Product Type: Disney Toy Car
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Lacking it's get up and go
Disney Pixar Cars Mack & Friends Playmat Play Set
Member Name: xmum2threex
Disney Pixar Cars Mack & Friends Playmat Play Set
Advantages: Lots of fun
Disadvantages: Quality is a little poor
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.
Summary: An ok set that could be better
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