For some reason, I never got a radio-controlled car as a kid. I thought they were cool but I guess they weren’t ever high enough up on my wish list. Now, though, there’s a huge range of R/C toys, from expensive high-end vehicles to pocket-sized racers to princesses riding horses.
Yep, you read that right.
Jada Toys, which makes both R/C toys and die-cast vehicles, has introduced a new line of R/C toys targeted at girls. GirlMazing is a set of four vehicles, and in the Disney line there’s also a Sofia the First riding on her Pegasus, Minimus.
Now, before I get to talking about the toys themselves, I have to admit that I find the “GirlMazing” name somewhat silly. And I’m not particularly fond of gender-based toy marketing, particularly for something like a radio-controlled car. But I guess traditionally R/C cars have been pretty aggressively boy-targeted, so Jada felt it was time to have some cars that come in pinks and purples instead. But the name probably means that a boy who happens to like pink or purple (or stickers) on his car is going to be uncomfortable asking for one of these.
The four vehicles in the GirlMazing line are a Lamborghini, a Mustang, a Camaro, and a Jeep. They’re all $19.99 except the Jeep, which is $24.99. The sports cars are just under a foot long, and the Jeep is a bit taller, of course. The bodies are made out of pretty lightweight plastic, and the tires are rubber (but pretty thin with big rims). Each vehicle also comes with a sheet of stickers for decorating.
My daughters stickered up their vehicles and then took them for a spin on my parents’ patio. The cars are pretty fast, so there wasn’t quite enough room to get a good race in, but my kids aren’t great drivers anyway so they had fun just going back and forth and crashing into things. Despite the lightweight construction, neither of the vehicles has really suffered any visible damage, but I would worry about stepping on one or dropping it on the ground from a standing height. We also haven’t driven them around outside—I’m not sure how the thin tires would hold up to asphalt, but probably a concrete sidewalk would be okay.
You can get a sense of the speed and size of the vehicles in this brief video:
The Sofia the First is intended for younger kids: it’s a walking, talking Sofia and Minimus. On this one, there are fewer controls: forward, left, and right—Minimus walks while flapping his wings, and sort of shuffles when you turn left and right. There’s also a button to hear Sofia and Minimus talk to each other—the voice comes out of the remote, rather than the horse, and I quickly tired of hearing them talking, though even my older daughters found it amusing.
We weren’t as impressed with Sofia and Minimus, though since my kids have never seen the show it’s not something I would have sought out. The flapping wings are pretty noisy and it’s not nearly as fun to control Minimus as it is the cars. On the other hand, because it uses push-button controls rather than joystick-style controls, even my baby was able to make Minimus walk around the house:
At $34.99, it’s the priciest of these toys, and arguably the least satisfying. It may be fun for a Sofia the First enthusiast, but I’d say skip those and go with the GirlMazing vehicles instead.
Overall, I think the GirlMazing cars are a nice, inexpensive option if you’re looking for some radio control vehicles that won’t break the bank. It’s nice that Jada recognizes that girls want to play with R/C cars—I just wish they didn’t have to have such segregated products.
Disclosure: GeekDad received samples of the toys reviewed here.