“ Brand: Smoby / Type: Toy Ride-ons „
Granny bought this for the Boy as a Christmas present when he was three.
The ride-on tractor came in bits and the Other Half put it together. It was a bit of a lengthy one, with some mutterings under the breath, which may have included some naughty words. The main problem was getting the ends on the axels, which needed someone to hold them while they were forced on. The tractor and trailer are made of sturdy plastic and come in the distinctive JCB colours of yellow and black. The trailer clips onto the back when wanted.
The finishing touches were to add the JCB brand, headlight and Smoby stickers. These have lasted really well over the years, not peeling or wearing away despite the tractor and trailer living outdoors the whole time.
The tractor is fairly heavy and its pedalling mechanism added to hard plastic wheels didn't provide much traction, which made it too hard for the Boy to pedal when he first had it. On hard surfaces it copes better and is easier to pedal than it is on grass, but without much weight or strength behind him, he couldn't do much with it at all.
We either had to push him to get it started down the gentle slope of the garden, or his sister would take the wheel and he would ride in the trailer. I'm not sure this was the intended use of the trailer, but it was pretty irresistible! It's not the most comfortable thing to sit in, by the look of it, but they'd kneel in and enjoy the ride. On occasions we had accidents where the trailer would detach or its rider would topple off, but that was only to be expected. They have mostly used the tractor for hurtling down the garden, rather than for imaginative play or sedate pedalling.
It's not the most fun thing to push & pull as an adult, being quite low and cumbersome, and as a three-year-old, the Boy found it difficult to bring back to the top of the slope on his own. The Boy has always been on the small size for his age, however, so other three-year olds may have been able to manage better. I have my doubts at the recommended age of this product, which seems to start at over 24 months. I think it has a smaller age-range, from about 4 years to 6 at most, (as older children have difficulty pedalling it due to the length of their legs).
Once he was older and stronger, he could easily handle the machine on his own and has had a lot of fun with it.
The toy has stood up to living outside for around four years in all weathers really well. There is little sign of fading of the plastic and it's as sturdy as ever. This is just as well since when new I think this may have cost around £100 (comparable products online indicate as much). This model seems to be discontinued, but you can find very similar ones online at Amazon new for around £100 while used ones crop up on Ebay at starting prices of around £10. I'm not sure I'd recommend buying one new, I think a good secondhand one is a better bet as they last so well, and you wouldn't even have to put it together!
The Boy(6) says "It's really fun, quite easy to ride and good!"
The Girl(11) says (with a roll of her eyes that I'm asking) "We used to have fun with it, but I'm miles too big for it now."