8 Best Firetruck Toys (2020 Reviews)
For generations, toy fire trucks have been a true classic, a staple of many childhoods. They are perfect for promoting imaginative play, allowing children to create scenarios of adventure and heroism. And they’re a crucial part of real-world modern society as well. Your child can see a full-size fire truck on the street and aspire to drive a real one someday.
Fire truck toys seem incredibly simple, and in a sense, they are. All your child needs is a toy truck and their imagination for hours of entertainment. But as simple as they may be, there is a vast array of options available, all with different sizes, materials, and features. To find the toy that’s the right fit for your child, you’ll need to consider all of this and more.
Searching for a toy fire truck will yield a staggering number of options. The sheer variety can be intimidating and may lead to paralysis by analysis. What’s the best model available? How do I know which one is right for my child? You could just pick one of the first ones you see, but that one might fall apart after just a small amount of use.
What had seemed like a simple purchase can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We’ve narrowed all the options down to the eight best fire truck toys available today. Read on, and we’ll break down what you need to look for to find the perfect fire truck toy for your child.
- Fire Truck Toy Buyer’s Guide
- How Old is Your Child?
- What Materials is it Made From?
- What Type of Wheels Does it Have?
- Is it Remote Controlled?
- Are Batteries Required?
- Best Fire Truck Toys
- Our #1 Choice – Tonka Rescue Force Lights and Sounds Fire Truck
- Our #2 Choice – Liberty Imports RC Rescue Fire Engine
- Our #3 Choice – Hape Fire Station Playset
- Our #4 Choice – Hess 2000 Firetruck
- Our #5 Choice – Green Toys Fire Truck
- Our #6 Choice – LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Truck
- Our #7 Choice – Liberty Imports My First RC Fire Truck
- Our #8 Choice – Kids Take Apart Toy Set, Fire Truck and Motorcycle
- The Final Word
Fire Truck Toy Buyer’s Guide
With the number of fire truck toys available, you need to know precisely what you’re looking for to make sure you find the right model. Follow along with this handy guide, and we’ll break down the most important factors when selecting a fire truck toy.
How Old is Your Child?
The most important place to start is to consider the age of your child. It goes without saying that different toys are more appropriate for different ages, and fire truck toys come designed for a vast array of age ranges. Some are small and simple, perfect for toddlers, while others are larger, more complex, and more of a challenge to operate.
The first thing to focus on is whether your child will be able to play with the toy. Is it too intricate for their motor skills? Are they too young to enjoy some of the more advanced features? These are essential questions. You don’t want to spend money on a toy your child won’t be able to play with. But this cuts both ways.
At the same time, you need to make sure you aren’t buying a toy that is too simplistic for your child, or one they will quickly grow out of. Young children grow at a rapid rate, as every parent is acutely aware. And the right fire truck toy could be a favorite of theirs for years if you buy the right one.
The balance you need to strike, then, is one between accessible and engaging.
What Materials is it Made From?
Another critical factor is the material from which the fire truck toy is made. That matters for a variety of reasons. First of all, you want the toy to be durable. No one wants to spend money on a fire truck and have it break right away. Unless you’re looking for a short-term toy, you want to emphasize durability.
Another factor you need to consider here is whether the fire truck is made with any harmful materials. Many fire truck toys are made from plastic, and a lot of plastic contains toxic substances like BPA and phthalates.
If you have a young child, you know it can be difficult to keep them from putting their toys in their mouths. So I would certainly focus on fire truck toys that avoid these materials whenever possible. What the toy is made from might seem like a relatively small issue, but it can determine both durability and safety.
What Type of Wheels Does it Have?
Maybe this feels like an unnecessary question. How many different types of wheels could there be? And how does that affect how the toy is played with? There are, in fact, many different types of wheels available for fire truck toys.
Fire trucks designed for toddlers often have fixed wheels—that is, wheels that are set in place and do not turn. These toys are designed for appearance and to be easily handled by young children, rather than for active play. If you are looking for a simple toddler toy, fixed wheels might be your best bet.
The most common type is wheels that move freely on the axle. These wheels spin naturally, and the fire truck toy will go whichever way it is pushed. That variety should be appropriate for all ages. Yet another option is pull-back wheels. When you pull the truck back, the wheels wind up, and they will automatically roll forward when you let go.
Is it Remote Controlled?
Traditional fire truck toys simply have free-spinning wheels and roll around manually. But remote-controlled fire truck toys have become increasingly popular in recent years. These are fire truck toys that are motorized and controlled remotely.
“RC” fire truck toys can often go very fast, with sharp turns. These toys can be very exciting for older, school-aged kids. But there are also RC fire truck toys available for toddlers. These models typically have much more simplistic controls and less powerful motors.
These models are often more expensive and are certainly more complex. But depending on your child and their interests, they can also be the most fun!
Are Batteries Required?
Another factor to consider is whether batteries are required and whether they are included. Obviously, RC trucks require batteries in both the fire truck toy itself and the controller. But there are many other fire truck toys that need batteries as well. Many have interactive lights and siren sound effects, and they require batteries to power them.
Most fire truck toys that require batteries do not include them with purchase. Just as important as whether batteries are required is what batteries are needed. Most models use standard AA or AAA batteries. But some require A or C cell batteries, less common varieties that you might not have lying around the house.
It would be a shame to order a toy and then not have the right batteries to be able to use it right away. Be sure to double-check what type of batteries are required.
Best Fire Truck Toys
Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at our list of the eight best fire truck toys available today:
Our #1 Choice – Tonka Rescue Force Lights and Sounds Fire Truck
- Made from durable plastic
- Interactive lights and sounds with three different settings
- Retractable 12” ladder
- Very mobile wheels
- Noises are very loud; can be overwhelming
- Batteries not included
Tonka is a legendary brand in the world of toy trucks, and their Tonka Rescue Force Lights and Sounds Fire Truck is one of the best fire truck toys available today. Tonka is known for toughness and durability, and this heavy-duty truck is certainly no exception.
The interactive sirens (with three different settings) and retractable ladder are perfect for creating imaginative action scenarios that your little firefighter will be sure to love. The wheels are also surprisingly mobile and great for turning. It’s a medium-sized truck, at 12” by 4” by 5.5”.
Shoppers looking for traditional Tonka metal may be disappointed to find that this truck is made of plastic, but it’s very solid plastic, and the toy is still quite sturdy. The toy requires one A battery.
Our #2 Choice – Liberty Imports RC Rescue Fire Engine
- Responsive, simple RC system
- Realistic design
- 17” ladder with 360-degree rotation
- Light-up siren
- Small pieces can be a choking hazard for younger children
- Batteries not included
Perfect for slightly older children (five and up), the Liberty Imports RC Rescue Fire Engine is, without doubt, one of the highest-quality remote-controlled fire truck toys on the market. Modeled after actual fire engines, it has a polished, realistic look, and the retractable ladder extends out 17” with 360-degree rotation.
The remote control system is incredibly responsive, with simple, intuitive controls. One lever makes the truck go forward and backward, while the other makes it go left and right. The truck measures 13” by 8” by 5”, and requires 5 AA batteries.
The RC system might be challenging for younger children, and the truck does include several small pieces that could be choking hazards.
Our #3 Choice – Hape Fire Station Playset
- Quality wooden construction
- Interactive features
- Wide variety of imaginative situations
- Firetruck itself is relatively small
- Hefty price tag relative to some alternatives
A finalist for the 2020 Toy of the Year Award, the Hape Fire Station Playset doesn’t just come with a fire engine, it includes a full, two-story model fire station complete with a helicopter, a firefighter, and a dog. It is a sturdy, wooden playset with several fun, interactive features.
Hit the push-button alarm, and the fire station springs into action! The firefighter slides down the pole from the top floor to the bottom. Put him in the front seat of the fire truck, and pull the string to open the automatic doors, so he can rush off and save the day! The firefighter can even climb the ladder or ride in the helicopter, creating endless scenarios for imaginative play.
The fire station is 24.4” by 18.9” by 4.7”, but the fire truck itself is relatively small. And there are numerous small pieces that could be choking hazards for young children.
Our #4 Choice – Hess 2000 Firetruck
- Stylish design
- Sizeable and sturdy
- Functional hook and ladder system
- Might be a bit unwieldy for younger children
- Requires large batteries
Hess Trucks are a series of collectible toy trucks, with a new model released each year around the holidays. The tradition dates back to 1964. The Hess 2000 Firetruck is one of the all-time classics.
It’s sizeable and sturdy, at 16” long by 2.5” by 2.5”, with a 22” working ladder. It also features two side-ladders that can be attached to increase length. There are 16 distinct working lights, which flash or glow steadily.
The design is unique and stylish, with Hess’s trademark white, green, and red color scheme. It also comes with a hook, like old-time traditional fire engines. The segmented design makes for increased mobility. The truck requires two C batteries.
Our #5 Choice – Green Toys Fire Truck
- Made from safe, sustainable materials
- Ladder with 360-degree rotation
- Dishwasher safe
- Good for developing fine motor skills
- Simple design less interesting for older kids
- Very small
Green Toys is a company dedicated to creating toys for toddlers and young children with sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials. The Green Toys Fire Truck is small and sturdy with large wheels for indoor and outdoor use. It’s great for toddlers, as the molded design is perfect for developing motor skills.
The small ladder extends and features 360-degree rotation. It’s great for outdoor play, and if it gets messy, no worries! It’s entirely dishwasher safe, so cleanup is a breeze!
The truck is made from recycled milk jugs and is free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC, so on the off chance that your toddler puts it in its mouth, it’s perfectly safe. It also comes in 100% recyclable packaging. It’s a particularly simple design, though, and may become less appealing as your child ages.
Our #6 Choice – LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Truck
- Requires building which fosters imagination
- Accessories include a retractable fire hose, a firefighter, and a flame piece
- On the expensive side
- Not very mobile
Perfect for young kids who love building, the LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Truck adds creativity and imagination to the typical fire truck toy experience. DUPLO features all the magic of traditional LEGO toys, but with larger pieces that are perfect for small hands. The truck comes with a retractable fire hose, a firefighter, and a “flame” piece.
A particularly exciting part of this fire truck toy is that it is adaptable. In total, there are 26 pieces, and there are four different variations of trucks that you and your toddler can build. That is perfect for fostering imagination. The full-size truck is 10” by 9” by 2”.
Unfortunately, the wheels aren’t very mobile, and the set is a bit pricier than other options.
Our #7 Choice – Liberty Imports My First RC Fire Truck
- Straightforward RC design
- Removable driver
- Interactive light and sound effects
- Designed for toddlers
- The truck does not go right or left
- Requires two different types of batteries
Designed for children 18 months and up, Liberty Imports My First RC Fire Truck is the perfect remote-controlled toy for toddlers. The RC system has a straightforward design, with one button to make the fire truck go forward and one button to make it go backward.
The toy is small and fast, and it has a removable driver that can jump in and out of the vehicle. The design is simple but has a fire department logo on the front of the truck. It’s also rounded with no sharp edges, so your little one can’t get hurt by it. There’s also a button that engages exciting light and sound effects.
The truck requires three AAA batteries, and the remote requires two AA batteries.
Our #8 Choice – Kids Take Apart Toy Set, Fire Truck and Motorcycle
- Fosters STEM learning
- Bold, exciting colors
- Toys designed for young children
- Firetruck less exciting than other products
- Batteries not included
Designed to foster STEM learning, the Kids Take Apart Toy Set, Fire Truck and Motorcycle is perfect for kids who love exploring and building. The set comes with 60 durable pieces that can be taken apart and reassembled into a fire truck and a motorcycle.
The kit comes with a tool that tightens and loosens the pieces. But it’s large enough to work with small hands, so it’s perfect for younger children. The device works to foster the development of mechanical minds.
The colorful pieces are great for attracting the attention of young children. Once the truck is assembled, it has fully functional wheels and a ladder. Otherwise, though, the truck itself isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other fire truck toys available. The power tool requires two AA batteries.
The Final Word
Firetruck toys are incredibly popular, and for good reason. They spark imaginative play and adventurous scenarios, all while being grounded in a real-world profession. If your little one loves firefighters, a fire truck toy is a perfect fit for them.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on the right fire truck toy, though. Chief among them is whether it’s appropriate for the age of your child. Some of the toys on this list are made for toddlers, whereas others are great for school-aged kids. You need to find a toy that will be both accessible to and engaging for your child.
Once you’ve settled on that, though, you truly can’t go wrong with any of the options on our list.