There are plenty of toy construction vehicles out on the market. But with most of these models, they come pre-assembled or require little building, deriving most of the play experience from kid’s own imaginations.

The unique thing about Remote-Control Machines: Construction Vehicles, from Thames & Kosmos, is it gives kids a little challenge before their completed construction vehicle can hit the worksite, or rather the playroom floor.  This 227-piece set will get kids building for hours, choosing from eight different models, and following a detailed step-by-step illustrated instruction guide. While building, kids will learn basic STEM skills. But playtime isn’t over after the last piece has been snapped in. That’s actually when the action begins, as kids can now drive their vehicle around with the remote control unit. Half the fun is building, and half the fun is driving! It’s like LEGOs meets Tonka Trucks. 

Kids can choose to build a Bulldozer, a Backhoe, a Dump Truck, a Crane, a Skid-Steer Loader, a Road Grader, a Forklift, and a Concrete Mixer. Only one model can be built at a time because certain pieces are needed for other vehicles..The models are seemingly realistic, and this is an ideal set for the child fascinated by construction and building sets. Depending on the model, determines how hard of a build it is. I chose “easy” build and it took me about an hour to complete. These vehicles are projects that require patience and diligence. Do not expect kids to be able to snap it together within 10 minutes.

Once the model is built, kids can drive it around the floor and do neat moves, such as picking up their work tools,, buckets, shovels, forks, and cranes. Yes, the crane will actually work—the vehicle is powered by three batteries (two motors for the wheels, one for the crane)! The 64-page color instruction manual also teaches kids about the real-life versions of these construction vehicles and their function. I learned about simple machines, torque, and mechanical advantage just flipping through. It’s really like a fun textbook, filled with building instructions and STEM tidbits.

After building one model and steering it around with the remote control unit, kids are free to take it apart and start all over—perhaps there’s a ninth construction vehicle of their own design kids could build, or may a hybrid model of two listed already! This toy offers kids a lot of value, as they can build, play, and learn throughout!  

It’s amazing to see how just a couple different placements of pieces could affect the whole aesthetic and function of  the vehicle. It’s also amazing how detailed these vehicles are! Which of the eight models are you excited to build first?