Mattel Hot Wheels Apptivity Review

Apptivity is a brand new idea from Mattel that allows kids to play with their favourite toys on the iPad.

When I was asked if I would like to review the Hot Wheels version of  Apptivity I jumped at the chance. My boys love both playing on the iPad and with Hot Wheels so this seemed like a great idea.

The idea is simple, first purchase a compatible Apptivity toy (in our case a small blue car) then download the free app. When the car is placed onto the iPad screen it interacts with the app using patented conductive technology. Simply put, you swivel the car on the screen to drive along the track.

I was rather apprehensive about allowing a toy to be placed onto the iPad screen, I was concerned about scratches. So far though I’m happy to report that none have appeared, although I did keep an eye that the boys didn’t press too hard.

The actual app looks very impressive, it’s graphics and content are excellent for a free game. However I suspect this was also it’s initial downfall, on an original iPad it crashes on a regular basis before you can actual do an awful lot. The iPad 2 seems capable of handling the game, but this isn’t made entirely obvious on the toy or app.

I also fear that my boys were a little too young for the game, even with my game savvy brother sitting with us we all got a little confused as to what we were actually supposed to be doing. It would have been much more fun if they had simplified the games to just basic races as far as we were concerned.

This all sounds rather negative and I must admit that I wasn’t overly impressed with the game. However my sons would tell a vastly different story. Despite some crashes, confusion and general head tapping they absolutely adore this game and ask to play with it often. They are much more forgiving of the little niggles which would stop me from playing. They don’t care because at the end of the day they get to play with a car on the iPad with cool music and great visual effects, it’s a boys dream.

As a parent you may find yourself slightly disappointed for the points I mentioned, but Mattel know their market and the child you buy it for is quite likely to be thrilled. I obviously can’t comment on the other incarnations of Apptivity.


The range brings to life some of the UK’s hottest toy brands including Hot Wheels, Batman and WWE as well as extending the play value of top-selling apps such as Angry Birds, Cut The Rope and Fruit Ninja. And it’s great for all the family – there’s even an Apptivity toy for toddlers.

Single Apptivity packs start at RRP £11.99. There are also larger starter packs priced at RRP £24.99, which come with exclusive figures, amplifiers and accessories.

For more information, please go to:

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Review

If you are lucky enough to be the Mother or GrandMother of boys then chances are you’ve heard of Hot Wheels cars. Frequent adverts show amazing tracks where cars swerve and dive with ease. Now Mattel have taken Hot Wheels one stage further with the introduction of wall tracks. I think it’s safe to say that these are going to grace many a Christmas list, but do they deserve too?

I received the Hot Wheels Starter Set and Daredevil Curve Set to review. With my husband on hand we set about assembling the array of components. First we taped a large design template onto the wall, this has notches either side which guide you to the placement of your wall brackets. These are attached using 3M Command Strips which are removable (although not reusable) and do not damage your plaster work.

As we had two sets we headed to the Hot Wheels website for advice on joining them together.  They have a selection of useful videos which take you through assembly step by step. Within 15 minutes the track was on the wall!

Our three children were eagerly waiting in the wings, ready to play. I must admit that I half expected it to fall off the wall as soon as they started, but thankfully it stayed put. There was a lot of squealing, giggling, jumping up and down and general enthusiasm. The only problem we encountered was the cars shooting off at speed and having to be retrieved from under cupboards.

It’s hard to explain the sheer joy this toy has brought my children, my daughter included. There’s little ramps which they can control to change the direction the cars take. Pretty soon the cars had been named and they were inventing little make believe stories using them. The day after assembly I came downstairs to find my two eldest had crept out of bed and were playing quietly in their pyjamas. It seems to have completely captured their imagination and provides hours of happy contented play. The only problem it seems, is getting them to stop playing with it occasionally.

I had several reservations about this toy, first I wondered if it would break quickly due to it’s plastic construction. Second I wondered if I had a bare expanse of wall large enough to accommodate it. Thankfully all of these lingering concerns have been answered. The plastic has survived some very vigorous playing and has slight flexibility which makes it very durable. As for wall space, the track can be adapted to make it work for pretty much any wall (as long as it’s not wallpapered).

Would I recommend this product?

Definitely, it’s wonderful for the kids and it’s rather wonderful for Mum & Dad too due to the peace it provides!

I honestly think this could be one of the ‘must have’ toys for Christmas 2011 so buying early might be a good idea!

It’s also great to have an engaging toy that doesn’t involve sittng in front of the TV or computer.

Can it be improved in anyway?

I’d like to see even more track configurations either in the packs or on the web, this may come in time of course.


Starter Set RRP £29.99

Daredevil Curve Set RRP £16.99

Available at all good toy retailers online and instore.