Review: Hot Wheels id Mystery Machine

Entertainment Earth

On June 14, 2019 Mattel, Inc. announced the launch of Hot Wheels id, the evolution of the famous car brand into the digital age of collecting and gaming. Through innovative vehicle play, Hot Wheels id brings together physical and digital in a Mixed play experience with uniquely identifiable vehicles, a smart Race Portal, Smart Track, and digital hub, so you can build your own personalized fleet, measure your performance, and compete against other players worldwide. 

On a trip to the Target in my area, Hot Wheels has an almost dedicated aisle to itself with the amount of cars and tracks they put out. On the endcap of the aisle was the Hot Wheels id display with not just the usual variety of Hot Wheels cars based on real life cars, but with cars based on my favorite comic books and cartoons. The various Batmobiles made up the majority of the stock, but in a sea of Batmobiles there was one of the great machines in cartoon history… The Mystery Machine! Now mind you this wasn’t the usual Hot Wheels display, this was the new idcars.

The packaging alone made it worth picking up and buying. It makes this small die-cast metal car far more attractive than it needed to be. You flip open the flap and see an idea of what the digital garage looks like but when you see the game it’s not even close. Below the flap you get a nice window of the top view of the car and on the back of the packaging you get instructions on how to scan play with your new car. From front to back the packaging lets you know that:
  • These are limited run collectibles (meaning the car you buy/scan won’t be the same one as someone else buys/scan)
  • The car acts as your online avatar
  • Download the App, Scan your Vehicle, Play, and Level Up

On the secondary packaging on the back where the vehicle is actually held the back reads:
This is a One-Of-A-Kind Purpose Build, Jumping, Crashing, Flying, Speed Machine Racing Towards A World Without Limits. This Is A Place Where Physical And Digital Blend Into One. A Place Where Young Minds Discover That Limits Are Meant To Be Challenged, And Where They Can Safely Connect To The World Around Them. Here, Success Is Measured In Lap Times, World Building, Jumping Dragons, High Fives, And OMGS. This Is Hot Wheels ID.  

The car itself is your standard Hot Wheels car with plenty of detail inside and out. My Mystery Machine had a shinier paint job than the standard dull green that you would normally see on it. I opted to keep it in its originally packaging just because it was so small and plus that packaging was just too good to throw out. That’s not to say that the car itself isn’t worth putting out on display. I felt the more metallic green paint job added to just how special the car is not just in terms of its nostalgic value as being part of one of the most iconic cartoon series in America, but as this new leap forward for Hot Wheels in marrying the physical with the digital.

Fans and collectors can scan their Hot Wheels idcars digitally via the Hot Wheels ID app and add them to your virtual garage along with other cars you unlock along the way while playing the game. With the added ability to measure and clock speed, count laps and measure distance traveled on specially-designed tracks and play sets, Hot Wheels id amplifies the physical experiences kids have known for generations through digital play: iPhone, iPad, iOS. Hot Wheels™ id premium die-cast vehicles are equipped with wireless technology that stores each vehicle’s performance data and makes them uniquely identifiable. The Hot Wheels id Smart Track Kit features an all-new Hot Wheels track design to boost speed and enhance racing, jumping and crashing, while also adding total distance traveled to your vehicle stats. The Smart Track includes the fastest, most powerful booster Hot Wheels has ever made as well as two exclusive Hot Wheels id vehicles and the Hot Wheels Race Portal. The app hosts your virtual garage of Hot Wheels id vehicles to collect, race, jump, crash, level up and compete, as well as hundreds of challenges and digital races to keep the fun going.

The Hot Wheels Race Portal works with your existing classic Hot Wheels and track. When you connect to the Hot Wheels ID app you are given the ability to scan you Hot Wheels ID car to unlock the car’s identity, stats, and then start your engines. From what the packaging states it each car will have their own unique stats so even if you do buy 2 of the same car you shouldn’t get the same stats for both. Another cool feature of buying the idcars is that the stats on them are better than the majority of the in-game cars. So for someone like me who bought the Mystery Machine I can compete against the A.I. or another player who has an old school Hot Rod or even a brand new Corvette. The tracks your drive on are as crazy as any Hot Wheels track you can imagine with loops and ramps that almost send you into orbit. Each race is a 1-on-1 battle; winner is the first to reach the finish line. Game modes include: 

  • Track: Where you race using your Hot Wheels car on an actual Hot Wheels track and everything is connected and measured via Bluetooth which connects the track to your app.
  • Garage: Where the cars you have unlocked and cars that are available to unlock by playing the game.
  • City: Where you can find all your race courses and tracks.

The cars drive on their own but you have to control the left and right to speed through turns as if you were drifting. Also pressing down on the screen with both thumbs and then releasing during a race will allow you to access your nitro. Depending on your car you start out with either one or 2 nitro boosts, but you have 3 nitro boosts all together. To upgrade your vehicles you use ID points you earn after each race and by doing any other activities/achievements you do throughout the game. The races themselves are quick and enjoyable with gravity defying jumps and loop-the-loops throughout the tracks. With over 100s of cars to choose from in store and earn while playing the game definitely make it worth collecting the actual cars and spending some time with the game.

I give the actual car 5 stars because it is beautifully made with a nice price point of $6.99. The actual physical track will run you about $179.99 which is kind of high for a kids toy, even if it is part of the mobile game mechanic. The game itself, while simple and geared towards kids, it is still a good game especially if you are a fan of cars or the licensed cars that Hot Wheels has in their collection from movies, TV, Comic Books, and video games; so a definite 3 out of 5 stars. For more info check out the Hot Wheels website.

Entertainment Earth

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