What We Like
Great for play dates or party favors
A fun parent-child activity
Promotes fine motor development and problem solving skills
What We Don't Like
No instructions provided
Flimsy and lightweight construction
From the time babies start sitting up, they begin using toys to better understand the world around them. Lessons in cause and effect, gravity, spatial reasoning, and even math happen while building with blocks and construction sets. As your baby grows into a toddler, they become ready for tougher construction challenges, like ToyVelt’s Take Apart Dinosaurs. To see if our 3-year-old son was ready for 3D building, we took these dinos for a test drive. Read on to see if these could be your child’s next favorite toy.
Educational Value: Develops problem solving skills and patience
ToyVelt’s Take Apart Dinosaurs are meant for children ages 3 and up and are designed to help them develop problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and patience. We saw firsthand how our son’s hand-eye coordination improved after using the screwdriver just a few times.
Because our son is at the minimum age for this toy, we look forward to him finding new ways to play with it and hopefully enjoy it in the coming years. We also plan to break this set out at the next playdate we host to see how the kids play side-by-side. We can see this toy working well for both parallel play for younger kids and as a team building activity for older kids. Our teenage babysitter loved playing with these and took them apart and put them back together several times.
We saw firsthand how our son’s hand-eye coordination improved after using the screwdriver just a few times.
Design: Fun but has a flimsy feel
The ToyVelt set comes with six dinosaurs and six tool sets, each with a screwdriver and wrench. Of the six dinosaurs, there are three different kinds: T-Rex, brontosaurus, and triceratops. They all feature brightly colored body parts and red and yellow screws. Among all the parts, and there are a lot (218 in all), there doesn’t seem to be a purpose for the wrenches. You could use them for removing the feet, but the screwdriver works for that as well.
The dinosaurs and the tools don’t feel incredibly sturdy and there are complaints of the screwdrivers breaking, so we aren’t sure if these dinosaurs will ever secure hand-me-down status, but they’d be great as a party favor, especially for a dinosaur-themed party.
The dinosaurs and the tools don’t feel incredibly sturdy…so we aren’t sure if these dinosaurs will ever secure hand-me-down status.
Our biggest issue is that there weren’t any instructions. We were left wondering if we could switch body parts for the dinos or if there was a way to use the wrench that we didn’t realize. An instruction book with images would’ve been helpful.
Entertainment Value: Depends on how you play
We found that our 3 year old son, who is at the minimum age for these Take Apart Dinosaurs, was far more interested in sliding the dinosaurs around on the floor than actually taking them apart and rebuilding them. Thankfully, we anticipated that might happen, so we did a little prep work before introducing him to this toy. We kept four dinosaurs in the box and brought out just one matching pair. Then, we took one apart and left one intact so he could see what he would be building. That first build was really fun and kept him totally engaged. However, once it was built, he had no interest in taking apart any other dinosaurs.
If he has all six dinosaurs out and he isn’t parent-directed, it quickly turns into a demolition derby situation, which is a blast for him. It should be noted that even though the dinosaurs feel flimsy, they’ve withstood all the crashes.
Age Range: 3 and up
The manufacturer suggests this product is for kids over the age of 3. Our son didn’t have any safety issues with the small pieces. However, the screws are tiny, so if your child still likes to put things in their mouth, make sure you watch them closely while playing with this toy. Also, for the younger set, anticipate this being a parent-led activity rather than a free play toy (at least until they get the hang of it).
Ease of Cleaning: Relatively easy
Since the Dinosaur Take Apart toys come apart completely, you can ensure they are thoroughly clean. The best way we’ve found to do it is to take apart the dinosaurs and put the parts in a sink full of warm soapy water. We then let them air dry on a big towel. If your little one wants to get in on the action, giving the dinosaurs a bath can be a fun game in itself.
Price: A little steep for the quality
With a retail price of $40, these dinosaurs are a bit costly, especially considering the material. If the plastic were a little thicker, or if there were well-written and illustrated instructions, we would be more comfortable with the cost.
ToyVelt Dinosaur Take Apart Toy vs. ETI Toys Lil’ Engineers
If your child isn’t into dinosaurs or you just want to offer them a more open-ended building experience, you may want to try the ETI Toys Lil’ Engineers set. The ETI set is $10 cheaper than the ToyVelt Dinosaur set and comes with higher quality pieces. The set has 101 parts in total; you can use the pieces to construct airplanes, cars, dogs, you name it. The Lil Engineers set also comes with an 80-page step-by-step ebook that walks you through how to use each piece and provides you with outlines for 12 different projects.
- Product Name Dinosaur Take Apart Toys
- Product Brand ToyVelt
- Price $39.99
- Weight 1.85 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.6 x 10 x 6.1 in.
- Material ABS plastic
- Number of Pieces 218
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3 years and up