I will come clean, I was a Hot Wheels addict as a kid. Not for nothing, but I clearly had the coolest jumps, tracks and crashes that anyone had ever seen. But there was the problem – not everyone saw my super cool Hot Wheels setups and runs. Some of my friends actually doubted me when I said I pulled off the daring 360 loop followed by a 20 foot jump over the fire pit. As a great philosopher once said, “If a Hot Wheels Car does an incredible stunt, but no friends are there to see it, did it happen?”
The Hot Wheels Video Racer is now here to guarantee that Hot Wheels stunt racers of today will never be doubted by their friends again. The Video Racer is a standard Hot Wheels sized car (1:64 scale), with a built in video camera, microphone, LCD screen and USB jack. Take a moment to let that sink in… they shoved all of that technology into a standard Hot Wheels car!
The Hot Wheels Video Racer – Seeing is Believing
We first saw a demo of the Video Racer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011) and then again at Toy Fair 2011. We were impressed with the demo, but we knew the Video Racer was something we needed to get our hands on and see how it did in a real world setting.
We have now had a chance to test out the Video Racer, and here is our quick hands-on video with the Hot Wheels Video Racer -
The Video Racer Adds a Whole New Dimension to Hot Wheels
As the video shows, the Video Racer let’s you capture your car racing and stunt action in decent video quality. The video is not HD and it is not the highest quality, but for a toy, the video is very acceptable. You can shot about 12 minutes in the 30 FPS, 640 x 480 video mode. If you switch over to the 60 FPS, 320×240 mode you will get about 24 minutes of video. Of course, once you hook the car up to the computer with the included USB cable, the video is downloaded to your computer and erased from the car, so you can record more of your incredible stunt footage.
The car is very simple to operate. It has a built in battery that is charged by plugging it into the computer with the USB cable. To record, you turn the car on and press the big button on top. On the bottom of the car is the LCD screen and two buttons. You can play back video on the screen (but no sound is played back via the car) and erase clips if you desire. You can also use the screen to change between the two video modes.
The Video Racer Car Is Much More Than a Video Racer Car
As the video shows, the Hot Wheels Video Racer is really a Trojan Horse. Yes, it is a car with a camera, but by using the supplied case and clips it turns into a camera that can be used for any purpose. Strap it on your bike, put it on your wrist, attach it to a skateboard, create a puppy cam – you get the idea. Having a car with a camera is cool, but having a camera that can be much more than just a car adds a whole new element of fun and creativity.
Video Editing Software Promises to Make Creating Race Videos a Snap
Mattel will provide some video editing software with the Hot Wheels Video Racer when it is released. The software should allow kids to use drag and drop options with preloaded music, scene transitions or special effects to create fun videos they can share with their friends.
At the time of this writing (6/6/11), the video editing software was not available for testing. As soon as we have a chance to try out the software, we will update the article with our results. For now, it is easy enough to bring the video clips into any video editing software and create basic videos.
Dads Please Remember, This is a Toy for Kids
From a pure video quality standpoint, you can find fault with the Video Racer. The footage is not High Definition (HD), there is no image stabilization and video will look grainy in low light. All of this may be true, but you do need to remember this is a toy for kids – not a professional video camera! We found the Video Racer shot in high enough quality for kids to enjoy playing with it, and that is the only spec that really matters.
Our biggest concern is durability. Kids do not treat Hot Wheels gently – especially now that they will be trying to create elaborate stunts to video. We did put the Video Racer through a number of crashes (we have the video to prove it, if you don’t believe us) and it held up fine. We will continue to crash test the Video Racer and report back if we have problems, but so far, so good.
Conclusion: Mattel Hot Wheels Video Racer
There is a tremendous amount to like about the Hot Wheels Video Racer. One thing that parents will not love is the price – at $60, it is an expensive toy. Still, the kids did have a great time creating stunts for the car and then watching the videos (especially in slow motion on the computer). As much fun as the car is, I actually think the ability to use the Video Racer in other settings is the best feature.
By allowing kids to get creative and create their own video contraptions, you allow kids’ imagination to run wild. In addition, kids are encouraged to experiment and come up with their own video recording setups with the brackets included in the set. Imagination, experimentation and a decked out high tech Hot Wheels car – that is a formula for fun!
Hot Wheels Video Racer Gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
Here is our complete rating chart -
Learn More At Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels Video Racer sells for $60 and is for kids ages 5 and up.
Purchase The Hot Wheels Video Racer at Amazon.Com
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