Vehicle Launching Fun for All Ages
- What: Matchbox Power Launcher
- When: 3 to 10 years
- Why: Wide age appeal, fascinating action
- Where: Amazon
We first spotted this Matchbox Power Launcher at the park, when a big kid showed up with his and an assortment of Matchbox cars to go in it. All three of my kids, ages 1-5, stood rooted to the spot. We had been leaving the park, but spent at least another 15 minutes watching the demonstration.
I added it to my list of ideas once we got home, though I had trouble figuring out what to call it. No surprise to anyone familiar with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars that the search terms car launcher toy don’t exactly narrow your search results.
I gifted my youngest son one of these gadgets that racks and loads Matchbox size cars before spitting them out at high speeds mainly because as the third child, we already owned most of the toys I felt like I could live with. We loved it so much, I gifted it to another friend’s son as well. The military truck launcher will hold four vehicles, and shot them in a procession one after the other.
My oldest son found a garbage truck version for my son’s next birthday, so we now own two different types. The garbage truck version has a garbage bin at the back, and dumps cars from the bin into the truck before spitting them out. It can only hold one vehicle at a time, and I’ve found oddly shaped cars much more likely to get stuck. I find the garbage truck, with the protrusion at the back for the trash can, harder to store in bins LINK or on shelves.
Even though my son loves garbage trucks, and I would choose a garbage truck over a military vehicle almost any day, in this instance, I prefer the military truck version. Toss in a few Matchbox cars and you’ve got a great gift that covers a wide variety of ages. The lever for the launch doubles as a handle to haul it around, and both types come with one vehicle included.
We’ve had ours six months and one and a half years respectively, and except for the occasional car getting stuck in the garbage truck mechanism, zero complaints or issues. I recently tried to downgrade to one launcher, but my eldest son, at age seven and a half, demanded to know the whereabouts of the garbage truck, and I grudgingly returned it to circulation under my “if they miss it, they get it back” practice of retiring toys. It will clearly be at least another few months before we can get down to one car launcher.