* Prices may differ from that shown
Oscar was 2 in November and is obsessed with Disney Cars, We have to watch the film daily, thankfully he stated nursery on Monday so im getting to have a break from the film. When I saw this on sale in the Disney Store quite a few months before chistmas I knew I had to get it. He does like basic cars but no where near as much as Disney Cars so this was the must have over a standard car set. The whole set is made from plastic with the rug being made from wat feels like very thin rough carpet.
When buying for Oscar I like to view the toys in a shop so I can make sure there are no small parts, its ok for his little hands etc as most of his toys are 3 years +. When viewing this set I also saw a Disney Cars Diecast transporter set, but having already owned diecast cars and a transporter we only really needed the playmat, plus the cars and truck looked chunkier so ideal for little hands. Santa was also bringing him the Imaginext Disney Cars sets so I knew these would go great together. I purchased this from the Disney Store, it retails at £20, but I was buying a few things so when used with a code I had I only ended up paying £16.....even at £20 I feel you get a lot for your money.
*-*-*-*-*-Whats In The Box?-*-*-*-*-*
I was very pleased to see lots of accessories with this set meaning I didn't have to add more things to the set to keep it from getting boring. It came with:
*Pull back Mcqueen
*Pull back Francesco
*2 x traffic lights
*2 x route 66 sign posts
*2 traffic cones
*2 x oil cans
This playset is based on Disney Cars 2 film, featuring Mack who is Mcqueen's transporter and 2 pull back race cars, Mcqueen and Francesco. The set also comes with a play mat based on places from around the world that they visited including London, Radiator Springs and Tokyo. Added accessories to add more play value. It took no assembly time at all as the set is ready to go as soon as it is taken out of the box. It is recommended for ages 3 + so Oscar is a year under the age recommendation.
Mack is a transporter and looks exactly the same as he does in the film (except the removable front bit like out other transporter as in the film), he is read with large stickers either side of Mcqueen and his sponsors, he is finished off with his usual silver detailing including exhausts etc. He has 5 movable wheels either side and has an opening at the back to use for transporting Mcqueen and Francesco about, simply pull the little tab on the back of the truck to watch it open, on the back of the door is an extendable ramp that can be unfolded to make it easier for Mcqueen and Francesco to enter. Mack is a great size for little ones at L12 x H4 x D 3.5 inches.
Mcqueen is a pull back car and looks exactly the same as in the film, he is red with his usual stickers. He is great for little hands at L3 x D2 x W2 inches.
Francesco is also a pull back car and looks exactly like in the film, he is red with red, white and green detailing to show he is from Italy. He is the same size as Mcqueen, L3 x D2 x D2 inches.
The playmat is very thin and features different locations as mentioned above, but is a good size at L36 x H 23.5 inches.
The accessories are either brown or black and vary between 1 and 1.5 inches, as they are loose they can be moved anywhere on the playmat.
Oscar adores this playset, its very basic and simple, being a play mat, truck and cars but because its Disney cars it looks amazing, and so much fun (well my 2 year old and I think anyway). Oscar can easily use this set himself with no help needed at all. As soon as he got the set on Christmas day he had the whole thing out of the box and set up in seconds. He placed the mat on the laminate and sat in front of it, he couldnt reach the other side of it so sat in the middle, every time he turned the mat would move so he got a little annoyed at this, but with me sat next to him to hold the mat still he lined all the cars up ready to race. The mat had places he recognised from the film which he loved, so he immediately put the cars and truck onto the play mat to have them race, the cars are quite chunky so easy to hold with his little hands and the truck felt pretty strong and robust. With the many accessories hes always coming up with new ways to play. He also got the Imaginext Disney Cars playsets for Christmas so will often have everything out making a Disney Cars land which keeps him busy for even longer. He can easily use the pull back motion, simply pull the car back to watch it zoon off.
With 3 vehicles there are a few ways to play:
Load Mcqueen and Francesco into the back of mater then be transported around the world, visiting different destinations from the film.
Have Mcqueen and Francesco race the final race to see who finally wins.
The only thing he does struggle with is using the pull back motion to get the cars into the back of the truck. Ive had a few attempts and managed to do it after 6-7 goes but Oscar really does struggle, there isn't much leeway either side of the cars once inside the truck so you have to line it up perfectly to get the cars inside, this could be solved by either the cars being slightly more narrow or the truck being a little wider.
*-*-*-*-*-What Does Oscar Think?-*-*-*-*-*
When playing, Oscar did get quite frustrated with the mat, it kept moving (we have laminate) so we were forever sorting it out, the mat slipping ment the traffic lights and sign posts were always falling over which also annoyed him. He loved pushing the cars into the back of the truck then moving Mack around the mat, transporting the cars, making the cars race, and even adding in his other cars (from the Imaginext range) to add even more play. The oil cans didn't actually do anything so I ended up removing those, they ended up just more things to stand up when the fell over due to mat.
Oscar sometimes stays at nannys house and will take this with him, there are enough accessories in this set to keep him busy without the need to add anything else .
*-*-*-*-*-What Did We Think?-*-*-*-*-*
While we loved this set, we had both good and bad points about this set, I will start with the good.
Oscar loved the fact it was Disney Cars, 1 of my father in laws brought him the chad valley mat/cars set along with a transporter and 17 days later they are still sat in their box because they just don't have the wow factor that these have.
I was surprised at how much came within this set, we have quite a few playsets and most lose their appeal pretty quickly or turn out to be quite an expensive purchase with extra bits needing to be purchased to make the most out of the set.
The cars and truck are a great size for little hands, they are chunky which means they are easier to hold than smaller fiddly cars, and quite a lot lighter then the metal diecast cars, the main body of the 3 vehicles are pretty robust, I still wouldn't go throwing them about or dropping them as we have had a few bits falling of which I will explain in more detail under the negative points.
The play mat is beautifully designed with lots of detail and places from the film i can talk to Oscar about, it also folds very small meaning we can easily take the set anywhere without it taking up a large space, it also means the mat can be washed,....although im not sure you would want to wash it on a regular basic due to how thin it is.
The pull and go feature was something we didn't realise until after a few days after Christmas, a lovely surprise to see the car doing something extra, 1 small pull back and they move along by them self very easily. The same father in law brought Oscar a Hot Wheels pull back monster truck thing for his 2nd birthday, and while he was under the age recommendation even Harvey (nearly 5) had trouble using it, as you had to really push the truck into the floor and drag it back before it drove off, where as this one moved a lot easier by its self after letting go.
While I hate to say it because we loved this set, we did have quite a few negatives with this playset, such as;
The mack transporter while pretty robust in general its small silver features are very cheap and flimsy, when playing today the small silver exhaust bit came off in my hand, its small enough for a young child to choke on so a little worrying, Oscar is slowly growing out of that age but the worry is still there as he doesn't see the danger in anything. The part isn't noticeable now its broken off, but I expect toys to last a lot longer than 17 days before bits start falling off.
Francesco also has his spoiler broken off, Oscar came running into me the other day with something in his hand shouting 'bo bo bo' which means 'broke, broke, broke' the part is 2 inches long so not as easy to put into the mouth but the risk is still there, I then felt Mcqueens spoiler and you can feel that it isn't very secure.
The play mat is very thin, and pretty poor quality. It slides everywhere on laminate flooring, and the corners crease and fold inwards, meaning the small accessories just fall over, if my little boy sits on the play mat which he does quite a lot as hes only small then the mat will crease under his legs so we have to straighten it out. Harvey my eldest used to own the Radiator Springs play mat and this was much better quality, it had better backing so could be used on any type of surface without slipping or creasing.
I don't like complaining about this saying the play mat is poor quality when it retails at only £20 because ive always believed in the saying 'you get what you pay for' but id rather they fixed the known problems with this and upped the RRP, and I would still pay it because its a lovely little set. I only really wanted the playmat, we already have imaginext Disney cars figures, a mack transporter and the diecast cars so the play mat really finished this set off, I just think it could be better quality.....and safer.
The pull and go feature is pretty hard for any child to use when guiding the cars into the back of the truck, as mentioned above, this could be easily fixed to make it slightly easier, we have now attempted to build a 'road' with duplo bricks to help aid the car into the truck, naturally it doesn't always work but it helps with lining everything up that little bit easier.
If asked would I buy this set again, yes I would.......but only because I can easily get around the problems....1) buy a decent car mat, id suggest the radiator springs mat to keep in theme with the cars. 2_ Buy super glue!
Hello. My name is Chloe and it's been...twenty minutes since I last watched 'Disney Cars'.
My Son is 'Disney Cars' mad. When I say mad, I mean engrossed, consumed, obsessed, in love with and totally knowledgeable on all things Cars. It's the first thing he's been 'in to' on this level and it's actually quite nice because my son has some developmental problems which affect his concentration, so for him to have this level of interest in something is a huge breakthrough! Therefore I do all I can to encourage it, including spending far too much money on our own ever expanding toy library of Cars paraphernalia! I have no shame in admitting that many a late night has been spent online searching out new and hard to find Cars toys for him to play with! This Disney Cars Mack & Friends Play set was one I bought at Easter. It's an exclusive to the Disney Store and as we don't have a store close by, I bought mine online, which is the only place (bar ebay) you can purchase your own if you choose.
Considering Cars is a Disney film, the Disney Store has quite a poor selection of Cars toys so I was pleasantly surprised to find this. I was looking for something for my son's Easter gift and this seemed perfect so I ordered right away. When it arrived I was even happier! The play set comes in a carry box with handle and the whole thing is a good size which for me meant it was good value for money. The box is typically Cars-lots of Lightening McQueen's (the main character) colours of red and black, and the packaging itself is good too. It's very sturdy and protective so you don't need to worry about damage in the post. I say this because many times I've bought things online as gifts and the packaging has been so flimsy you end up with a gift that looks battered and bruised before it's even been given to the recipient! Luckily you don't need to worry about that with this toy.
The set includes a large Mack, who is Lightning McQueen's personal hauler truck, a Lightning McQueen himself, a Francesco, a play mat and multiple smaller accessories like road cones,traffic lights and oil cans. The scale of the toys in the set isn't the traditional size for the diecast cars and sets that are the most common type of Cars toy. Size wise everything is bigger and also unlike the diecast toys, these are all plastic not metal, making them lighter in weight too.
Mack is designed to be able to hold the cars inside, which acts as storage when not being played with too. Made from plastic, the colours are bright and he looks exactly like Mack does on the films. The attention to detail on Mack is much better than expected! Mack's tyres are also made from plastic with no tread which means that it's easy for him to be pushed around and played with and when pushed away he goes quite far on carpet and laminate flooring. This is great for younger Cars fans. Sadly as soon as we opened ours (I literally mean straight away) I handed it to my son for his first play with it and it dropped on the floor. This resulted in Mack's back door breaking off and it isn't possible to put back on. So we never had ours in it's full state. Although it's our fault we dropped it, it's wasn't from a height and the general manufacture of this item seems quite poor and it's not the most durable toy, based on other reviews I've also seen too. The door also acts as the ramp to drive Lightning and Francesco up and in to the hauler and when the door is shut it conceals them inside.
The other two Cars characters which come with the set are a great choice-McQueen and Francesco. As McQueen is the main character and Francesco is his racing competition. So children will like to reenact the race scenes from the films between these two. Again both cars are made from plastic and were both pleasantly surprising with how much detail they had considering this toy is for a younger aged fan. The great feature of the two character cars is that they have a pull back mechanism which means you can pull them back and they then race away from you-at quite a speed, may I add! My little boy loved this, we could race them against each other or even just play with that feature of the cars on their own.
The play mat itself is a felt like mat which doesn't grip well to smooth flooring, but is better on carpet. It is however a great mat because it features key landmarks from the film and also has roads which encourages imaginative play when children drive the cars around. It's also a good size for a simple play mat and we use ours with all of our other Cars toys too.
The smaller accessories you get are two orange road cones, a traffic light and two road signs and two or three little oil cans. These aren't essentials for play but nice little extra's. However if you have younger children these pieces could pose a choking hazard as a couple of them are quite tiny, so it' just worth bearing that in mind.
Play wise this is a good addition if you have other Cars toys. The set can be played with exclusively or with other toys which means that we get a lot of use out of all the bits that came in the set as my son tends to mix and match which toys play on the mat, go in the back of Mack's truck etc. I think it's great for encouraging imaginative play as children can reenact what they've seen on the film with this one set. And the cars on their own are great little toys.
The slight down side to this play set is the poorer than average quality. The toys are all plastic and they don't feel like the most well made things however that said, we have had ours for almost six months now and other than the very first breakage of Mack's door, we haven't had any other pieces break. In honesty I was initially expecting the cars to break based on what happened with Mack, as the cars go so fast when pulled back and when they crash in to the walls etc I was expecting them to not last long but ours are still fully working and very much enjoyed. The paint work on the vehicles has chipped and faded with play. Probably more quickly than most toys but that's why I class the only downside of this set to be the quality.
Overall I am quite pleased with this set and give it four stars. We bought this when it was on sale for £15 and it's still now only priced at £20 which for a set this size is quite good, as most Cars toys have a very high price tag. I think this would make a great gift for birthdays etc and I will definitely buy this when friends children have birthdays etc as it would be an impressive gift to open. The quality hasn't put me off, if the price was higher then it would but overall I think it's great value for money because of how much you get in the set and how much enjoyment my son's had from it. Although it's recommended for age 3+, my son had this at two and a half and loved it. I would advise it as a toy for children on the younger side of liking the film. It's overall design and appearance is generally more appealing for younger children so I wouldn't advise you to buy it for an older Cars fan.
Final thoughts-a good addition to the collection although not the greatest quality in the world, but for the price it's worth investing in!
In the box
My son is Disney cars mad, so when I came across this set in the Disney store I knew he would love it. It is exclusive to the Disney store and it is available for purchase at £20. I ordered ours online and from the description thought I would be receiving a Mack truck, and a play mat for Mack but that was all. I was pleasantly surprised when this was delivered and found there was actually a Mack truck, radiator springs play mat, some sign posts, and a lighting McQueen car along with his competitor Francesco Bernoulli. Of course it was all instantly recognisable to my son so he was over the moon when he unwrapped this present.
All of the cars, truck and accessories are made from plastic. The cars are rather large, much bigger than the other Disney cars that we own so my son was impressed. The Mack truck is a little smaller than other we own, but it is nice and chunky so it is still perfect for little hands to move around. It also does not have a removable cab like the others we own, but this did not bother my son as it can still be used as a storage unit. The back of Mack opens up for lighting and Francesco to be able to drive into and be transported. This can hold the two larger cars provided with the set, or any of the diecast vehicles available. The signs are really poor quality and lasted less than a day so not a great part of the set, but the cones and oil drums are still perfect to set the scene for any story to take place.
My son was very excited to open his present and it is one of the first things he reached for. Once of the packet the set looks impressive. Everything is well made so it can withstand play from young children, but they are not too bulky so that they are difficult to use. I love that there are the extra accessories to this pack. I feel this turns it into a full set for little one to play with, without having to go and buy lots of costly additions. The cars, truck and mat all provide a perfect base for little one to let their imagination go wild. I also like that the mat is made from a felt material rather than a laminated mat that seem to be taking over the toy market. This means the mat still looks brand new despite being folded and stored over and over again. It is also a lot better for little hands to roll out themselves and move to different positions. The cars in this set and diecast cars that we own all work perfectly on this mat. It also means it is kinder to little ones skin as they move the cars across the mat, and I just wish more toy manufacturers would take note.
The cars and truck all use friction power to work. This means they can be pulled across the floor and speed off all by themselves. My son thinks this is fantastic, and tries to steer the cars into the back of Macks hauler. The problem is they do not work very well. Even after being pushed a few times it results in a pitiful slide across the floor. I have never known pull back vehicles to be so bad. We have tried on different floor surfaces without success, but my son still really enjoys trying. This set can be used without any other accessories, so it would be a great starter set for any cars fans. My son does use his other cars accessories, like his collection of diecast cars on this mat and they work perfectly. The mat goes into great detail showing radiator springs so it is easily recognisable to any cars fan. This means my son can build stories based on the surroundings detailed, and can visit all his favourite places in radiator springs. It also has other landmarks such as the big ben that are brought into the play set from the second movie. The mat is a perfect balance between the two movies bringing new stories, and old stories together.
I think this is fantastic as it is difficult to find just cars branded products, as all of the toys available seem to be based on the second. It also means that my son is learning about different landmarks around the world without even realising. The set is recommended from three years plus which I think is perfect, as the cars are rather chunky rather than the smaller metal ones. This means even my two year old son can push them around with ease, getting a substantial grip on the cars and truck. The back of Mack is easy to open for any child, so unlike other haulers we have from the range my son can play independently. This also saves mummy and daddy from having to open the back of the truck every time that my son decides he no longer wants to carry the cars. I do worry a little about what could have happened if I was not watching my children when various parts broke. It does warn of small pieces being a choking hazard, but I did not expect the pieces to snap I thought they were referring to the smaller accessories in the pack.
Durability has been a little hit and miss. The cars, truck and mat are all still in mint condition. This is after my two sons have played with this set, and they can be rough with their toys. The sign posts did not fare as well. In fact within the first day they had snapped in half and needed to be thrown away. It could have been dangerous as the snap was not clean cut, but luckily I was supervising my children anyway. My son was very upset with this happening as he had been so excited with his extra accessories when he first opened it. I still think that the set is worth the retail price, as the other parts have lasted perfectly. The spiller on the back of Francesco has also come off. This was not a problem as it left no sharp parts, and could be clicked back into place if you wanted. My son actually made stories around the accident causing the mishap but certainly would have preferred it to remain in place.
For £20 this set has received a lot of use. The play mat, cars and Mack himself have proved there worth even though the signs were very poor quality. My son loves that he can have the cars two characters driving in radiator springs, as much of the merchandise is based around different parts of the world. As my son loves both films it is nice to see something that incorporates them both into one toy, and I think that is what makes this set such a winner. I just wish that this toy was a little more durable on all parts. It seems Disney toys seem to be lacking in quality, which is a shame as they have a large range that is not available from other stores.