Remember those orange Hot Wheels tracks? You open your Christmas gifts or what have you and there they were: strips of plastic, perfectly sized to fit any 1:64 scale Hot Wheels toy. You’d start off by placing one on a chair or box, then shoot a car down to its imagined fiery demise as it reached the end. All it would really do, of course, is bounce a few more feet along the carpet or linoleum, eventually coming to rest against the baseboard, much to mom and dad’s chagrin.
Eventually, that wasn’t enough: you started adding loops, wall mounts; Mattel even came out with track inserts featuring battery-powered spinning wheels that could keep your cars running in perpetuity, if you ever wanted to create your own 1:64th scale Le Mans endurance test.
Now, what would it have been like as a 1:64th scale person? Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in those tiny drivers’ seats, and experience it all first hand? A few clever YouTubers have done it, attaching GoPros to Hot Wheels roofs and sending them on their merry way, through everything from bird feeders to drain pipes.
Soon, you won’t need no fancy GoPro, or complex track – you won’t even need an actual Hot Wheels toy. All you’ll need is an Xbox One or Windows PC because the orange track – lots of it -- is coming to the Forza Horizon 3 racing video game.
On May 9, you’ll be able to download the Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels expansion. It will have you racing on virtual orange track suspended 100 feet above Australia not only in the Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis already available in the game, but in a selection of virtualized Hot Wheels originals such as the Bone Shaker and Twin Mill hot rods. That’s not entirely new – we’ve seen Hot Wheels models in the Forza Motorsport franchise before – but having the cars is one thing. Having the track is a whole ’nuther ball o’ wax.
We’re not talking one-ramp-off-the-kitchen-chair stuff here; we’re talking virtual miles of track, featuring loops, banking, corkscrews and who knows what else. The developers promise a whole new set of challenges to test gamers’ mettle.
For Hot Wheels fans – heck, for video game or nostalgia fans in general – we feel like it will be $19.99 well spent.