Best ice cream truck toy

Pretend Play

The first ice-cream truck was created when Harry Burt of Youngstown, Ohio, began selling ice cream from a truck in the 1920s under the brand name Good Humor, a name still synonymous with sweet treats.

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Which ice-cream truck toys are best?

The soundtrack to a summertime memory is not complete without the music of an ice-cream truck, and kids yelling, “Stop!” as it drives down the street. Kids can recreate the magical feeling of eating ice cream straight off the truck with a variety of ice-cream truck toys. If you’re looking for one that appeals to both boys and girls, and functions as both a building toy and playset, the LEGO City Ice-Cream Truck is your top choice.

What to know before you buy an ice-cream truck toy

Type of toy

Ice-cream truck toys come in different forms. You will have to decide if you want one with full-size items that kids can use for pretend play, or small items that can be used with dolls or other playsets. You can also choose from more creative play options like LEGO and Play-Doh, which let kids build their toys first, then play with them. 

Size

The size of the ice-cream truck depends on how the child will use it. Some are tiny replicas that contain ice cream for dolls and stuffed animals; others are life-sized windows through which kids can serve realistic-looking ice cream treats. Little Tikes even has an ice-cream truck version of its classic car in which kids can travel the neighborhood “selling” make-believe ice cream to the jangling tune of traditional ice-cream truck music. 

Age appropriateness

When you select an ice-cream truck toy, you’ll want to make sure that it is age appropriate. Ice cream is a tempting treat, but kids must be old enough to understand that they cannot eat their toy desserts. Similarly, toys with small parts may pose a choking hazard to little ones, so be sure to check the packaging for recommended ages before you give the gift.

What to look for in a quality ice-cream truck toy

Realism

Quality ice-cream truck toys have realistic features. Real trucks have windows through which the ice cream is served, with a menu of options printed on the truck’s side. They play music as they cruise down the street. Toy versions of these vehicles should look and sound the same. Real ice-cream trucks serve many different sweets, from soft-serve cones to popsicles to sundaes, so a toy with a lot of ice-cream options is more realistic. 

Lights and sounds

An ice-cream truck toy that lights up like a real vehicle is always a delight. One that plays traditional twinkly ice-cream truck music or rings a bell will make kids feel like they really own their own truck.

Variety of ice cream treats

A quality ice-cream truck toy will have a great variety of treats to make the experience as real as possible. Trucks that come with cones, cups and ice cream on sticks mimic the real-life choices kids make while standing in front of the truck. Whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla, sprinkles or syrup, kids will appreciate seeing these options in the accessories that come with their toys.

How much you can expect to spend on an ice-cream truck toy

Ice-cream truck toys cost anywhere from $15-$110, depending on the type of toy.

Ice-cream truck toy FAQ

What if my child eats Play-Doh because they think it is real ice cream?

A. Play-Doh is nontoxic, so you wouldn’t have much to worry about, but kids should be discouraged from eating it because they could be allergic to its ingredients and it could pose a choking hazard.

Do any ice-cream truck toys come with play money?

A. Yes. You can find many that come with play money that help kids learn about making purchases and running a business.

What are the best ice-cream truck toys to buy?

Top ice-cream truck toy

Lego City Ice-Cream Truck

LEGO City Ice-Cream Truck

What you need to know: This LEGO ice-cream truck is recommended for ages 5 and over, this 200-piece set lets kids challenge their minds while they build, then use their imaginations while they play.

What you’ll love: Kids can build the truck, then use the ice-cream lady, skateboarder and dog figurines to act out scenes. The mini-figure can even pay for his ice cream with a play-money LEGO brick. With plenty of treat accessories like cones and popsicles, this set makes the perfect addition to an ice-cream truck fan’s collection. 

What you should consider: Some people said the ice-cream truck didn’t stay together after it was assembled.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top ice-cream truck toy for the money

Barbie Ice-Cream Cart

Barbie Ice Cream Cart

What you need to know: This well-made Barbie ice-cream truck for ages 3-plus features all of the best aspects of pretend play you expect from the Barbie brand.

What you’ll love: Kids can pretend they are selling and buying all sorts of ice-cream treats with the full-size accessories. The set comes with three ice-cream scoops, two cones, three popsicles, pretend whipped cream with a cherry, a play chocolate-syrup bottle, a sprinkle shaker that really shakes, two cups, two spoons, a working scooper and a cash register with a play credit card and money. The scoops are made with squishy, squeezable material for even more fun. The truck has plenty of room for storage.

What you should consider: The accessories are actual size, not accessories for Barbie dolls.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Play-Doh Ice-Cream Truck Playset

Play-Doh Ice Cream Truck Playset 

What you need to know: Kids ages 3 and older can imagine opening their own ice-cream truck with this playset that allows for over 250 possible combinations of ice cream sandwiches, cones and sundaes with pretend toppings.

What you’ll love: This set includes five 2-ounce cans of Play-Doh in vibrant pink, white, orange, blue and green to create beautiful variety in your pretend ice cream. With 20 tools including rollers, decorating tools, cake molds, stampers, cutters and a play knife, kids can make all sorts of “treats.” Kids can serve their creations with the included dishes, cones, spoons, plates and a serving tool through the truck’s window.. You can store all of the pieces in the playset and fold it up for compact storage and on-the-go fun.

What you should consider: Some people said that the tools did not stay in place when stored.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lorianne Palinkas  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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