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Since we bought our daughters the DVD Mater's Tall Tales (see my review), it has been "Mater this, Mater that, Lightning McQueen did this, Lightning McQueen did the other..." They have become completely obsessed with these two characters. So on a recent shopping trip I found myself in Debenhams, and inevitably ended up in the toy section (as you do) and I noticed they had a lot of 'Disney Cars' paraphernalia, so I had a quick browse through and found this little gem - Brand New Mater for just £4 (along with Lightning Mcqueen which I also purchased)
**Brand New Mater**
If you've seen the Disney Pixar movie Cars then you will be familiar with the character of Mater, who is actually a very loveably rusty old tow truck. But I'm not sure if he occurs like this at the end of the film, or if this 'brand new' Mater is linked to Mater's Tall Tales where he appears with this shiny new paintwork several times. Anyway, it's basically Mater but with a new teal coloured paint job.
The toy itself is a 1:55 scale diecast vehicle with the exact same details as you see on Mater in the cartoon. The eyes are what's known as lenticular - i.e. they change with your viewing angle, and sometimes it actually looks like he's got 4 eyes. The vast majority of the toy is made from metal, but there are some plastic sections such as his tow arm at the back, his wing mirrors and the wheels.
Compared to some of the other cars in my daughter's collection, Mater is of a much higher quality, I'm not sure how to describe it, but he just feels well made and solid. The wheels are completely free wheeling, although they do squeak a little bit, but he moves very smoothly on laminate flooring. The attention to detail is amazing, even down to his tiny number plate on the back of the truck and the writing on his door panels.
**My Daughter's Reaction**
I gave this to my youngest daughter, who is 2 ½ and she fell in love with Brand New Mater as soon as she saw him. With him being slightly larger than your standard matchbox sized car, he stands out from the crowd, especially with his lovely shiny paintwork, so she can spot him a mile off amongst the masses in her box of cars. She takes him most places with her at the moment, including to bed, although I managed to extract him from her grasp for the purposes of this review. She panics when she has forgotten where she left him, and makes sure he is sat next to her when she is watching television, especially if she is watching Mater's Tall Tales.
My daughter is not the most careful of children when it comes to her toys, she has been known to throw them around, stuff them in places where they clearly can't fit, bury them in the soil, and drop them onto the pavement whilst sat in the buggy; and Mater is no exception to this. He does not receive special treatment, or get wrapped in cotton wool, and if I'm honest he is probably more subject to this kind of behaviour than any of her other toys because currently she plays with him the most; but to my relief he is riding the storm and has so far survived undamaged, not even a paint chip (unlike Lightning McQueen which I gave to my other daughter and is now covered in marks and chips, and she is very careful with her toys!)
This is a lovely little toy, and one of the better quality ones I think, I have inspected other 'Cars' toys and they have not looked up to much, but this one is just great, and yes I might be biased because I am a huge Mater fan, but I can't deny he looks and feels delightful! Although it is just a standard diecast vehicle and does not do anything special, it is bound to appeal to any young fan (and old fans or collectors I presume) of the Disney Pixar Cars movie.
I bought this from Debenhams for £4, but they are available on Amazon and Ebay for varying prices.
Brand New Mater is No. 19 in the Disney Pixar Cars collection.