We have a child who’s loved construction from an early age. As he’s grown, we’ve seen the builds getting more complex and the items he’s building with getting smaller. I’ve loved watching him develop and see his journey through different products. One brand that’s been in the back of my mind for ages is Meccano. It’s a range that both Daddy P and I grew up with and I know in years to come our house will be full of their sets. But for now it’s me who’s been in charge of the builds on the Meccano 4X4 Off-Road Truck set.
The Meccano 4X4 Off-Road Truck is aimed at children aged 9 years and over, so Monkey was in charge of parts identification and playing at the end of each build. The builds are definitely beyond his capabilities at the moment and quite complex.
Within this set you receive an instruction booklet to enable you to make up 3 different vehicles, and a further 22 vehicles can be built with instructions available online. There are 443 components supplied (metal and plastic) along with an allen key and spanner. You will require 4 x AA batteries to work the motor, yes this is a motorised build! It would be great if the smaller components were supplied in resealable bags for easy storage and to prevent parts being mislaid.
Throughout the build process each step gives you a clear indication of the parts required and for screws, spacers and rods there is also a size guide. The build process is a great way to work on hand eye coordination, following instructions and working on fine motor skills. Some of the construction is really quite fiddly, and I can see children may need help to complete the builds.
The motor has 3 settings – forward, reverse and off. I found the position of the switch on the first model we built (above) really quite tricky to reach. Also the driveshaft mechanism underneath fell apart really easily, which was a shame.
I decided to make one of the vehicles up from the online instructions and went for the fork lift truck. This is also a non-motorised build. During the build I did find a few errors in the instructions, which resulted in having to take some of the components apart and then rebuilding. But the overall vehicle looked good once completed.
My son was thrilled to see the end result, as his Daddy has a few fork lift trucks at work. You can see that the finished machines are a good size too.
Wanting to crack the motorised vehicle, I went back to make the Meccano 4X4 Off-Road Truck that features on the front of the box for this set. This particular uses pretty much all of the components and takes some time to build. I do think some of the instructions could be a little clearer, its sometimes hard to work out exactly which holes bolts are meant to go through on the plastic struts. Also no matter how hard I tighten the bolts, I’ve found with all three builds, that nuts unwind and fall off fairly easily. On our next build I will be employing Daddy P and his vice like grip to ensure the nuts stay in place.
But on a positive note, we’ve got the drive shafts to both front and back wheels to stay in place with this vehicle, the motor switch is easier to get to too. The vehicle has opening doors, wing mirrors and a hand-operated winch. Monkey’s enjoyed playing with it and thinks it’s rather cool.
Priced at £39.99 I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below for your reference – it’s also currently on offer with £10 off!.
disclosure: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review