Product Type: Disney Toy Car
Newest Review: ... 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 w... more
Member Name: joshuas-mummy
Disney Pixar Cars Mack & Friends Playmat Play Set
Advantages: A great set for younger children, lots of features for play
Disadvantages: Poorer than average quality
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!
Summary: Worth investing in
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