Digger Toy Present

This post will attempt to answer that tricky perennial question around birthday and Christmas time – which is the best digger present to get?

Of course, it all depends on the age of the child (or adult) the gift is for. Though we all love diggers, different age groups like and expect different things in a toy.

Toy Digger Present IdeasLet’s start with the youngest first. Our top recommendation for a present for preschool kids is without doubt Dexter the Digger by Wow Toys. The manufacturer recommends this particular toy for children from one and a half up to the age of five years, but let’s not kid ourselves, many older kids will love playing with this too.

Dexter is a superbly robust digger that will resist the fiercest mishandling. His friendly face and rounded edges make him the most tactile of all the toys listed here. He comes with great fun accessories including a driver that easily slots into the cab and some plastic boulders for scooping up. Dexter makes for a very exciting present as wrapped up he makes an extremely large gift indeed.

For slightly older kids the best gift would have to be the Bruder Toys JCB 4CX. No child would be disappointed with the size of this present – the box it comes in measures a whopping 50 centimetres across and 20 cm high. Only trouble is, you might need to get a bigger Christmas tree to put it under!

The JCB 4CX is a classic, iconic digger. Unlike Dexter’s kiddy-styling Bruder pride themselves on making robust and accurate scale toys. Bruder’s 4CX is a superb blend of kid-tough and realistic digger styling which all helps it stand up to the most ruthless play imaginable. In short, it looks great, plays great and makes a great gift.

Toy Digger GiftsIf you’re not quite ready to commit to the mighty 4CX, Bruder do have a smaller (and cheaper) alternative in the kid brother JCB Midi. This is still a fabulous present with the box measuring in at a substantial 38cm across. It’s a brilliant alternative to the 4CX and also an excellent companion for anyone looking to start their own mini backyard construction site!

Now, what to get the older kid that has (mostly) grown out of garden excavations, but still loves diggers? Fortunately, Britains Toys have the answer in their terrific JCB 3CX model digger. We call this a ‘model’ as it’s mostly made of die-cast metal (apart from the cab). This means it’s ideally suited to display and more gentle indoor play. Older kids, teenagers and adults will all appreciate the authenticity of this toy digger; it’s a much more faithful replica than those previously mentioned. It can be posed in a variety of ways due to its moving buckets, boom, stick and even front axle. It makes a great desk toy or display piece.

So there we have it! A toy digger for fans of all ages, and you birthday gift and Christmas present problem solved.

Diggers on TV

We’re lucky there are several famous TV diggers. It almost seems like TV producers feel they can’t broadcast a new kids show without at least one digger-inspired character!

Perhaps the most famous TV digger of all is Scoop. Scoop the Digger is a backhoe loader and leader of Bob the Builder’s machine team. Scoop the iconic TV digger can occasionally be found sharing the limelight with Benny, a kind of tracked minidigger with claw-bucket.

The Scoop the Digger toy is made by Born to Play. Born to Play’s Scoop is friction powered. Friction power is a nice feature as with a little push the digger whirrs along making a satisfying mechanical noise. Scoop also features a working backhoe and moving front loader. He even has stabilizers that you can put down before he gets digging.

Scoop the Digger Die-Cast ToyScoop can also be found in a much smaller die-cast version by Learning Curve. The die-cast Scoop also has a working front loader and backhoe. This toy digger comes with a rubble heap accessory that cleverly attaches to the front loader’s hidden magnet.

Alfie the ExcavatorThomas the Tank Engine features several diggers. Terence the bulldozer, Jack the tractor and Alfie the wheeled excavator are all very useful to Miss Jenny and Sir Topam Hat. These can be found in both wooden and die-cast metal versions.

Tractors and Farm Diggers are well represented with the BBC’s Tractor Tom, ITV’s Little Red Tractor and Farmer Pickles’ Travis from Bob the Builder.

As a result there are now a huge array of licensed digger toys to choose from.

Farm Diggers

Some of the best toy diggers are really tractors with a front loader attached, but that doesn’t mean we love them any less!

The first farm tractors used steam power and were introduced in the 1860s.

Early in the nineteenth century the gas traction engine became known simply as the tractor. In 1907 Henry Ford began manufacturing tractors and shortly after their use in farming became widespread.

Early boxed examples of vintage toy tractors, such as those made by Dinky, are now highly sought after.

Today some of the best farm digger and tractor toy scale models are made by top international toy manufacturers Siku, Tomy’s Britain’s and Bruder Toys.

Many toy tractors come with digger attachments plus a range of accessories and trailers for hours of tractor fun. Some tractors feature both a front loader and a backhoe, making them diggers in all but name.

JCB Farm Master Wheel LoaderThe three most widely used types of digger found in use on farms, other than the tractor with a front loader attachment, are the wheeled loader, the loadall or telehandler and the backhoe loader.

Perhaps the biggest and best known name in farm diggers is John Deere. But you can find licensed farm toys from most top tractor manufacturers including Case, Renault, McCormick, New Holland and Massey Ferguson.

John Deere 7030 Tractor with Loader by Bruder

In their distinctive green livery, John Deere digger toys are arguably the most sought after by budding farmers and farm digger enthusiasts alike.

John Deere Kids Farm Digger

My First JCB

Award-winning UK toy company Golden Bear make a superb range of preschool digger toys under the My First JCB brand.

Licensed by iconic British digger manufacturers JCB, the My First JCB range are ideal digger toys for toddlers.

These diggers all have an individual personality. There’s Joey JCB the classic backhoe loader, Freddie Fastrac the JCB Fastrac tractor and helpful Doug the dumper truck.

My First JCB DiggerGolden Bear’s My First JCB diggers are extremely tough yet also wonderfully tactile; an ideal combination for demanding young construction fans.

What’s more My First JCB digger toys have moving parts. Both the rear bucket and the front scoop on Joey the JCB can easily be operated and the rugged wheels have no trouble negotiating even the toughest terrain.

HTI Toy Diggers

HTI has been making JCB digger toys under licence since 2003.

HTI, rebranded in 2010, began life in 1952 as a toy importer trading as David Halsall Ltd.

JCB Backhoe Loader Toy by HTIToday the company make a range of mainly plastic replica diggers based on iconic JCB models. Some feature interactive light and sound effects.

The HTI Construction Series is a collection of models which include the versatile JCB 3CX, Loadall and Fastrac. The comparable models from Britains or Bruder are durable and this is reflected in the higher price points for their ranges. This Series displays well and therefore appeals to older collectors.

JCB Wheeled Loader ToyMore rugged, and ideal for youngsters, are HTI’s outdoor series such as the JCB WLS Wheeled Loader which is designed with play in mind. This heavily stylized little toy digger has a very chunky look and feel with rugged tyres, a five toothed front bucket and famous black and yellow JCB livery.

Pintoy Wooden Diggers

Some of the finest wooden toy diggers are made by Pintoy.

Pintoy diggers are made by Pin International in Thailand using rubber wood. When commercially grown rubber trees stop producing sufficient latex they are harvested for timber and the area replanted.

Pintoy Wooden BulldozerPintoy have a global network of distributors. In the UK Pintoy wooden toys are distributed by John Crane.

The Pintoy wooden digger features real working caterpillar tracks, driver’s cab and working front scoop. Pintoy’s wooden backhoe loader is painted in the eye-catching black and yellow livery of many iconic brands of digger.

Also available in the Small World range are several other wooden construction vehicles, including the Front End Loader, Bulldozer and Low Loader.

Wheel Loader Wooden Toy Digger by PintoyThe wheel loader-inspired Front End Loader is another ideal sandbox toy with the oversized front bucket great for young builders.

Pintoy’s Bulldozer has a fantastic wooden blade just perfect for shifting large quantities of sand or mud.

Deliver all the wooden diggers safely to site with the Pintoy Low Loader which features a great fun moveable ramp.

Wooden diggers make very rewarding, durable and sustainable traditional toys.
Pintoy Low Loader

Dexter the Digger

Wow Toys Dexter the Digger is an outstanding preschool digger toy.

It’s bright colourful styling and chunky playability make Dexter the Digger a perfect selection for the discerning young digger fan.

London-based Wow Toys specialize in designing toys for preschool kids. Their toy vehicles are rugged, feature-packed and great fun.

Dexter the Digger is no exception. Its chief features are its motorised action and its superb mechanical digging arm. The motorised action provides a satisfying engine sound and means that with even the gentlest push the digger trundles along easily on its four rugged wheels.

Dexter the Digger's Mechanical ArmDexter’s digging arm pivots in two places and can be locked in an upright position. Very cleverly, his bucket also pivots up when his arm is retracted, which can either be done manually or with the easy-to-use lever. This gives Dexter an ideal digging action for playing in the sandbox or back garden.

Kids want a digger that they can actually dig with themselves and Dexter the Digger’s cleverly constructed mechanical arm is robustly designed to allow this. The hard plastic used in its construction is reassuringly sturdy.

Toy Digger EngineAs well as being tough, Dexter the Digger is also extremely tactile. Push the button at the back of the driver’s cab to reveal a hidden flip-up engine compartment.

Dexter comes with a driver and three useful boulder accessories. The digger driver can be easily sat in the detailed cab which has all the controls and gauges to hand. He even has a detail showing his lunch – two sandwiches and a banana!

The three boulders all make a satisfying rattle when shaken. The boulders can either be scooped up with the digger’s arm and bucket or else bulldozed along with the solid blue blade at the front of the digger.

Dexter the Digger Driver's Cab Dexter the Digger doesn’t need batteries and he requires no assembly. He even includes a collector’s leaflet showing the full range of Wow Toys available which doubles as a colouring-in sheet.

Wow Toys also offer a smaller backhoe-style digger called Lift-It Luke which would be an ideal companion to Dexter.

Dexter the Digger by Wow Toys is, quite simply, our number one choice in preschool toy diggers and highly recommended.

Dexter the Digger

Top Ten Best Digger Toys

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best digger toys in terms of sales through this site over the last few years.

We examined over five years of sales data to unearth the ten best toy diggers by sales volume sold through this site via affiliate links with a multinational online retailer.

The fascinating results reveal a parade of top toy vehicle manufacturers heading the list with a digger ride on and a couple of preschool diggers also making the top ten.

So (drumroll) we can now exclusively reveal that the number one best selling toy digger is … the Bruder Backhoe Loader. Bruder have an outstanding reputation, a massive following, and a superb range of toy vehicles of which the Backhoe Loader is our champion. Ideal for younger fans and kids of all ages Bruder Toys backhoe digger offers superb styling, supreme playability and great all round value for money.

Here’s the full top ten list beginning with the best selling toy digger

  1. Bruder JCB 4CX Backhoe Loader
  2. Bruder Schaeff Mini Excavator HR16
  3. Britains JCB 3CX 1:32 Scale
  4. Britains John Deere 200C LC Excavator 1:50 Scale
  5. Bruder Caterpillar Excavator
  6. Britains JCB 8060 Midi Excavator 1:32 Scale
  7. Falk Tractor and Trailer Ride On
  8. Wow Toys Dexter the Digger
  9. Bob the Builder Scoop the Digger
  10. Siku Liebherr Hydraulic Excavator 1:87 Scale
Bruder 12428 Backhoe Loader Toy
Bruder Backhoe Loader

Siku Mobile Excavator

The Siku Mobile Excavator is a 1:87 scale die-cast model.

Toy ExcavatorConsidering its relatively small scale, this little digger, made under license from Volvo, is packed with detail and features.

Mobile Excavator 1887 is made almost entirely of die-cast metal parts. Unlike the larger scale excavators by Siku the cab is made of plastic though has tremendous moulded details such as a windscreen wiper, steering column and even driver’s controls.

The tyres are moulded rubber. Each wheel moves independently so that when pushed along this toy mobile excavator really motors along.

The cab has full 360 degree rotation and the boom, arm and bucket all pivot very well.
Excavator Toy
What makes this a very special little toy excavator are two welcome extra features.

Volvo Mobile ExcavatorThe dozer blade at the front pivots up and down. Plus, the stabilizer arms fold right down to ground level and back up to each side of the counterweight.

At 1:87 scale the Siku Mobile Excavator has the same proportions as your average ‘matchbox’ size toy vehicle. What sets it apart are the attention to detail and the many moving parts.
Volvo Mobile Excavator Toy by Siku