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When it comes to cars favorites do "mater".

One of the most anticipated movies last summer was "Cars." It turned out to be a film that parents and children could enjoy together. Now, from Mattel, El Segundo, Calif., comes a diverse line of toys and games inspired by this world of cars. Naturally, we've become attached to that lovable tow truck, Mater.

The Radio Control Super Tow Mater ($49.99) captures the appeal of the rusty-looking tow truck. It has a working tow line and the remote has large buttons to make it easy for kids to reenact their favorite scenes. It comes complete with eight AA batteries.

Just like in the movie, pieces keep falling off the truck in the Later Mater! Game ($11.99). Kids must rush to put back the tires, engine, lights, and bumpers before the timer runs out. It has three timer levels, but if the players can't beat the clock, Mater will fall apart all over again.

In Mater's Rollin' Bowlin' Game ($14.99), youngsters use their cars to roll a strike into the grille "teeth" of the front end. There is mechanical bell scoring and the pins reset automatically. One Mater car is included, and he drives backwards, of course!

Mattel Entertainment also has new figures and playsets based on the animated "Batman" series. They feature EXP--Extreme Power--used by Batman in the show to take on a new breed of criminal that is bigger, stronger, and faster than ever. The Batman Batmobile Vehicle ($19.99) showcases new EXP styling, shiny chrome accents, lights, and sounds.

If your home is not populated with villains, you might enjoy the Holly Hobble & Friends Clubhouse Girls Snow Cone Maker ($29.99). Children can create their own stories as they explore the treehouse, loaded with details and accessories that will help young imaginations go wild. The possibilities are endless in this two-level clubhouse, complete with slide, tire swing, lemonade stand, etc. When their adventures are complete, the real secret lies in the compartment at the top of the treehouse. Pop in a few ice cubes, turn the handle, and make refreshing snow cones. The playset comes with a posable Holly Hobble & Friends figure, two flavored dry mix packets, and, as we mentioned, lots of fun accessories.

Another product sure to spark the imagination is the Matchbox Mega Rig Snow Monster Mission Playset ($44.99). This arctic-themed adventure starts as one huge mega rig--then breaks into 25 pieces. By combining and recombining the pieces, kids can create over 30 trucks to capture and transport a wild-eyed, articulated snow monster. It features a working chopper and helipad, arctic SUV with a cab that opens, snow crawler, plow, two snowmobiles, and much more. Of course, it couldn't be a winter wonderland without a husky and a couple of snowballs. It even has a working drill and firing missiles! With the match + connect system, the Snow Monster Mission can connect to other Mega Rig sets.

For more information on this extensive product line, visit

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Title Annotation:WHAT'S NEW? Holiday Gift Guide; Mattel Inc.'s collection of toy cars
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Nov 1, 2006
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