I’d never heard of Darda cars before the boys opened their gift from their aunt and uncle, but we killed most of the day reconfiguring the track to see what new feats the cars could accomplish.
I was skeptical when I saw all the loops on the box. The standard die-cast brands have the same thing, and they rarely work as advertised; the tracks don’t hold together, you need a launcher or a long, high track to get started, and the heavy cars and their plastic wheels don’t have any grip. When I found out you just draw the cars back to wind up the motors, I grew even more skeptical. My brother-in-law assured me they worked well, though. He used to own a set as a kid in Germany, so I helped assemble the track according to the instructions. We wound up the cars, placed them in their starting lanes, and hit the green start button.
The cars took off and zipped through the loops with ease. We ran them through several more times after I picked my jaw up off the floor.
Darda cars are lighter than die-cast cars, and I suspect the claim “world’s fastest motorized cars” on the box would be hard to disprove. They have rubber tires for grip and the plastic bodies have already taken plenty of abuse from the boys with no ill effect. The instructions claim the motors can’t be overwound, unlike just about every other car that you pull back to wind up.
Similarly, the tracks are sturdy yet flexible. The plastic joints hold tight, and the plastic bases are heavy enough to keep the loops in place and in shape. The tracks even have ribbed tire tracks to give the cars extra traction.
The included track patterns only include 3 loops per car, so we thought a better test was in order. I first put all the loops together for a total of six turns, then connected the entrance and exit with a circuit about five feet around. Both cars went through all six loops with no trouble, and still had enough energy to overlap their starting position by about a foot. Try that with your standard die-cast sets!
The boys and I are already looking forward to picking up more cars and more track accessories. The company also makes motors that don’t automatically take off when released, which will make them easier for the boys to handle.
If any dads out there are looking for tracks for their kids, track down Darda tracks. These things rock.