A wet adventure in the wild west world of Disney's Cars
Sep 2, 2010
Pros: nice color change, easy to use, kid loves them
Cons: price is moderately prohibitive versus value
The Bottom Line: If you've bought one of these Cars already, you'll probably be buying them all. Not a horrible investment but you can get 2 regular Cars for the price of one.
Apparently, once you start buying these Disney Cars toys, it becomes a sort of addiction. Sure, one water-color changing car is fun, but why not a whole raceway’s worth? Such as become the case with my son - we went from one starter car, Mater, whom I previously reviewed here, to about ten so far. In a moment of parenting weakness, they’ve become somewhat of an end-of-the-week bribe for my son who is struggling with starting Kindergarten and being away from home for nine hours a day. Hey, you gotta do what works sometimes! Tex Dinoco is our newest addition.
Recently, Mattel Toys released a line of these cool color changing cars based on the most popular characters of the series. When exposed to cold water and then warm water, they change colors. After much searching, we were able to find Tex Dinoco, one of the more elusive and obscure cars from the movie. Boost, Sarge, and DJ also seem to be some of the hardest models to find.
As far as color changing goes, these are fairly simple to work with. You can use warm or cold water, of course, but also any other heat or cold source will work. My son has taken to putting his cars in the freezer when they aren’t changing color fast enough for his liking, and heat as simple as rubbing them in your hands for a moment will change them as well. There are only two colors possible - the “cold” one and the “hot” one, which on Tex Dinoco are brown and mustard yellow, respectively. There is no “neutral” color for room temperature - they will tend to stay in the “warm” color until exposed to cold again. A nice feature is that they are almost 100% plastic as far as I can tell without opening them. The only metal on these cars are the two screws in the bottom that hold the base and body together, which leaves little to no room for rust over time from being exposed to water.
Tex Dinoco is one of the better of all the color changing cars we have tried. He changes from a deep yellow to a very dark brown. You can even use a paintbrush or cotton swab dipped in water to give him details like racing stripes or polka dots - my son’s favorite choice.
All of Tex Dinoco‘s, as well as the other cars in the series, key features such as the headlights, eyes, and decals are all painted on or are molded plastic and seem to be durable enough to withstand even rougher than average child play. Tex features a white top and white side accents - similar to an old wood-paneled station wagon - that lends to his “retro country” style.
The downside to these cars, of course, is that your child will likely want to constantly have water on hand to make the color change. I’ve started setting aside some “water time” for my son, with two containers of warm and icy water, for him to specifically play with them - otherwise, I hear the sink running at rather inconvenient times. They aren’t particularly ideal for bath time as well, unless you set aside a separate container for the cold water change.
This series of Cars toys is a little pricier than the normal ones at about $6.99 each. The regular plastic or die cast ones are typically about $3.49. We have been able to find them at WalMart, Target, and Toys R Us so far. Overall, I find that my son really enjoys them enough to make them a good value.
Amount Paid (US$): 6.49 Type of Toy: Car, Truck or Raceway Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years
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