Thursday, November 20, 2008

Learning Cause & Effect With Hot Wheels Trick Tracks

hot hot hot

A month ago my children received the Mattel Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Triple Stunt Starter Set and the compatible Power Loop Stunt Zone to review for Parentbloggers. I asked my almost five year old son in particular if he'd like to be a "toy tester" for these new Hot Wheels racing stunt sets. His response?

"Being a toy tester of new Hot Wheels toys is MY DREAM!"

Well then.

When the boxes arrived I assembled the tracks and power loop according to the visual directions. It didn't take me too long. But I was puzzled. The cars couldn't cruise the entire length of the track. I spent some time trying to assemble the track and turns and loops in all of the different ways suggested on the box. My kids were jumping up and down with excitement to get their hands on the track. Defeated by their zeal, I handed it off to them and told my son to figure it out.

And in 10 minutes, he did.

My son quickly realized that these two compatible Hot Wheels Trick Track Sets are a cause-and-effect sequence of stunts, not one long track for a lone car to cruise. One car does a loop and launches a second car into a death spiral, that pushes another down a road, that sends another car flying. Like so:

(Sounds in the background are my daughter whining that she's not involved on this particular home video take and MC Honky's "The Devil Went Down to Silverlake.")

The stunts and cause=effect tricks are totally educational and fun. The set-up reminds me of the game Mousetrap or the contraption in the beginning of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I would NEVER have figured it out on my own, but that proves that this toy really "gets" the kindergartenish-age of the kids for whom it is designed. This toy has provided HOURS of entertainment for my kids, and thus peace for me. I think it's genius.

We love Hot Wheels, love the Trick Tracks ($21.95) and Power Loop ($27.99), and most of all, we love "working" as toy testers! Thanks Mattel and Parent Bloggers for the chance to review this cool new toy.

Graphic design by Jeannine Marie Soden of ROYGBIV Design

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