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Hot Wheels Ultimate Gator Car Wash Playset

(Mattel $69.99)

First things first—this huge car wash is great fun. Also, a plus: it runs without batteries. Testers loved how the ”magical” car color change happens when the car is submerged in warm water and and then again in iced cold water. All positive, unless you have concerns over bringing home a wet toy. Ideally, it’ll be played with out-of-doors. We tested it outside on a hot sunny day. So, if you’re considering this for a wintertime gift, it’s fine if you live in a tropical climate. Or for those in the rest of the country, if you have a rec-room where splashed water is not a problem, it’ll be fine, too. For everyone else, be forewarned—this will produce a very wet floor. There’s no way to be careful or to avoid the puddles. We loved the crank action that brings the car up to the first tank and the several gateways the car goes through as it gets brushed clean. Kids get a real thrill of seeing the white car turn a bright shade of orange. That said, this is something of a pony trick pony and it’s a very large piece of plastic that may run out of steam once the novelty wears off. Yes, it works and it’s got an uncomplicated payoff. Depends on your toy budget.

Ages: Older Preschoolers, Young Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018

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