Coming to a toy store near you in fall 2011 is the Disney-Pixar "Lightning McQueen Alive 1:55 scale talking car. This thing has "hot Christmas toy" written all over it.
When Disney and Pixar get together the result is usually box office and toy store gold, and in the case of the 2006 animated film "Cars", both companies found a ready-made way to sell toys to kids of all ages - cute talking vehicles. The most popular of the cars in the film was a red hot rod by the name of Lightning McQueen, and his wise cracking, lifelike character even in four-wheeled form won the hearts of millions of little racers.
While standard toy car versions of McQueen have been around for years, Disney and Pixar have now upped their game with the creation of McQueen alive, a next-gen talking toy that debuted at the 2011 Toy Fair in New York City.
The thing that makes this version of McQueen stand out isn't that he drives fast and does lots of spins and twists - because that's old news. No, the big deal here is that he comes with 3 miniature motors that control his eyes, side-to-side rocking ability and most importantly, his mouth.
In creating McQueen Alive, the companies have aimed to as closely match the mouth movements of the car in the movie with those made by the toy, giving it a far more lifelike feel than ever before possible. Check out the video to see what they've come up with:
Granted, that's fairly impressive - the mouth is certainly less rigid than other talking cars we've seen, but from some of the press this thing has been getting on the Web, you'd think that they'd designed a perfect replica, and that simply isn't true. The mouth movements might be smooth, but they don't come anywhere near matching what the car is saying and on several occasions the mouth seems slow or to stick open for just a bit too long.
Nonetheless, the toy is going to be a hit. Kids will likely go nuts over it and it's certainly an improvement over offerings made by other companies along the same lines. So get ready when fall comes - the McQueen Alive might just be the thing your child desperately wants but that you can't find in stores.