“I buried him. I buried the little boy, Daddy. Now his truck has to come rescue him.” That’s what my daughter, Addie said to me last week as she played with her GEAR HEADS ADVENTURE Desert Digger in the sandbox here at Rock Father HQ. The “little boy” she was mentioning was actually the very Playmobil-esque action figure that comes with this set, a sort of archaeologist that drives a machine outfitted for expeditions in harsh terrain. Sent by Toy State to undergo a series of performance tests in The Rock Father’s State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, yard, sandbox), this is our first encounter with the GEAR HEADS line.
Taking the name in a literal style, the head of the action figure is fitted with a wrench of sorts – meant to be used as a tool to turn one of seven gears located on the Desert Digger. Each gear has a purpose: to raise/lower the spring-loaded suspension; to activate lights/sounds; to retract the motorized winch. It’s an interesting concept that brings a little construction play that involves fine motor skills into the mix with the vehicular realm. You can even use the “Gear Head” to remove the tires.
Now, I should probably throw in the disclaimer that I don’t think this toy was legitimately designed for outdoor play. Despite the “Desert” motif, it seems more geared (is that a pun?) toward indoor, imaginative play – but I’m not stopping my little ones from letting their imaginations take things outside. I tend to think that the sandbox is sort of like a Tardis from DOCTOR WHO… for a kid, it’s much bigger on the inside than it would appear. So if this Desert Digger needs a desert, the sandbox will step in to fill that role. We’ve had this toy for about a month, and it seems to be holding up pretty well in the elements, though I don’t think the stickers are going to weather very well overall. But that’s ok, especially because the vehicle is priced at around $15.
Through grass, sand, and water, our Gear Heads Adventure Desert Digger has been a fine all-terrain vehicle thus far, and a unique addition to our fleet.
The Rock Father Rating: 3/5 Stars
Disclosure: This vehicle was provided by Toy State for the purpose of possible review consideration. The Rock Father was recently announced to be a 2013-2014 Toy State Test Drive Blogger, though this vehicle was received prior to that engagement. All opinions are that of James Zahn, with input from his children.