Children of the 80s (especially those who read this site) fondly remember the plethora of toy lines that thrived during our childhood.
One of the most successful and memorable lines was Galoob’s Micro Machines.
[Check out our podcast interview with "The Micro Machines Guy" John Moschitta Jr. here (and yes, he does the fast-talking thing)!]
As great as Micro Machines were, imagine if they came equipped with a motor! Spinmaster’s Nano Speed line capitalizes on the nostalgia factor, combined with the pan-generational love of vehicular toys and all things miniature.
The size and scale of these tiny cars and trucks invokes memories of Micro Machines, but considerably ramps up the playability factor. The package indicates that the motor inside each vehicle is capable of producing speeds equivalent to 1500MPH.
Does Nano Speed live up to its potential? Check out the Nano Speed TV commercial here and check out the review below!
The first thing I did when I cracked open the Nano Speed 4 pack was put the little orange guy on a table, pull back and let him go. A couple of quick initial observations:
You don’t have to pull back very far at all to ready the motor. After about 2 1/2 inches of pullback, the cars are ready to go.
If you get them to go straight, they will go quite far. The six-foot long conference table I used was not long enough for the full trajectory of a fully revved car. This was only a factor a few times, however, as it can be difficult to get them to go straight without the aid of some makeshift rails or one of the track-based Nano Speed playsets. (Stay tuned for our review of the Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set coming soon!) The Nano Speed website offers some tips on how to get the cars to perform the way you’d like.
The Nano Speed TV spot advertises 60 different vehicles to collect. If you click here, you can see all of the cars in the line, and there are links above them to see the specialized vehicle lines, such as utility (police car, fire truck, garbage truck, etc), off road vehicles, and hot rods. I like the fact that they have creative names like Bezerker, Double Comma and Bone Tork.
The variety of the line makes them highly collectible, whether you plan to play with them or just display them. I hope they continue to expand the line, and it will be interesting to see if they move into boats and planes, or acquire licenses (ie. Star Wars) like Micro Machines did.
Sculpt & Paint: [rating=5]
I’m impressed with how well Nano Speed cars are sculpted with attention to detail and meticulously painted. Of the six I’m looking at, I don’t see any oversprays or errant paint marks of any kind. Some even have numbers (under 3/10 of a centimeter long!) painted on their side door. Great detail for cars this size.
Something I love about the sculpt is that there is size variation even among the similar models. They could easily have made almost all the race cars the same size and just repainted them, or added spoilers or changed the grill. Each car is its own mold and its own unique length and width.
Nano Speed 2 Packs and 4 Packs are available at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, KMart and on Amazon. I typically see them in the $4-$6 range for the 2 Packs and in the $8-$10 range for the 4 Pack. Walmart is currently running a sale on them- the 2 Packs are priced at $2.99.
I’m satisfied with the product, but I probably wouldn’t see myself collecting the whole line at that price. Relative to budget and competing toy lines, I would likely collect the particular Nano Speed vehicles that appeal to me as opposed to the entire line. There is a wide selection of Nano Speed collections, as mentioned earlier, so there’s likely to be something for everyone. The playsets are very fairly priced relative to the market, but we’ll get into that more in our Nano Speed Super Vert Crash Set review.
Nano Speed is a fun toy line with a lot of potential. I like what they’ve done so far, in fulfilling the miniature vehicle niche, especially with adding the motor and the stunt playsets that cater to the car’s strengths.
These seem like a perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays, or a nice cost-friendly gift any time of year.
If you or your children have any Nano Speed in your collection, hit the comments and share your thoughts!
Check out our Toy Review section - reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics & current TMNT figures, Marvel Nitro Mites, Minimates K.I.T.T. and more! Coming soon – a review of Sideshow Collectibles sixth scale Boba Fett!