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Grown-ups admits to playing with toy cars. Image by Honda.

Grown-ups admits to playing with toy cars
Some 22 per cent of adults admit to playing with toy cars - on their own.
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What are you doing there?

*scrambles* Nothing. Nothing at all. *prods Hot Wheel under corner of desk*

Hang on, were you just playing with toy cars?

No. No. Nope. Definitely not. Alright, yes. A bit.

But, your kids are all grown up and left home!

Yes, but these are just their old ones. I was... reliving memories of their childhood.

They look brand new. And look, there are the packets you've just opened.

Alright, alright! I was playing with toy cars. It's not that unusual you know! According to new research carried out by Honda, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that its Goodwood Festival of Speed stand looks like a giant toy box, 22 per cent of adults in the UK admit to playing with toy cars even if their kids aren't around. Half of those are even happy to do so when other adults are around.

The research goes on to further underline the nation's passion for the ever-popular toy car, with almost a third of adults (29 per cent) admitting to still holding on to the models they owned as a child. One in ten (10 per cent) are so protective of their precious mini marques that they hide them away for safe keeping, while a similar number (6.6 per cent) are conversely so proud of their collection that they keep it on display at home.

Such is the passion for toy cars among UK adults that one in seven (13 per cent) have received one as a gift as an adult, while one in twenty (6 per cent) haven't, but wish they had. A quarter (24 per cent) also admit to being excited when buying a toy car as a gift because it brings back happy childhood memories.

The nation's houses, it seems, are packed with toy cars dating back decades, with one in five (21 per cent) having received 'hand me downs' from other family members. And while one in five (21 per cent) have been pleased to in turn hand down their precious toy cars to the next generation, 3.4 per cent wish they hadn't, and the same number wouldn't do so because they mean too much to them.

Peter Jenkinson, professional toyologist and founder of 'Toyology' comments: "We love toy cars as kids both big and small; they're aspirational when you are young and still so when you have kids of your own. They look great on shelves at home as decorative display objects and of course are superb playthings with which to role play and create stories - either with or without the kids! It is hardly surprising that almost a quarter of us still get excited about buying a toy car as an adult."

Further underlining the popularity of the toy car over the years is research from leading trade magazine 'Toy News'. In a poll among industry figures published in February 2015 to find the greatest toy of all time, Scalextric came in at number four, with Matchbox Cars at eight, followed by Hot Wheels at number 38.

The research of more than 2,000 UK adults by Opinion Matters was commissioned by Honda (UK) on the eve of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

That all sounds like a reasonable excuse. Here, budge up; can I have your Corvette?

Only if I can have the Aston Martin... Brrrrrmmmmmmmm!!! Brrmmmmmmmm!!!!

Neil Briscoe - 26 Jun 2015

Honda at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Image by Honda.Honda at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Image by Honda.Honda at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Image by Honda.     - Honda road tests
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