Hot Wheels was smart and packaged their race track system in a way that the package can be reused to store the track and cars together safely between play time uses. Once I clipped a couple small pieces of tape I was able to open the box and remove 2 cars, 2 remotes, an instruction manual and several pieces of track with ease. I did need several batteries to get started however, I needed 4 AA batteries for each remote and 2 AAA batteries for each car.
The Playtime Experience
I have had the chance to play with some comparably priced smart race systems and I was a little disappointed by the quality of this Hot Wheels set. There are many track pieces included, several straight and curved pieces. Each piece has a directional arrow on it, which at first look makes you think that they have to be placed in a certain direction in order to work properly. However, there aren’t enough with the same direction to make one track and I had to use some with the arrows pointing the opposite direction, which surprisingly didn’t end up affecting the cars performance. The track pieces are made of a paper-like construction and while they didn’t rip, they did crease easily if you aren’t careful. Also each track piece has paper tabs on the end that you are supposed to fold together to keep the pieces attached. I can see how easily over time and play use, these tabs would become unusable. Without the use of the tabs though, you can’t really use the speed of the cars without separating all the track pieces and having to constantly adjust.
The cars and remotes seem to be of decent quality and I have no complaints with the way the cars and remotes work together. There are several ways to play whether using a time trial or race setting which the remote allows you to set for yourself. They connect easily and the remote does things like announce lap times and stats about the race.
Things I Liked
I like how easily the remote and the car connected. I simply turned both on and hit the power button and they were connected in less than 10 seconds.
Things I Didn't Like
I think the track pieces are of a low quality and I didn’t really like them. I don’t see them standing up to long life of play or rough play. I would be worried about them potentially coming in contact with knees, elbows or water and becoming unusable. Also there are A LOT of batteries required. It would have been a lot better to have a rechargeable option for at least the cars.
Hot Wheels Ai Intelligent Race System Starter Kit is recommded for players 8 and older. I don’t necessarily see that this is necessary however since there aren’t any small pieces or overly delicate electrical components. The biggest issue will be the care of the paper track.
All and all for the price I think you would be better going with something like the Anki Starter Kit that I had the chance to play with. Unfortunately, the Hot Wheels version is a bit of a knock-off. The only bonus I see is that it comes with remotes instead of requiring a smart device. However, the track pieces won’t stand the test of time and I would be worried about that myself.
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