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368 of 394 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2007
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208 of 221 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2008
This toy is just plain fun. Even for your kids! In fact you might have to get them one as well! It started when we ordered a couple for our two grandkids. Both boys. One barely walking and the other a 4 year old that doesn't know the meaning of walk. Once we got these put together we saw how much fun they were we had to find a reason to order more, so we decided our niece and nephew needed them as well.

The specifics:
1. The toy is easy to put together. All you need is a hard rubber mallet (a block of wood and a claw hammer works just as well), and a Philips screwdriver. (You will not need to put in any screws but you will need the screwdriver with the included socket tool to help you tighten the nut on the steering shaft). There is a good video on YouTube about how easy it is to put together.
2. The toy is sturdy. Check out some of the plasma car race video's on YouTube to see how sturdy this toy is. (In no way do I suggest this is the way to treat the toy, but the videos are entertaining.) In any case they state the toy can handle up to 200 lbs on a smooth surface. I can personally testify that it will handle a bit more than that with no problem. (Hey Plasma Car! How about a bigger model made for us full size 50 year old adult frame types. I am at a significant disadvantage when sidewalk racing because of the cramped posture I must assume when competing!)
3. The toy is fast enough for any toddler, and on a downhill slope can be a real thrill. Toddlers will find it fun and they figure out how to make it move without any instruction. They can also paddle it around with their feet as well. Believe me, they will make it move plenty fast with just a little practice.
4. The toy is expensive but consider that if they start at 4 years old they could ride it for 10 years or more. So it only comes out to about five or six dollars a year. How many toys can you say that about?
5. No motor. No fuel. No batteries. You might think that means no fun. But not so! Certainly it's not as fast as a dirt bike. But watching my 18 year old daughter cruise around the house made me realize that fun riding toys don't necessarily need motors. And since we won't let her ride the dirt bike indoors, (or even her bicycle for that matter) this becomes a fun alternative.
6. Quiet. Except for the giggles and squeals.

If you read other reviews you will see a couple of disappointed reviewers. As for being hard to put together, the ones we received went together easily. You will need a hammer of some sort, and some tool like a screwdriver to turn the socket tool but that is all. Fast and easy to put together. As to being slow, well it can be. It can also go fairly quickly. It's all in how you work the handles back and forth. Really, check out the videos on YouTube.
I think kids of any age will really like the Plasma Car. I highly recommend this product.
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289 of 310 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
I was very excited to purchase the plasma car for my kids 9 and 6, for Christmas. We have hardwood floors throughout, and my 6 year old and my toddler nieces love to ride around on their big wheel tricycles during winter months, but my 9 yr old is always left out. I read the reviews about the plasma cars and how it can hold up to 200 lbs. Some reviews were saying that parents were even enjoying themselves, riding around during family get- togethers. So I thought, wouldn't it be nice for my 9 yr old to still be able to ride around with her younger sister and cousins. I put the first one together and tested it out. It worked, but it was very very slow..... I was still able to move around on the hardwood floors, but it wasn't much fun, just OK. I'm 135lbs; my 9 yr old is 85 lbs; maybe she would have been able to go a little faster, but i cant imagine that it would be a whole lot faster. So I researched a little and learned that I could replace the plastic wheels with polyurethane wheels. Imagine rollerblades with plastic wheels vs. rollerblades with polyurethane wheels and you'll understand the amount of difference the latter makes! I couldn't find replacement wheels online so I went to sports authority and they showed me rollerblade wheels that fit perfectly. I got the 80/82a size rollerblade wheels. (make sure the ones you get come with the bearings, by the way) All you need is a racket wrench and replacing the front wheels takes less then a minute. Super easy! I tried it out with the polyurethane wheels in front and kept the plastic wheels in the back. Very smooth and fast. I felt like a kid again zipping around, being able to make sharp turns- it became AWESOME! I even sat my 1 year old on my lap and we rode around for 20 minutes because he was having so much fun! I then proceeded to try and change the back wheels... Thats where the problem came in. The back wheels popped off fine with the help of a screwdriver, but pushing the wheels back in/ popping it back into place was ridiculously difficult. My hands became sore, so I tried hammering it in, then bent the plastic, which resulted in a torqued position pushing against the wheel thus making it spin very slowly with lots of resistance. So one plasma car was shot. With the next plasma car, I was a bit more careful and after a great deal of time, pain, and frustration, I finally was successful in getting the back wheels on. I tried it out, and realized it went about as fast as when only the front wheels were changed... Probably because the front wheels are the ones that swivel and turn to propel you, while the back wheels don't do much but support the other end. Basically, it wasn't worth the effort in changing the back wheels since it was the same speed anyway. The only difference was there was less noise if all the wheels were polyurethane. And I could care less about the noise, since the kids are usually laughing louder then their big wheel tricycle wheels.
Bottom line, If I could do it over, I would've only changed the front wheels on both plasma cars, since it is the same speed anyway, and i would've avoided wasting my time, having sore hands, and ruining one plasma car in the process. At least my 9 yr old will be able to ride her plasma car come Christmas, and my 6 year old will have to continue riding her big wheel tricycle. Now to find my 6 yr old a new Christmas present...
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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
**I rarely write reviews, but know this will help those who are considering the Plasma Car. It offers an answer to those reviewers who accurately complained about how slow the car is. I can't stress enough that changing the wheels out on the car was a night and day difference on its performance, and my kids now love it.**

Got this for my 2 & 4 year old for Christmas. As many reviews have said, you need a flat, smooth surface for best performance - our concrete driveway works great for this.

My kids tried it out for a couple of days after Christmas but did not find it that fun since they could not get much momentum out of it -- because of the cheap molded plastic wheels that come with the product. Rough ride, moderate handling, rather slow and underwhelming performance.

So I followed the advice of some reviewers and ordered a four-wheel set of inline skate polyurethane wheels with Abec-7 bearings. Wheel Size: 80mm / 83a (the 83a stands for the level of hardness in the plastic of the wheel). I think I paid around fourteen bucks for the wheels, but it was worth every penny.

The front wheels (the 2 that actually touch the ground, not the 2 that stay in the air) were easy to replace - 5 min tops. The back wheels were much more involved. I had to do some modification to the white plastic part of the axel that comes with the car in order to make the polyurethane wheels fit into the wheel housing. The poly wheels were a little wider than the cheap plasmacar wheels (not in diameter, but in thickness), but I didn't know this when I ordered the poly wheels sight unseen online (I could not find any at the local store). You may be able to avoid my struggle of having to modify the car if you find wheels that are the same thickness/width of the plasmacar wheels. But in the end, I got it to work even with the wider wheels.

When my kids tried it again with the poly wheels, it was like a completely different product. Not exaggerating here. It is such a smoother, faster ride. I wish I could post a before and after video to prove my point. My 4 year old son kept saying how much better it rode. I tried it too and it is very smooth (and I admit, pretty fun). My 2 year old daughter absolutely loves it and can fly on it - she can operate it so much better now. With the cheap wheels, the plasmacar sat neglected in the garage. Now my kids fight over who gets to ride first every time they go out to play.

By the way, if the makers of plasmacar read this review, I would have gladly paid an extra ten to fifteen dollars to have a car with polyurethane wheels built in to avoid the hassle of replacing myself. You should offer this option.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
I wish I read some of the negative reviews before I purchased this for my Grandson. It really doesn't move forward on any rough surface. Even tile that has a grout line bigger then 1/4 inch.
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90 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2008
My 6 year old 65 lb child seems a bit too big for this car but she does like it. Unfortunately she can only use it in the house on our tile. We tried it outside and it doesn't work well on sidewalks or roads (on a cul de sac.) The companys video on their website shows a lot of children on these cars in a real GYM! Yes, that would be nice but where can you find a gym! Nowhere that I have seen - as a matter of fact gyms usually do not allow wheeled toys in them. Another problem is that the front wheel alignment is constantly needing to be re-aligned. Overall, kids do like this but I would change the age range from approx 3-7 and you really need a large tile or hardwood floor area in your home (unless you know someone who happens to own a gym!)
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2010
Should have read the 1-3 star reviews. Bought for my 4 year old. Does not ride well on any concrete or outside surface, no matter how smooth. Just as pictured--ideal for indoor gym or smooth tiled floor only.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2014
My 3 year old is a double amputee from the knee down. This toy is simply amazing because with most of the outside riding toys out today you need to push a foot pedal of some sort to get it going. Since with my son's prostheses on he doesn't have enough strength to push any sort of pedal down this was a great buy! He manuever everywhere he wants to go on this vehicle with his arms and without his prosthesis on his legs are short enough that they don't get in the way. Love this toy!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
We gave this toy to my 3 year old son for Christmas. Here are some observations:

1. When my son swings the steering wheel back and forth, the front main wheels sometimes slip side-to-side on our tile floors and wood floors. The hard plastic doesn't provide enough friction to work reliably.

2. The front main wheels do not turn freely; there is noticeable resistance. Other reviews here suggest replacing the main wheels with roller blade wheels with bearings, and I will try that out.

3. The front stability wheels do not turn on my unit. This is not mentioned anywhere in the instructions, and caused me some confusion and consternation during assembly. Eventually I searched online and found that some units have fixed wheels and some have freely turning wheels. One reviewer here modified his fixed wheels to turn freely, and I will try doing the same.

4. Both stickers on the main body are crooked - not just a little bit, but quite a bit. Even at a casual inspection, they look carelessly applied.

5. The rear wheels are bent. As the wheels rotate, they wobble back and forth, which means the asymmetry is in the wheel itself. One wheel is bent noticeably and rubs the shroud slightly at one point in its rotation; the other wheel is bent very slightly and is serviceable.

6. When you tighten the steering wheel bolt, you can't see the position of the wheels for reference. To help with alignment, I put a 4' scrap of 2x4 on the floor and held the wheels against it. This allowed me to see the orientation of the wheels as I tightened the bolt.

Due to #1 and #2 above, my son did not find this toy very enjoyable. He tried it for a few minutes, didn't really go anywhere fast, and put it aside. He hasn't touched it since.

The product idea is great but the execution is poor. I am not impressed for the money I spent to buy this. I will contact the company about the rear wheels. If I resolve one or more of these issues, I will update this review.

EDIT: I ordered a set of four 80mm 82A with bearings from an Ebay seller. (82A is the hardness rating of the polyurethane, for those who don't know - I didn't.) The fronts were a very simple swap. In the rear, the polyurethane wheels were slightly wider than the plastic wheels. I had to sand away some thickness from the plastic axle supports (the white plastic things with the star on them). You can sand them down by placing a piece of coarse sandpaper on the floor and rubbing the inner face of the supports against it, or rubbing them on a concrete surface. Test-fit them occasionally to make sure you don't remove too much material, try to balance the amount of thickness you remove from each side, plus you can buy a bit of "give" in the black plastic socket when you reinstall them. You'll also need four metal washers (M8 I think?) to be placed on either side each wheel so the wheel bearings don't drag against the plastic axle supports; account for this in your thickness removal. Remove any of the gummy plastic spacers in the front and rear wheel assemblies as you find them.

Once all of this is done, the car is MUCH smoother and faster on pavement! And, he can ride it all day long inside without any effect at all on our tile and hardwood floors. In my mind, this is a must-have modification for these cars; it's a night-and-day difference.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2015
We spent last night at a 3 year old's birthday in a massive sports complex where about 20 of these were available for every child. They were being ridden nearly constantly during free play. That says all you need to know.

But I'll add a little:

I've been familiar with this product for years now waiting for my daughter to become old enough to fully enjoy. Now that she is three I see that the time has come to purchase one. Prior to this age they can move it with only their feet. Perhaps some younger children could understand the concept of moving the handle back and forth. And of course they can move with just their legs quite easily and still have fun.

I weigh about 165 and I had my daughter on my lap driving this thing all around the floor of the facility. It easily functions to 195 lbs I can attest. I was the first adult to get on this and afterwards many other adults had to try it themselves. I couldn't care less what people think of me: I get on the ground and have fun with my kids.

This will not function outside as any pebbles, grit, grime, sand will prevent movement. We have a huge three-car garage and I plan to let my daughter use it in there after sweeping. You must have a large indoor area for this product, though it can turn on a dime actually.

Now we just need to pick a color.....
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