* Prices may differ from that shown
The Playmobil Recycling Truck retails for just over £20 from lots of retailers including Toys R Us, Argos, Amazon and the official Playmobil Shop. On the run up to Christmas a lot of places offered it with £5 off so do look out for any continuing special offers.
The first thing I loved about this toy was that when I opened up the box, the truck was pretty much pre-built! That is an extremely rare thing where Playmobil is concerned. Usually you have to spend a fair bit of time fiddling around with miniature connectors to try and get lots of oddly shaped pieces together, but nope, not this time - the truck is pretty much ready built on arrival!
After adding on a few accessories, as per the enclosed instructions, the truck was ready for playing with. The grandson took to this immediately and played with it non-stop for the first hour he had it out for! There's a little clip on the back of the truck for attaching the dustbins to it with. Then you can pull the lever up at the side, and watch the rubbish bins get tipped up and emptied into the back of the truck. You can even open up the roof of the truck to see inside and have a look at all the rubbish!
As this is called a recycling truck, it means that kids can extend on their play by collecting all the different bins up together, and then sorting it out when they've driven off to their pretend rubbish dump / recycling centre. The grandson used a Playmobil wardrobe to put in dumped electrical goods that he then shook around, took out, and declared had been recycled. Very earth-conscience of him I thought!
The truck drives smoothly and there are two dustmen (sorry 'refuse collectors') included as well as three bins. Two of the bins are standard little wheelie bins, and the third is a large industrial type bin with a sliding roof. All of these accessories work well and are extremely well designed and made.
This is a well made toy that works really well. There's minimal assembly required and it's excellent value for money considering how robust and detailed the whole thing is. I reckon every Playmobil town needs one of these and couldn't recommend it any higher than I do.
It's probably a sign of the modern age that the Playmobil city has a "recyling truck" and not plain old dustbin men - this being one of my children's Christmas presents from their Auntie to add to their collection, which I have sworn is now complete despite Playmobil having such a fantastic range of well built fun toys.
The truck itself is about the length of a long ruler, and 16cm high - it comes with two figures and three wheelie bins; as you can see from the photo a larger yellow one, a blue one and a green one. Assembly, by playmobil standards is minimal, just a matter of putting on a few stickers and adding wheels to bins.
You are not getting very many pieces for your money here, but the truck itself is extremely robust and can be wheeled along without any fear of it falling apart. The cabin has a lift off top so that your child can put the figures behind the wheel. Probably the best feature, however, is the mechanism at the rear. The bins slot onto a platform and when the lever is pulled the bins tilt so that the contents can go into the body of the truck.
If you have other playmobil sets you will have no trouble finding lots of bits to go in the bins, bottles for the green one and tiny cans for the blue one and the like. Small bits of lego also fit nicely in the bins and a lift up lid on the top of the truck also appeals nicely to children's inate desire to want to post things. This hatch is also useful for emptying the truck later.
It's good that this vehicle has no wing mirrors - a detail on other vehicles such as the ambulance and camper van that always falls off and is easily lost; this truck is detailed enough for what it is but there are no bells or whistles.
I am not sure that at age 4 or so, the age for which this truck is designed, children quite get the idea of recyling though these days I guess the recycling trucks are part of their daily life. In any case this is quite a simple toy but it has been a big success probably because it is so simple.
It would, perhaps, have been nice had this set come with a few more pieces such as a few bits of rubbish or maybe a broom or two for the little men which would give this set more scope and make it slightly better value for the price. Compared to say, the camper van which we also own you are not getting as many accessories, but then perhaps the appeal of a truck is enough for children.
When your little recycler has picked up all the rubbish, the whole truck can be tilted to empty it, and the whole body of the truck can be removed to turn it into a recyling bin like the ones commonly seen in supermarket car parks.
Overall I like this recyling truck for being plain and not fussy, and encouraging imaginative play. Like all playmobil it is solid and there really isn't much to go wrong here, the lids do come off the bins in play but have been designed to come and off so they don't break and everything is in scale with the other sets and well made.
This is a good buy for any playmobil fan, just a shame they haven't included some actual rubbish, but then if your house is like mine your children probably are not lacking in small bits of plastic to recycle and will probably enjoy picking them up with this.
This toy seems to be about £25 in most places I have seen it, it may be worth seeing if it is available on multi-buy from toysrus who often have special offers on playmobil. Recommended.
Further details on the playmobil site:
Model: Recycling Truck