* Prices may differ from that shown
I was inspired to buy this for my youngest son last Christmas after I read Newby2's review. My sons at the time were complete Toy Story nuts, and had lots of the other merchandise and you begin to run out of ideas of what they might like Santa to bring, so when I saw this, I thought it would appeal to my children a lot.
The set is fairly simple in my opinion, and not that tricky to put together. There are about 5 pieces of track which connect together by sliding into plastic pieces which support the track in the loop position that is so familiar from Toy Story One. There is an extra bit of track that has a wide opening to make a jump, and a plastic G clamp to attach one end of the track to a table. I find that this attaches great to my coffee table but it is not a high enough surface really. My dining table is too thick to attach this too, so we end up clamping it to the back of one of my dining table chairs. You need a good bit of height to get the car going fast enough to have enough momentum to make it round the single loop and the jump at the bottom. We also find that you have to have a few goes first to work out how far back to put the landing piece so your car reliably lands there.
The car that is provided for this is a little red hot wheels car, which again is true to the film. It is a Red Baron car, which is die cast and 1:64 scale. There is then a little Buzz Lightyear figure which attaches to the top of the car with a piece of clear plastic, and this looks really good I have to say. The kids certainly like to be the one in charge of the little car.
I find Hot Wheels sets are fairly interchangeable. My children have other hot wheels cars, in particular the ones that are styled to look like Toy Story characters, and they will all run along this track. I do find that the car provided with the set jumps a bit further as it is probably a bit heavier with the figure attached to it.
This set is not something that gets used all the time as the kids do need me to help them get it all set up, and it also takes up a good bit of space when you are playing with it. You need about a metre of floor space long, and we have the set at about a metre in height too when it is attached to the chair. It is a good job it doesn't take up a lot of space when not in play. When we get it all set up, the kids will happily spend about an hour making all the different hot wheels cars jump and seeing which ones go furthest. They can put the cars on the track themselves, although initially when he was only three and a half, my youngest needed showing how to be a bit more gentle with this to get his car to do what it should. The track is recommended for children aged 4 plus, and I think for this track, this is probably about right.
I think this is great for children who love Toy Story. My boys were not really massive fans of cars before getting this set, and now they play more with their toy cars and garage. It is not necessary to be a fan of the film to appreciate the fun of making cars fly round this track. I highly recommend this set. On amazon expect to pay between £14-20.
==Hot Wheel Buzz Lightyear - Falling With Style==
it has to be said that jack doesn't really like Toy Story all that much but seeing as he fits into the age group of children who should love it he ends up getting a lot of the toy paraphinalia that goes along with the film, as lets face it, there is so much of the stuff about.
For his birthday he received this set from his little girl friend Indie (my best friends daughter who is the same age which is lovely as my best friend has known me since we were 5 and now they are growing up together like we did). I can't say exactly how much was paid for it but having had a look online it usually selling for a little under the £15 price range which is a fair price for a set such as this in my opinion.
What you get when buying the set is a medium sized box which contains a small car, a small buzz Lightyear figure, a clamp and a good deal of orange plastic hot wheel tracks that need fitting together. The instructions that came with the set were very brief and consisted of only one page showing each piece and where it fits giving no written instructions at all. I left Himself to put this together and it took no more than 15 minutes.
The track is a fairly good sized one and the starting point needs fixing to a unit of some height and this is done by way of the plastic clamp that comes with the set. At first we fixed it to the TV unit in the front room but after the initial excitement of Jacks birthday wore off I moved it to his bedroom where we did struggle to find a good place with a nice ledge to fix it too. I had to take a drawer out of his chest of drawers in order to use the clamp effectively which was a little bit of a pain.
The track falls down from the high area where it is fixed to for a few lengths of track and then it is built into a loop the loop style circuit where it then flattens out for another length of track before there being a gap for the car to fly over and then land on a ramp type section of track not too far away. This of course needs some adjustment which can only be found out by putting the car on the track a few times and seeing what distance you need to have the ramp in order for the car to land effectively.
The little car itself has a place where you can fix Buzz Lightyear's feet so that he is in a standing position on the car (just like in the film) this looks really effective and Jack literally squealed with delight the first few times he send Buzz down the track which did surprise me. It also kept him amused for far longer than I had initially anticipated and he does still play with it from time to time now as it has been kept up in his room more or less since his birthday.
The track itself is made of the regular Hot Wheels type of bendy plastic which although doesn't seem to be a great quality does take a good deal of hard play and is virtually indestructible. The fact that the track comes apart into a good deal of smaller straight bits of track means that it is perfect for packing away and even without the instructions I have been able to reassemble it easily the one time that it has been tidied away.
It seems unlikely that Buzz Lightyear standing on the car will make the full turn around the loop the loop and fly across the gap to land safely on the ramp at the end of the circuit but he does and it works really well. Of course you do have to make sure that the beginning of the track has been clamped on to a high enough surface in order to get the speed required as the lower the starting position the more likely he wont make the jump!
All in all I have to say that this toy is a really good one and one that Jack was very pleased to receive for his Birthday. Even though he is not a great lover of Toy Story he has seen all the films so knows who the character is and what part of the film it comes from. However as a small child he loves a good play of cars from time to time and this is another reason why is it such a big hit. I couldn't believe how many times he initially sent Buzz around the loop the loop and it was beginning to make me feel sick let along what poor old Buzz Lightyear felt like!
It has to be a top scoring product in my eyes as it really does seem to tick all the boxes. It is an affordable item which is hard wearing and easy to store plus lots of fun to play with. I think a 5 out of 5 stars and a very high recommendation is well deserved by this little Hot Wheels item.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.