Hot Wheels Car Maker: Giving it a spin, Part I (Review)

Some things simply take time, some things take doing twice in order to get it right.

Such is the case with my review of the Hot Wheels Car Maker I recently received free for review. See, the Car Maker is intended for ages 8+. My grandson reviewers are a few years away from the 8+ mark... and they're 815 miles away from me until later this month.

With that in mind — and a husband who is over the 8+ mark and ready and available for reviewing any time I need him — I decided to make this a two-part review. This is Part I, in which the resident grandpa tries out the Hot Wheels Car Maker so the resident grandma (that would be me), has seen how it works before making wheels with the wee ones I'll be visiting soon.

Let Part I commence!

The Hot Wheels Car Maker is a nifty-as-can-be kit that includes all that's needed to create 10 custom Hot Wheels Cars.

Now, let me first say that I was a tad wary of a kit for making vehicles due to an unfortunate toy designing kit I received as a child. When I was 7 or 8 years old, I received for Christmas a nifty-as-can-be kit for making miniature bendable dolls that once made and cooled, could be adorned with cute little stickers. (Which is much like the Hot Wheels Car Maker seemed to me at first glance.)

The unfortunate thing with my bendable dolls kit was that the dolls never fully formed. Never. Not a single one. I carefully read the directions, followed step by step, but every single doll came out lacking a full body.

It wasn't until years later — years, as in when I was a mom making toys with my daughters — that I realized when carefully following the directions for that long-ago doll maker, I was reading the directions incorrectly. Upon seeing the warning "Do not use internally" on the clay mixture, I (now remember, I was quite young) confused the word internally with the word entirely. So I never used the recommended amount entirely, never added all the clay mixture I was supposed to. Thus never ending up with a fully formed doll.

Fortunately, it's not hard to figure out how much product to insert into the Hot Wheels Car Maker to end up with fully formed cars, thanks to the colorful wax sticks that amount to, for the most part, one stick per vehicle. So I set about the first part of my review of the Hot Wheels Car Maker, with my husband going through motions, knowing darn well the end result would surely be fully formed cars.

Here's all you do, from start to finish, to create your own awesome Hot Wheels cars, ready for racing, with the Hot Wheels Car Maker:

Add a wax stick...

Insert car or truck mold into the chamber...

Once the mold is in place, you shut the door to begin the heating cycle as well as some cool sound effects that let you know all is working and running. After 5-7 minutes (took us 6 minutes), you'll hear "Heating complete."

Then the fun begins. You slowly pull down the handle until hearing the word "Complete." This spurts the wax into the mold (safe inside the chamber, so no mess!)...

After 8-10 minutes (was 9 minutes for us) and lots of magical sounding effects and blinking lights here and there, the Hot Wheels Car Maker announces "Cooling complete. Car ready"...

So the door is opened, the mold removed...

 

And the excess wax removed from the mold using the handy multi-use gadget included in the kit...

Using a different side of the same tool, the car is then released from the mold...

Voila!...

The car body is placed upon a chassis...

And the car is complete!

At this point, stickers could then be added. My husband and I decided to leave the sticker sticking for my grandsons, as the boys are sticker happy and stickers on Hot Wheels are a match made in heaven, as far as they're concerned.

So my husband begged me to please decided to make another one, this time with the truck mold...

Two super Hot Wheels vehicles from the Hot Wheels Car Maker, ready and awaiting stickers to be applied by my grandsons and featured in Part II of my Hot Wheels Car Maker review...

My thoughts on the Hot Wheels Car Maker:

  • The Hot Wheels Car Maker obviously uses electricity and it heats up. Which makes the 8+ age recommendation make sense.
  • Everything went exactly as the directions said they would... except the following bullet point.
  • I was under the impression that there'd be one car from one wax stick. So the combined sticks that made up the second vehicle my husband and I made threw me a bit. What if a child wants exactly the color he or she put into the maker? I'm not sure how that would work once there's wax in the chamber. My husband assured me that's not a problem because the combined colors are incredibly cool and why in the world would you not want that? I'm deferring to his boyish reasoning as he should know. (Though I still think it'd be cool to have just one solid-colored sky-blue car coming off the line.)
  • Kids age 8+ might be just fine with the 5-7 minute heating period as well as the 8-10 minute cooling period, but I know darn well my grandsons will be antsy and feel like it's taking fooorrrreeeevvvver. So when making cars with younger kids, an activity to do while the lights blink and awesome sounds go off would be a good idea. I'm thinking coloring pages of Hot Wheels vehicles while we wait. (Stay tuned for Part II to see how that goes.)

All in all, I think the Hot Wheels Car Maker is great fun for kids. My husband's final analysis? In his words, "This is awesome!" I'm pretty sure any kid age 8+ will agree.

Find out more about the Hot Wheels Car Maker (MSRP $49.99) on HotWheels.com as well is in Part II of this review.

Disclosure: I received the product free for review. Opinions and anecdotes are my own... well, except for those that are my husband's.