Toylander – Honey, I shrunk the Land Rover
It will be difficult to resist buying and building a Toylander for your little ones after reading this article… so please proceed at your own risk!
UK-based Real Life Toys have produced a stunning range of self-build half-size electric cars based on the first Land Rover series. Unlike cheaper and smaller plastic electric cars that are available on the market, a Toylander can actually accommodate an adult to ride along with the kids. The latter is very handy when while on a day out your little one decides he – or she – had enough in the middle of the park, leaving you stranded with an electric car – and munchkin – while having to resort to bribery so that all can be returned home… yes, we are talking from experience!
To be honest, there is no comparison between Toylanders and mass produced electric cars, since all Toylander cars enjoy the features of a real car in miniature including ignition key, forward, reverse, foot and hand brake, lights, horn, folding screen and opening tailgate. An additional advantage is that speed is controlled through a linear potentiometer for a real throttle response from crawl to top speed, which makes for a nice improvement on the typical ‘binary’ On-or-Off-switch pedal that can be found on basic electric cars.
You basically have the choice between 2 different Toylanders. The Toylander 1 is based on the iconic Land Rover Series 1 that started production in 1948, one year after Rover’s chief designer Maurice Wilks designed a light agricultural and utility vehicle, similar to the Willys Jeep used in the war, but with an emphasis on agricultural use… Land Rover was born! Anecdotally, Land Rover cars were supposed to only be in production for a few years during the war aftermath while Rover would return to the production of luxury cars. However once Rover started production again, it was greatly outsold by the off-road Land Rover which still today is more successful than ever in its own brand.
The Toylander 2 is based on the Land Rover series 2 which started production in 1958. From a practical point of view this electric car is identical to the Toylander 1, except for the cosmetics.
A Toylander however would not be the much loved ‘toy’ it is today if it wasn’t for the fact that it is a labour of love… your labour most probably! DIY enthusiasts will revel at the prospect of building such a fantastic electric car themselves and many forums describe the loving attention to detail and tweaking genius of many self-builders. We must warn you however that many used mobility scooters were harmed in the process.
At the most basic level, Real Life Toys supply a most comprehensive self-build manual that contains easy to read workshop drawings for those who like to manufacture the toy car themselves from scratch. Nevertheless, the company can also supply all required parts including some ready cut body panels from stock. For an extra speedy build Real Life Toys also sell some complete bodies – ready to prepare and paint – plus bonnets and grille units.
If however, you don’t feel like putting in the 50 to 85 hours of work that it might take to assemble such a stunning half-size Land Rover, then please don’t fear since we have come across several companies that sell fully assembled Toylanders.
A Toylander will guarantee years of fun since your little ones – or the dads – won’t quickly outgrow or get fed up with their latest ‘toy’. You can drive a Toylander around your private land or go explore the outdoors by taking it out on a small trailer, by estate car or obviously in the back of your own Land Rover!