They are on TV, at the movies, and in your kid’s playroom. Not since Knight Rider has the talking vehicle been this deeply ingrained in our society.(Oh David Hasselhoff, why did it have to end up this way? Is it because of your evil twin?) Thankfully we now have “Chuck the Dump Truck” picking up the slack where others have left off. Friends and family will always be a theme in my columns, and Chuck’s story has plenty of both.
We currently have the Chuck & Friends Tumble Tower toy and his Big Air Dare DVD. As I experienced both the toy and the DVD, I was immediately drawn to the larger picture at play, the world. Chuck has friends, and each has their own personality, and Chuck has a father, a tow truck, who also has friends with varying personalities. Having a great main character is obviously important to any franchise, and Chuck handles that admirably, but a strong supporting cast usually does the heavy lifting for its longevity.
Tonka’s Chuck & Friends excels in both areas. Naturally we played with the toy first, so it will bat leadoff, and stay tuned for the DVD review in the very near future.
Start at the top and crash your way to the bottom.
Tonka gives us trucks, and boys like to crash those trucks into anything in the near vicinity. Combine both, and you have the Tumble Tower. The Tumble Tower consists of 3 pieces that snap together in minutes – the main unit, a ramp and tunnel mold, and a convenient gate to Chuck’s garage that keeps him in one place during transportation. Both ramp and gate snap together to the main unit with ease, and the toy is ready to go. The set is rounded out with a Chuck the Dump Truck toy vehicle.
Start at the bottom and follow the ramp up to a lift that takes Chuck to the top of the tower. From there he crashes, rolls, and flips his way down 3 platforms before he reaches the bottom and shoots out a final exit ramp. Sound effects and quotes from Chuck greet you on the way down, adding to the overall experience.
Both ramps and garage gate fold up for easy carrying, and with Chuck safely tucked away in his garage, he gets to come along for the ride.
Stats: Over 18 months. A great toy for expanding a child’s imagination. Fold ‘N Go feature works well and allows for easy vertical storage.
What my 3 year old said about this toy: “Where are Chuck’s friends Daddy?” Ahhh marketing.
What my baby might be thinking about this toy: “When they fold this toy up, there is nothing for me to put in my mouth. Bad feature.”
What Brad the Dad says: Enjoyable toy that will probably get better if/when Chuck’s friends enter the equation. The tunnel feature on the main ramp allows for the imagination and creation of additional courses. Chuck tumbling down the tower works well and he never gets gets caught or jammed.
What Brad says: I think I like Chuck. He has energy, he likes to take on challenges, and he isn’t scared to get a little rambunctious.
Five Word Summary: Imagine and tumble with Chuck.