The old thread was getting crowded, and the sets featured therein (with one or two minor exceptions) are all from last year's release schedule. So I figure it's time for the 2008 lineup to get its own review thread!
I'm starting with two of the sets from the Speed Racer movie license.
Set 8158 - Speed Racer and Snake Oiler
Set 8159 - Racer X and Taejo Togokhan
I'm going to make blanket statements for all four models across both sets, since the basic assembly for each car is similar (although there is plenty of variety from one car to the next).
These cars are very well-designed for build integrity as well as form. As a test I just dropped one of the cars from a height of about three feet onto a carpeted floor. The minifig was ejected from his driver's seat and one other piece came off from the impact. Haven't tested on harder surfaces yet, but I'm betting that there won't be a whole lot of "shatter" if/when I try that one out.
Anyone looking forward to the new Agents line can view these cars as an example of how those spy cars will be built; the overall structure is basically the same, just with a different style.
At first glance you may think that race cars aren't very BrikWarsian. I challenge you, then, to go check out the most recent trailers/previews for the upcoming movie. These cars jump, flip, fire machine guns and rockets, and carry various other weapons with the intent of taking other drivers out of the race. I'd describe my favorite scene thus far, but anti-spoiler hounds may object, so I'll simply say that it involves a driver getting punched in the face... in mid-air... in the middle of a race.
Yeah, it's totally BrikWars.
Each car comes with its corresponding driver, for a total of two minifigs per set. Each driver looks about how you'd expect them to look after being shrunk down to minifig scale.
And yes, they're "peach", because it's a licensed property. Deal with it.
The most unique pieces from the cars themselves are the windshields and the wheels on Racer X's car and Speed's Mach 5. Also, all the cars except Racer X's have actual "seats", and not just studded squares.
And yes, there are stickers. Quite a few of them. No one's making you use them if you don't want to.
Speed and Snake: 242
Racer X and Taejo: 237
At 20 bucks each, these are fairly decent sets. They provide minifig scale vehicles from a modern era that isn't boring old City. The cars each seat two: a driver and a passenger. ...Oh who am I kidding? A driver and a gunner. And while there aren't weapons built into the cars themselves as is, it shouldn't be too hard to "convert" these race cars into lethal killing machines.