We’re not sure what it is about vehicles that kids find so fascinating, but it seems an obsession with anything on wheels is practically required to emerge from the womb. Whether you have a toddler who delights in watching traffic or a grade schooler who’s memorized specific car makes and models, no toy collection is complete without a variety of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.
Sure, video games can put your child on scenic race tracks in Hawaii and even their favorite cartoon character in the driver’s seat (we’re looking at you, Mario Kart), but toy cars can inspire their unique imaginations like no other. We guarantee that in just minutes after tearing open the cardboard boxes on these toy cars, your living room will transform from rug and couch to open roads and rocky caverns, or a NASCAR track a la Daytona 500.
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1. Hot Wheels 20-Car Pack
With these Hot Wheels leading the way, you can expect to experience a wave of nostalgia. Automobile manufacturers give Hot Wheels license to make scale models of cars you’d actually find on the road, making this 20-car gift pack the perfect present for both kids and adult collectors alike. So if you’re looking for a box set to introduce your little roadster to scale models, it doesn’t get much more authentic than Hot Wheels.
2. Matchbox Gift Pack Assortment
Hot Wheels and Matchbox are two of the biggest names across the toy car industry, so you really can’t go wrong gifting one or the other (plus both brands are owned by Mattel). Each gift pack features an assortment of nine iconic diecast models of speedsters, work trucks, specialty vehicles and more — one of which is an exclusive decoration car you won’t find available anywhere else. Though Matchbox assortment styles may vary, any boxed set is an instant collection your child (or adult collector) will love.
3. Yeonha Toys Pull Back Vehicles Assortment
This assortment from Yeonha Toys includes a mix of heavy duty construction vehicles and speed racers, making this pack an essential buy for kids who like to build things — and build speed. The miniature cars are made of plastic and batteries aren’t necessary to pick up momentum. Rather, each of the 12 models includes a pulley at its back and accelerates once it’s released across the floor.
4. Funcorn Toys Pull Back Trucks Assortment
If there’s anything kids love more than toy cars, it’s toy trucks because they’re in awe of the gigantic vehicles’ bulkiness and power. Funcorn takes big motor vehicles like police cars, taxis, fire trucks and freight trucks and sizes them down so that they fit in the palm of your little one’s hand. Made from 100 percent non-toxic plastic, each vibrantly colored toy features a pullback so your child can pull and release their car, sending it whizzing across the room sans batteries. This means unlimited fun for them, and time for you to leave the room and get dinner started, tidy up or just sit back and relax while they navigate solo-play.
5. Prextex Police Car and Race Car Radio Control Toys for Kids
If you’re looking for a next-level car toy for your kids, look no further than this radio control set. This set includes a police car and racing car, both complete with figures you can remove. The vehicles and remote require batteries, so they’re a great toy for on-the-go use since you don’t need an outlet. With realistic sounds and flashing headlights, these cars will feel like the real deal to your kids.