Dear Hotwheels, you can kiss my ass.

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I had quite the hefty rant earlier.

But this is not about that.

I must be in a mood.

This is about the totally irresponsible and ridiculous notions that Mom’s can’t play with hotwheels.

What.

No really.  What the hell kind of crap just fell out of your mouth Matt Peterson?

Now, I have two sons.  My first did not play with cars.  At all.

But my 2nd?

HE LOVES THEM.

And we have bought a shit ton of them.

Proof?  Look at that wagon.  They may not all be hotwheels, but I can assure you that there are 100’s of them in there.

That's a lot of cars, Matt.

That’s a lot of cars, Matt.

You see, whereas my older son had more expensive  hobbies  ::cough:: Thomas the train:: my younger son has gravitated to the $1 hotwheel. And I have let him.

There are some really cool ones out there with flames, decals, wings.  It’s actually a thing with us. We could be at the grocery store and there on an end cap is a hanging display of them. We sit there and go through them to pick out just the perfect one.

Picking them out as a MOM and son, it’s a thing I’ll always remember about his childhood.

But you know what Matt? You pissed me off.

BIG.

Do you really think all I’m good for is after school cookies?

Well, I am, but that’s not all.

Look at this track we have.

That's a lot of track.

That’s a lot of track, Matt

LOOK AT IT.

In the summer we take it out to the driveway and build epic tracks.

But, wait, I’m not supposed to know how to do that.

HUH.

Instead of throwing your ignorance at moms, I’m going to clue you into maybe a few reasons why kids maybe have gravitated away from your product.

And how have I learned this?

BY PLAYING WITH THEM MYSELF.

I know. So hard to believe.

Reasons why hotwheels may suck:

Though the cars are super cool, the tracks?

MEH.

They are hard to put together in *just* the right way so the cars don’t get stuck on the joints. My son is 5 and gets pretty frustrated with the joints.

So Matt, maybe it’s the crappy joints.

We even have the wall tracks.They were ok, but unless you have an 8ft 5 year old walking around your house, my kid isn’t tall enough to put all the wall tracks at a height that wouldn’t require him to, I don’t know, be on a chair or have me help him start the car off. If you want to put 2 sets together like you suggest?  You’re going to have to grab a ladder.

Maybe kids just aren’t tall enough these days, Matt.

Let’s not even get into how certain sets have to have that EXACT CAR that come with the set to work. Like some cars are too heavy to work on sets with action. That’s not how it works, Matt.  Kids put all their hotwheels in a bin, container, pile and play with them. To play search and seek for the magical unicorn car that will work with the Twirly Whirly is not the game. You should either make the cars all the same weight, or at least color code the bottoms of the lighter cars that work with the sets.

Maybe it’s the fat heavy cars, Matt.

Another thing about the sets that have “action” to them?

Though the commercials make it look perfect every time, I can tell you that at least 50% of the time they fail.

Those tiny rubber bands you guys use to produce them break all the time and unless you have an advanced engineering degree and a slew of those micro screwdrivers to try and replace it?

FORGET IT.  And you only give one replacement rubberband? Silly Mattel.

When your track is supposed to spin the car around and the rubber band breaks, no one is having fun.

No one wants their rubber to fail, Matt.

So next time you go and try and figure out why a product might not be succeeding as much as you would like, look at the product, not the moms who are often the ones buying them for their kids.

I’ll be waiting for my apology, probably while replacing another rubber band.

 

60 thoughts on “Dear Hotwheels, you can kiss my ass.

  1. I just searched Google for “replacement rubber bands for hot wheels” and your post was in the top five. Of course I had to check it out. Bravo! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one suffering from near aneurysms from the Hot Wheels tracks that are currently on the market (and have been for at least 6 years, based on how long I’ve been looking at them for my son).

    I’m not a mom. I’m a dad. I’m a tinkerer by nature. I can completely disassemble old sewing machines and rebuild them. I’m not bragging. I mention it only to draw a comparison to using Hot Wheels — especially Hot Wheels “Trick Tracks” sets. These sets are mind numbingly irritating.

    When I was a child Hot Wheels tracks fit together rather nicely. You could go to the local toy store and buy track sections, connectors — which, by the way, slide into BOTH tracks — loop supports, corner supports, etc.

    Everything you say about the tracks, cars, and assembly is true and then more! And the rubber bands? Dear God! Trying to replace them with regular office supply store variety rubber bands can be dangerous. I’ve dented a wall using a regular rubber band and then launching a heavy car (with sharp corners) across the room and into the wall. THANK GOD no one was standing between the launcher and the projectile car!

    My laundry list of gripes:

    • Special, color-coded rubber bands and only one replacement.

    • Fragile track supports. Loops are not much fun when a small, plastic tab breaks and the loop is more of an orbiting egg.

    • Needing cars of certain weights and general shapes based on certain “action” items.

    • The ability to combine tracks, PROVIDED THAT the cars are close in weight, shape, and size.

    On the plus side, the issues with Hot Wheels means my son loves Lego!

  2. I’m a Mom of a 6 year old boy and I always put the tracks together because Dad ( a specialized mechanic)
    gets pissed at them. I also mounted his wall tracks all by myself. Wow! Great job Matt, great job.

  3. I’m a dad, and feel I need to weigh-in. I hate Hot Wheels. Freaking HATE them. The cars are kind of crappy, but as you pointed out, the tracks are garbage. What makes me absolutely CRAZY though is that there is NO way to neatly put the tracks away because, although the tracks need to be “built” (snapped together), they cannot be unbuilt. And try telling your 3 year old he can’t play with the track anymore because you broke it trying to unsnap it the way you unsnap EVERY OTHER DAMN TOY before putting it away.

    I LOVE that Lego is the number 1 toy company. It really highlights that quality products and quality customer service are important. We’ve got tons of Legos, and we’ve never been missing a piece or had pieces that didn’t fit together, or had instructions that didn’t make sense. Well done. Mattel, you can rot in hell with your garbage products.

    Apples to apples–go buy a Lego set, a Mega Bloks (Mattel) set, and a Kre-O (Hasbro) set, all about the same size. There is a tangible quality difference and a clarity to the Lego instructions that isn’t present in the others. It’s crazy.

    Anyway, just got the Hot Wheels Trackmaster Fan Man Stunt, and unfortunately snapped the top on before putting the fan blade in, and since there’s no way to remove the top without breaking it, we have a brand new, right-out-of-the-box piece of useless trash. Thanks f*ckers.

  4. Totally agree. These tracks are whack. I saw a youtube video of a hotwheels rep playing with a hot wheels wall track and it wasn’t even assembled properly. Just goes to show you that they apparently don’t care for quality control, or for quality.

    • I totally agree…Hot Wheels exists on their past-reputation. Their track sets are BAD. We have two different layouts…and neither one is of the kind of quality or ‘use-ability’ for anyone under 20. Hot Wheels is the WORST. Our money will not go to Hot Wheel track sets anymore.

  5. Just came across this while trying to solve the problem we are having with this stupid hot wheels city track. I figured for this kind of $ it would be awesome. It’s Christmas day and this is all my kid has talked about for the last month or two.
    So now I see this isn’t a new problem. Wish I had looked into it before trusting the hot wheels name. JUNK!!!!
    And whoever the moron was who spewed crap about mom’s not being able to do this kid stuff, or whatever he said, should come visit this mom on our little farm here. I’ll show him what a mom can do. I can even fix his “big boy” car in my shop. Which I’m guessing is something he has to pay someone else to do for him.
    I will NEVER spend money on Hot Wheels again!

  6. Hi! Stumbled on this when I (mom) was looking for an expandable track to start for my daughter who loves hot wheels and wants some speed and to do tricks. Thank you for this PSA – I’ll head on over to Darda and get buying! Frustrating, low-quality product AND you are going to tell me I’m not doing it right out of the gate? No thank you. I won’t pass thru that gate. Mama, I owe you BIG time for saving me – wanna come over as soon as my Darda set arrives to play cars and have some wine?

  7. change your diapers everyone, everything will be ok… Easily enough, ALL of your complaints can be easily fixed by going on eBay and buying vintage track’s/cars. I have been collecting (and playing with) Hot Wheels since I was 7 and never ONCE complained about pieces falling apart, YES it DOES happen, but it has never bothered me… And if your crying (like you are) that Mattel was “mean” Then grow up… You all are be ridiculous over a TOY CAR!!!

  8. Came across this rant on a google search. You are an absolute LEGEND!! What an amazing rant. I completely agree with all your arguments. As a proud manchild 31 years of age i recently started playing with hotwheels again. The new sets are terrible and there is little compatibility with sets as you mentioned. I am pilates instructor and have discussed this topic at length with moms that i teach and they totally agree with you! Its moms that take the time to choose and buy these toys and its a disgrace to assume they cant play with hotwheels!!

    A solution to the crappy sets is to build up some jumps and loops from thick cardstock. Super easy to design and build and you can build some wicked jumps. My best jump gets 600mm of air and 1.5meters distance. All cars will work on these jumps!

  9. I was online searching for wall tracks when I came across your blog. I have an almost 17yr old and an almost 5 yr old, both boys. And I am one of 6 kids,4 being boys. So Hot Wheels and I are no strangers to each other. The sets they used to have lasted forever and could be played with over and over. I have gone through several sets with my youngest and they have all fallen apart after very short periods oftime. I’ve even tried super glueing them together without success. Thank you for saving me time and money and sparing me from a breakdown. I think I’ll be searching how to make our own as suggested below.

  10. Just did a search for home made hot wheels tracks and there,s you tube videos and more out there. Maybe a good way to bring out a kids imagination.

  11. As a man in his 50,s I grew up with hot wheels and the tracks worked great. You could use your imagination and create loops and ramps jumping over to more track and all was good. That was a while back, but recently while shopping for my friends 4 year old I came across the same problem all you we’ll spoken women have listed on this post. Nice cool looking cars but poor quality and overpriced tracks. I will be out at the hardware store looking for cheap materials to build (with the help of the 4 y.o.) our own tracks. If you gals could post any ideas on that topic maybe we can hit Matt where it hurts most, his ego!

  12. I’m a dad and my son and I play hotwheels constantly..we have 100s of hot wheels and hundreds of dollars spent on trackks..I mostly play with them but his mommy always brings home really cool hot wheels..she might not play as well as I do but she tries her hardest.. (she’s never played cars as a child..poor kid) any sex can play hot wheels. I play with my nieces and my wife so I agree kiss my ass matt..He may want to watch his mouth before he makes matchbox millions

    • Matchbox? lol Mattel-Hot Wheels owns it as well several other diecast companies not to mention to Barbie,American Girl and Monster High just to name a few. The problem here is they might not to be putting enough emphasis on creating solid boy toys like they used to. They (Mattel) need to spend less time playing with the dolls and spend more time manufacturing awesome solid cars less plastic and more solid tracks with better connectors. For as much as the company charges for a better casting with detailed features you are up to nearly the cost to basic Barbie. I could go on but I will save that for another post.

  13. Thank you! I was so mad when I read the story! Like we women are stupid! I am a single mom and the thing that my son and I love to do together the most is play with the Hot Wheels. We just like you go to Target a lot and yes we spend a lot of time at the Hot Wheels display just like you said looking them over finding just the right one for that day.

    I agree with everything you wrote! In fact oddly enough I found your letter/blog while searching for instructions on how to fix the rubber band launcher that my son just dismantled today. So if you know how to put one back together I’d love to hear from you. As I’m sure I will not hear from Matt. And I had to giggle about the weight of the cars since we got the triple loop for Christmas and yes more then 75% of the cars do not work on that track. Grrr. And yes it does keep falling apart and yes I keep fixing it.

    Again Mr. Matt you are WRONG!

  14. This is so true, I love it! I did not hear about Matt whoever saying what not about moms and Hot Wheels, but even still that’s just ridiculous. It’s family fun in our household, mother included. Our son loves the cars, I wouldn’t even dare start counting how many he has but it’s a dang lot. And almost all of them purchased by his mother. While we enjoy playing with the cars, it is the tracks that always leave us frustrated. For every reason that you stated. Well said.

  15. I have been collecting hot wheels since I was about 8. I’m in between two brothers, and we grew up collecting and trading. simply collecting and trading: so much fun. I have my hot wheels and my kids have been collecting since they were about 3.

    Matt? We just ignore Matt.

    Like you do with dumb people.

    (AWESOME, jen, especially the rubber joke. heh)

  16. YES!!! THIS!!! ALL OF THIS!!!

    I have a car obsessed four year old and we have been searching eBay and Craigslist for the vintage tracks that actually work. Freakin hard to find! No one gives that stuff up, because then then they have to use the modern crap.

  17. Mr. Matt is dead wrong. And he kinda sounds like a douche. I played with Hot Wheels as a kid. I now play with them alongside my (almost) 4 yr old. I’ve used them to give alongside Valentine’s and put them in Birthday Goodie bags. So don’t tell me what I am “not” buying. And as for their tracks… I do a MUCH BETTER job with some cardboard and packing tape. So take that Mr. Matt.

  18. I don’t have a son, but I do buy them for my daughter, and together, us feeble minded women folk have somehow (by the grace of God himself) figured out how to push them around and make “VROOOOOOOOM!” noises. It was touch and go for a second there, since this playing with car business is CLEARLY too complex for our delicate lady brains, but we pushed through, and we were victorious! We even invented a game called Cars vs Princesses, where giant Disney princesses smash the tiny cars like Godzilla. Probably a little of what he was talking about, but whatever. She still does the “vrooooooom!”.

    I should add that the reason I am the one who buys the Hot Wheels and PLAYS with the Hot Wheels, is because my husband is some kind of weirdo who would rather collect the cars than actually use them. Hear that, Matty? My HUSBAND, the MAN, doesn’t want to play with your dumb cars; he wants to curate them in their original package (and probably make a spreadsheet, because he is very thorough) for safekeeping and posterity.

    You’re an asshat, Matt.

  19. As a mom with a son who was ‘meh’ about hotwheels and a daughter that age eleven still wants all of her hotwheels, but discarded the stupid tracks, I TOTALLY AGREE!

  20. Ok, I missed what ever started this. But separately, I had my own pristine collection that I finally passed down to my brother when I was 15. And we all know what the tracks were for (when we were kids but not moms;), slapping each other like they are belts. So much pain;).

  21. I guess I’m in the minority, but I actually don’t really know how to play with cars and wasn’t at all offended by Mattel’s comments. I never played with them as a kid, and I get bored out of my mind when playing with them with my four year old son. We basically just drive them on different furniture pieces while making car noises. I don’t know if that’s right or not…I just do what my son does. Luckily, though, he also enjoys playing with our Calico Critters – which is something I am very good at & know how to play. =)

  22. So I’m on my first and only son. He’s 3. He refers to the grocery store as the ‘car store’ because we always get a new hot wheels when we go. It’s our thing. And yes Mattel, I have a vagina, and I too play with his manly hot wheels with him. Every. Single. Day. And yes, the tracks suck. They break, they are impossible to ever get set up correctly, and you charge too much for them. Also? My HUSBAND builds Air Force A-10’s for a living, and even he gets pissed at your crappy tracks.

  23. Blaming the number one toy purchaser for their selling issues seems like a bad business decision. Hmmm… What if they actually asked mom bloggers whose kids were obsessed with Hot Wheels (hi!) what we thought since we play with these cats daily? Whoa. Did I just totally blow Mattel’s mind?

  24. My son loves the cars but gets so mad that the cheap ass tracks don’t stay together, I won’t but tracks anymore because both of us get so pissed. We have a couple of rugs that have streets on them and now he makes his own tracks. It’s not that moms don’t know how to play with cars, they don’t know how to put out quality products.

  25. I agree, it is completely about quality and options. I wanted something that didn’t mount on the wall and fling cars across my living room so that a) my 3yo could actually operate it b) there was some imagination involved and c) I could not have a HUGE FREAKING CAR TRACK HANGING ON MY WALL.

    So we finally found something on Amazon.com that’s a garage and it’s a piece of crap.\ Falls apart every single time he plays with it (tantrums ensue). So while we have tons of cars around our house and underfoot no one is inclined to buy him more stuff. Even Cool Uncle Dan thought that all the Hotwheels stuff & gear looked awful and cheap.

    BTW, my favoriate part of the article you link to is this quote: “The campaign seems to be backfiring. Some moms are saying they feel insulted.”
    No WAY, REALLY?!

    Idiots.

  26. So MATT just lost his job. I HOPE.

    I saw this earlier today and was planning a whole post about how the track Eddie has is crap and how not all Hot Wheels cars fit and LOOK! I am a MOM! A working mom even…and I KNOW THESE THINGS BECAUSE I PLAY WITH THEM TOO!

    Stupid Matt. Stupid, stupid Matt.

    Awesome Jen. Awesome AWESOME Jen.

  27. I don’t have boys but a 3 year old girl who loves to play with her cars. We have plenty of them and I have bought them all and play with her with them. Even creating roads in our playroom with tape for her to play with her cars on.
    This also makes me mad that he said we have never played with them. I have a brother who loved cars and had tons of them. I played cars with him all the time. With tracks and without. Don’t tell me I never played with them or don’t know how to play cars. Ridiculous.

  28. BIG Mistake, Matt. BIG. HUGE.

    I bet that dude just lost his job, bummer.

    And yeah, we will pass Thomas down to the grandkids but all the Hot Wheels will probably go to Goodwill…

  29. This pissed me off, and I don’t even have kids. What part of Matt’s brain broke and made him think that insulting his consumer would make them want to buy more of his product? That’s not how it works, Matt.

  30. My boys are now 12 and 14, so we missed the wall sets, but I think you’re kindergartener is almost as tall as me, so perhaps they wouldn’t have worked for us. I agree with you about cars that only work with a certain set and in general, I hated the sets. We just wanted track, but back them in seemed all they sold was sets.

    With our Thomas/Brio/wooden train pieces, they boys would fill up the basement floor with elaborate setups. And you know what? That train stuff was expensive, but I’m saving it for the grandkids I hope to have one day. The Hot Wheels (and generic) cars are in a big bucket that I keep meaning to give to our young neighbor and the sets wound up in a landfill years ago.

  31. Not knowing who Matt Peterson is, I Googled “Matt Peterson Hot Wheels” and your blog today was the third thing on the first page…..wow!

  32. It’s like you’ve opened my head and just transcribed what was in my brain. My sister and I grew up playing cars together. In fact, I’m not sure either of my brothers ever did. And we do the same thing. A trip to the grocery store often results in a $1 purchase to add to our MASSIVE collection. We, too, go through every single car with both of us picking out our favorites and then he picks the final winner. But the tracks? They usually stay hidden away because they are crap. I’ve wasted so much money trying to get Wall Tracks to stick to my walls that I’m tempted to just superglue them. But then the tracks would fall apart anyway and the cars would NEVER make it around the loop even if you replace the rubber band with a brand new one.

    Hot Wheels can suck it.

  33. Reading that article you linked to I actually double checked that I wasn’t reading The Onion or something similar. Is Mattel really that dense? Women don’t know… how… to play with… cars?! I just cannot even.

  34. My two GIRLS love playing with cars, on the race track that belonged to their MOM back in the day… So the whole “moms don’t get toy cars” thing was mystifying to me as well.
    BTW, the brand she had & the girls still play with is Darda, and oddly enough, since we were missing the cars, I went out and bought new ones last year, and they worked perfectly on the tracks made 30-odd years ago. So I think you have some good points to make about Mattel’s car products maybe just not being up to snuff.

  35. uh…quick someone write a post on how to play with hot wheels…i don’t get it and there’s no directions. wtf, Hot Wheels, really do we LOOK that dumb. We buy (and play with) what our kids like. I certainly don’t ‘get’ pokemon but when my kid wants it, he gets it. I can’t STAND Power Rangers but I’ve got them coming out me ears.
    We also have hundred upon hundreds of cars. And I can tell you I’ve played cars about a billion times (ok maybe not quite) more than good ole Dad has. Stupid men. lol

  36. I read that article a few weeks ago and it really burned my ass.

    I can’t count how many times *I* have built tracks for my boys, bought Hot Wheels for them, sat at the store searching through racks and racks to find the BEST one, had races with them, and on and on…..

    Well said, as always, m’dear!

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