Mattel HotWheels Video Racer Quick Review

We review the new Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer - a tiny matchbox car with built in video recorder.

|  Hotwheels Video Racer in Compact Cameras
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Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer
Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer

Announced at the beginning of the year and available in the US for a while, the Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer is due to arrive on UK shores just in time for Christmas. We jumped at the chance to have a play, I mean, a test of the video camera built in to this tiny car.

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Features

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer
Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer

While not too rich on features, the car is compact and allows you to view and delete videos you've recorded on the back screen of the car.

Key Features

  • VGA video, 30fps with sound
  • High speed video at 320x240, 60fps with sound
  • 0.95inch screen
  • Built in rechargeable battery
  • 512mb built in
  • 12 min standard, 25 minutes high speed recording
  • 45 to 60 minute battery life

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Handling

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer
Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer

There is a side on/off switch, a large button on the top to start and stop recording and two buttons under the screen. At the back is the USB socket, used for charging and transferring images. Included in the box is a short USB cable, velcro strap, 2 fastenings for use with velcro, 2 fastenings for use with the 2 provided sticky pads, a case for the car that clips onto the attachments and an instructions manual. The fastenings allow you to mount the camera to a helmet, bike handle bars, a car dashboard, or anywhere else you can think of.

Video software is not included in the box, instead you can download the software from where there is a 183mb download. Full instructions for the car are also on the website.

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Performance

Indoor Quality - the video recorder coped well indoors in standard office lighting.

Another example video: Mounted to the dashboard of a Mini, on a bright day it coped with the light, but when used to record a trip at night the street lights weren't enough to give a good view:

Value For Money

The car is £65 boxed with the accessories you see above, including the mounts for different uses, but does not include any track. Small digital video recorders that can be attached to a variety of surfaces are available for a lot less, such as this Mini DV recorder, but none of them are also as much fun as a toy car.

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Verdict

While the Hotwheels Video Racer doesn't feature many options, or controls, it does do video reasonably well, with acceptable VGA quality. It would be nice if the sound quality was better, but for what it's intended for it is reasonable and works well as a kids toy. Having a video in a tiny car is a novel idea and could be worth investing in, especially if you have a lot of Hotwheels track already. If you just want a portable, compact digital video recorder there are cheaper alternatives available.

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Pros

Multiple uses
Easy to use
Built in screen
Lots of attachments

Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Cons

Video only
Doesn't auto switch off
Can't access on/off switch when in case
Audio quality poor


Mattel Hotwheels Video Racer Specifications

Max ApertureNo Data
35mm equivalentNo Data
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels0.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data
Pixels (H)No Data
Sensor TypeNo Data
Sensor SizeNo Data
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor0.95in
Screen resolutionNo Data
Touch ScreenNo
Min FocusNo Data
Focusing modes
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data
    Bulb modeNo
    Exp modes
        ISO sensitivityNo Data
        White balance
        • Auto
        Exposure CompNo Data
        Shooting Options
        Continuous shootingNo Data
        Movie modeYes
        Video Resolution
        • 640x480 VGA
        • 320x240 QVGA
        Video FPS30fps, 60fps
        Stereo SoundNo
        Optical Zoom with VideoNo
        Other Features
        Image StabilisationNo
        USBUSB 2
        Card Type
        • Internal
        File Type
          Power Source
          Battery TypeBuilt in rechargeable battery
          Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
          Box Contents
          Box ContentsNo Data
          WeightNo Data
          WidthNo Data
          HeightNo Data
          DepthNo Data

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          CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
          Like you said it may work better if you have lots of track but there isn't a clear indication of how well it works at that speed.......quite a lot of money too.

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