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7 best toy cars with light & sound for great pretend play

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There are quite a few toys cars with annoying light and sound. Way too loud or it doesn't look like their function at all.

Fortunately, there are also brands like Playmobil with this police bus who build a realistic car that is fun to play with. A great play set that can be used with all other Playmobil toys.

But there are more good options. In this guide I look at the 7 best toy cars with light and sound and what you should pay attention to when purchasing.

Best toy cars with light and sound

Let's take a quick look at the top options. Then I'll go into more detail about each of these choices.

Overall best toy car with light and sound

PlaymobilPolice bus 70899

Playmobil is always perfect for pretend play. You not only get a car that drives well, but also a lot of accessories.

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Best cheap toy car with light and sound

CatTough Machinery Dump Truck

For a cheap car it has very realistic sounds. It is a 10-inch (25 cm) Cat Dump Truck made of very sturdy plastic.

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Best fire truck with sound

brotherMAN fire truck 02771

Many functions provide endless fun: from the high crane to a real working fire hose.

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Best toy cars with light and sound for babies

VtechToot-Toot Car Garage

Pushing elevations onto the road some pins under the car so that he has a sentence that belongs to that spot on the garagesuch as the car wash.

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Drives the best

Dickie ToysPolice Interceptors

A car that drives well with big wheels. It is made under an official Ford license for a 1:18 scale Interceptor police cruiser.

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Best die-cast car with light and sound

Majorette213712001 Grand Series City Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ambulance

Majorette always has very sturdy die-cast cars with a lot of detail with transparent windows and a detailed interior.

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Best activities

JoyinGarbage truck

Take it apart with the screwdriver. The best activity is the garbage arm that can actually lift the 3 included garbage cans.

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Toy car with light and sound buying guide

What should you pay attention to when buying toy cars with light and sound?

That they are fun to play with of course. But also that the sound does not become annoying.

Some toys are way too hard. Have you ever taped toys to the speaker so that it was less loud :)

Well, I do.

In addition, the sound must also resemble the function. For example, a police siren or a realistic engine sound.

In addition, there are a few things to watch out for with toy cars.

Sustainability

There are quite a few differences in quality between toy car brands. Just look at the difference between Bruder and Dickie Toys, you can clearly feel the quality.

In any case, almost nothing can go wrong with toy cars for toddlers such as the Toet Toet range from Vtech. That is what I paid extra attention to when assessing the durability of the cars.

Quality of driving

With toy cars you want them to be able to drive well. Some may be for display only, not for play. But you still want them to roll well.

A few things to watch out for are:

  1. the distance from the wheels to the chassis: some toy cars run into problems so they don't drive very well
  2. the rigidity of the shaft: some toy cars are very wobbly so the wheels can move far in and out, and still rub
  3. the quality of the wheels: is it plastic or are there really rubber wheels on the tires? Rubber rolls a lot better
  4. the weight of the car: you may not realize this right away, but the weight of the car plays a very large role in how well it rolls. A heavier car made of diecast or wood rolls a lot better and further than a plastic car

Replayability

Much of the car's replayability is in how well it drives, but there are other factors that determine how often they return to it.

Age also plays a part. Is it a car that stays on the left after toddlerhood or can it last longer because it is also suitable for older children?

The number of extra functions also plays a major role, such as the extra dolls at Playmobil or the dirt snivel bins at Joyin.

I rated each of the cars on this list on these parts on a 5-point scale.

Top 7 toy cars with light and sound rated

Overall best toy car with light and sound

Playmobil Police bus 70899

Product image
8.8
Toy score
To drive
3.8
Replayable
4.6
Sustainability
4.8
Best for
  • Lots of accessories for pretend play
  • Realistic sound
Less good
  • Doesn't drive as well as real toy cars

Playmobil is always perfect for pretend play. You not only get a car that drives well, but also a lot of accessories.

The same goes for this police bus. The button on the roof turns on the lights and sounds for a realistic police sound.

There are two dolls included but there is enough room in the bus for seven and the rear seat folds down for more storage space.

Furthermore, there are handcuffs, a walkie-talkie and 2 pistols. You can easily transport the crooks in the bus because the roof is removable and the sliding side doors and rear doors can really open.

A real toy car like the Interceptor from Dickie Toys drives a little better than Playmobil. This is more of a playset.

Best cheap toy car with light and sound

Cat Tough Machinery Dump Truck

Product image
8.7
Toy score
To drive
4.3
Replayable
4.5
Sustainability
4.3
Best for
  • Sturdy plastic
  • Lots of sounds like hydraulic action and reversing
Less good
  • Tipping bucket can be a weak spot

For a cheap car it has very realistic sounds. It is a 10-inch (25 cm) Cat Dump Truck made of very sturdy plastic.

The engine rumbles when you start the car. It also has flashing lights, engine revs, reversing and hydraulic sounds.

It takes 2 AA batteries and it lasts quite a long time. The car is also super sturdy, but there is one weak spot at the connection of the box. There he could break over time.

But with us he lasted a very long time with intense play, so definitely one for wild children.

Best fire truck with sound

brother MAN fire truck 02771

Product image
8.9
Toy score
To drive
4.3
Replayable
4.6
Sustainability
4.4
Best for
  • Great sturdy construction
  • Good crane and real working fire hose
Less good
  • Very large and difficult to combine with other toys

Come to the rescue with this Bruder Fire Truck! With the fire brigade you can save people! Turn on the siren (which makes a real sound) and let everyone know that the heroes are on their way!

Of course it has a high crane so that is great fun and you can do up and down then and it can also stretch very far with the tray that can tilt.

Furthermore, the front can be detached and then you can actually see what is in it under the hood in such a car.

The front has a flashing light with 4 buttons. This allows you to turn on different sirens and a kind of engine sound. That's a bit blurry. It also has a spray sound.

There is a cover that can be opened and underneath is a reservoir that you can fill with water. That is especially nice in the summer of course to take outside to spray, and he can spray quite far.

With the pump you can first pump it up a few times and you actually have to pump the water pressure on it. It's a bit of a classic fire engine as they might have done in the old days.

Bruder MAN real working fire hose

The car is also quite big. Very big actually. That's very cool of course, but it makes it difficult to combine with other toys.

Fortunately, we have quite a few other Bruder toys that fit it exactly, but many other toys are in 1:24 scale or smaller.

Still, he's a lot of fun to play with.

Best toy cars with light and sound for babies

VTech Toot-Toot Car Garage

Product image
7.9
Toy score
Features
4.5
To drive
3.2
Sustainability
4.1
Best for
  • The car makes noise at different points on the track
  • The garage also makes noise itself
  • Nice car wash
Less good
  • More fun when you have more Toet Toet Cars track pieces and cars

Age: 12 months +

The Vtech Toet Toet car garage is what we chose for our son. We already had a loose toot toot car got, I'm guessing at birth or when he turned 1 maybe.

And he already played quite well with the car. If you press on the front, it makes a noise and of course he could drive around with it.

But what makes the cars really nice is that they have pins on the bottom that make it possible to say different sentences.

That is why it was time to give the garage a try, because it also has elevations and when the car drives over it, the pins on the bottom are pressed in a certain way.

Because some pins are pressed and others are not, the car says a certain sentence that belongs to that place on the garage:

  • like parking,
  • going to wash in the car wash
  • ride the elevator to go up and down
  • Stand on the repair platform ready for maintenance

Those kind of things.

The garage itself can also make noise by pushing the buttons and there is one tow truck that triggers songs, phrases and fun sound effects when it crosses one of the garage's 9 SmartPoints.

The only sad thing about it was that the car that comes with it is one of the least suitable for the garage because it is a bit high and does not slide off the garage slide so well, while the car we already had is much better off to drive.

Anyway, this is only a minor detail and immediately fixed if you buy several cars for it.

Why I like him: a well-priced, easy-to-assemble garage that is solidly set up for children under 3 and offers a lot for the money.

The buttons to press are nice and sturdy, and the sound effects are great, entertaining and educational, but not too overwhelming and fortunately it also has two volume levels.

Drives the best

Dickie Toys Police Interceptors

Product image
8.5
Toy score
To drive
4.8
Replayable
4.3
Sustainability
3.7
Best for
  • Drives very well
  • Genuine Ford police cruiser
Less good
  • Cheap plastic
  • Parts can break

A car that drives well with big wheels. It is made under an official Ford license for a 1:18 scale Interceptor police cruiser.

This one also has the buttons on top near the flashing lights so that it lights up and makes noise.

The necessary batteries are already included and it is for children from 3 years old because there are some parts that could be removed.

It's not the strongest car. You can clearly feel the difference between the plastic from Dickie Toys and Bruder, which uses plastic from the automotive industry.

It's also a lot cheaper than such brands, but it probably won't be a toy for generations like Bruder is.

It drives very well and that is ultimately the most important thing for your toddler and preschooler, something they can just enjoy playing with.

Best die-cast car with light and sound

Majorette 213712001 Grand Series City Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Ambulance

Product image
9.5
Toy score
To drive
4.8
Replayable
4.7
Sustainability
4.8
Best for
  • Real rubber tires drive well
  • Die-cast and super sturdy
  • Sound has been eliminated so that you don't see any ugly push buttons
Less good
  • Not suitable for small toddlers
  • Very small

This Majorette is about the ambulance theme. We didn't have it on the list yet, but it is of course perfectly suited for light and sound.

Majorette always has very sturdy die-cast cars with a lot of detail. This ambulance has transparent windows and a detailed interior.

The rear doors open to load and unload patients, adding another element of pretend play.

The tires are real rubber and ride well. It is a nice little car that fits with many other toy cars for toddlers such as Hot Wheels and of course other Majorette cars.

They also did a good job of hiding the sound system in the tapes. When you push the front wheels down, the sound turns on so you don't have any ugly push buttons on top.

This keeps the ambulance looking like a real ambulance.

He is about 15 cm (6 inches) long and that is 1:43 scale. This small size and hard exterior makes it slightly less suitable for babies and small toddlers, but perfect for children from 3 years old.

Best activities

Joyin Garbage truck

Product image
8.1
Toy score
To drive
3.7
Replayable
4.8
Sustainability
3.7
Best for
  • Many activities in one
  • Garbage truck theme is very appealing
Less good
  • Cheap build quality
  • Not all activities are fully developed

Joyin is not my favorite brand because it's a bit cheap plastic, but the amount of fun they manage to put into their toys every time is huge.

And my son never finds the build quality much of a problem.

This garbage truck can be taken apart with the screwdriver with 3 types of replaceable heads. It is 12,5 inches long and 4,5 inches wide (31 x 11,4 cm).

The best activity is the garbage arm that can actually lift the 3 included garbage cans.

It is also a friction powered system (push-n-go without batteries) and has lights and sounds.

It is not suitable for children under 3 years old because all screws and such are very small. But if you stay with it, a 2-year-old could also play with it.

You will probably have to put it back together yourself often because they can unscrew it with 3, but they can no longer put it together.

They have tried to cram a whole lot into one car, so everything has not been worked out properly.

But it gives a lot of fun and it is mainly me who has a problem with it, not my child.

Conclusion

When it comes to light and sound there is a lot of nonsense for sale. It seems like all the cheap brands are diving in first because it's easy to score with kids.

But you also have to listen to it. With the toys on this list you can be sure that you are buying quality.

Also read: we have reviewed many toy cars and these are the best

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.