The Tech Touch Lightning McQueen by Mattel is an interesting Cars 3 toy with a bunch of technical bells and whistles. It has the unique feature of a built-in touch screen that enables you to select and play in a variety of modes. Originally revealed at the 2017 Toy Fair in New York, the Tech Touch Lightning McQueen is, per Mattel’s website, scheduled to be on the shelves this fall. However, it appears that some are available on Amazon already (see below for links).
The toy has three modes of play, each of which can be selected via the touch screen.
- Race mode – choose a track from the Cars 3 Movie, and he will perform his signature moves in the shape of the chosen track. You get a virtual trophy for each race you complete.
- Custom mode – using your finger, draw a path or shape on the touch screen and Lightning McQueen will race in this shape.
- Story mode – In this mode, where he tells stories about his favorite races, Lightning McQueen comes to life; His mouth is animatronic and moves when he talks, and so do his eyes. It appears that he sounds like the actual character from the movie (voice of Owen Wilson).
Other features include
- Crash Avoidance; obstacles are detected through a built-in sensor, and the car will swerve if this is the case. If it bumps into an obstacle anyway, it will back up automatically.
- Working head lights and tail lights.
- A USB port. This will allow for future updates to the software running the toy. Things like new tracks, stories and games are a possibility.
Here is a demo video from the Mattel YouTube channel, which was recorded during 2017 New York Toy Fair.
This high-end Cars 3 toy, per the Mattel website, should be available later this fall. Target already has the toy listed on its website ($79.99), but it is not available to order yet. However, via a search for Cars 3 toys on Amazon, I found a seller that is already selling the Tech Touch Lightning McQueen for $99.99. Not sure if they are technically allowed to do so yet, but they are (as of 6/7/2017 – “6 left in stock”).
My 2 Cents
This is certainly not a cheap Cars 3 toy, if the price of $79.99 as listed by Target is correct. For comparison’s sake, you can get a HUGE 20 inch Lightning McQueen for under $30.00.
Of course that one does not have any technical bells and whistles like the Tech Touch Lightning McQueen, which is one of the few technically advanced versions out there. The other high end incarnation of our Cars hero would be the Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen, which is most definitely awesome, but costs a whopping $299.00.
Mattel’s Tech Touch Lightning McQueen, with its unique touch screen and variety of play modes, is probably going to be a favorite, and I think the $79.99 price tag is fair (and if you can wait, stores like Toys”R”US and Target will probably run specials on these some time this year).
Compare to: Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen review