New York Auto Show: Polly Wheels gives young girls their own line of die-cast cars

Update: We just added a gallery of high-res photos of the Polly Wheels collection.

There is an exhibit area at the New York Auto Show with a staggering 1,190 vehicles on display. And it's "manned" by a trio of vivacious pre-teens playing "Race to the Mall" with a new line of die-cast toy cars made just for girls.

Polly Wheels, the latest offering from Mattel based off the Polly Pocket line of dolls, made its official debut at the New York Auto Show today. Fifty different models will be released in all this year, and about 20 are already out. The unique toys were designed with heavy input from girls, based on their insights and play patterns. The cars are heavy into candy colors and glitter, as a result. And in a switch from Mattel's boy-based line of cars, the Polly Wheels feature a removable "friend" in the driver's seat.

The 2-inch cars, which retail for just under $3 each, are a little more generic if not cartoonish than the faithful representations found in the Mattel Hot Wheels and Matchbox lines. In fact, only the chassis is die-cast; the bodies are plastic so the wild colors, such as "Splashin' Pink" and "Glitter Peach", can stand out. The "Race to the Mall" raceset retails for $34.99 and will be available in June.

"Girls play differently with their cars," said a Mattel spokesperson. "Boys want to conquer the space. Girls want to explore it."

With the "Race to the Mall" game, the girls can take their car-driving friends (there are five different names) to lunch or just hang out and tell stories.

"Girls aren't into makes and models," said the Mattel official. "They want the glitter and glam."

The new line of cars for girls opens up numerous possibilities for the company. Already planned is a line fruit scented cars. Each one will have a different look and smell coming out of the package. The candy-and-glitter paint schemes could also lead to a line of matching makeup.

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