Last month I brought you the Tonka Steel range and this month we are focussing on the new Tonka Climb-overs range of toys. Tonka have over 70 years experience in manufacturing toys to last for generations. The new Tonka Climb-overs range consists of a number of 4×4 motorised vehicles and track layouts using a ‘Click N Climb system.
The Tonka Climb-overs range consists of a number of starter sets containing one vehicle and 8 pieces of tracks and larger play sets like the Boulder Escape set, with one vehicle and 12 pieces of track and features.
I’d seen this series being demoed at Toy Fair back in January and loved the idea of positional pieces of track. What would Monkey think of our new Tonka delivery?
We received the two starter sets Heavy Hauler and Fire Stomper first. The Fire Stomper set has one vehicle and 8 pieces of straight track, whilst the Heavy Hauler has a vehicle, 4 x 45º turns and 4 straights. The track from both sets is compatible so can be linked together.
Each vehicle should come with 2 x AAA batteries already installed in the Tonka Climb-overs range. When you receive the vehicles you do need to remove the grey plastic clip underneath the top side of the vehicle so that it will work correctly.
Of the three Climb-over vehicles we now have, two are really easy to pull apart, one can only be done by Daddy P. The sets come with instruction leaflets showing you how to do this, but it looks as if some are easier than others. Once the grey clip has been removed you click the top back into place and your vehicle is ready to start.
Press the yellow button down and watch the vehicles go. They can work with or without the track for added enjoyment. With their big chunky tyres they can handle all sorts of obstacles.
The track pieces are made of thick plastic and should click together to form a track layout, they can be positioned to make bridges, rises and falls for the vehicles to ride around. In theory both Monkey and I loved the idea. In practice, I’d by lying if I said the track was always easy to put together. There is a real art to clipping them together, the 45º corners can be swines to connect to the straights. I found some of the pieces really tough to assemble, there was no way my nearly 7-year-old could have done it. We were both rather disappointed with this aspect of the Tonka Climb-overs range in the starter sets.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve realised it is much easier to press the connectors together on a hard surface (floor/table) rather than trying to press them in just using your hands (if that makes sense). The pieces in the larger Boulder Escape set do seem much easier to press together too, I’m not sure why.
Anyway, it’s a design that I don’t think 100% delivers, as I’ve said above, I think the idea is great, the execution could be improved in my opinion. The sets are aimed at children aged between 3-6 years of age, and my nearly 7-year-old cannot put the track together 100% by himself. But that aside, once we’d overcome our building difficulties, he has enjoyed playing with the starter sets.
The Tonka Climb-overs Boulder Set is one of the larger play sets, and comes with a Jeep, 8 straight pieces of track, 4 x 90º corners, 2 track adapters, mountain section and large boulder.
The idea of this set is to place the boulder on top of the ‘mountain’ and as the jeep goes underneath it tips part of the mountain and the boulder chases the jeep. In reality we’ve found the boulder tends to veer off to the side, but Monkey’s still enjoyed the idea of it.
As well as having more track with the larger sets you also receive a couple of track adaptors, which are really handy to enable you to create twists and turns in your track connections.
Then the fun really begins and imagination takes over to create new layouts.
The Tonka Climb-overs range will be available from Argos, with prices from £6.99 for a single vehicle.
disclosure: we were sent the items mentioned in exchange for an honest review