Friday, November 16, 2012

Review & Giveaway: SmartMax Power Vehicles: Stocking Stuffers or Holiday Build-Uponners? You Decide

Is this not the cutest thing ever or what?  The Bulldozer and other Power Vehicles are a steal at $10.99 each.  photo: SmartMax

WHAT: SmartMax Power Vehicles by Smart Toys and Games  (Bulldozer, Lift and Ladder, Pick-Up)
DOES: Unique click-on wheels and attachments to make your own vehicle.  Mix and match between the three for more open ended play; appeals to many ages; excellent way to try out SmartMax toys without feeling burdened to buy a thousand blocks. 
INVEST: MSRP  $10.99 each  That's it!  Wow!
Express Yourself, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, More Make-Believe Please
AGES: 3+  
GIVEAWAY: Two SmartMax Power Vehicles- Your choice!
FREE GAMES:  See below for news on just-launched to try SmartGames for free!

I have been really blessed to be able to discover SmartMax toys this year.  I loved the magnetic rods and balls and those cars! Wow.  Any kid who comes over here, loves the SmartMax cars.  I didn't think they could top those cars but they did.  Later on during this year the Power Vehicles were introduced and they blew me away. 
The ladder truck can turn into this pusher thing-a-ma-jig.  Is this a bulldozer too?  Whatever.  Still like them no matter what it's called.  Each car comes with a Smartmax magnetic rod too.  photo:

Quality is Affordable if You Look Around

These trucks are so fun.  I am seriously baffled at how affordable they are. For only $10.99, your child is able to make a car, take it apart, and turn into another car.   If you go on Amazon and take a look around for interchangeable trucks at this price, I highly doubt you'll find any.  If you do, they won't be made like these.  They won't have these rich colors.   Most importantly, they won't fit with the SmartMax magnetic sets should you decide to buy some.  If your little one has two Power Vehicles, he could actually mix and match.  There are no rules.
What can be purchased as a stocking stuffer can inspire you to build a whole collection. photo: SmartMax

These Cars Can Encourage Constructive AND Pretend-Play Ideas

What is really important to reiterate is that wheels on magnetic toys turn a construction toy into a pretend play toy.  To me that means a child made something that he/she can use.  I love that.  But here is the difference that I notice with SmartMax Power Vehicles:  Usually, with other magnetic toys, you get wheel attachments and the rest is very open-ended.  However, the Power Vehicles have interchangeable parts because of the special holes on their accessories.  Thus the bar that was used to make the bulldozer "arms" can be used for the lift and ladder instead.  When you have more pieces to choose from, cars can completely change in its function and structure.  I don't just mean pretend play but you are really getting working scoopers, dumpers, and pushers.  The one thing that I suppose you could do but I don't encourage them to do is to pick up real dirt with it.  I love the SmartMax toys and don't want to get them that dirty.    

I don't know what he made but I like it!  Interchanging parts with the Drive and Fly plane and Lift and Ladder parts.

The balls are from our SmartMax collection.  It fits perfectly and is super cute!

Awesome "Holiday/Birthday Build Uponner"

I know.. it's an awkward category title but this is really important to me.  My pet peeve when it comes to gifts is when people spend tons of money on my kids and buy the worst gifts. Sometimes they don't come with a gift receipt and so it sort of just sits in our home.  What a waste.  However, I do understand that our culture doesn't always encourage us to come out and say, "Give him this." However, sometimes I am able to squeeze this information out of my kid's friend's parents and what do I usually hear?  

"He needs more blocks.  We want to buy a big set for him." 

Two ways to scoop!  Awesome!  photo: SmartMax

Give a Parent a Clue, Please?

This is so hard for strangers to do. We don't know which blocks your kids have so we can't add to them. Buying starter sets seems too small for some kids.   I don't want to give a gift where at the end of play, the resulting feeling is only, "I NEED MORE"  That is a burden to the parent.  I don't want them to feel that way toward me.  

However, if I knew that a child had SmartMax Toys, then I may decide to add to his collection with accessories or more blocks.  Honestly, my kid already has the Pick-Up truck but if someone were to give us another one, I would be soooo grateful.  Having two bulldozers or two pick-up trucks is definitely a great idea. I honestly think that having the same toy in pretend play is good for social skill building.  You know your partner is holding the same thing you have.  It's easier to take their perspective and that is very key in building good social skills.

This is our little one's favorite.  It is my favorite too.  The additional car (at rear) doesn't come with it but you can see, it's quite roomy.  This truck can pick up lots.

Now that you have just seen two, you will know why having two of the same is not a bad idea at all!  Anything that carries stuff is a winner with the kids.  The slide out ramp is awesome.  photo: SmartMax

Additionally, being okay with having two of the same can't be said for other collection-type toys (We love Beyblades here but nobody wants two Galaxy Pegasus Beyblades).  It would also help prevent fighting and build a child's supply of wheels (always good to have extra for playdates).   SmartMax also has a bunch of smaller boxes of blocks and balls to choose from.  My little one is firmly convinced that Santa will bring him the "curvy bars."    

For sure, Santa will be bringing Number 2 something from SmartMax.  Gosh, I hope Santa's credit card manager doesn't get too mad at me.  This is the time of the year when he looks at our bill and says, "I thought they were sending you product submissions!  What's all this stuff from Amazon?!"  I am going to have to say it's a bulk order of cereal.  Hope he believes me.

These dimension photos can be SmartMax coloring pages too!  How cool are these drawings????  See for more.  photo: SmartMax

Now you can win your own Power Vehicles! I will send you any two of your choice!

Try the Rafflecopter widget below and remember... please follow the rules... If you are supposed to make a comment on the blog post, the rule of thumb is... if you can't see your comment then, it doesn't count as an entry!   Also, if you have trouble entering Rafflecopter via Facebook, try just using your email address. I'm sorry this system frustrates some of us.  If you have trouble email me.  I want to help.  This giveaway will only be shipped to U.S. addresses only- PO Boxes please.

Don't forget to check out the Contest!  You'll see a link for  where you can try dozens of SmartGames for free!!!  Just launched this week!  TRY before you buy!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait to see if you've won?  If you are going to purchase it someday, put it in your shopping cart thru my Amazon links below and support Toys are Tools!

Read my review about Smart Max sets here

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any way by the manufacturer of this product.  The product was submitted to tester to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised. 


  1. review the parks and roll next. looks cool!

  2. not a power vehicle, but my toddler really loves a sweet and awkward looking wooden car (made by the amish, of course!) that a friend of mine gave him.

  3. i just played the safari game (starter level) which was fun and smart. i love that there seems to be a level for everyone!

  4. The trucks look absolutely awesome.They look well made, like they would stand up to repeated building. Thanks for introducing us to another amazing toy!

  5. Thanks for your comment! They really are well made! I just remembered another reason that I don't want to play in the dirt with them. Dirt sometimes have magnetic properties and so it is hard to get off strong magnets. It didn't happen with SmartMax but it did happen with another toy and it bothered me so much! So my suggestion is to keep smartmax out of the dirt but use them to pick up anything else! Like playdoh! Why not?

  6. Fork Lift and Fire Truck.

  7. Love the Pick-UP Truck and Lift and Ladder

  8. Love to see how the Blue Barrel works

  9. I have a young daughter and would love to see a review of the Flower Palace. Do the flowers actually make a difference?

  10. The ladder truck and the bulldozer are the favorites.

  11. How cute! I wish car auctions brisbane will give freebies like this.