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My son loves tractors and anything to do with farming. We are a farming family and so he is surrounded by tractors and animals all the time. When he was about 18 months old we had a few Britain's tractors that were a bit too old for him and we had another bruder tractor that had already lots some of it's wing mirrors as my older daughter had been a little too rough with it. We saw the Bruder Roadmax Tractor with frontloader at The Lincolnshire Show and decided it was perfect for our sons age range.
The tractor is quite big and measures 36cm long by 20cm wide and 20cm tall. The whole thing is made from very hard coloured plastic. The wheels are made of tough rubber and can be squeezed. The wheels move freely and are very big and chunky. The front loader can be moved up and down and when clicked into place it stays were you put it and doesn't just flop back down. This is great because it doesn't get in the way when the child is pushing the tractor around the floor and also encourages them to play games that require the loader to be in different positions such as loading a trailer. The bucket on the end can be tipped and then simply clicks back into place. There is no realistic attention to detail with this tractor and as the range is aimed at age 2 years and above this is perfect. There are no sharp edges on the tractor. There are no small pieces that can be removed or broken and I definitely feel that this toy is appropriate for the suggested age range. The windows are made of clear perspex and the front of the cab can opened and then clicked shut. There is some detail like the exhaust and the headlights but everything is very chunky and well put together.
My son loves this tractor and we later bought a tipping trailer to go with it. You can also buy the tractor and tipping trailer as a set. We have had the tractor about two years now and it is still in excellent condition. My son is moving more to the next age range of bruder toys but I have a one year old who is just getting interested in this Tractor. The Roadmax Tractor can take a lot of punishment and has been tripped over, trodden on and my children have even stood on it and it's remained unaffected by everything.
I cannot remember how much we paid for the tractor but it is currently available from about £17.00 (Dec 2008) with the tractor and trailer set retailing at about £24. I don't think that any of the Bruder toys are available from places like Toysrus but they are widely available online at sites like www.amazon.co.uk. The Bruder range are also avaibale from many country stores such as our local country store www.cobbscountrystore.co.uk they also do mail order but postage can be costly.
Bruder is a German company that specialises is making realistic scale models of farming machinery and vehicles. You can get everything from key rings to combine harvesters and they are all really realistic. The scale models start as small as 1:128 and go up to 1:16. There are three ranges available, the mini series which is mainly key rings, the professional series which is aimed at older children and is very realistic and the Roadmax range which is specifically designed for younger children. There are several vehicles in the Roadmax range including a tipping trailer, tipper lorry and a refuse lorry. They are all big vehicles made of hard plastic with big chunky rubber wheels. For more information on any of the Bruder ranges go to www.bruder.de/ea
I would recommend the Bruder Roadmax range to anyone with younger children who are interested in tractors or construction vehicles because they are excellent quality, very hard wearing and very entertaining for girls and boys alike.