We have reviewed numerous Hot Wheels cars that are packed with impressive technology. The Hot Wheels Video Racer somehow fits a video camera, microphone, LCD screen and USB port in a standard size Hot Wheels car. The Hot Wheels Nitro Speeder, a tiny RC car that goes from 0 – 600 MPH in 1 second (scale speed), is an impressive technical feat. Still, most of these Hot Wheels cars are inside toys that require the right conditions for ideal performance.
For the kids out there (and their Dads) who are looking for something more rough, rugged and still packed with coolness, Hot Wheels has re-released the Terrain Twister (originally produced by Tyco years ago). The Hot Wheels RC Terrain Twister is a large car that zips through all terrain – grass, mud, water, sand, snow…pretty much anything you can imagine, the Terrain Twister can handle.
Let’s take a look at our hands-on video review of the Hot Wheels Terrain Twister…
Wheels? We Don’t Need No Stinking Wheels!
Man, I always knew that wheels were over rated, I just never had the proof to back up my argument. Now, the Terrain Twister clearly shows that wheels are really no match for giant pontoons with corkscrew-shaped threads! There is something bizarrely fun about driving the Terrain Twister over trees, mud, grass and yes, even into a pool. We tried to come up with a terrain that would stop the Terrain Twister and oddly we found only one…smooth floors. The Terrain Twister loves it rough and tough, those pontoons need something to grab on. On a very smooth wood floor, the Terrain Twister had some problems moving around. But really, if you give a kid the Terrain Twister, the last thing he will want to do is drive it on smooth surfaces.
Driving The Terrain Twister Is About Power, Not Accuracy
There are some drawbacks to making a wheel free car. For one, it can be hard to drive straight and accurately navigate a course when running on spinning torpedoes. Side to side was no problem for the Terrain Twister, but going forward and accurately turning is a bit of a challenge. Of course, when you have a car that can drive over anything, you don’t really need to worry much about staying on the course. The kids had a blast driving the Terrain Twister all over the yard, into a pool and tormenting the dogs.
Is There A Catch With the Super Fun Terrain Twister?
What is not to love about a remote control car that can drive through any terrain and looks like something out of a Sci-Fi movie? Two things, actually. First is a problem for the parents – the price. The Terrain Twister retails for $99, which makes it an expensive toy. Given the fact that kids will beat on it in all weather, there is also a chance it will become an expensive broken toy. We will keep beating on it and update the review if we have problems.
The second problem is going to be a deal breaker for some families. All the high powered, high speed fun comes at the price of requiring some serious battery power. The remote uses 2 AA batteries, which are included, absolutely no problem there. The Terrain Twister uses a rechargeable battery, also included, but it needs to be charged for 5.5 hours the first two times you use it. After that, you need to charge it for 4 hours. What does all this charging time get you? About 20-30 minutes of play time before you need to recharge.
From an electronics and financial standpoint, we completely get why the high torque Terrain Twister needs some serious power, but can not include a super high performance battery. From a play standpoint, having to wait 4 hours between 30 minute play periods is going to be a major negative for some kids.
Conclusion: If You Have The Patience, The Hot Wheels RC Terrain Twister Is All Weather Fun!
As many families will be looking at the Hot Wheels Terrain Twister as a potential Christmas 2012 gift, its all weather format is terrific. Kids can take out the Terrain Twister on Christmas day and drive it through the snow – you won’t find many other RC toys that kids can play with outside on Christmas!
If you do pick the Hot Wheels Terrain Twister as a gift, here is piece of advice – open it up and charge the battery BEFORE giving it to your kids. The Terrain Twister is so cool looking, kids will want to run out and play with it right away…so save 5.5 hours of crying and charge the battery the night before.
If you can deal with the price and charge time issues with the Terrain Twister, it is a fun toy that can operate in all conditions and kids of all ages will love. Hmm, I wonder if I could get some giant pontoons with corkscrew-shaped threads put on my minivan?
Hot Wheels RC Terrain Twister ($99) by Mattel. Ages 8+
As of 12/14/12 In Stock and On Sale at Mattel Shop for $79.99.