What We Like
Keeps kids entertained for at least an hour
Durable and stands up to rough play
Easy to use straight out of the box
Fun for adults, too
What We Don't Like
Requires many batteries
No off button for sound effects
No left, right, or reverse buttons
As the parent to two kids under the age of 4, finding a toy that keeps both little ones busy—without the inevitable screaming matches over whose turn it is to play—can be a challenge. The two-in-one Prextex Cartoon Vehicles are designed for kids ages 3 and up, so we gave it a spin to see if it would occupy our 3.5-year-old (as well as our younger 21-month-old) for a good chunk of time. Read on to see if we recommend buying these remote control cars, which include a police car and a race car, as a gift for young kids.
These colorful plastic race cars and removable figurines boast an adorable, chunky design that makes it easy for little hands to hold. Babies and younger kids will be entertained by the fun sound effects and lights, but adults hoping for peace and quiet might eventually find the music annoying—especially because the songs last for a good 40 seconds and the volume can’t be turned down or off.
The cars managed to survive minor tumbles, getting driven off a 3-foot-high table, and even being thrown by a 2-year-old.
The remote controls are easy to operate straight out of the box, but there’s definitely a learning curve as there are only two buttons: one that moves the vehicles forward and another one that turns the car in circles. There are no left, right, or reverse buttons, so kids will need to maneuver the cars via three-point turns if they want to move in a specific direction. This concept might be easier for older kids to grasp, but judging from the non-stop action that we enjoyed with our two kids (both under age 4) while playing with this set, the lack of directional buttons clearly wasn’t an obstacle.
The radiofrequency has a surprisingly decent range of about 16 feet to 20 feet, provided there aren’t any walls or heavy objects interfering with the signal. Even so, when our youngest kid hid one of the cars inside a toy kitchen playset, the remote’s signal and the car’s power were strong enough to bump open the cabinet door.
The only downside is that the set requires 10 AA batteries: three for each of the cars and two for each of the controllers.
We also found the toys surprisingly durable. The cars managed to survive minor tumbles, getting driven off a 3-foot-high table, and even being thrown by a 2-year-old. Our kids tended to grab the cars by the antennas, which are covered in flexible rubber (thus leaving them unscathed). Needless to say, they can take quite the beating.
The only downside is that the set requires 10 AA batteries: three for each of the cars and two for each of the controllers, so that’s something to consider if you plan on buying this as a gift.
Entertainment Value: Fun for kids and kids at heart
Both of our kids (ages 21 months and 3.5 years old) easily spent a solid hour playing together with these toys. They eventually realized that the cars could do more than just race and bump against each other. They could also put the cars on their side and spin in donuts, much to their (and our) delight.
At least an hour flew by as we raced and chased our kids with the cars, and hide-and-seek was especially fun when ‘It’ was the speedy little police car.
The upside to having a two-vehicle set is that there’s no sharing required—and no fighting involved. We were pleasantly surprised when they took turns, deciding on their own to switch cars.
Grown-ups will have a blast, too. At least an hour flew by as we raced and chased our kids with the cars, and hide-and-seek was especially fun when “It” was the speedy little police car.
Educational Value: A lesson in cause and effect
Though our kids thoroughly enjoyed button-mashing the cars around the house, there may be more educational value for kids ages 4 or older. For older toddlers, these cars are great for developing cause-and-effect learning as they understand how each button corresponds to movement. They’re also wonderful for social and imaginative play, as we witnessed our youngers playing out make-believe race scenes.
Age Range: 3 years and up
Despite the remote control’s limited design, both of our kids were able to operate the cars with little or no frustration. Older children will have an easier time understanding how to turn the vehicles using the turn button.
Ease of Cleaning: A cinch to put away
Since there are only two cars, two figurines, and two controllers, the set is easy to clean up. The cars are made of plastic that’s easy to clean and wipe off. Fibers and hair can get stuck in the wheel axle, but we had no trouble pulling them out.
Price: Light on the wallet, heavy on fun
At about $29 retail, this cute little race car set is fairly affordable, especially if it’ll be shared between two kids. Our tots tend to pick them up a few times a week and play sessions tend to average between 45 minutes to an hour, making the toys well worth the reasonable price tag.
At about $29 retail, this cute little race car set is fairly affordable, especially if it’ll be shared between two kids.
Competition: Options for every young car fan
There are plenty of similar-looking options at about the same price point on the market, many of them offered in different themes. If your tot is going through a very specific phase (say, an obsession with cement mixers and dump trucks), that’s something you may want to consider when you’re looking around. If you’re looking for an RC car with more maneuverability, there’s no shortage of single-vehicle sets that retail for the same amount and offer complete directional control.
On your mark, get set, buy it!
If you’re looking for a cute race car set that will keep two kids (or adults!) entertained, the two-in-one Prextex Cartoon Vehicles are a great pick. The remote control race car and police car set is durable and provides at least an hour of entertainment, but just keep in mind that they require many batteries to operate, the directional controls are limited, and the sounds can’t be turned off.
- Product Name Cartoon Vehicles
- Product Brand Prextex
- MPN 6601/6602
- Price $28.99
- Product Dimensions 5.25 x 4 x 6.75 in.
- Required Batteries 10 AA
- Figurines Dimensions 1.5 x 1.5 x 2.75 in
- Remote Control Dimensions 4.5 x 1.5 x 10 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+
- What’s Included 2 radio-controlled vehicles, 2 play figurines, and 2 remote controls