We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times newsroom or editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Fasten Your Seatbelts for the Best Toy Cars

When it comes to a children's gift, you can never go wrong with a toy car. Many adults would still kill to get the latest Hot Wheels or another toy car. These toy models bring our imagination to life for endless hours of fun. No matter how crazy or over-the-top a car stunt may seem on paper, toy cars let kids play out their imagination. Join us as we zoom past the best toy cars in 2022 and take you through a complete overview of these miniature models.

A toy car is a mini representation of an automobile, whether real or fake. The sky's the limit when it comes to the range and types of these toys. Simply put, if a type of automobile exists, chances are you can get a mini replica of it to play with too. And, the best part about these toys is that playtime is free of screen time. Toy sales have seen such unprecedented growth in recent months. Today, we'll be telling you all about these model cars and how you can go about buying one for yourself or your loved ones.

Buckle up. It is pedal to the metal from here on out.

Compare the Best Toy Cars of 2022

Hot Wheels Interactive Display Case and Car Set - Best Overall

This Hot Wheels set is a great beginner's gift for kids 4 years and older. Hot Wheels has been the leading seller of toy cars for decades with their iconic racing track sets and collectibles. With your purchase of this race display case, you'll receive eight Hot Wheels cars plus a great display case, perfect for those taking their collection to the next level. You can either stand the case on its feet or mount it to the wall. You can even connect Hot Wheels race tracks to the lower level and watch cars zoom through the case!

  • Display case fits 12 cars
  • 8 Hot Wheels cars included
  • Great for collectors who want to display their models
  • Case intended to fit Hot Wheel’s car dimensions (1:64 scale vehicles)

WolVolk Transport Carrier Truck Toy Car - Another Top Pick

Next, we have a car carrier truck toy from WolVolk. It comes with six sporty-looking vehicles along with cones and construction signs that can be used as props. The truck itself is made from a durable and stylish black plastic with a front cab that can be detached. On the other end of this cab is the carrier attachment with 28 compartments. These slots are big enough to store your average-sized Hot Wheels. One side of this trailer section is transparent for easy viewing of the cars on display. It even has a handle on top for portability.

  • 28 compartments for toy cars with a detachable front cab
  • 6 semi-metallic cars, construction signs, and cones
  • Handle on top for easy carrying
  • Cones and barriers are included can become choking hazards

Matchbox 9-Car Gift Pack - Runner Up

No list of the best toy cars can be complete without mentioning Matchbox. This gift pack comes with 9 random automobile replicas. From hypercar models to truck miniatures, this set can expand the types of cars your kid plays with. However, note that if you buy this set again, you might get duplicates of some of them. The build quality of Matchbox cars is top-notch. Each set comes with a guaranteed unique car that is not found anywhere else.

  • 9 extremely durable and realistic metallic toy cars
  • Guaranteed one unique automobile
  • Random included cars can be a problem if you buy more than one set

Green Toys Car Carrier Recycled Plastic Toy Car - Contender

As the name suggests, the Green Toys Store is part of the sustainable toy movement. So, it comes as no surprise that their Car Carrier toy is made from recycled plastic, free of phthalates, BPA, and PVC. An environmentally friendly and safe-to-use toy is more than enough for the modern parent. This trailer truck toy is specifically aimed at very young kids who have an active imagination. It comes with a detachable truck and trailer along with three cute little cars that fit perfectly on the ramp. These models are even dishwasher safe in case you'd like to clean them after an incident.

  • Blue and orange color options
  • Made from recycled plastic and painted with environmentally friendly dye
  • Made in the USA
  • Ramp may be too small for your child's other toy cars

Buyer's Guide

Your mission to find the perfect toy car can get a little tedious if you don't know what exactly you're looking for. So, let's teach you all there is to know about these mini vehicles with this comprehensive buyer's guide section.

Are Toy Cars Good For Children?

Other than the fact that toy cars are exciting and fun to play with, let's look at two reasons why they make for a great children’s toy. Mind you, we are talking about benefits for children here and we will surely not use it as an excuse to get a toy car for ourselves.

Developing Motor Skills

Motor skills include body movements that require the muscles to coordinate and move. When your kid is playing with a toy car, they are engaging their arms, neck, hands, and legs to play around.

Not to mention, playing with a toy car also develops hand-eye coordination and dexterity which are vital for young children. As your little one grows up, they will start to run around the house with their mini cars. This physical exertion will further prove to be beneficial for them.

Advancing Cognitive Skills

Cognitive, or brain-based skills, are also developed when your child takes hold of their toy car. Imagining situations where they race their toy and create original stunts gets their creative juices flowing and engages their brain.

Things To Consider When Buying Toy Cars

Compatibility

Now, this one isn't a necessity but it's always a good option to buy toys that complement and are compatible with each other. For example, if you're looking to buy a toy pickup truck or trailer, make sure that it is big enough for your other cars to fit in. If you're opting for battery-powered toys, you should also make sure that the batteries are included in the package or you’ll have to purchase your own.

Durability

Toy cars are notorious for being cheaply made, especially if you're in the market for plastic car toys. While metallic cars are more expensive, they are much more likely to last longer. However, plastic cars are lighter and safer which makes them great for young kids. Regardless, it will be wise of you to look through consumer reviews and see what previous buyers have to say about the longevity of your new toy car.

Buying Tips for Toy Cars

Realism

Granted, your three-year-old won't mind if their new toy car isn't decked out with attention to detail, but there is something satisfying about a realistic-looking car model. It’s something your kid will appreciate growing up and may encourage an interest in cars.

A wise piece of advice here: if you are looking to buy realistic cars, make sure to seek out well-reputed brands that have proper licenses.

Gift-ability

If you're looking for a toy car as a gift for someone, you should make sure that it comes in quality packaging. Hot Wheels and unbranded cars make for a good general gift, but if you really know the person, try getting a model of their favorite car!

How Much Do Toy Cars Usually Cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from a single dollar to hundreds of dollars for a single toy car, depending on its type and exclusivity factor. In fact, some collector's editions even go for hundreds of thousands of dollars!

However, if you just want a car for general play, you should consider buying it in sets. Most of our top picks also come in sets as this provides the maximum value. A brand name like Hot Wheels or Matchbox will also carry a premium tag.

Toy Car FAQ

Let's pump the brakes and end things off with this brief FAQ section that will clarify a few common questions about toy cars:

Q: What makes a toy car go faster?

A: Just like your everyday car, a toy car's speed dynamics are also all about physics… and some maintenance. You can use a can of compressed air to blow away any dust clogging the tires to increase speed. Other factors like the toy's weight and design will affect the speeds it can reach.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Go to top