Chances are, unless you have a pre-schooler, you probably haven’t heard of the show Mickey and the Roadster Racers over on the Disney Channel. I had noticed their character car-esque appearance, and my son, who has a preschool-aged half-brother that he spends time with at his mom’s, filled me in on what was going on. It’s pretty simple – Mickey (as in Mickey Mouse) and his usual gang (Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy, plus the “villain” Pete) are all owners of unassuming little cars that can transform into these big-time racing machines to solve whatever conundrum has befallen them.
Yeah ok whatever, it’s a show for kids under the age of like 6. However, there was an instantly collectible aspect about them that struck me. A few seemed harder to find than others, but within a couple of weeks we had all 10 of them (at the time). One thing that my kid instantly recognized was that the set included the “suped-up” versions of all of them, but only the “normal versions” of the boys, plus only a singular version of Pete and an extra Mickey. Armed with the vague knowledge that more of these could be made based on what’s in the TV show, I make it a point to thumb through them whenever I’m out.
Well, I did just that the other day and spotted a brand new Minnie car, her pre-transformation Bow-tastic Bow-mobile. The back shows another new card, a Halloween Hot Rod for Mickey, but I think we’ll be waiting a while for that one.
Yeah, the cars are clunky and a little lacking in detail, but they are diecast and of decent quality and perfectly capture that “timeless Disney look”…or whatever. One could also argue that these are products of this new era of cheap, simplistic animation that fails to inspire. I can definitely understand that POV, especially after watching a couple of episodes.
I do like the bright and distinct colors that give them their preschool appeal. Daisy’s Snapdragon is easily my favorite, and I dig the lines of both Minnie’s Pink Thunder and her new Bow-tastic Bow-mobile. Pete’s Super Crusher is almost kinda badass in its preschoolish way! Mickey and Goofy’s “normal” cars a little plain for my tastes, but I guess that’s the idea. Besides the berth of cars that Pete actually drives throughout the show, all we’re missing now is Daisy’s “normal” car…girls always get the short end of the stick when it comes to cars.
The vibrant paint jobs might not hold up to the sort of play for the intended demographic, but the cars themselves are good and sturdy and a little on the large side for small hands. The wheels and axles are noticeably stronger than your average diecast vehicle and ought to hold up through anything.
At the end of the day this is just a neat little inexpensive collection to admire for what it is. If Disney were to juice ’em up with a little more detail, I guarantee these would be more prevalent on the car collecting radar. After all, they’re a product of Fisher-Price, themselves a subsidiary of Mattel, who is of course responsible for Hot Wheels (and Matchbox, strangely enough).
As I was getting my pictures in order and preparing for this piece to go live, I had to run out to Target for a few minutes. I specifically looked over the Roadster Racers to check for the Halloween Spookster or any other potentially new releases, and the tracksets caught my eye. Now normally I try not to get all worked up over tracksets: I don’t have anywhere to put them, and even if I did, it’s not like I really “play” with them like that. My kid and I might roll some cars around on it for a couple of days, but that’s about it.
Anyway, they had a couple of Roadster Racers tracksets with so-called exclusive vehicles. One was Mickey in his Hot Dog car….only he’s sporting a fucking blue helmet instead of the yellow one featured in the standalone release. The other was a little more interesting and includes Donald in his Surfin’ Turf, only it’s been repainted a lighter, tropical shade of blue, got a couple of flowers painted on the side, and is now dubbed a “Hawaiian styled Surfin’ Turf” by the back of the box. (Formally known as the Wacky Wave Rider.) I guess Target is gearing up for the fall season because freakin’ everything over in toys is on sale, with the trackset going for only $10.48. My kid almost always loves adding a new member to a collection, so upon his approval, we snatched it up. Is the blue-capped Mickey in the cards for the near future? I dunno. Maybe if they mark ’em down again…
It is a cool blue. And I’m glad it’s different color from Donald’s amped-up racer.
So there it is. A collection of preschool toys. Yeah yeah, throw the shade, get it over with…no shame! But hey, if you see any new ones, be sure to tell me! There’s definitely a slot waiting for Daisy’s “everyday car,” and although I doubt the actual show will change, it would cool if they balanced out the girls with Goofy’s counterpart Gertrude! Until next time!