Today I’m focusing on the MarioKart 8 and the Disney Pixar Cars Carrera – Go!!! racing sets. These two sets are both a lot of fun, and they’re just full of personality. They’re definitely each doing their own thing. If you’d like to know more about these fun racetrack sets, just keep on reading.
Carrera – Go!!! Racing Sets Introduction
Carrera – Go!!! racing sets are electric race tracks that you build yourself from a specific track blueprint and then run the included cars on using small, handheld controllers. Each track is capable of running 2 cars at a time, so you get to race head to head with a friend (or, in my case, a wife). Each Carrera – Go!!! racing set features its own track configuration (and length), as well as its own specific set of cars to run on the track. The sets I’m looking at today are branded as MarioKart (shown directly above) and Disney Pixar’s popular Cars franchise (top of page), so they’re chock full of personality and just perfect for fans of those specific properties. I’ve also reviewed Carrera – Go!!! racing sets based on different types of professional stock cars. These sets (the Carrera – Go!!! GT Contest Racing Set and the Carrera – Go!!! DTM Speedway Racing Set) are also a lot of fun, but the cars themselves are geared more toward fans of professional stock car racing. Thus, Carrera – Go!!! seems to have themes for just about everyone.
Assembling and Running the MarioKart Racing Set
Driving these cars is as easy as it is fun, though it does take a slight bit of getting used to before you’re really burning up the track. After roughly 25-30 minutes of track assembly time (hey, I’m new to these kinds of racing sets, so I’m sure most people could do it a lot faster), I got Mario and toad on their respective portions of the track and had a few practice runs racing against my wife. At first we both ran off the track quite a few times, but as we got more used to how much power to give our cars, and when to give them just a little bit more gas (or a blast from the turbo boost button), we found ourselves staying on track for several laps at a time without incident. At this point, things got really fun, although maybe not as much for my wife as for me. She’s less enthused by things like cars and racing than I am, so I continued to drive while she went off and did other things. This turned out quite well for me though, as after while I became even more proficient on the track.
The set shown above is the MarioKart track, and, as you can see, it’s adorned with some pretty cool track decorations (see a blown up shot immediately below). In addition to the main track signage, there are also cardboard guard rails that you install in the non-banked corners using little clips. These guard rails aren’t really functional as far as keeping the cars on the track goes, but they do add to the aesthetic and can sometimes keep the cars from flying several feet away from the track when you really go wide open into a corner and lose control.
One thing I especially like about these sets is that they allow kids to play with a friend in a way that’s both social and competitive—both things that I happen to think are very good for kids. And, for that matter, there’s an element of cooperation as well that comes through the actual assembly of the sets. The main drawback to these sets is that they do take up a considerable amount of floor space, but that can be overlooked if you’ve got plenty of room available. Unfortunately for me, I had to set the MarioKart set up on a futon as I didn’t have enough spare floor space, but it all worked out well in the end and I really enjoyed my time with Carrera – Go!!!
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a couple of minutes to view the brief video overview I made of these Carrera – Go!!! racing sets. You’ll not only get to see Mario and Toad in fierce action, but you’ll also get an up close look at some of the cars from the various other sets that I’ve been testing, and you’ll get to see just how much fun I had running the MarioKart set:
I really enjoyed using these Carrera – Go!!! racing sets. I think my overall favourite set was probably the MarioKart one, although it’s a really close call because I do love the personalities of the Cars cars. If you were wondering what the “Cars” track looks like, that’s it directly above in its bare bones (undecorated) form. I set it up briefly to see what it was like, and it was actually very similar in overall track layout to the MarioKart one. It’s so similar, in fact, that if I didn’t point it out just now, I suspect that most people wouldn’t even notice that the 2 tracks I show in this review are actually different sets. The stock car tracks were much different from these, with one being a nearly 30 foot long monster with 2 full loops, and the other being much shorter and not having any loops. In other words, there’s a lot of variety in these Carrera – Go!!! racing sets, so I’d advise going with the set that most speaks to you. For me, I really found the 30 foot long stock car track appealing from a racing standpoint, but nothing beats the personality of the Cars and MarioKart race cars! In any case, I have no difficulty in recommending any of the 4 sets that I tested. I personally prefer to have one with a loop, but 3 of the 4 sets had at least one, and each set has interchangeable pieces and is super fun to play with. In fact, you could even get 2 different sets and build one super long custom designed track if you wished. That’s probably what I would want to do.