Thursday, March 27 2014 21:43

Review: MEGA BLOKS American Builders JEEP Off-Road Adventure Set

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Earlier this year, after the past success of their building sets based on JOHN DEERE and CATERPILLAR, the folks at MEGA BLOKS added JEEP to the mix and combined all three under a new brand, AMERICAN BUILDERS. While these sets are geared toward kids 5+, I'm pretty well-aware that there's quite a few grownups who enjoy these as well, especially if they strike an emotional chord of some kind - and these certainly can. Where nostalgia can be a factor (I played with a lot of John Deere tractors as a boy), adventure is the key on the Jeep note, and my girls and I recently dug into the American Builders Jeep Off-Road Adventure Set, which was sent to Rock Father HQ for review.

If it were warmer out, this set would've already seen some action in the outdoors - as it definitely commands it. A rugged, 770-piece set that includes a fully articulated mountain bridge test track, an off-road Jeep with huge tires and working suspension, a Jeep Expedition with a tow trailer, four micro action figures and a bunch of accessories, you need to set some time aside for this one. We spread out our build between two afternoons.


As we do with every build - and something I heartily recommend for all of you - we start by unbagging every block, and sorting all of them by color. It really helps speed the process, and without doing this (and I know some parents who don't), you're just asking for unnecessary frustration. Building should be fun, and starting right is key. With everything sorted and Little Finley down for a nap, Addie and I got to work - starting with the Expedition, moving to the Off-Road Jeep, doing the trailer, and finally, the bridge and environment. All said and done, both of my girls absolutely love this set, and that  can be seen in the highlight video - a "sizzle reel" of sorts - below:

The detail is impressive, but just right for a set like this. Not too hardcore for the little ones, but not too simple, either. And, with an MSRP of $39.99, this is a really reasonably-priced set that offers a lot of repeat play, rebuild options, and like all MEGA BLOKS, it's compatible with most of the blocks and bricks you have around from other makers as well.


The Rock Father Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This and other AMERICAN BUILDERS sets are available via (my affiliate) Amazon:

BONUS: I tried convincing Addie that her toys come to life when she's sleeping, sorta like TOY STORY. Or that, they might be like the toys in DOC McSTUFFINS, where they come to life only when the grownups are away. Yesterday, I showed her some "proof" and she didn't know what to say... but she sure did have a big smile on her face...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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