If you liked the addition of tech in last year's Hot Wheels Augmoto, then you'll like the latest technological advancement in Hot Wheels racing: Hot Wheels id. This mixes physical play and digital play using a Smart Track, a Race Portal, and uniquely identifiable vehicles. On the digital side, there's an app that connects to the track via Bluetooth and allows you to personalize your fleet and measure performance all to enhance the racing experience.
The Smart Track set is pretty cool, and sold separately, but if you'd rather use Hot Wheels track that you already own, you can simply purchase a Race Portal and add that to any orange Hot Wheels track. The Race Portal also comes with two exclusive Hot Wheels id cars. From the app, you'd select one of the two Portal Play mini-games. In SlingShot you launch a physical vehicle into a digital speedway, and in Speeder, you launch up to six Hot Wheels vehicles into a digital race to see who has top speed and the most laps. Successfully completing the mini-games earns you in-game currency to redeem for digital upgrades to your car, such as giving it more power to beat opponents.
You can also scan in additional physical Hot Wheels id vehicles and use those with both the Smart Track and Race Portal. There are 10 of these available, five in the Street Beasts theme and five in the Speed Demons theme. Each is sold separately. These vehicles look very much like regular Hot Wheels die-cast cars, but when you flip them over, you'll find the scannable NFC tag. And scanning them into the app makes them playable in the app's digital-only racing side, perfect for when you want to race on the go. You do have to win five races with the built-in digital car before you get access to your scanned cars.
This gives Hot Wheels fans a new way to race, giving them a visual of their cars' performance within the app. Even though it does merge physical and digital play, it's not too digital heavy. There is still hands-on play for kids to keep them a part of the racing. The new cars will be fun to collect and add to the virtual garage, and there are many different ways to play with them, depending on what kind of Hot Wheels experience you want.
It was sometimes confusing to figure out how to play the mini-games, especially when it seemed that the Race Portal wasn't measuring the speed of our cars. We think that you'll probably want to attach the Race Portal to a looped Hot Wheels track set so that your cars continue to go around and around, making it easier to pick up speed and gain distance in the digital races and challenges.
Hot Wheels id is for ages 8 and up.
The Race Portal includes a USB cable and two exclusive Hot Wheels id vehicles. To charge the portal, you plug the USB cable into a device that is plugged into a wall outlet.
There are 10 Hot Wheels id vehicles to collect, and each is sold separately. These retail for around $6.95.
The Hot Wheels id app is a free download for iOS devices. It will be available for download on Android devices soon.
Another part of the app offers digital-only racing, turning your smart device into a racing video game with a variety of races and digital cars to unlock. Physical cars you scan into the app will be available to play in the digital-only races after you've won five races using the built-in car.
A Smart Track set is also available and sold separately.
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