Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Review: Micro Machines

"Micro Machines come in collections of 5!" said the guy on the advert, followed by him balancing a centimetre-long car on his finger - a trick that would keep children entertained for hours as they tried to copy him (turns out its much easier as an adult due to increased finger size).

Coming from the Golden Age of Toys (the 80s) Micro Machines were like every other car line out there, but micro. The line began with cars, then expanded to other vehicles, then onto lines such as Star Wars vehicles, Star Trek, and even the Aliens films.

In addition to the vehicles, a large number of playsets were available.  These originally folded up for storage purposes (with varying difficulties in getting all the little bits to fit inside) and later, well, didn't - presumably to make the life of the designers a little easier.

All boys like playing with cars, and the great thing about these was that whereas it was only possible to fit one regular-sized car in your pocket, you could fit loads of Micro Machines in there.

Makes you wonder why they stopped making them.

Numerous playsets connected together

Actually, I have no idea at all why they stopped - for a number of years Micro Machines were the top selling toy car line in America. Hell, they'd even managed to make a spin-off computer game that was equally as awesome as the toys!

Possibly the best thing about the game was the ability to have hundreds of people playing at a time (well, quite a lot anyway). Since the controls were simple, it was possible to have 2 players per control pad. Thus it was the best party game ever - pushing Goldeneye into 2nd place.

According to wikipedia the line ended when Galoob was bought by Hasbro. Maybe they'd overstretched themselves by expanding onto all the licensed properties. Considering that these days 'small is good' in toy circles (mostly due to the increased cost of oil for plastic) it makes more sense than ever to bring these toys back.

Do it, Hasbro!
Easily the worst Micro Machines: the trains. Keeping them on the track was impossible!
Some of the later models - Micro Machines inside Micro Machines, armour, and opening bits!
As it is, picking these up is an ebay job.  They go for a variety of prices according to the rarity of the car, but if you're not fussed about the exact car model you want then they can be quite cheap to buy and well worth it.

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