The holiday season is upon us and that means one thing: NEW TOYS!!!!!
While this year has been one we’d probably like to quickly leave behind, Mattel has kept a steady line of products coming to keep us busy while we were/are quarantined at home — and those products are coming even faster now that the holidays are right around the corner.
The teams from Hot Wheels and Matchbox have given us some awesome products over the year (like the Matchbox Retro Service Center and the Hot Wheels Spy Racers Command Hauler) and one of the newest creations is the Hot Wheels RC car line.
I happened to stumble upon the RC car line while at Target and found two models: the ’17 GTR and a red Rodger Dodger. While they are both rad cars, I snagged the GTR since it was the better looking of the two (in my opinion at least). The price was $19.99 – not cheap for a single Hot Wheels, but pretty affordable when you factor in the licensed “casting” and RC car function. The car also comes with a track builder part, so that’s a bonus too.
These 1/64th-ish scale RC cars aren’t the first RC cars in Hot Wheels history. There were a few differently-scaled Hot Wheels RC cars throughout the early and mid 2000s. Some of them were large, some were near 1/64th scale — but none seemed as finessed as these new versions.
Speaking of these new RC cars…does it look familiar? It may, and rightly so. Earlier this year Hot Wheels held a preorder sale for two different RC Tesla Cyber Trucks – and the controller and tech from this GTR is likely going to be the same for the 1/64th scale Cyber Truck. The controller shown in the preview shots is very similar to the GTR’s.
This is one of those Hot Wheels you just have to open – I mean it’s an RC car! Once you pop the seal you’ll find an instruction pamphlet, the car, the controller, and track piece. The track piece is a simple Y ramp that can connect to the rest of the Track Builder playsets. The tech is all in the car and controller, and we’ll start with the controller.
The controller is shaped like a modern game console controller with two joysticks and several other buttons with various duties. The joysticks are obviously for forward/reverse and left/right (more on the steering later), while the big center button is for syncing the car and controller.
The “turbo” button is where the R buttons would be on a PlayStation controller, and the two smaller angled buttons are steering trim alignments.
The controller is powered by four AA batteries (not included) — which also double as the car’s power source. Flip the controller over to reveal a hatch that holds the small USB-type charge cable that plugs into the car’s chassis.
The car itself has a body that is shaped similarly to the GTR ID car. It has a fairly realistic look to it overall, with the addition of widened wheel arches and an angled front end to aid in track duty. The body is plastic and has the windows molded into it — but the plethora of tampos makes up for the plastic look. The R35 is slathered in drift style tampos, with the RC Line being the main sponsor. A few fake performance brands are stamped on the car as well as a large “SEND IT” across the hood. For it being a fantasy livery, I don’t mind it.
Like any other premium Hot Wheels the GTR has tampos on all corners — including headlights and taillights. The back is especially nice with its detailed tail lights, Nissan logo, and dual Hot Wheels RC logos.
The front has detailed yellowed head lights, silver trim on the grille and hood inserts, and marker lights. A HOT WHEELS RC banner sits atop the front window too.
As good as the car looks, the real fun is driving it…how often can you say that about a 1/64th scale Hot Wheels?! This thing is a blast to play with: it’s fast, it can be used on tracks or your kitchen floor, and it has a turbo button. The car also came charged from the factory and powered-through a solid 10 minutes of donuts and loop attempts, and didn’t even start to power down.
The car not only goes forward and backwards, it also goes left and right. Remember earlier when I mentioned the steering? It perplexed me at first since the front wheels are fixed….so steering isn’t done in the “traditional” way. The GTR steers through a clever rear axle that sends power to either side depending on which button you’re pressing. It’s pretty trick.
I made an unboxing/review video and do some turbo pulls in the car, a ton of donuts, and attempt to run it through a loop — does it have enough power to make it through a loop? Click below to find out and to see this RC Godzilla in action.
While some smaller scale RC cars can be duds with poor driveability, I’m fairly impressed by the performance and quality of these new RC cars and am excited to see where this new RC tech takes us Hot Wheels fans in 2021.
After burner: I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a 1/64th scale RC BTTF Delorean Time Machine 🏁