Hot Wheels. I swore I’d never have more than 10 of them in the house.
That ended when we started potty training our son last year. Pee was a non-issue – he had that nailed in a couple of days. It was No. 2 that threw us for a loop. We needed a reward system – stat. Smarties lost their lustre after a week. He barely acknowledged stickers. My kid’s currency? Hot Wheels.
So, in the name of motivation, we bought dozens of “poo presents.” Each a new Hot Wheels car, truck, aircraft or emergency-response vehicle. We reached full potty training success in about two months. In the meantime, do you know how many Hot Wheels that amounts to?
They are everywhere. On every floor of my home. I step on one and sometimes have the urge to chuck it clear across the room. I fear that one of my parents – who are here three times a week to watch my kids while I work – will be sent flying backwards and end up horizontal.
There was just really never a reason to keep them all together or to do much more than play with them on our IKEA car carpet. And then we got to test out two sets of the new Hot Wheels Wall Tracks for PTPA. I’ll add that this was a dream come true for The K Man, who’d been jonesing for these Wall Tracks thanks to the effectiveness of TV commercials.
This is basically Hot Wheels with ADD. There are twists, turns, stunts, traps, obstacles – even a battery-operated elevator. There’s no shortage of things to do or look at with the Wall Tracks. Think of it as Cirque du Soleil for a four-year-old: mind candy.
It’s a super-cool concept. Get your kid standing up and interacting at eye level with all of the neat tricks the set offers.
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks goes up on my not-so-cheap Benjamin Moore paint with those 3M Command Strips. I’ve used these elsewhere in my house (with the Command Hooks), and they honestly work. They hold more weight than you’d expect from a plastic hook, and they actually come off the wall without leaving a mark. This means that you can shift it around as you add more components, or move it to an entirely different room, and your walls will be none the wiser.
The K Man, and every one of his friends who’s tried it, is simply mad about this system. The day after we set it up, he was up by 5:30 a.m. and his first words were “Can I go downstairs and play with my Hot Wheels until breakfast?” Does that mean I can go back to sleep? Uh, sure.
There’s now a reason to have all of our four-wheel Hot Wheels vehicles in one place. Yesss!
I feel like this is a toy with some longevity. We’ve had it for a month and it still holds The K Man’s attention. My bet is that it will stay on that wall in our rec room until he’s at least eight.
Putting it together is time-consuming and not entirely intuitive. It didn’t matter to The K Man, though; he very patiently stood near Big B, asking what he could do to help. We didn’t use them, but there are instructional videos to help you get through the set-up.
Sure, Hot Wheels Wall Tracks gets toys off the floor, but you still need a tonne of real estate for this. We have ours on a wall that’s about six feet wide – and it takes up just about every last foot. Without a basement play room, I’m not sure we’d have been able to accommodate this anywhere else in the house.
I wouldn’t call Hot Wheels Wall Tracks inexpensive. In Canada, it’s $24.99 for the most basic set to $49.99+ for the more elaborate sets. You really need to connect at least two (we have the Power Tower and Free Fall Track Sets), and the more the better. So, as we gear up for back-to-school, you might use this as good motivation for your kid to bring home a great report card before the holidays.
Each set comes with only one car; I realize that we’re probably like most families and have no shortage of Hot Wheels cars. But you’ll soon find that not all cars fit on the track. On the straightaways, pretty much any car or truck will work, but on the curves, some slow down significantly and others come to a complete standstill. Of our Hot Wheels collection, I’d say about 60 to 70 per cent work on the Wall Tracks.
It would be so awesome if the sets came with extra Command Strips. I think we were left with just one after all was said and done, so if we want to add a new set and need to reconfigure where it sits on the wall, we’ll need to buy more strips.
If you’re at all bothered by noise, consider yourself warned. The Power Tower’s motorized elevator is on the loud side. Never mind the chomping monster’s jaw slamming down every three seconds while the elevator’s turned on. But you’ll get past it, because it’ll keep your kid content for ages. Fun outweighs noise any day of the week.