this could help them figure out if they have any interest in trucks and cars. Then you can provide them with the means to continue that interest as they grow. I strongly believe that this is one of the toys that got my kids into trucks. Trust me when I say that your child will get so much use out of this toy.
#5: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Dump Truck (Best Learning Toy)
Of course, this truck has the quality construction that you would expect from Melissa & Doug. It is simple and designed for imaginative play to aid in your child’s development. Although it doesn’t have a lot of technological features, your child will still love playing with it. Read on to see why this toy was included on this list.
It Comes With Figures and Shapes
This truck gives your child two ways to play. They can either use the shape sorter and work on identifying shapes or play pretend with the truck and the play figures. Either way, this brand does what it can to promote growth and to keep your child entertained and away from screen time.
No Lights and Sounds
Some parents do not want toys that make noise or light up, especially at such a young age. If this sounds like your parenting style, then you may have found the right match for the little truck lover in your life.
What else about this truck is worth mentioning?
- Recommended for ages 2-5 years
- Durable wood construction
- You can add on other Melissa & Doug toys
- 12 total pieces
- Meets all U.S. safety standards
For a simple wooden truck that fosters creative play, this could be the right pick for you. Melissa & Doug has been around for decades and their mission has not changed. You can clearly see that with this truck as well. It is the perfect gift for a toddler if you want to purchase an educational toy that they will actually want to play with over and over again.
#6: iBase Toy Transport Car Carrier Truck (Best Multi-Function Truck)
This is a unique toy that one of my boys got for Christmas last year, and he absolutely loves bringing it out to play with his brother. It has multiple uses that provide never-ending fun. I don’t think that either of them will ever get tired of it. Let’s talk about why I included this toy truck on our top list.
It Is Storage for Matchbox or Hot Wheels Cars
When you purchase this truck, it comes with 10 cars and space for 28 in total. Any brand of car will fit in there that is similar in size to Matchbox or Hot Wheels. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my kids have tons of them. They are constantly switching out which cars get to ride in their “big rig” truck. I see them play with it every single day for this reason.
It Has a Chute for Racing
If you look at the front of this truck, you will see an opening at the top of the cab and another where the headlights should be. This is an internal chute. Your child can place a car in the top opening and watch it come out the bottom really fast as it rides across the floor. My kids have so much fun with this feature that sometimes it’s all they do.
Here are some more features of this toy truck carrier.
- Recommended age of 3-12 years
- Includes additional accessories: city play mat, 2 helicopters, 2 roadblocks, and 2 warning signs
- Easy-carry handle
- Helicopter platform
- Lead and BPA free, non-toxic plastic
- No batteries required
This is one of the best toys my kids have owned for helping with their cognitive processes and shape recognition. They have learned to work together to make sure that all of the cars are placed in the truck carrier the right way so that it closes and also to make sure nothing gets stuck in the chute. I didn’t realize how much they would learn with this truck, and I am very pleased. This is a great choice if your child has an interest in cars and trucks.
#7: Funcorn Toys Pull Back Vehicles Set (Best Pull Back Trucks)
These cars and trucks are easy to play with and so much fun to race. My kids had pull-back trucks like these almost 2 years ago, and they received them as a gift. I couldn’t find the exact ones, but these are almost the same, and they have so many positive reviews. I figured it was safe to say that they would be a great choice to add to this list. Read on to learn more about this set.
There Is a Variety of Vehicles
Even though this list is focused on toy trucks, it is nice that this set includes all kinds of cars and trucks. You will find something for every little boy or girl’s interests. Since they are small, they are perfect for little hands and they give your child the opportunity to come up with all sorts of ways to play. You really can’t go wrong with toys like these.
They Use Friction to Move
One of my favorite things about these vehicles is that they can pretty much race on their own. Since they are pulled back, your child will not have to do much to get them riding. They will set them down, pull back and let go. It’s really that simple. Your children will be so intrigued as they watch their truck use friction to move across the floor.
Let’s talk about some of the other features of this set of vehicles.
- Recommended for age 3 years and up
- 12 pieces
- They each have a unique cartoon face
- 2.2 inches in size each
- Made of durable and non-toxic plastic
What my kids like best about toys like these is that they can set them up to race each other. They see this on some of the television programs that they like to watch, so of course, they want to recreate that during playtime. These cars are great because there are so many different vehicles to choose from, which teaches them just how many types of trucks are actually out there. The friction power is a nice touch because they love seeing how far their trucks will go across the floor. If any of this reminds you of your own children, then you might have found your perfect match.
#8: Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On (Best Ride-On Truck)
What child doesn’t enjoy riding in a truck? This is perfect for going for a ride in the backyard and playing pretend. My kids have the Cozy Coupe and have often asked me if there is a truck version of it because of course, they prefer trucks over cars. I found this model, and it has such great reviews. Little Tikes is such a great brand that makes good quality toys. Keep reading to see why this rounds out our top 8 list.
Kids Can Ride Alone or You Can Push
Having multiple options with this toy is great. The floorboard is removable so they can power the truck with their feet, or there is a handle on top that can be used to push them around. It’s a great way for your to join in on their fun if you choose.
It Has Realistic Features
When this step inside this toy, it will feel like they are getting behind the wheel of a real truck. There are a steering wheel and horn, plus fun decals for the fuel gauge and mileage gauge. Not to mention the gas panel, headlights, and taillights. It really makes children feel like they are actually driving a real vehicle.
Here are some more things to mention about this toy.
- Recommended for ages 18 months -5 years
- Dropdown tailgate
- Requires button cell batteries for steering wheel
- Weight limit of 50 lbs.
- Large, rugged wheels
Of course, I had to include every type of truck out there, and that definitely includes a toy truck that your child can actually ride in. These toys provide great fun and many possibilities for outdoor activities. It was built to last, so you can expect this truck to get used for years. Plus, the best part is that if you look hard enough, they are other truck options that include a princess truck or a fire truck. There is truly something for every boy and girl.
How Long Will My Child Play With a Truck?
It is interesting to see how your child’s love for cars and trucks grows as they do. Most boys and even girls play with trucks from the toddler stage all the way up to preteen years. What’s different is what kind of trucks they have and how they play.
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As they get older, the way your child plays will become more and more complex. I have noticed with my children that they get really creative and play with multiple kinds of toys at the same time. An example is when they combine their cars and trucks with their dinosaurs. They come up with some really out-there game ideas, but they have so much fun.
So, your child may still play with trucks at 13 but prefer building them or using a remote-controlled one like the Altair truck that is our top premium pick. It all comes down to their interests as they grow and whether or not they still enjoy trucks.
Verdict: Your Best Toy Truck for Kids
Here is the takeaway for the best toy trucks for your child.
If you want the best value for the money, pick the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks 4-Pack. I feel that these toys are the best price for what you receive as well as the most versatile compared to all the others.
If you are looking for the best splurge, pick the Altair Radio Controlled Off-Road Monster Truck. Even though it is more suitable for older kids, they will not be disappointed to receive this truck as a gift. Just because they’re growing up, doesn’t mean they don’t still like having fun.
For the best outdoor truck, pick the Cat Construction Steel Toy Dump Truck. It is large and durable against the elements, making it perfect for all sorts of outside games.
If you want to spend under $15, pick the VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck. The lights and sound effects will keep your toddler engaged.
If you are looking for the best learning toy truck, pick the Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Dump Truck. Its simple wood construction promotes two kinds of imaginative fun with figures and shapes.
For the best multi-function truck, pick the iBase Toy Transport Car Carrier Truck. Not only is it fun to play with, but it can store your child’s small cars as well.
If you want the best pull-back trucks, pick the Funcorn Toys Pull Back Vehicles Set. These toys are the best friction-powered racing trucks and cars.
If you are looking for the best ride-on truck, pick the Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On. It is the perfect ride-on toy for any truck lover in your life.
I tried to include different kinds of toys because every child is unique. Even if they take interest in trucks or other vehicles, not every kind will be right for them. I felt it was important to have all of these styles for the parents as well, since not every parent wants another toy that makes noise in their home. I can only hope that your takeaway is that trucks can be fun for children of any age and there are tons of ways to use them. If you are looking for something new, give one of these a try. It is helpful that these kinds of toys also give your boy or girl an idea of what real life is like. Trust me, they will not be disappointed if they open a truck on this list as a gift.