Updated: November 2017

Hot Wheels Set Reviews:

What little boy (or girl for that matter) wouldn't want a few hot wheels cars to play with? My son is 3 1/2 years old and for Christmas all he could talk about were hot wheels cars. He didn't car which ones we bought, but he knew Santa would come through for him. I remember the old days when I had tons of hot wheel tracks setup in our house as a kid and I loved playing with them. My brothers and I would make huge tracks and have races against one another. The cars would shoot out of the starting "launcher" and they would be off. Todays hot wheels sets are more about "stunts and tricks" than go old fashioned racing. When I went to look at Toys R Us for my son I soon realized the selection of tracks was somewhat limited and even looking online at Amazon didn't help too much. I came to the conclusion that we could get him a few tracks and hope to build up a single larger track so the cars could move around a bit. The track sets are about $30 to $100 and they are all compatible with each other - that is the tracks connect with universal connectors and pieces.

Which hot wheels tracks/sets are the best? It's hard to say for sure. They have starter sets like the Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Triple Stunt Starter Set which sell for under $20 on Amazon. It comes with a hot wheels car and provides a few stunts like a loop. The cars are designed to shoot out of the launcher area and go around the tracks. The problem, as I mentioned above, is that the tracks are short and the action is over almost immediately. No matter what you decide, an essential piece to any hot wheel track is the "launcher" house - like the Mattel Hot Wheels Dynamite Blaster Launcher which can send up to 5 cars out at the same time. The Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Ultimate Stunt World we bought has an extravagent loop system which requires 2 D batteries to run the accelerator. In any event, you need a way to help the cars get some momentum so they can go around the tracks. Several of these stunt sets have a rubber band that produces tension and when released the cars will fly down the track. Not sure how the rubber band will hold up with everyday wear and tear, but for now they are doing ok. The good news is that most of the assembly on these hot wheels tracks is fairly easy. I was able to setup the 11 stunts within about 25 minutes and once they are done, there's really nothing to do to them except play. My son loves his new toys and cars, the tracks are fun, and we hope he gets hours of enjoyment from all of it. My only concern is that he will get bored with the "stunts" and just want the cars to do down the tracks. I plan on rearranging the tracks in a few weeks to keep things new and interesting and potentially setting up a larger track that has less stunts and tricks and more straight-aways so the cars can go around the track like a regular raceway. You can buy sets of individual hot wheel tracks for pretty cheap and create your own setup. One of our friends has a huge basement with about 15 yards of tracks setup. They have multiple "accelerator" boxes on the track so as the cars slow down they get shot back out and continue on their way. I may end up doing something similar in our playroom. You can browse all the hot wheels cars and tracks online here.

Hot Wheels Starter Set:

RECOMMENDED - Gone are the days where all you have are hot wheels tracks and a few cars. Today, the products include exciting jumps, loops, and other stunts to keep our kids interested. As a parent, it can get overwhelming with so many choices. We are never really sure how our kids will react to new toys and if we will get our "moneys worth". A good first time hot wheels toy is the HOT WHEELS Trick Tracks Triple Stunt Starter Set - probably more for the younger child in your house (3 to 5 years old). There are less parts and pieces to deal with and a select # of stunts. The 3 stunts include a launcher, a loop, and a crane that holds a car up in the air. You do get a hot wheels vehicle with this set which is less than $20. The track is easy to setup (10 minutes at most) and we found the stunts work pretty good. The whole idea behind these hot wheels stunt sets is that as the cars move along the track to the next stunt they set off a mechanism so the next stunt goes. Essentially you have a car preconfigured at each stunt station and once the first car is in motion, it's almost like a domino setup. My son didn't understand at first how it worked but after my help he now configures the stunts and sets the cars off. My only concern is that long term we lose the rubber band that helps the moving parts of the stunts - not sure if you can replacement ones or buy them. Overall, for $20 it's a good starter set. Keep in mind that not all hot wheels vehicles work on these tracks and in the stunts.

Hot Wheels Track Set:

RECOMMENDED - Ok, so you have an older child who needs more stimulation than a basic hot wheels set. We have just the solution for you. The Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Ultimate Stunt World is a huge track with 11 stunts and the set comes with 10 cars to keep more than 1 child busy. Some of the stunts include a power loop, drop tower, spiral spin out, zigzag slide, freefall drop, and flame launch. The 14 pieces of track and stunts need a little assembling, but nothing too hard. You'll have to put 2 D batteries into the Power Loop in order to get the cars up to speed and going around. Again, it's like one big domino setup with the first stunt leading to the next and so on. If you lineup all 10 cars properly in their specific spots, the show should go on without a hitch. We were able to do this many times (takes about 1 minute to get things all set) and then my son would start the initial vehicle and watch the rest of the stunts performed. It's expensive ($100+), but I was able to get mine on sale at Amazon during the holidays and save a few bucks. My one concern with the toy is that when the matchbox car is in the Power Loop and the motor is running on the spinners that shoot the cars out, we found that the cars often fly out the side and into whoever happens to be sitting there. No one got hurt, but if you have a little child, keep an eye on that section or disable it buy taking the batteries out. What I like about the hot wheels products from Mattel is that they are all pretty much universal and so you can connect older tracks with newer ones and you are not limited. We plan on building our set into a much larger unit as we acquire more cars and tracks. You can see all the top selling hot wheels tracks and sets here.

Hot Wheels Cars:

Don't worry about buying too many cars since many of the tracks and sets we have found come with cars. In fact, the Trick Track set (above) has 10 hot wheels cars included. The 10 and 20 packs of cars are not too expensive, generally expect cars to cost about $1-$2/each. The Hot Wheels 10 Car Pack is not a bad selection and to carry all those cars in your may need a Hot Wheels Rollin' 100 Car Case with Launcher. Depending on the style of hot wheels car they may be more expensive. Since they have been around for so many years, there are websites dedicated to vintage hot wheels - tracks, cars, etc. Collectors have online pricing guides for almost all products ever made by Mattel for their hot wheels collection and there are avid enthusiasts who collect them all.