LAST UPDATED: September 25, 2019
Best Toy Cars: Race Anywhere Anytime
Imagine a world where anything is a race track with these fun toy cars
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 25, 2019
Toy cars became popular in the 1950s, and since then they continue to dominate sales. You can find nearly any style, shape, and color for kids as well as adults. While originally designed for children, toy cars remain one of the most sought-after collectible items on the market. Here are some of the most popular toy cars you can find today.
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Benefits of Toy Cars
- Entertainment. A toy car is a great way to entertain children and can expand their imagination during playtime. They can even be fun for a collector or car enthusiast who may want to set them up around the house or trade them with others.
- Stress relief. Having a toy can be a good way to relieve stress or calm down a child. They are mobile and can be taken anywhere, plus many include noises or sounds for added pleasure.
- Fellowship. Toy cars can help bring people together who enjoy vehicles. Hobbyists buy and trade them to build their collection, while kids can trade them with their friends or race them against each other. They can also be used to teach and develop a child’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, or problem-solving skills.
Types of Toy Cars
A handheld toy car is one that is powered by the person playing with it. They do not feature any type of motor, battery, or wind-up ability to make them move. You simply use the power of your hands or another force to make them glide across any smooth surface with ease.
These types of toy cars are powered by batteries, remote control, pull-back components, or by winding them up. Once powered on, they move on their own until whatever is providing them with power runs out of juice. They are typically more expensive and maybe larger to accommodate room for the extra components.
Owned by Mattel, Inc., Matchbox began selling toys in 1953. The company was introduced by Lesney Products and got its name because the boxes the toys came in were similar to matchboxes. It makes die-cast models of toys, planes, and cars, such as the Matchbox 9-Car Gift Pack.
Also owned by Mattel, Hot Wheels began in 1968 by creating die-cast toy cars. The company licenses real-life vehicles to use as the base for every car it creates. The original Hot Wheels cars were made by Elliot Handler. One of the best sets to get today is the Hot Wheels 9-Car Gift Pack.
Garage Toy Cars Pricing
- $1-$20: Toy cars are typically sold one car at a time, and you don’t have to pay very much for individual vehicles. Generally, cars in this price range will be hand-powered.
- Over $20: When you get to this range you will start seeing box sets and motorized toy cars. You may also find some that are sought-after collector’s items or mint condition in their original boxes.
One of the most important factors you should consider when buying a toy car is how well it moves. Toy vehicles powered by hand may be cheaper but can only travel so far by the force of your wrist. If you want cars that travel further without expending much energy, you should consider a toy car that has a motor.
For children, it’s important to have a toy car that won’t easily break or fall apart. It’s best to get them a toy that stays together, so the child won’t eat or swallow small pieces. A toy car that is built to last is also sought after by collectors, who prioritize build quality.
- Extra Components: There are extra components you can buy for toy cars to help them move. A track allows you to set the car on it then let it go without fear or worry of it colliding with something valuable. Plus, it’s entertaining to watch them race around.
- Style: One of the best things about toy cars is there is a wide variety of them. You don’t have to stick with the same vehicle forever. If you want a more wacky and colorful racer, some feature famous characters and odd vehicles. Or you could choose a toy car that resembles an actual sports car or truck.
Best Toy Cars Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This 10-pack features classic 1:64-scale vehicles in a variety of styles. Hot Wheels is known for its attention to detail in its products, and these cars are designed for kids ages 3 to 6, as well as avid collectors.
The packaging is good, and the vehicles are in excellent condition. They are made with a good-quality, heavy die-cast material. The cars run well on Hot Wheel tracks and are heavy enough to do a loop-de-loop.The vehicles are very durable, affordable, and fun, and there are lots of cool car varieties. They are also easy to use if you are a child with small hands.
However, not every car works on every track. Some are definitely better than others for certain types of tracks. There have also been complaints that while it’s advertised as a 10 pack, it only features nine vehicles.
This pack of nine, tough, die-cast vehicles makes a great collector's item or gift for kids. The cars are 1:64 scale and around three inches in size with varying designs and colors.
Each pack features a one-of-a-kind vehicle not available as a standalone item. Plus, the cars are quite sturdy, and no matter what a child throws at them, they can take a beating. Another benefit is that the wheels spin without issue and speed along the floor with ease. You will find a wide selection of vehicles, including construction vehicles, fire trucks, police cars, and racing cars.
While this makes a great gift, some things are worth noting—some cars may be standard vehicles and, therefore, not particularly collectible. For example, they may include a simple SUV or truck without colorful decals or stickers. Plus, the packs will also vary on the types of vehicles you get.
This 20-pack features colorful, highly realistic, and authentically designed vehicles with rolling wheels. The 1:64-scale car set also includes a small Matchbox poster. The pack is designed for both kids and collectors and promises to deliver hours of imaginative play.
The best thing about this set is the photo shows the actual cars that are in the package, so it's not a random variety pack. It's a great starter set, especially considering the price. Kids in particular enjoy using the tractors and trucks. Overall, the vehicles are well-made and should last a long time.
One downside is that they do not come individually packaged. Instead, they come in two plastic molded trays that are inside a large branded box. Also, the vehicle selection is average, and there's nothing in there that is rare or outstanding.
On our list, we included a Cat Car toy, but you can also opt for Gekko Mobile and Owlette Flyer, or a set of all three models. All three toy cars are well-designed, entertaining, and durable.
These toys are ideal for children who are 3 years old and up, providing hours of fun. Each toy car rolls over the surface and has a free space to accommodate all three figures. The figures also have poseable arms and legs, and children can set them up in various postures. Each set promotes imaginative play and is an excellent option for growing children.
The included Cat Boy is fragile and prone to damages. It might break easily around the waist, and the head tends to snap and detach from the body as well. Also, it might be challenging to pull the figure out of the vehicle.
This toy car set is recommended for children from 3 to 6 years old. The set is tough, durable, and designed to last. It includes a car carrier truck and four little vehicles children can load on the track and transport around.
The thing that makes this set special is its wooden construction—sturdy and high-quality materials prove to be super durable. They also make handling the little objects easier for the youngest ones. Additionally, the four colorful cars are easy to load on the two different levels on the truck. The action will not only be fun for children, but also build fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The track grooves are not very deep, making the cars roll off the track easily and almost immediately after trying to wheel the truck. Another thing that might bother you is the quality of the paint, which can chip easily.
This set includes a car carrier truck and six little cars. The truck is colored in vibrant colors and has 28 empty slots to load many vehicles on its levels. It is ideal for children who are 3 to 12 years old.
All the pieces in this set are made of plastic and look very realistic. The truck is 20 inches long and allows for easy access during playtime. It also has a built-in carrying handle that slips in and out for easy transportation and storage. When it comes to the included semi-metal cars, they come in different models and colors to make things more interesting for children.
The set does feel a little flimsy due to its lightweight construction. The plastic material is not that thick or durable to withstand heavy pressure and a lot of abuse. The truck itself is quite reliable, but the included cars are fragile.
Rastar's 1:14 scale red Ferrari has manual butterfly doors, headlights, stereo equipment, and much more. It looks just like the real vehicle and offers full functions with the included controller, allowing you to go forward and reverse, turn left and right, and stop.
The remote control has a range of up to 98 feet, and the vehicle speeds up to 5.1 mph. Users love how easy it is to operate the car as well as its quality construction. This toy Ferrari is made of top-notch ABS plastic that's resistant to damage. It doesn't scratch easily, and the paint stays on through all kinds of conditions.
All Rastar cars work on the same radio frequency, and unlike most other RC vehicles, you can't change it. If you get two cars to race, one controller will operate both of them, which is inconvenient for those who want to get several Rastar models.
This vehicle is suitable for playing and perfect for complementing toy car collections. It's a Tesla model that has many features to offer and is available in four colors. Thanks to the sturdy construction containing alloy, ABS plastic, and rubber, the vehicle proves to be reliable and durable.
The model plays music and activates lights when you open the doors—all you need to do is to put in the included three batteries. Another great thing about this Tesla model is the realistic detail. The vehicle looks just like the real model, and most collectors will be quite satisfied with the design and budget-friendly price.
However, the car scratches easily and might get damaged when used for playing. Also, the working engine's sound is not correct for the electric vehicle, and the alarm sounds just like a smoke alarm. These things might annoy detail-oriented car enthusiasts and collectors.
This set is perfect for little ones who love to play with police vehicles. It includes 10 pieces, including police cars, trucks, a helicopter, and more. The car carrier truck allows children to pack the vehicles and carry them around with ease. All the pieces are soft and safe for playing, and they are ideal for those 3 years old and up.
The vehicles are made from metal and plastic and are easy to handle and maneuver, making the perfect grab-and-go set for growing children. The included pieces look incredibly realistic, providing more fun during playtime.
However, you'll have to compromise with the overall quality of the set for the price. The 10 included vehicles are inexpensive but also fragile. Although they won't break that easily, the little pieces might come off after some time. The plastic part that holds cars and keeps them stable in the truck is also flimsy.
This colorful car is suitable for children who are 18 months old and up, providing hours of fun and entertainment. Along with the ability to roll over different surfaces, the vehicle also offers sounds and flashing headlights.
You can control the effects by using the included remote control. That will allow you to set up everything according to your child's needs and provide a stimulating playing experience. It's made from non-toxic ABS plastic and has soft edges to prevent accidental injuries. The toy car also comes with three little figurines for more enjoyable playtime.
Be aware that it sometimes might start and move on its own. To avoid this from happening, make sure to turn it off after each use. Another benefit of turning off the device and taking batteries out is battery drain prevention—it tends to drain batteries quickly, so take them out after shutting off the toy.
- There are toy cars that can be collected as a set. However, finding them in one collective pack is difficult. You can buy cars individually to complete a set and improve the value.
- Be wary of any small parts that may come loose on the cars. While they are able to withstand some punishment, over time many parts can come loose and fall off, which can be a choking hazard for small children.
- There are multiple toy cars to collect, and they can be used for more than just rolling across the floor. Many can be set up to create little towns or villages for more imaginative play or as a way to show them off.
Q: How do I clean a toy car?
A: Those in a display case can gather dust, while kids can do a number of different things that can make the cars sticky or dirty. You can gently rub the car clean and reach grooves where dust or dirt may gather by using a damp Q-tip or washcloth. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow away dust.
Q: Do all toy cars have wind-up gears?
A: While many toy cars feature an ability to be self-propelled by pulling them back, others do not. Check with the manufacturer to see if the car you’re looking at can be wound up.
Q: Can you open the hood and doors on toy cars?
A: This will depend on the type of toy car you are considering. You can find vehicles with functional doors and hoods, but they may be more expensive.
For one of the best toy cars for children or collectors looking to complete a set, consider the Fisher-Price Disney Mickey & the Roadster Racers.
The Hot Wheels 10-Pack also makes a great gift at a cheaper price with realistic-looking vehicles.