Toy cars! Anyone who loves cars will tell you that they paved the road for their real-life counterparts. In fact, die-cast collectors and auto enthusiasts still cruise the toy aisle searching for the latest additions. Regardless of how old you are, there’s just something cool about collecting them and marvelling at the details. Well, a growing collection, needs a place to park. Thankfully, Mattel’s Matchbox Action Drivers Matchbox Park & Play Garage offers just that.
For Kids And Adults
The toy industry has grown leaps and bounds over the years. I often look at my son’s toys and often wonder why these awesome toys weren’t available when I was growing up. You only have to look at some of the recent toys we’ve reviewed — He-Man toys and WWE toys — to feel like a kid again.
But Matchbox cars (and their many accessories) aren’t just push-around toys for kids. If you search around the Internet, you’re bound to find some enthusiasts who take collecting the die-cast cars very seriously. It’s become a huge business, with some even selling their collections for thousands of dollars.
The two biggest names in that industry are definitely England’s Matchbox and America’s Hot Wheels. The two fought for toy car supremacy until the 90s when Mattel finally acquired the Matchbox brand. Today, Mattel continues to release model toy cars under the two brands, both different but equally fun. If Hot Wheels are the Fast and the Furious franchise, Matchbox would be the Baby Driver franchise. Fun but different.
Even before opening the Matchbox Park & Play Garage playset, it’s clear from the packaging that you’re in for a lot of fun. While it’s not as crazy-looking as some of the Hot Wheels designs, the bright coloured orange box is inviting and immediately communicates the more “realistic” or “life-like” design. There’s no giant gorilla or giant crocodile implemented into the look. Instead, it looks very much like a modern parking garage you’ll find in a big city. This makes it perfect for play or for those who simply wish to display their model cars.
The Matchbox Park & Play Garage playset is a multi-level parking garage with a manually operated car lift, parking gates, and sounds. That means it’s very interactive and immersive. Drivers pull up to a gate that automatically lifts to enter the garage. A manual elevator then carries the tiny vehicles from the ground floor to the roof — where they are able to park.
This playset connects and forms part of an even bigger set — which includes an airport, a fire station, a helicopter rescue pad, a construction site, an auto shop, and a petrol station, among others. This means that, if you collect all the locations and sets, you’re able to play in a massive city location.
Again, this is something that wasn’t really around when I was a kid. We mostly dug holes in the ground and used our imagination to create different locations.
The Matchbox Park & Play Garage Playset Assembly
The other cool thing about the three-tier Matchbox Action Drivers Park & Play Garage playset is that it’s pretty easy to put together. As a dad of a 4-year-old, I’ve put together a lot of these kids’ playsets over the years, and not many of them are simple. I often have to refer to the manual just to know where to begin. That’s not the case here. I’m not sure how they’ve done this but it’s pretty simple and easy to see where everything goes. In fact, I didn’t have to read any of the instructions to know how to put it together. But if you need help, the interlocking plastic tabs are also letter coded – making it easy and quick to build.
This set only comes with one car (a 1:64 scale metallic green Mustang GT with gold wheels), but, as you can tell from the images, it can take a lot more (apparently it can hold up to ten 1/64 scale cars).
Final Thoughts on The Matchbox Park & Play Garage Playset
Toys are just getting cooler and cooler as the years go on. The Matchbox Action Drivers Park & Play Garage playset is proof of that. It’s safe, fun and very interactive. Kids will love it. Adults will too.
The Matchbox Park & Play Garage playset retails at around R669.99 and is available at all good toy stores.