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~Cars 2 Spy Jet Escape~
Age recommendation : 4 years+
This track set is manufactured by Mattel and is part of the Disney Pixar Cars 2 toy range. There are four sets available but these sets can be played with alone if you do not wish to splash out on all four. Adult assembly is required but no batteries are required. This set measures 30.5 x 6.4 x 25.4 cm. The set is provided in a colourful box and an instruction leaflet is provided.
The Spy Jet Escape set includes a launch ramp and hangar hideaway. Also included is a 1:55 scale die cast model of Mater and Spy Jet. Basically, Mater needs to escape from Tokyo Airport. He needs to speed down the ramp and watch the Spy Jet take off without him.
~Price and Availability~
Spy Jet Escape is available from Amazon UK priced at £11.30. This includes free delivery.
My son received this set as a small Christmas gift from my Mums friend (who I have always referred to as my Auntie). He isn't a massive Cars fan but was appreciative of this set. The box made it look very fun and appealing. My son was 4.5yrs old when he received this set at Christmas.
On opening the box, we found a few different pieces which needed to be slotted together to form the set. There is a raised platform which connects to three pieces of plastic track. The track connects to a plastic hangar with a flap at the far end for Mater to speed through. The main body of the set is made from plastic. It isn't the most exciting looking set but it does appear to be durable despite looking quite cheaply made. It isn't as big as you would expect it to be by looking at the Amazon picture. It is easy to slot together and pull apart again but we tend to keep it in its assembled state as it doesn't take up much floor space.
Mater looks the same as he does in Cars 2 - a sort of dozy looking, brown pick up truck. He is well made but does have some small parts which may become a choking hazzard if they were pulled off. Spy Jet looks really cool on the box but what you get is a fairly small, moulded plastic Jet which doesn't feel very solid at all. It looks like something that you would get from the pound shop or in a lucky bag. It has lasted surprisingly well though.
Boo has played with this set many times but it is more of a novelty toy than something he would choose to play with all the time. There is a small, rubber band included in the box and this needs to be attatched to the underside of Spy Jet. This is fiddly to do at first and Boo cannot do this himself. The band normally remains in place but on the odd occasion, it has pinged off and needs to be inserted again.
Boo found this set to be a little difficult to play with himself at first. Spy Jet needs to be slotted into place on top of the hangar. It is important to ensure the elastic band is stretching properly or the jet won't fly properly. Boo often forgets to slide Spy Jet in to the correct place and it falls off. He is learning though as Mummy has showed him how to do it. It can be frustrating when something doesn't sit the way you want it too!
Mater needs to be placed at the top of the ramp. The ramp is moulded well to ensure that Mater doesn't slide down right away. There is a little lever underneath the platform that needs nudged to release Mater and send him shooting down the ramp. He speeds down super quickly and when he enters the hangar, he launches Spy Jet. This action will only work if Spy Jet is in the correct position and the elastic band is in the corrent position too!
Boo enjoys the way Mater launches Spy Jet by zooming into the hangar. He was impressed that Spy Jet does lift up and take off from the hangar at first but the novelty has long worn off. There are a lot of safety instructions on the box and leaflet which you would expect from a toy that launches a plastic Jet plane into the air. If you have younger children around, it is important not to allow them to sit infront of the track as Spy Jet made collide with them!
I would say that Spy Jet flies to a distance of around one foot before falling to the ground. He is lightweight and whilst he may cause nip if he collided with a child at full force, Boo has often encouraged Spy Jet to land on Daddies toes. If he is standing at the furthest distance from the hangar, he reports no pain as the Jet is lightweight and made of smooth plastic. It is a cool action but Boo has become bored with this set as it does become less interesting each time Spy Jet flies!
I would say that you are really paying for the Cars 2 branding with this toy. It is cool to play with at first but not as impressive as you would expect. Our set is still in good condition but doesn't get a lot of play time now. It is quite a basic looking set and I wouldn't say that it is worth the current selling price unless your child is a big fan of the film. Mattel could have made more effort to put more detailing onto the set as aside from Mater and Spy Jet you couldn't tell that it was a Cars 2 branded product when out the box. It would be expensive to buy all the different sets but I feel this set would be more 'complete' and fun if it was connected to the other sets.
Thanks for reading :)