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…