Hot Wheels Tracks

Nothing says "small-something" more than a big fancy Hot Rod in the driveway. That's the law of nature. But what if those Hot Rods are small themselves? Well, give them long stretches of track and big loops to be shot through of course! And thus, male over-compensation begins early. So naturally, I had one of those Hot Wheels track systems when I was a kid (draw your own conclusions), and I got to say, they never worked! Okay, they worked, but they never made me feel like "big man on cul-de-sac." They were probably more fun to set up and think about than actually play with. First of all, they came with, like, 20 sections of track and the connector pieces were always getting lost. If you ran out of connector pieces, that was it. You had a jumble of tracks you could "kinda-sorta" lay next to one another, but it was useless for high speed anything. Don't lose the connectors!

Secondly, you had to be a serious pro to keep the cars on the tracks. On the slightest bump, they'd go flying off. On the extreme corners, they'd shoot out and get lost behind the desk or under the bed. On the loops, well, you could forget about the loops unless you had one of those motors that could push it up to 88 mph and careen it into something in another time period. The only place those cars never seemed to be though was at the top of the loop, and particularly if they were the heavy car with the engine bursting through the hood.

Thirdly, there were speed problems. I think half of what I know about physics I learned from trying to make Hot Wheels cars go fast enough to take those loops. I had to start them off at a height usually taller than me, like a shelf or something, but not too high or else the car wouldn't grip the track on the way down, and not too low or else it would jam up at the loop or hit the incline and fly off into another dimension. It was very precise.

Don't lose these!
The last gripe was anything that involved a jump. Yeah it looks great in the commercial when the car flies off and lands square on the next piece of track, but was that take 79 or 156? Those jumps were made to keep your car off the track as long as possible. To keep it going, you needed more downhills than anything else...something hard to come by if you're already on the floor, but then again, to really get it going anywhere you either had to pay for motors or pay for more sections of track to go for higher altitudes. I think if you ran one from the top of Mt. Everest you'd probably finally score three loops and a complete track run out of it using only normal physics (assuming it stayed on the track).

In fact, it all used to make me wonder (because as a kid these things are more than just toys, but potential reality situations). In my mind, somewhere out there in the Hot Wheels dimension, roads were just constructed as giant loops for no particular reason and every now and then ordinary vehicles might be expected to perform vast jumps and corkscrews as part of their daily commute. Who would build such a roadway and why didn't factor in so much as the thought of how cool it would be if this was how it was in our dimension.

Dedicated devotees in this dimension however have managed to make impressive and lengthy loops of these things that cover whole living rooms and neighborhoods (whether or not it's one continuous track is a subject of intense debate), and others have even made life sized versions featuring real cars. My brother and I though probably used the tracks more to sword fight.

1 comment:

  1. I never actually owned the tracks- only the cars. In which, my sisters and I made roads and tracks out of Legos, Knex's, and VHS tapes. =P