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While browsing for my sons Christmas presents I found these cars at Argos reduced to around £6. He loves Disney cars so I decided I was going to pick him one up. There are three versions available Lightning McQueen, Mater, or Finn McMissile and you can ask to see which are in stock and choose between the characters. We went for Finn as we have shake and go versions of the other cards which are similar in size. It did say it required 3 AAA batteries which we had to hand, but actually they were already included so it was a case of removing the packaging and it was ready to go.
It resembles the blue spy car well. There are none of the features you would expect to see on Finn, but as it was a toddler car I was expecting this. Most of his spy accessories are small so for this to be a small child friendly toy it is to be expected. The voice is the same from the movie too so it is instantly recognisable to little one. If your child is a fan of the second movie it is sure to be a big hit with them. By pushing the button on top of the car the car will say two phrases from the film. These are the catchphrases of Finn and over within a few seconds. They are not overly loud bit loud enough to be heard while playing. At the same time as activating the phrases the front of the cars bonnet also lifts up to reveal a small light that shines out.
The car was a great size a little bigger than I expected. You can tell it is made for smaller hands as the car is made of thick durable plastic, and the shape of the car allows little one to get a good hold on it. The car still remains light enough for a small child to hold for long periods, and I would even say it could be used before the two year age recommendation. The button to activate the lifting of the hood is large and orange so easily usable by smaller hands. You only need to tap the button to get the car working, and there is nothing at all that could cause a danger. The car may open at the front, but it is all designed well so that it cannot catch little fingers.
Durability is ok but not fantastic. The voice is still fully usable after four months of use, and there is no sign of slowing or the batteries running low. We did find that the light stopped working after around 4 weeks. To be honest I am surprised it lasted that long with the amount of time my sons were playing with them. They tend to fly them around in the garden often resulting in it hitting the floor with some force. There is nothing that could cause any danger, and the whole car is still in one piece but the light just gave up. The front of the car still lifts and there are only a few small scratches so this does not affect play in anyway.
My main issue is this just has not been used. My boys still tend to pick the smaller cars up over this one, and it has been barely been out of the cars box since we purchased it. Once the light stopped working it was a broken toy and so interest in it just dropped. I think the simplicity of it is great, but just having two phrases makes you wonder why they bothered adding this feature at all. I think it is more suited to younger children as my two year old son enjoyed it at first, but even he became bored quickly. I think the fact it only has two phrases and the light stopped working quickly put them off. It is a lot larger than the other diecast cars we own so it puts it out of place in stories.
It works well as a car and I think it would actually be better without the interactive features. It rolls freely across the floor and travels some distance when pushed along. It is well made and has suffered a number of crashes with just the light breaking. It runs on carpet just as well as wooden flooring, and it has even been used out of the patio without any wear. The rest of the car is designed perfectly for little hands and I do think it would have been enjoyed more as a larger car. Again I feel it may be enjoyed more if we purchased the other two characters available as it sits out of place against the smaller cars. It is too large to fit on most of the race tracks we own, but my sons did figure out it can be pushed around their shake and go track without any problems. It does not run freely like the shake and go cars, but they still enjoy pushing it around the track.
I would recommend this car if you can get it cheaper than the £9.99 retail price. I think the lower age range could easily be dropped to a year old as it is very well made with nothing that could harm younger children. It is large in size but still light enough to be carried or pushed along the floor. My youngest son who was two when he received this was a lot more interested than my five year old son. It does have a young feel about it and with only two phrases it becomes boring quickly. We thought the light was great but it stopped working quickly which was a shame, and we have tried replacing the batteries with no success. At £5 a car they are reasonable for the price, but I do think £10 each is pushing it a little. This would be perfect for a first car from the range for any Cars 2 fan.