Pros: cool color-change aspect, good for constructive water play, durable
Cons: price possibly, specific color change of this model
The Bottom Line: If your child really likes Disney's Cars series, then give these a try.
What little boy (or girl) doesn’t love playing with cars, or playing with water? Disney / Pixar’s new Color Changer Cars - based off the hit movie - is a hit for playing with both at the same time.
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. We first picked one of the most popular characters - Tow Mater, the tow truck.
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 Mater are green and turquoise, 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 100% plastic as far as I can tell without opening them up - which means no rusting even after the constant in-and-out of water.
One of the disappointing features of Mater, to my son, was the color shade change. The normal color is turquoise, and you can hardly tell the difference to the bluish-green when he “changes” color. This happens with the other Cars from this series that are the same color combination as well. A dark green or just another color altogether would have been a better choice.
All of Mater’s other key features - like the headlights, eyes, and decals - are all painted on or are molded plastic and have been very durable on this particular car. Mater has taken a lot of falls and general kid abuse and he still looks great… for a tow truck, that is.
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 $3.49. We have been able to find them at WalMart, Target, and Toys R Us so far. Overall, I find that my son really enjoys them enough to make them a good value.
Amount Paid (US$): 6.99 Type of Toy: Car, Truck or Raceway Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years
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