BY Nick Bulanda
Published April 24, 2020
?Power Wheels Dune Racer Review
One of the Best Power Wheels Models Available Today
Right now, there are more battery-powered ride on cars available than ever before. With so many options to pick from, how is somebody supposed to discern which one is truly the best for their child? If you’re a regular reader of Ride Toy Zone, you already know that we’re here to help. If not, this guide should be able to assist you!
The Power Wheels Dune Racer is one of the more popular options out there for battery-powered ride on vehicles. Because of that, we thought it would be a good idea if we did a review of our own to see if the product is worthy of the attention. While you’ll need to continue checking out our review to get all the details, it’s safe to say we think the popularity is well-earned. The Dune Racer offers plenty of fun to be had for kids between the ages of 3 to 6 or 7.
A Brief History of Power Wheels
Though battery-powered cars for children first were invented back in the 1960’s, it wasn’t until the 80’s with the rise of Power Wheels that the toys really blew up. Over the course of the 80’s, the popularity of Power Wheels skyrocketed. By the time 1990 rolled around, it’s safe to say that the Power Wheels brand was a household name.
A series of recalls in the 90’s eventually caused their popularity to take a slight hit, and though they remained available throughout the 2000’s, there’s no denying that their prevalence lessened. However, Power Wheels is now back and better than ever before. More than ever, children have become glued to screens. Whether it’s the television, a tablet, phone or computer, we want to encourage kids to unplug and flex their creative muscles again.
Thankfully, that idea seems to be catching on. It’s all about finding ways to engage kids that are just as interesting as whatever is happening on their screen. Honestly, what’s more engaging than driving your own dune racer around? We don’t think it’s too difficult to see why Power Wheels are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
The Developmental Benefits of Ride On Cars
In addition to being loads of fun for a child, these toys serve a real purpose as well. By driving their own vehicle, they’ll be teaching themselves important skills that will be useful throughout their entire lives. From the very basics of how physics work, to the basics of driving, there’s a lot of learning to be had.
On top of all that, there are also many benefits to a child’s creativity and imagination. By separating them from the screen, they’ll be encouraged to come up with their own stories and adventures. The Power Wheels Dune Racer, like other battery-powered ride on cars, gets kids to go outside and explore. While they may be confined to the backyard, that’s more than enough to get the creative juices flowing.
The Power Wheels Dune Racer also notably features seating for two children. If you’re looking for a way to encourage more co-operative play between two similarly aged siblings or cousins, look no further. While the upper age ranges for this vehicle may have a hard time comfortably fitting two children in, it shouldn’t become an issue until they start reaching age 6 or 7.
Power Wheels Dune Racer Review
There are a ton of exciting features to talk about with this toy, so we had better get started! First, as you can see by the picture above, you’ll find that it features a power locking brake system, which kids will certainly have a lot of fun sliding around with. It’s what truly sets the Power Wheels Dune Racer apart in our opinion. The vehicle is built to be safe, and the brake system ensures that the vehicle safely comes to a stop as soon as your child takes their foot off the pedal.
Another element that sets the Dune Racer apart from the competition are the side handle bars. Rather than standard plastic doors, the toy features an open cockpit, with handle bars on the side. The frame itself is made from high-quality steel, and is sure to stay sturdy even with occasional bumps into outdoor furniture and other items. Kids are also sure to love the design of the vehicle, with the attractive “chrome” finish on the wheels and front grille.
While the bucket seats certainly get the job done, this is one of the few areas we believe could be improved. There’s not a seat belt here, and the molded plastic could be a little more comfortable. However, the construction of the vehicle once again ensures it won’t flip over, so the lack of a seat belt shouldn’t be too big of an issue, and kids will be busy having fun to care too much about the uncomfortable seat.
The toy also includes a set of durable plastic wheels featuring the patented Monster Traction design. This helps ensure the vehicle performs well on all different kinds of ground. You can even allow the vehicle inside if you have the space for it! While you don’t want your child knocking into furniture or electronics, we’ve seen many awesome basement play spaces that can accommodate these toys. However, the tread design helps make sure you don’t have to! Your child should have no problems spinning this Power Wheels Dune Racer all over the backyard.
As for speed, you’ll find two maximum settings. You can either let your child reach up to the max of 5 MPH the vehicle is capable, or enable the parental speed lock setting. This setting will ensure the child’s max speed is locked at 2.5 MPH. This helps ensure you can cater the vehicle to suit your child, no matter where they are in their development. As they grow up and get a little bigger, and more experienced with the toy, you’ll have the option of putting the max speed setting back to 5 MPH.
If you’re looking for more features, you’re in luck as we’re not finished yet! The vehicle features a front-side trunk that can open up and allow your child to store toys and other smaller items. Once again, this can help encourage imaginative adventures, allowing the child to bring their favorite toys on the go with them.
Color Customization Options and More
Perhaps the most common variety of the Power Wheels Dune Racer you’ll find on the market is the standard green. That’s to color we’ve primarily included in this review, but you may be happy to discover that there are a few more options available if you’re interested. While it won’t have any effect on the actual features or capabilities of the toy, we all know how important style and design can be, especially to kids!
If you’re child isn’t a fan of green, perhaps the Power Wheels Dune Racer Red might be more their style. It offers all the same exciting features, but has a sharp red design that catches the eye. If your child has expressed interest in a favorite color, and that color happens to be red, what could be a better surprise than finding a red Power Wheels Dune Racer waiting for them on their birthday or for their favorite holiday?
Along with the red and green varieties of the Dune Racer, you’ll also find a pink model that is great for girls who don’t want to be left out on the fun. Pink doesn’t have to remain only for girls, however. We’ve reached a point in our society where it has become acceptable for boys and girls to finally admit that color doesn’t reflect gender. If your child likes a color, is there any good reason to stop them from experiencing and enjoying it? We don’t think so! Find the Power Wheels Dune Racer pink right here!
Battery Life and Maintenance
Power Wheels toys utilize a rechargeable 12V battery to operate. This should be good news to parents, as it means they won’t have to continue spending money on batteries to power the toy. Instead, all they’ll have to do is place the battery on the charger overnight when it runs out of juice. Each full charge of the battery should provide around an hour of activity before it dies.
On the surface, one hour may not seem like a lot of play time. However, it’s fairly rare for most children to play with a single toy for that long a period of time. They’ll likely be ready to move on before the battery dies, and then it simply has to be charged up for them to play with the next time.
One warning we want to share with consumers is this: be sure not to leave the battery on the charger indefinitely. This can weaken the power of the battery, and in turn its lifespan will become shorter. Soon you’ll find that the battery only lasts half an hour before it requires charging, and this will continue to get worse. You can help avoid this by making sure not to overcharge the battery.
If you do find yourself in need of a replacement, don’t fret. There are replacement batteries available online, and they aren’t too expensive. However, with proper care and maintenance, you’ll find you won’t have to replace the battery for years, if you ever need to at all.
Overall, we give the Power Wheels Dune Racer a 4.5 star rating. It may not be perfect, but there’s little doubt that it is one of the best options out there for battery-powered ride on cars. It has a unique style that sticks out and increases the entertainment value of the toy, it will aid in healthy early development, and most importantly it’s safe.
Power Wheels has been the primary brand people think of with battery-powered vehicles, and it’s for good reason. Feel confident picking up this toy for your child today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take to charge the battery from dead to full?
A: It should just take a few hours. Your best bet will likely be letting the battery charge overnight and taking it off the charger when you wake up in the morning.
Q: Does this model include a parental remote control?
A: No, it does not. It features a speed lockout setting, but the vehicle is manually controlled by the child.
Q: What is the maximum weight capacity allowed in the vehicle?
A: The toy should function fine with up to 130 lbs. inside. That means it’s great for one older child, or two smaller children.