Monday, May 09 2016 12:56

Toy Review: John Deere Preschool Big Scoop Dump Truck & Bumblerfriends

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This year, TOMY is celebrating 70 years of being John Deere licensee - a tradition that began with the first Ertl toy tractors back in 1946. Growing up in the 80s, my cousins and I had a pretty nice assortment of Ertl John Deere farm equipment - the big metal ones - and we played with them hard, in the sandbox... in the mud... in rain or shine. A few years back, our oldest daughter had a little John Deere hat that said "Dirt Makes Me Cuter," a statement that still rings true (though the hat is outgrown), and seeing that little yellow and green logo always made me recall my teen years living in the Quad Cities, not far from the John Deere World Headquarters in Moline. Living in Illinois, and having farmers in our family, in a lot of ways it feels like John Deere may be a part of our DNA, so it's always cool to see our little ones playing with toys that capture some of the same feeling from when I was little... and lately that feeling is back with some new items from the John Deere Preschool collection, sent to Rock Father HQ for review by the folks at TOMY. 

John Deere Sandbox Toys Review

Having just graduated from the now-retired Turtle Sandbox and into a proper "Big Kid" Sandbox, The Rock Daughters™ were due for some new tools of their sand trade, and the John Deere 15" Big Scoop Dump Truck with Sand Tools certainly fit the bill. Built from rugged plastic, TOMY's new Dump Truck carries on the Ertl heritage with the famous logo right there on the walls of its tires...

John Deere Ertl Tires

The perfect size for fun...

John Deere Sandbox Toys Review

And if you're gonna have a truck in the sandbox, you need some roads. A little bit of water was just what they needed to use the pattern roller to start laying down some fresh "pavement" for their mighty John Deere to cruise around on...

John Deere Sandbox Toys Review

And the sifter always manages to bring a smile to Addie's face...

John Deere Sandbox Toys Review

Now, while this one is admittedly a little young-skewing for my girls, TOMY also sent us their Johnny Tractor Bumblerfriends electronic plush tractor. Geared toward little farmers ages 18 months+, we did play around with Johnny for a bit before passing him along to the girls' baby cousin, Hank - yet another new generation to enjoy the John Deere fun.

John Deere Johnny Tractor

Soft and snuggly, Johnny Tractor (there's also Corey Combine, sold separately) also rumble (or "bumble?") around with vibrations,  cool engine sounds and music.

John Deere Johnny Tractor

No matter what your age, from kids to grown-up collectors, TOMY has a huge assortment of John Deere toys for all ages. See them all at TOMY.com, or at John Deere Gifts.

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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