I think my one-and-half year old has found her calling in life: ambulance driver. Watch out, because the need for speed is apparently an innate trait perpetuated by Automoblox, the coolest toy on the market right now. For any toddler and beyond, Automoblox has a whole line of originals, minis, and exclusive cars, trucks, and the latest: the Emergency Response Line! The new line includes a police car, a fire truck which looks more like a futuristic SUV, and my personal favorite, the rescue truck. As I watch our mini-driver take apart and put together the truck at dizzying speeds, I realize she’s moving faster than I could even think about what goes where. Despite myself, I can’t stop from “borrowing” the cars for a bit to admire the workmanship that goes into Automoblox. From the hot chrome wheels to the removable passengers, I’m impressed with the fit and quality of each specimen. There’s more to the trucks than meet the eye: because Automoblox cars run so smoothly, they fly across hard surfaces like a well-oiled vehicle should. In the midst of her playful delight, our toddler has channeled her creative side, building a sort of obstacle course for the trucks. First step is rolling them down her slide (and squealing as they pick up speed), then slowing them down by crashing them into an oversized pillow, only to have trucks climb the next precipice. I can’t help but feel the motion sickness of the little silver passengers sitting inside!
I’m partial to well-made wooden toys which are instant classics, and Automoblox has taken that one step further as Patrick Callelo, a world-class industrial designer, has used his expertise to update the classic wooden toy. From graphic design to mechanical engineering, Callelo applies his talents to bring superb design to the high-precision toy system. Automoblox has been racking up awards over the years (Parent’s Choice Foundation, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and the Practical Pre-School Award) as it keeps adding to its fleet. Each vehicle has nice weight to it, and parts fit together with incredible precision. I love the passengers inside, which are seated in the car via small shapes including a star, circle, square, and triangle. The wood is beautifully sanded and finished, highlighted with primary colors, and given a healthy dose of cool with the chrome shine. My husband was especially impressed with Automoblox (a testament to the “big kid” appeal) and has been poring over the website contemplating another car. With holiday season around the corner, this is going to be on every kid’s list, and a favorite of adults too. Automoblox encourages imaginative and creative play with a fresh, high-end version of a classic. But don’t just take my word for it, even Jay Leno is a fan!