Review: CAT Junior Crew Preschool Toys

(AD - Gifted) The Junior Crew™ Cat® toys from Funrise International are loud, bright and have my children picking them up to play with time and time again. The Cat® toys official preschool range is now available at Smyths Toys and we think they are great for children aged 2 to 4 to encourage their curiosity and build their fine motor skills. We received a selection of the range to review; find out what my children loved about them and other key information.

We received some CAT® Junior Crew™preschool construction toys to review including the train set, a digger and a wheel loader
We received some CAT® Junior Crew™preschool construction toys to review

We were sent 3 toys from the Junior Crew™ range: Power Tracks Friends Train Set, The Construction Buddy Wheel Loader and Construction Pal Excavator. Starting at £7.99 for the 7 inch toys they can all be played with on their own or together making them great for siblings and friends to play with each other.

The Junior Crew™ Range has been designed to develop fine motor skills and curiosity with lots of moving parts, lights and sounds. They are sturdy (unintentionally tested by my son throwing them across the room a few times) and easy to use. The range features Kid-Vroom™ sounds (eg it’s a child’s voice saying “choo choo”) which are a great way to get children to join in and stimulates the child’s senses.

Review of CAT® Junior Crew™ toys from Funrise

Cat® Junior Crew™ Power Tracks Friends Train Set Review RRP £24.99

The train from the Cat Construction Junior Crew Power Tracks going round the track
The Junior Crew Power Tracks Friends Train Set comes with a train, trailer, dump truck and train tracks

A little hand pressing a green button on the station section which makes the train stop and sound like it's filling up with fuel
Pressing the buttons on the station when the train goes past makes different things happen

The motorised train (which has 3 AA batteries included) comes with a station area, train tracks, a flatbed carrier and little dump truck. The tracks go together to make an oval shape for the train with the station area on one side. If you push the trains helmet down (when switch on) it will start to whizz round the tracks.

The station doesn’t have batteries in it, but it can control the train by triggering an action when the train goes past which is a great way to teach children about cause and effect. Move the red switch one way to tell the train to do endless loops and the other way to tell it to do 2 loops before stopping. Holding the blue button down as the train goes through the station makes the train make a whistle sound soon afterwards and the green button makes the train stop, make sounds like it is being filled up with fuel and then it goes off again.

The train zooms pretty fast around the track and it also works if you take it off the track. We have had it whizzing around our living room, changing direction if it hits something. Children could have fun making a route for it to go round from books or similar. You can also use the corner pieces of the track to make a circular track so the train will go round and round.

The tracks click together much better than some other preschool train sets we have played with and it’s quite sturdy when placed on a hard floor. On carpet the tracks get knocked out of place more easily, but it’s not a major problem even with children at the younger end of the target range. 

The carrier hooks on to the back of train and the little Dump Truck sits on top of it. Either could be used to add construction material to be carried around. 

Cat® Junior Crew™ Construction Buddies Assortment Review RRP £19.99

a little hand put boulders in the Junior Crew construction buddy metal scoopy bit
The Construction Buddy toys have a weight sensor and move when the boulders are put in

Moving the construction buddy wheel loader around
You can move the toys around, they make noises and lights flash

At a similar size to the train engine these 10 inch toys come in a choice of either a Wheel Loader or Dump Truck both of which come with 3 plastic boulders. For full functionality the Construction Buddies use 3 AAA batteries (included) which enable them to make noises, flash their lights and move. 

The movement of the Construction Buddies is triggered by a sensor when the boulders are loaded onto them. They then move forwards and tip the boulders out, before reversing again. I love how this teaches children fine motor skills as they place the balls in the correct place as well as cause and effect as they work out how to make it move on it’s own. The boulders are really popular with my children too and all of the toys we received have been helping to move the boulders around. I think my daughter’s favourite trick is getting the train to chase them around and eventually off the tracks!

Cat® Junior Crew™ Construction Pals Assortment RRP £7.99

A 4 year old playing with the preschool construction pal toys
The smallest toys in the range are the Construction Pals

A 4 year old looking at a little cat construction digger toy
The Construction Pals make noises, but have no automatic movement or lights

Close up of a 1 year old pushing the hard had down on the Construction Pal toy
If you press down the helmet on the Construction Pals toys the face changes

Little hands exploring an off switch on the bottom of the Junior Crew toy
All the range have off switches which is great for saving battery life and preventing accidental noises

There are 4 different 7 inch vehicles available in the Construction Pals design. These smaller vehicles take 2 AAA batteries (included) which enable them to make sounds. They are moved manually and children can even change their facial expressions by pushing down on their hard hat (the face rotates to reveal one of 3 faces). They make 7 unique Kid-Vroom™ sounds when played with.

Key points For Parents To Know Before Buying Cat® Junior Crew™ Toys

  • Batteries are included, but are standard AA or AAA when you need to replace them.
  • They all have off switches, a feature I always really appreciate. The off switches can’t easily be accessed while they are in the packaging making sneaking them into the house a potential challenge. We had ours delivered and the postman was amused by the “choo choo” noise as he handed the box over.
  • The toys are pretty loud and don’t have a variable volume. This is only an issue for us when we have siblings napping/ still in bed.
  • They are well made so will survive rough toddler play, with only the stickers likely to show significant wear.
  • The Cat® Junior Crew™ range is available from Smyths Toys.

Playing with the Junior Crew toys received for review
The preschool toys are great for playing with together or on their own

Two children playing with the Junior Crew train set and Construction Buddy
The toys have been played with time and time again since received to review

The toys received to review in their packaging with 2 children trying to play with them
They couldn't wait to get the Junior Crew™ toys out of the packaging

***Disclosure: These toys were received for honest review***

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