Pierre was an incredibly happy little boy a couple of weeks ago because he received a fabulous Hot Wheels racing track to review. You think he looks quite calm and composed?
Well, you see those blurry things at the top of the box? That's his hands, because he was jumping up and down excitedly waving them in the air and cheering !
Now, if you're incredibly observant, you may notice that Pierre is now wearing different clothes. We got off to a false start because, despite having a drawer full of batteries, I didn't have any D batteries (that's the big round ones) and couldn't find any at the corner shop so I had to wait until we went shopping at the supermarket.
As soon as the long-awaited batteries arrived, we were off ! The playset has three different tracks that you can make the car whizz around, with spectacular loop-the-loops and enough straight bits to get some serious speed up.
The central unit has two buttons, one red and one blue, which you can push to make the cars change tracks. It's all very child-friendly and simple to use.
The trackset instantly gets a huge seal of approval from me because all three Madhouse Mini-testers played happily together with no squabbling. It's great, not to mention rare, to find a toy that appeals equally to a 12-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. This universal appeal makes it a great joint present idea for Christmas.
Pierre was absolutely spell-bound, whether he was the one pushing the buttons or just watching the cars shooting around, and sometimes off, the track.
The box contains one car but Pierre (and his sisters !) excitedly ran off to his bedroom to find more cars to try. You can either use one car and see how many complete circuits it can do before zooming off the track, or put several on at the same time which results in very cool "racing car" noises as they race around the tracks together. You can also get some quite spectacular crashes which caused lots of giggles !
Oh look, Pierre's in pyjamas and he's still playing with it ! It's actually become a part of his bedtime routine. It's now put your pyjamas on, brush your teeth, do a quick whizz round the track, read a bedtime story, sleep !
The trackset also has a very cool feature that we haven't used yet - you can bring your car racing adventures to life with augmented reality. The official blurb says : "Place an iPad (sold separately) into the removable stand at the base of the set, and download the free Hot Wheels Action Capture app to battle sharks, robots and more in a variety of different worlds. It’s absolutely twisted fun!" This sounds great in theory, but having seen how fast the cars whizz off the tracks, I'm a bit concerned about putting a fragile ipad anywhere near the track ! It's a great idea though.
Even as a grown-up, it's great fun - Madhouse Daddy had a play all by himself after installing the batteries which made us laugh because we could hear him from downstairs ! That's the only negative point actually - it is quite noisy. The motor is just as noisy as the Hot Wheels Mid Air Madness wall track that we reviewed earlier in the year, but this didn't put the Madhouse Mini-testers off at all. For the final word, I decided to hand over to Pierre - I think his face says it all ! It's definitely a toy that will be on lots of letters to Santa this Christmas.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £44.95
for more information : www.teamhotwheels.co.uk
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.
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