What's The Best Toy For Turning Your Kid Into A Gearhead?

Illustration for article titled What's The Best Toy For Turning Your Kid Into A Gearhead?

You have to set a good example for your kids or else they’ll grow up and become hooligans, miscreants, sexters, jamokes, weirdos, or Deadspin readers. And nobody wants that to happen to their precious little miracles.

If you want your child to be into wrenching, drifting, the #stancenation and other things that are important in life, you have to start them early. And that means the right toys, because as I understand it, children love toys.

So in the spirit of the upcoming commerce season, what are the ideal toys for a budding gearhead?


Me, I had a Playmobil race car set when I was a kid and it was cool as hell. Came with a pit and a garage and little mechanics and everything. Like every little boy, I’d spend hours re-enacting the most exciting moments from Le Mans, and then having the drivers give canned, non-answers at the pretend press conferences after.

Good times. What do you buy your little speed freak?

Photo credit Porsche

Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.

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Tom McParland

Hot wheels/Matchbox/Random Die cast

Pros: They are cheap. You can buy ALL THE CARS you can’t buy in real life. They are great for teaching your little one different makes and models. You can even be real geeky about it. My son as an original M3 Hot Wheels, he calls it an E30 M3. He knows the blue Skyline is an R34. He knows the black Porsche is the 930 and the yellow one is the GT3.

Cons: They will get everywhere...and I mean everywhere. Be prepared to have some go missing, especially if your little one has access to HVAC vents in the floor. As a gearhead you may develop a “problem” with always having to get “a cool one” when you see it.

Tip: Be careful with timing and don’t always give them to your kid. You don’t want them thinking they get a toy everytime you visit the grocery store, WalMart, etc... If I see a good one while I’m out shopping I’ll get it and put it in the closet for Holdiays, Birthday, potty-training etc...