Mattel has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to really playing up their Hot Wheels line of cars, movies and new products. They can’t get it together enough to provide simple updates to their older PC video games to take advantage of the improved graphics cards out there, or create new games based on the recent Hot Wheels: Battler Force 5. My kids loves the fantasy realms most of all because they’re cool, unlike Mattel’s more reality based games, with the same boring landscapes they can see from the van windows.
Maybe they’re waking up. Who would have imagined an onboard Hot Wheels car camera?
NY Times: The Hot Wheels Video Racer, from Mattel, is a standard-sized Hot Wheels car that is packed with electronics, including a front-view camera, built-in LCD screen, mini-USB port and a rechargeable battery. It costs $60. So what can it do that a traditional 99-cent Hot Wheels car can’t? Think of it as a tiny rolling camcorder, complete with a preview screen on the bottom.
After you start the camera, you zip the car through your track just as you would any other Hot Wheels car. You can then replay the ride as if you were an ant sitting on the nose of the car. You see the tunnels, loops and the violent crash at the end, when your car flies off the table. Because there are no moving parts, there’s little to break. The result is a stomach-bending roller-coaster view of your track.
On-board memory stores up to 12 minutes of video, and can either be played back silently from the tiny, low-quality postage-stamp-sized LCD screen (there are no speakers) or, for higher quality and sound, on your Mac or Windows computer by way of the USB cable. This is also how you charge the car’s internal battery. A small protective case can be attached with Velcro straps to a skateboard or bike helmet, or, with a little creativity, your cat. Now that would be an interesting footage.
The toy is coming in June.