Pixar’s “Cars” is a great movie, but I think one of the best things that came out of it is the toys. Specifically I’m talking about favorite characters such as Lightning McQueen, Mater, Doc Hudson, and the rest of the gang all recreated in the form of little matchbox cars. It’s obvious, yet clever: How can an animated movie about cars NOT spawn a whole line of diecast car toys?
Collecting these toy cars is strangely addicting. Maybe at first you think you’ll be content with McQueen, Mater, and a few other guys. But then maybe you see a fairly rare car, such as a Lizzy or a Chick. Hmmm. What an opportunity. Who knows when you’ll run across them again? And they’re only four bucks each. What’s the harm in grabbing a few more?
Well, anyway, you can probably see how easy it can be to get caught up in a quest to find more and more Cars toys.
The quality of the toys is actually impressive. Many of them are very true to the actual characters, down to some of the tiniest details. Take Chick Hicks and Filmore, for example. These guys are filthy with bumper stickers. You’d think nobody would bother replicating words and numbers on such a tiny scale, but many of the “stickers” are readable with the aid of a jeweler’s loupe or a good magnifying glass. The Chick and Filmore cars are a couple of my favorites for this reason alone.
If you really like Ramone, you’re in luck: There are several Ramones to choose from. You can get him with different paint jobs: Yellow, purple, green, and now red.
Sally is probably one of the worst of the lot, unfortunately. (Aside from the ultra-cheesy plastic Buzz and Woody cars.) She isn’t quite rounded enough, and her headlights are a dull, flat grey. She scarcely resembles the movie Sally.
The Mater cars have problems. Although the detail for Mater is excellent, the manufacturers had to make part of him out of plastic. There probably wasn’t any other way they could duplicate Mater’s tow cable in reasonable detail. While they did a good job, it would be all too easy to break. Can you just see a little kid using Mater’s flimsy plastic tow cable to tow around the other cars? But again, I’m not sure how this design could have been avoided.
I also have a gripe with the Stanley statue that comes with Red. This thing is entirely made of plastic. Although the Stanley “statue” itself looks pretty good, you can tell just by looking that the base is obviously plastic. That ruins the whole effect.
Wingo, Boost, Snotrod, and DJ (The four cars who pick on Mac) barely resemble their movie counterparts, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, they have all the right shapes and features. But without the bright neons that made those characters stand out at night, they’re quite dull by comparison.
Overall, though, these are great toys to own if you loved Pixar’s “Cars” movie.