Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/1/20 6:20 p.m.

I have a 3 year old nephew who loves "monster trucks"*, especially driving them around in the dirt. However, his dad has a fairly capable buggy so he knows how they actually move.

I'm looking for a toy monster truck (Jeep, buggy, actual monster truck) that he can drive around over our rocks. Not an RC car, but something he can manhandle. It has to have real articulation. Scale would be somewhere around 1:10 or 1:12, that's good for driving over real rocks and can be strong enough to take abuse like putting both hands on top and running as fast as possible. He actually has used my WLToys 12428 for this but is constantly fighting with the steering. Otherwise, it's pretty much perfect. Other than the fact that parking it and filling it up with sand is well within the expected use case.

Any ideas? I could just get another 12428, pull the driveshafts and lock the steering in place. Then he could grow into it later. But that's a fair chunk of change for something that will take this sort of abuse.

Picture of WL12428 for reference.



* there are three classes of vehicles in the world: monster trucks, race cars and construction equipment.

Mndsm MegaDork
6/1/20 6:48 p.m.

Hot wheels and monster jam both make a bigger version of their monster trucks that are pretty neat, articulate, and they're like 10 bucks. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/1/20 6:51 p.m.

If they're the ones I've seen, they don't really articulate. Not like the RC car does, the axles just slide up and down in a channel. You can't walk them over rocks the same way. Might fool a kid who doesn't run serious Moab trails in a car seat. I'm looking for the next step up.

Mndsm MegaDork
6/1/20 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah, those are exactly those ones. I always thought they were pretty cool for what they were. 


If you're talking about pulling a drivetrain, look around for a Traxxas slash roller. They're usually under 100$ bare. Idk what sort of budget you're into- but that's the cheapest I can come up with outside of fabrication. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
6/1/20 7:29 p.m.

I think your best bet is to buy an Axial SCX10 kit that's broken or missing parts. Otherwise I can't think of anything with real articulation.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/1/20 7:56 p.m.

Back in our day, we had Tonkas and were happy. I know, not much help here. Bonus points for getting a cool gift for a cool kid. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/1/20 7:57 p.m.

They have Tonkas as well, including some vintage ones that I need to restore. The Monster Jam toys are pretty cool for the price and the boys have many of them. But playing with the RC buggy is on a different level when combined with large rocks.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll look into rollers, but if I go that far I'll probably just pick up a complete WL I can strip out and rebuild as an RC car when the time comes. Since there are two brothers it's always better to have one each to avoid conflict and tantrums. 

Appleseed MegaDork
6/1/20 8:51 p.m.

Maybe you could make it yourself. 


dj06482 UltraDork
6/1/20 8:51 p.m.

My son had a Lego one I built that was a dune buggy where the pistons went up and down, it had working suspension, etc. I loved it!

Ours looked like the non-powered version of this one:


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/1/20 10:31 p.m.

I have built various monster trucks out of LEGO for the boys, but the LEGO is for inside use only. Besides, the 3 year old cannot help but take the wheels off and he loses anything that is not in his direct line of sight. So LEGO stays out of the dirt :) Cool looking build, though - I might have to build one of those. I built a dune buggy out of the old 8860 kit back in 1983, but I hadn't considered going to rebrickable for newer ideas...


RevRico PowerDork
6/1/20 10:58 p.m.

I guess it depends how much effort you want to put in, but there are a lot of 3d printed "roller skates" and full on off-road buggies out there. Print, assemble, provide optional power source, profit. 

The Uris comes to mind as the first iteration. I never started it because almost 200 hours on my printer, then I mothballed my printer. I could be playing with the damn thing right now. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/2/20 1:18 p.m.

When Mr. Miata (and I mean that in the most complimentary way) starts a thread looking for toys, this is not what I expect it to be. 

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