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In the past year we have visited a number of houses where the children have had one of these car transporters and my son, now 20 months, has always enjoyed playing with them. So when I was asked what he would like for Christmas, this was an obvious suggestion.
The Little Tikes large car carrier is a essentially a large plastic car transporter. It is made of moulded plastic and is fairly simple in design and construction. It doesn't make any sounds, has very few moving parts and crucially for me, doesn't require any batteries.
As the name suggests, it is quite a large toy measuring around 75cm long. The transporter comes with two large plastic cars, one yellow and one red, which are simple in design and have no windows making them easy to pick up with little hands. The wheels go around on the cars but the doors do not open. The transporter itself has two levels. Both the cars fit on the bottom level which is accessed by pulling down the flap at the back to make a ramp for them to drive up. The cars can also sit in grooves on the top level although there is really only the length for one car on the top. The cab of the truck is articulated which makes the transporter move like a real life long vehicle. It has 8 wheels and no windows so figures can be put in the driving seats (please note that there are no drivers supplied with this toy).
My son, like most boys, enjoys pushing cars around the room making the engine noises but he also loves loading the cars on and off the transporter. This aside, the biggest bonus about this toy is that it is large enough to double up as a ride on. I would say that this could be used as a ride on from around 18 months old and I noticed my 5 year old having a quick scoot on it too this morning! It is well made so I'm not worried about them sitting on it as it is obviously built to last.
I am very pleased with toy and hope that my son doesn't grow out of the simplicity of the design too soon. I wish we had bought one earlier really and would highly recommend this as a first birthday present or even earlier.
The car carrier costs around £25 at full price and I think that we will probably get our money's worth with this one.
My son was and still is car mad. One year Christmas Father Christmas (the credit stealer) left this Little Tykes Car Carrier under the tree. It looked very impressive due to it's size all wrapped up. On Amazon they are selling for around £30 which seems alot but the longevity of this toy makes it worth it in my opinion. Toys r Us have them on sale at £25 at the time of writing (Nov 2012).
The carrier is blue and a large 73 x 19 x 25 cm or to me over a couple of feet long. The cars that come with it are about ten inches each, both are the same model but one is red and one is yellow, I suppose they are sports cars. The cars and cab are one piece moulded out of plastic with only movable wheels, there are no opening doors or windows. There are moulded seats for a small driver of your choice to sit down on (not supplied) but that's the only detailing. The driver has to be put in through the window as, as I wrote earlier, there are no opening doors. The carrier back is attached to the cab with a pin and hole allowing the cab body to be lifted off the body, this reattaches easily and my son had no problem doing this. The cars are lightish in weight as is the carrier. The whole thing is excellent quality with no sharp edges. The recommended age for this toy is 3+.
The cars are transported by inserting one into the back of the body by flipping the 'ramps' down and driving one in, indentations hold the wheels in place- my son easily did this. The ramps clip back up and don't fall back down. The top car is just balanced on the top again held in place by indentations for the wheels to sit in. Pushing it along is easy, the wheels don't jam even on carpet. The pin and hole holding the cab and back together allow the cab to turn when going around corners. The carrier is robust enough for a small child to sit on- just as-well really! My son filled the back with all sorts of things to transport round but this hadn't damaged it. He had hours of play out of this toy and there's hardly a mark on it, even the lights and grill sticker stayed on. The thing I like about this toy is the fact it doesn't take batteries, it's just simple and basic. My only gripe is the size of it, it does take up room hence becoming an outside toy.
The carrier was suitable for him from being a toddler until he was about 6 or 7 when he moved on to more realistic and smaller cars.
It hasn't been compromised by being eventually used as an outside toy even being left out in all weathers.
I would definitely recommend this toy.
5 Stars from me and my son.
When my daughter was born I was adament we wouldn't fill the house with pink toys, dolls and prams! So we bought her a good variety of toys, including cars and a train set. It wasn't until we had our son that I began to realise maybe the boy/girl toy divide is nature, not nurture! Whilst our daughter does love to play with cars, and occasionally gets the train track out it is nothing compared to our sons obsession with wheeled objects! Even from the age of around 8 months, when his choice of toys was pretty much exactly the same as our daughters was at that age, he would consistantly make a bee-line for the cars and his favourite thing to do was crawl round the room 'brumming' a car along. So, when people started asking what he would like for his first birthday I bowed down to the stereotype and told everyone that he loved anything with wheels!
So, when I spotted this on a local nearly new forum for just £8 I snapped it up! The Little Tikes Large Car Carrier costs around £24.99 new. As the name suggests, it is quite big! It is 72cm long and 25cm high. It's size was one of the things that appealed to me. Although not marketed as such, it is big enough for toddlers to sit on and use it as a ride on toy, which is an added bonus in my opinion!
It comes with two lovely cars, a red one and a yellow one. The cars have no windows, which makes them very easy for toddlers to pick up as the roof doubles up as a handle. They have no special features (opening doors, etc) but they are well made and nice and chunky.
The car carrier itself has 8 wheels. The cab and the carrier are separate, allowing it to move like a real long vehicle does - but they don't come apart easily, which is a good thing as toys which constantly need fixing back together again are a pain! The back of the carrier opens to form a ramp to drive the sports cars up, then clicks shut so they don't roll out again. Once in the carrier there are little indentations on the floor for them to sit in. There are also indentations on the roof of the carrier so a car can be placed on it without rolling around too much. Again, the features are basic. The doors to the cab don't open and there are no windows, but the detail is there - there are two seats in the cab so if you're lucky enough to have an appropriately sized toy a driver could be put in. The simplicitly of this toy is what I love most about it. It does just what it needs to which is transports cars. In my experience, unnecessary features on toys tend to cause problems...doors fall off, switches break, etc.
My son has now had this for around 6 months, I think the previous owners had loved it for around 2 years. The sports cars are a little scratched, but the main vehicle is in extremely good condition - it is definitely built to last! I don't think it has ever been used outside, I think if it was it would undergo some serious cosmetic damage.
My son plays with the toy as a whole, but he also plays with the two cars on their own a lot - crawling along pushing one in each hand. He has also discovered that the carrier makes a great step! So will push it along to wherever he feels a little extra height is needed, then climb aboard and cause a little mischief by reaching all those things that are deliberately put out of his reach! He doesn't use it as a ride on much - but my 4 year old daughter does! I think his legs are still a bit on the short side to be able to straddle and push himself along.
My only criticism of this toy is that the ramp is a little stiff for my son to undo, it needs quite a tug to get it open. He is 18mths now and is able to open it sometimes, but not all the time. It also took him a while to work out how to get the second car out of the carrier. He would try reach it from the ramp end of the vehicle, but his arms were too short! After lots of demonstrations and explanations he is now able to push it along to the exit using the holes in the side of the vehicle!
On the whole this is a very well made toy which I think my son will enjoy for a long time yet.