Ertl Big Farm Toys and Bruder Farm Toys

Those are the big two names when it comes to tractor toys for children. Growing up back in the ’80s and 90s I had my Ertl dicast tractors and implements. They were of good quality, took a beating and lasted forever. The toys I played with, I still have. In fact my sons play with them whenever they go over to their grandma’s house. Sure they got some scratches, dings, the bailer’s hitch broke off, and the loader tractor bucket is missing, but they are all around 30 years old and have seen countless hours of play. So with that said, they have held up very well.John Deere Loader

Metal tractor toys are hard to find anymore, at least outside the adult collectible. Both brands now make their toys from a strong plastic material that keeps the cost of production down, but keeps a high level of durability. I can tell you from experience that the plastic used on both brands are very strong. I have gotten both brands for them and I have seen the toys tested. They have dropped their tractors down stairs, push them around with almost their full body weight on top of the tractor, running them into a wall or other toys, and of course I have tested them by stepping on and kicking them in the middle of the night.

After all that, the most damage one tractor has is a missing mirror and a cracked windshield. That is after 3 years of hard play. I still think that the old metal tractors could endure more punishment than the new plastic toys, but not much more. The plastics they use in making the tractors and implements is very strong and can take a pretty good beating.

Now lets take a closer look at each brand individually.

Ertl Big Farm

The Big Farm toys are 1/16th scale plastic replicas of the real tractors. They have rubber tires, detachable front weights and rear hitch. Some other features:

  • Open rear window to give access to working steering wheel
  • High level of detail
  • Adjustable height of rear hitch
  • Removable rear dual
  • Lights and sounds
  • Removable loader attachment
  • Working front suspension
  • Opening hood

The loader and dual do not come with every tractor, but once you have them, they can go on any big farm tractor. To change the batteries for the light and sounds, you take the cab off and use a small Philips screwdriver to replace the batteries. They are available in John Deere, New Holland and Case IH.

BruderBruder Fendt tractor

These 1/16th scale replicas are made out of high quality ABS plastic. They come with rubber tires, many have detachable front weights. Here are some other features,

  • Opening in the cab roof for steering wheel extender. (This lets you steer the tractor from outside the cab)
  • Removable rear dual (some have front dual as well)
  • Opening cab doors
  • High level of detail
  • Removable loader
  • Opening hood
  • Adjustable height rear hitch
  • Removable cab
  • Has figures that can sit in the cab
  • Front hitch

The loader and dual do not come with every tractor, but when you have them they can go on many tractors. The action figures are sold separately. They are available in John Deere, Case IH, New Holland, Fendt, Massey Ferguson, JCB, Deutz, and Valtra.

So which is better?

Big Farm has the lights and sounds, but Bruder does have Big Farm beat with the different features that are available. Also, the model selection with Bruder is larger and has farmer figures that you can put in the cab. The price point on the two are very close to one another.

The best thing about the two brands is the implements can hook up to either one. So if you have mostly Big Farm tractors, you can rest easy knowing that Bruder will hook up to Big Farm and vise versa. The hitches are very similar to each other.

Big Farm does have more American style equipment, such as kicker square balers and chopper boxes. Bruder makes more European style equipment. Big Farm is American and can be easier to get in the United States than the German made Bruder.

Personal opinion

My opinion on which brand is better and more worth your money, I would lean toward Bruder. They have more models and I really like the opening doors and the fact that you can use a steering rod to steer the tractor from outside the cab. Also Bruder seems to be a tougher tractor then Big Farm.

With that said, Big Farm has models that Bruder does not and implements from both brands can attach to each brands tractors. So if you want the most complete farm, the best way to do that is to get some of both brands.

Last thoughts

Thank you for reading this post, I hope it helps you decide which brand you want. What ever you chose, I am sure that your child is going to love their new farm toy. I know that their toy will create wonderful memories for them, just as my old farm toys did for me.

That is the reason I made this site. I love the memories I have with my farm toys and the memories that I see my sons making with their farm toys is something I wish for your child to have as well. I hope that this site can get you and your child started on making some great memories.


Hope you find what your looking for,






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  1. Loved the breakdown of the bruder and big farm. I would definately go with bruder as well. very informative. my son would love these.

  2. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed your article..took me back to a younger time…never had bruder but ertl yes .still love the ol fashioned metal
    Nice to see they are both keeping the sturdiness often companies go with the flimsier plastic.cant wait to have a grandchild or 2

  3. jamaar says:

    This is a very unique topic and I love it! I will def look into this for my little brother thank you!

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