PSFK plays with a Hot Wheels track builder kits to give their inner DIY spirit some exercise. [Sponsored Content]
One of the joys of Christmas morning as a kid (besides voraciously tearing into large wrapped boxes) was getting to set up and play with all the make it yourself toys that were popular in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Turns out, Hot Wheels—a favorite back then—is still around and designing new cars and tracks, the Track Builder being the latest edition. As some of the PSFK team recently discovered, it is still as fun to build them now as it was during childhood.
Having recently come into the possession of the Hot Wheels track builder kit, we thought it would be exciting and relevant to create some loops and runs representing popular notions about Facebook, Google and Apple. These companies have such huge reach and impact in the modern world that when they create something, or change something, it affects millions of people’s daily lives; they have achieved a place in the public consciousness that few other entities inhabit. So it seemed fitting that to bring Hot Wheels into the adult world we would make tracks about these integral fixtures.
The Apple track. Simple. Functional. Elegant. The epitome of ‘flat design,’ a term now synonymous with the company and its lead designer Jony Ive.
As easy as opening an app on iOS, the track’s launcher is the touchscreen ‘tap’ that gets it all going. Smooth sailing along a straight track represents the reliability of Apple’s walled garden mobile ecosystem that eliminates fragmentation and outside ideas deviating from the set path.
Speeding along, the car launches the spring-loaded plane just as quickly as a $400 phone can open Twitter. Flying high, the little plane remembers to tweet his regrets about not buying Apple stock in the late 90’s when his whole family foretold the end of the company, but he still believed in it.
While Apple’s track represents simple design elements, we decided the Facebook run should follow the trajectory of an average status update. Starting at the top of the Track Builder 5 Lane Tower, which represents two users posting about a minor life event, the track races down mimicking the downward emotional spiral of the need for social validation.
Racing down the track and picking up speed, the two users’ posts start to gain comments and likes. But one reaches 10 likes before the other, hence the yellow ring of fire, prompting the other to go back and edit the post with loopy language of the Quick Kick Loop. LINK This reversal causes a turnaround in engagement that rockets the user’s post forward through the Like-powered loop and makes it first to the finish line of ego satisfaction.
Next we brought on some helpers for the longest run of them all, the Google track. This traces a lunch break adventure on Google+ and the omniscient search engine. Starting things off, agreeing to link Google+ and YouTube together sends the car flying down the track from the tower into the loop-the-loop that puts a real name to all those YouTube comments written over the years.
Flying out from that regretful forced choice, the car makes a banked turn through the Curve Pack towards a new tab and opens Google+, here represented as a rubber band-powered launcher. Through its suggested hashtag system, the Google track pushes the car towards the hill of Future of Retail content on PSFK, having previously tracked the car’s activity and searches to know that it has an interest in retail innovation.
Turning around again through some more amusing content, the car reaches the home stretch of cat GIFs and celebrity top 10 lists towards the finish line of a lunch break well spent, ending in the launch of a new search for ‘How does Google autocomplete know exactly what I wanted to type.’
But in all seriousness, we had a good time playing with the track builder, which just goes to show that creative toys meant for kids can be enjoyed by all ages. They can even be tools to solve certain creative challenges. Anyone can create their own tracks online using the digital Track Builder game and purchase their creation here.
Since 1968, Hot Wheels has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. Hot Wheels is the #1 vehicle property in the U.S. producing the coolest cars imaginable. Hot Wheels began as 16 – 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a global brand for boys of all ages with licensed apparel, digital content and Team Hot Wheels, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts.