RC vehicles are a dime a dozen these days. But, ones as tiny as a standard Hot Wheels car? Those are little more rare. In fact, we only know of one such product -- iNitro Speeders from Mattel. The radio-controlled Hot Wheels racers won't hit 100MPH
, but it also won't decimate your bank account. The itty-bitty Mustang GT we tried out is, after all, just a toy -- and not the kind that bored rich men
buy themselves. It's plastic, relatively cheap ($33) and designed to work with every kid's favorite touchscreen device, the iPhone. So, how is one of the premiere brands of die cast cars keeping up in the smartphone age? Keep reading after the break to find out.
Hot Wheels iNitro Speeders hands-on
There's a standard RC remote included in the excessive plastic packaging, alongside the iPhone adapter. The dual sliders function just as you'd expect, though the Mustang moved quite a bit quicker than we anticipated. In between the two control pads is an empty chamber with a plastic lid intended for storing the RC GT when not in use. Inside you'll also find the charging cable for the car, though, you can't close the clear top while it's plugged in. Of course, you're not picking up an iNitro Speeder for the standard-issue RC controller, it's the iPhone adapter that you want. The light plastic box plugs into the headphone jack and, when used in conjunction with the Hot Wheels RC iNitro Speeders app, allows you to control the wee wheels with your iOS device. The app has a number of different modes, including a basic dual virtual stick layout. Other control schemes allow you to tilt the device, drag your finger to steer and control acceleration or draw a predetermined route. There is some lag between issuing commands from the app and when the toy reacts, but not so much that it completely ruins the experience. The preprogrammed routes work pretty much flawlessly, but custom designed paths were performed in halting stutter steps.
Ultimately though, as fun as it is to watch the mini Mustang dart around a room, its size proves to be its biggest limitation. Its tiny wheels are no match for many rugs, carpets, or pretty much any outdoor environment -- save the most freshly paved of asphalt. In fact, we highly suggest you vacuum or sweep your floors before letting the Speeders loose, as even small amounts of dust or pet hair are enough to tangle the axle bring the toy to a grinding halt. Even with those caveats though, it's hard to believe that any child wouldn't thoroughly enjoy piloting the RC car around with an iPhone or iPad. The various control methods and in-app drag racing game will keep even the most attention deficient youngsters occupied for quite a while. Check out the video above to see it in action.