Toy cars are classic fun! Find the ones your kids will love. Watch our video reviews to find the perfect cars to foster imaginative play. From cool vehicles based on hot TV shows to classic brands like Matchbox and to some of the latest innovations, our video reviews let you know what's hot and cool for your kids.
And whether they're playing on track or freewheeling, you'll find great toy cars for all ages here. You can even use our exclusive Price Check to compare prices, find things in stock and save money. Just click on any product below to get the fun rolling!
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The Best Toy Cars Over the Years
Toy cars have been part of kids' lives pretty much from the time real cars were introduced. Ford's Model A and Model T cars were reproduced almost immediately and were huge sellers. Kids' fascination with cars stems from wanting to be "big" in part, and it also comes from a desire to be part of the culture.
Over time, there have been many brands of toy cars that kids have loved. Corgi, Matchbox, Dinky Toys and many others. There were always metal die-cast cars beginning in the 1930s, but today's toy cars really date from the years after World War II as more and more people had cars, and the "car culture" of the United States bloomed. Certainly starting in 1968, Hot Wheels captured the culture sense with cars that replicated some of the coolest cars kids saw, but that they were very unlikely to see in their own driveways—muscle cars, hot rods and the like.
Today, there are many fewer brands of toy cars on the market, especially when it comes to replicas. In fact, the replica part of the market has declined in the 2000s, largely because the outrageous cars of the 70s and 80s have given way to much more luxurious cars that don't inspire quite the level of imaginative play.
Nonetheless, kids still love cars, and when most people think of toy cars, the first line that comes to mind is Hot Wheels, the most iconic brand in toy cars. In fact, even all these years later, Hot Wheels remains the best-selling line of toys in the U.S. by unit volume.
Today's Hot Wheels, though, have many different segments and different play patterns from racing, to crashing, and of course, just collecting. Every year Mattel introduces new Hot Wheels sets that put multiple cars on a track that are destined to eventually have highlight crashes. Criss Cross Crash is an example of a set that was first introduced in the late 1990s, and has come back every 8 years or so. It was a huge hit again when it was re-launched in 2015. One of the fun things about Hot Wheels is that as it approaches its 50th birthday, features like the orange track and the foam wheels that propel the cars through the track sets are virtually unchanged for going on three generations.
Racing is another way to play with Hot Wheels. Simple basic sets like the Hot Wheels 4 Lane Speedways is all about finding out which car is fastest. Whether you're playing with a friend or by yourself, it's fun to try and figure out which car is the fastest. At TTPM, we test out the Marvel Hot Wheels versus the Star Wars Hot Wheels to see which Character Cars was fastest. It was so much fun to see how fast cars like Yoda, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader were pit against Marvel Heroes like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America.
Mattel also has another super popular toy line of cars based on the Disney Pixar Cars movies. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Doc Hudson, and Sally Carrera were just a few of the characters from the movie that kids fell in love with. Mattel and Jada toys also both have toys from the Fast and the Furious movies featuring Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto's Dodge Charger to Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner's Toyota Supra.
Big Cars are also very popular with kids. Tonka is even older than Hot Wheels, first launched in 1947. It's known for hard working construction trucks, and that's how the brand is largely known. But in recent years, the lines have expanded to introduce all kinds of imaginative vehicles in a variety of sizes. Today, the Tonka line features police cars, fire engines, and all of the popular vehicles kids like to play with. most of these vehicles features realistic light and sounds that makes it more fun for kids.
Matchbox Cars were first introduced in 1952, and they were highly prized collectibles. Replicas of current cars and their Models of Yesteryear lines were hugely popular for both playing and collecting. Today, while there are still cars in the line, the play has shifted more to rescue and adventure play for preschoolers. New playsets are all about dramatic, narrative play as in the Matchbox Shark Ship Playset or classic, silly preschool play in vehicles like Stinky The Garbage Truck.
As long as the culture is filled with cars, kids will be playing with the toy versions. For active bodies and imaginations, these toys may be classics, but children discover them and their inherent magic as springboards for creativity in every generation.