41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
This is one clever toy. It looks just like the Lightning McQueen kids know and love but with just one pull of the spoiler the wings, tail fins, jets, missile launchers and a flight helmet all spring out from hidden compartments simultaneously. The jets light up and Lightning has several sayings that not only adjust to whatever form he is in but also to whatever he is doing implying that the toy includes some sort of motion sensor I suppose. So if for example he's in car form he says things like "Less Race!" and when he's a plane he'll say things like "Bank left!" if turned or "Nose dive!" if you point him down.
Unfortunately it's just not made sturdy enough for children. The wings and tail fins are flimsy and destined to break. And when you want to turn him back into a car you push all the plane components back inside their compartments but the latches inside that lock them in place rarely catch properly, so 90% of the time when you push them in they immediately pop back out again leading to frustrated children. And the stickers on my son's started peeling off after 2 days.
Clearly a case of a great design that was cheaply made.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
After reading the first review about the compartments catching and going back into a car. I was worried so I checked it out at three different stores and all the toys were the same. They are 110% right. It's a shame this toy is a great idea but the wings, missiles, fins etc all are TERRIBLY hard to get back in. Myself as a grown adult could hardly do it. You eventually get a knack for it but even then it does not always work. Has a cheap weight and feel to it as well. I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted long if we had kept it for longer. My child was too frustrated with it so it got returned quickly. Really amazing concept but to put things back in place is just too frustrating for my preschooler.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
We bought this at Target for more money unfortunately, but my 4 year old son loves it, he's a big fan of the Cars franchise, especially the first movie. He likes it so much that he's asking for "Mater Hawk" as his #1 Christmas "want"...which I haven't been able to easily find.
Anyways, it makes a lot of noise because Lightning makes some kind of comment about every 3 seconds, even if you're not moving him around. I think it's really cool how he specifies which way you tilt him (bank right, bank left, nose dive, etc), and the lights and sounds are really kind of exciting. I think the jets in the back look cool and at first we had a hard time making the transformation back from plane to car as well, but the trick is that you have to make sure his jets are closed, then just push everything back in and they click back together.
As for durability, we let our son take this to daycare as his "Show and Tell" once, and Lighting's goggles that pop up in airplane mode popped off after some rough play, but we were able to snap them back on and he's good as new. I won't allow him to take it to school anymore since they are very rough on toys there, but my son's rough on his toys as well and this thing still has all it's parts...so far. I can definitely see something breaking at some point, but I think it's a mildly sturdy toy.
I was surprised the toy had such low ratings so I thought I'd give my son's approval for anyone else out there. 4 year old boy approved!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2012
Just a quick note to let you all know that this car is quite easy to close. I can understand the other viewers, but they didn't do it right. I didn't either at first . In order to put the wings back , you don't just push them in a little, and push the door closed . Its a much more clever mechanism. You must push the wings straight in all the way, they will click , then pull your finger out and the door will close automatically . I was so concerned about this issue that I held off buying the item until I figured it out. I must have tried out the car on 4 different shopping trips. Each time, I thought, "this stupid thing doesn't close." Then I inspected the mechanism closely and realized that you just push the wings straight in. Don't worry about the doors. I then tried every single one at the store- six of them. They all worked perfectly. So if you have this toy , its not broken or poorly designed. Its just poorly explained. I hope you and your kids enjoy as this as much as we do. It really is a cool toy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
In fall 2012, my then 3 year old son said he wanted this for Christmas, and he kept saying that constantly. When I researched the toy, I found it was in the $40-50 range. First, that was just a ridiculous price. Then I read a lot of reviews that mentioned the problems with the flimsiness of the wings and difficulty in putting them back in. So, I didn't buy it for Christmas.
Fast-forward to summer 2013. My 3 year old, turning 4, wanted it for his birthday. In all that time, he hadn't forgot about wanting this toy. When I went back on Amazon and saw that the price was slashed in half, I thought that it was worth it to buy at that price, even if it turned out to be junk. When he opened it, my son lit up and absolutely beamed with joy. He loves this toy! Seeing THAT was worth the cost.
But there's more. When he activated the wings, I paid close attention to his resetting them. What most people say is true, that it is a little difficult for a child to reset the wings. I had to do it for him a few times. I didn't read the instructions, but discovered that I have to close the back portion where the rockets are first. Doing that helps to reset the latches inside for everything else, which makes sense, since the back portion is what triggers all the parts to come out. Now, that doesn't mean it will be easy to get the wings to snap back into place. I found that once you push the wings in all the way, it may not catch on the latch inside unless you shift the wings laterally forward just a tiny bit. If you aren't thinking and start pushing in at the wrong angle, even slightly, you may not catch the latch. But after getting the feel of that, I can do it every time. That said, my son hasn't developed the feel for it. But hey, you know, that's the "learning" part of this toy. He's going to have to develop his sense of touch. So that's something a parent can work on with the child. And believe me, once the child understands this, it's like magic. It's like he's developed a new skill no one else his age has (and that's probably true). And once he gets it, and shows it to another kid who can't get it, he will feel better that he can instruct that kid to do it correctly. It also teaches him that he can't just force those wings in and hope that they stay. Just imagine a kid or even adult sitting there banging those wings in over and over again without thought as to the problem. What is that saying about the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? Some toys or things in life are like that, but some other things require a finesse approach. I'm not saying this to defend the toy's weak mechanism to latch, because I do think it is a design flaw, but it doesn't take away that much from the toy if you approach it differently, and it works for me and my boy. However, if my son were younger, and he got this when he was 3, he may not have had an adequate level of dexterity to work it out even if I had guided him.
With all that said, I don't think it's a flimsy toy at all. Yes, if he plays hard with it, I imagine the wings will break off. But that's true with a lot of his toys. Again, it's just a learning process. The missiles do have to be inserted a certain way. That makes no sense to me when there are so many other toys out there with missile launcher designs that don't have that specification. I'm baffled by that design decision. So, another thing my son needs to learn. I also noticed a sticker already starting to peal right out of the box. I'm not a big fan of stickers on toys, so my expectations for those things to stay on are pretty low. I don't think my son will be bothered by it when it actually comes off. All of these problems I mentioned are not deal-breakers, and I would be fine with buying this toy again for another kid who wanted it, but only if it is in the $20 range or lower.
Ultimately, my son totally, totally, loves this toy, and I'm very happy to have finally gotten it for him. If your child is 3 or younger, you might consider whether or not s/he has the fine motor skills to deal with this more nuanced latch situation. Otherwise, you WILL be called to constantly push those wings in.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2012
my 4 yr old son expected to be able to turn the car to a plane and back like in the commercial, instead the wings dont stay in when you try to turn it into a car, it just remains as a plane, (ive actually taped them in with duct tape when he asked me to help turn it into a car, and had to remove them when he wanted the plane) and the missile parts are difficult to open and align the missile in and place without having to ask me to do it each and every single time.
He has played with it twice and then put it away.
I do not recommend it.
on May 24, 2014
Our son ALWAYS played with this at his cousin's home so we got it for his own this Christmas. A definite favorite of the whole day. However, since our son is only 3, he often needed help folding the wings etc. back in. They come out automatically, but are tricky for little kids to put back in. With the rough play of our 3 yr old, there has been no damage in 6 months time. Very pleased as a parent, and of course he adores his own McQueen hawk.