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Which Lightning McQueen toy is best?

“Cars” is a series of movies that have inspired and entertained children for the last two decades, and the way Lightning McQueen’s character grows and becomes less selfish is the reason for that. At the end of the day, though, he is a race car, and race cars make the best toys for kids, as they can keep them occupied for hours.

If you want your child to immerse themselves into the movie, consider getting the ”Cars 3” 10-Inch Lightning McQueen Vehicle, a durable toy that won’t disappoint. 

What to know before you buy a Lightning McQueen toy

Who is Lightning McQueen?

While Lightning McQueen is the main character of “Cars,” he shines the most when interacting with other cars. He’s initially so shut off and convinced of his own superiority that he doesn’t see how others can help him. McQueen’s facade of being a haughty racer destined for first place is a cover-up for the loneliness he feels after having attained so much recognition early on in his career. This brilliant character has become very popular with children, and manufacturers have sold myriad products with Lightning McQueen’s image.


High-quality toys are made of denser materials, which usually means the heavier a toy is, the better it’s made. Unfortunately, toy cars are easy for kids to destroy; they’ll throw them, drop them and crash them, so you need to get them something that lasts. However, be careful of dense plastic or metal parts, as you don’t want them throwing around something heavy.


Most original toy cars were die-cast metal, which was usually zinc. But nowadays, more toy cars are made with plastic, sometimes containing metal parts in the wheels or chassis. However, the quality of the material is determined by its density, and higher-quality toy cars are made from dense plastic.

What to look for in a quality Lightning McQueen toy


The most important part of buying a Lightning McQueen toy is making sure the toy looks like it. There are many toys out there from third parties that fail to accurately capture his likeness and get things like his shade of red or his eyes wrong. 


A larger toy car requires greater detail in the painting and the decals. A smaller car might have more issues with smudged lines or colors because painting tiny parts is very delicate. Also, a larger car will have an easier time rolling thanks to momentum, whereas a smaller car will stop rolling sooner. Small toy cars ought to be kept together in a bin or an individual box, separate from the rest of the toys. Monitor when they are being played with because they can be easily lost.


There are a few different mechanisms toy cars use for acceleration. Not every car has something like that, as some are just simple frames with wheels that you need to push, but others have internal gears and springs that you can wind up and release. These produce more entertainment for young speedsters that want to see some toy cars race around.

How much you can expect to spend on a Lightning McQueen toy

You can expect to pay anywhere from $30-$60 for a high-quality Lightning McQueen toy.

Lightning McQueen toy FAQ

What makes Lightning McQueen a compelling character?

A. Lightning McQueen is speed. He’s so fast that he doesn’t have time for friends, at least at first. But he wins people’s hearts because he’s a dynamic character. The “Cars” universe is full of drama and action. There are spies, terrorist threats, plots to cheat and so much more.

Are Lightning McQueen toys collectible?

A. There are some versions of Lightning McQueen toys are collected because of strange color palettes and limited releases. More may become collectible in the future as well.

What’s the best Lightning McQueen toy to buy?

Top Lightning McQueen toy 

“Cars 3” 10-Inch Lightning McQueen Vehicle

“Cars 3” 10-Inch Lightning McQueen Vehicle

What you need to know: This Lightning McQueen is a substantial car that rolls well and has a hard-plastic body with accurate paint and decals.

What you’ll love: This durable toy will put up with anything your child puts it through as if it were a real stress-tested car.

What you should consider: Some customers reported that the stickers started to peel off after a few weeks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Lightning McQueen toy for the money

“Cars 2” Die-Cast Toy Cars - 5-Pack

“Cars 2” Die-Cast Toy Cars – 5-Pack

What you need to know: These five main characters from “Cars 2” are bundled together. 

What you’ll love: They’re all classic, die-cast toy cars similar to the original Hot Wheels, but these all have faces and personalities.

What you should consider: The tops are metal, but the bottoms are plastic and can be broken with rough use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lightning McQueen with Mack Hauler Truck

Lightning McQueen with Mack Hauler Truck

What you need to know: These toy models are made of alloy and perfect plastic.

What you’ll love: Mac serves very well as a carrier for McQueen, making it a toy as well as a storage option. The toys are almost 9 inches long and 2 inches wide, calculated based on their packaging.

What you should consider: People reported that the toys were smaller than they expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sam Bramlett writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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