The first word our toddler says in the morning is “car.” The last word he says at night is “car.” I’m pretty sure I’ve even heard him say “car” in his sleep. We’ve determined that most of this is a result of genetics. Both of Logan’s grandfathers have collectively been proud owners of Porsches, BMWs, Audis, and Corvettes. Logan’s dad is a regular subscriber to Car and Driver. There are actually times that I find myself wrestling Car and Driver away from Dad so that Logan can get his fill. Other times, I find them watching youtube clips from The Fast and Furious or various versions of “Addison’s Pimped Car Slide Show,” oohing and ahhing at the screen. They can often be found playing race car video games at different locations around town (as evidenced by the below). At home, our coffee table has become a race track. Given the persuasions of his genealogy, I’m guessing this is not just a passing phase.
So, when my husband and I discovered a table full of “pull back” model car replicas outside of Central World, we knew we had hit the jackpot. Dozens of model cars to choose from (what you see on the table is only a small fraction of what the vendor has stored underneath his booth) – Lamborghinis, Hummers, Volkswagen Beetles, Ford GTs, Porsche Carreras, BMW M5s, Audi Q5s, Dodge Rams . . . name your car, and this guy probably has it. In fact, you can even find concept cars at this guy’s table, our latest purchase being a Volkswagen Microbus Concept that never made it to production – how’s that for a good selection?
So who is the man with the cars? His nickname is Khun Maaeo (yes, Mr. Cat – fitting, don’t you think) and his booth is located on Rajadamri Road, just to the right of Central World. One look at us, and Khun Maaeo started at 199 baht for the mid-size models and 259 baht for the larger ones. Just like any outdoor vendor in Thailand, prices are very bargain-able. The absurd thing is, a quick online search shows that similar (although, undoubtedly, much higher quality) model cars can cost up to hundreds of dollars. Unless you’re going for a very fancy, collectible showcase of model cars, I tend to think the $3-5 type will suit a car-crazed toddler just fine. Our yellow Porsche Cayman has suffered a side-view mirror casualty, but so far that has been our only casualty — which is pretty impressive given the amount of use Logan’s cars get everyday. So if you have a car-happy toddler at home and you happen to be out on the town and find yourself near Central World, visit Mr. Cat. Any one of the cars is bound to bring your toddler hours of joy.