June 11, 2012
In my grandmother’s town, where I spent my summers as a kid, there was an ancient toy store run by an even more ancient man where he still sold individually boxed Matchbox cars. I loved small things and little containers, so a tiny car that came in its own garage was fantastic. (He also sold chemistry sets from 1954, one of which my brother bought and melted – the metal box included – so, you know, safety first.)
Matchbox cars are still great, even though the matchbox part has been replaced by endlessly irritating plastic packaging. For kids, they fit in small hands nicely, the wheels run well, and they take satisfying jumps off the end of the playground slide. For parents, they make no noise and take up virtually no space, so hooray minimal!
If this is your first time at the tiny-car rodeo (which is an awesome idea, thank you very much, TM), spring for the 20-pack. It’s worth it: it’s not just the Corvettes and a truck or two that you get in the smaller packs or that you find sold individually. It has construction vehicles, a taxi, maybe an ice cream truck and a VW van, so blue collar, hippies, and urbanites are all covered. Consider it a first lesson in population diversity for little Angelique. If twenty cars seems a little overwhelming for a new driver, just open the package on your own and dole out the cars over a few weeks or months. Or the course of a long plane flight. I know: tell your seat mates you’re welcome from me.
Note: contents vary, but you’ll always get some of the weird, fun vehicles along with the regular cars.
Matchbox 20, $22 at Amazon or your local toy store (In San Francisco, Ambassador Toys has them)