Best Hot Wheels Track Sets: All In Good Fun
Top 8 Best Hot Wheels Track Sets
Be forewarned. The following items are gateways to a lifelong cycle of fiduciary entanglement. It’s not drugs, crime, or even rooting for the Lions. No, it’s something far worse.
You see, placing a Hot Wheels set in the hands of an impressionable young kid is the first step to finding oneself wrenching on a derby car at 2:00 in the morning when work beckons the next day or attempting to drive a clapped out stickshift ZJ across much of middle America (we wish you the best, David).
But it’s all worth it, right? Of course it is! We wouldn’t be at this for anything but the love of cars. We’ve selected eight different Hot Wheels tracks with which you can set your young mechanic on his or her way to a lifetime of fun and financial ruin. Or, y’know, you can buy these for yourself — you’ve already made your choices … and so have I, if we’re being honest.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Choice: Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Track Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Track Builder Starter Kit Play Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Drag Race Track Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Colossal Crash Track Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Terrordactyl Track Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage Playset: Shop Now
Hot Wheels Sky Jump Track Set: Shop Now
Hot Wheels A.i. Intelligent Race System Starter Kit: Shop Now
1. Editor’s Choice: Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Track Set
This set earns our top pick for a combination of mayhem and reasonable pricing. The set includes one Hot Wheels vehicle for racing adventures right out of the box, plus plenty of parking spaces for easy storage of all those other diecasts you’ve scattered about the floor like rice at a wedding to lurk in the carpet like an unexploded land mine.
Sixteen feet of track, motorized boosters, and hairpin turns ratchet up the excitement — or at least the chance of a diecast car being launched through the living room gyprock in a modest suburban home. A nearly five-star rating from over 1000 customers portends well for hours of crash-‘em up fun.
- Crashing good fun, approachable price
- Consumes a large footprint
2. Hot Wheels Track Builder Starter Kit Play Set
Everyone needs to start their car addiction somewhere, making this $20 kit a good place to begin. It comes with an impressive number of pieces including a decent amount of orange track, two launchers, and a whole buncha connectors. Do not use the individual orange pieces of flexible track to slap your siblings. We can’t stress that enough.
Utility handle can be used as a hook for a gravity drop and to hold all the pieces in the kit together for easy storage and portability. The number of configurations of these ten pieces of track is limited only by one’s imagination. If your speed racer already has a noisy Hot Wheels set, this will also make a great addition.
- Cheap way to get started, includes straight and curved tracks
- No loop-de-loop fun
3. Hot Wheels Drag Race Track Set
Not every single Hot Wheels set needs to consume a square acre of space in the rec room and have more loopholes than the American tax code. This drag racing set simulates the John Force special of a quarter-mile drag race (reduced to scale size, of course) complete with Christmas tree starting lights and end-of-track checkered flag.
Simplicity wins the day with the set launching each car at the same time, meaning no one competitor should fall victim to a NHRA-like jumped start. Pull the lever to start the countdown. That checkered flag drops at the end in a great bit of theatre that’s sure to delight small kids.
- Easy set up, fits in a corner of the room
- Fun’s over in a blink
4. Hot Wheels Colossal Crash Track Set
New for 2019, the company claims this is the biggest boosted set Hot Wheels has ever made, measuring over 5 feet wide. A double figure-eight design with high speed boosters allows kids (and, erm, adults) to race multiple cars, a move which increases the smash and crash factor just like in a daily commute to the office.
Use those levers to send your diecast cars through the ground-level crash zone or into the air for gnarly aerial collisions. Hot Wheels says this monster folds up for "easy storage" but, really, this fun-maker is going to devour a good bit of real estate whether it’s deployed or not. In a fit of practicality, it is also compatible with other Hot Wheels sets. Don’t forget the batteries.
- Superb crash-em-up action, big yet easy to set up
- Prohibitive cost and size
5. Hot Wheels Terrordactyl Track Set
Nope, that’s not a typo. The spellcheck-vexing Terrordactyl is a double-helix track design in which kids race their diecast cars towards a plastic Pterodactyl dinosaur and back again. The dino is designed to catch wayward cars in its teeth, though there’s every chance that a rogue Hot Wheels racer will simply bury itself into the Christmas tree.
If one of the cars does manage to finish the race without launching itself into orbit or the Pterodactyl’s gullet, the flying dinosaur gets launched high into the air. Time it right and you night even bean your sibling as they walk past.
- Big track, big dinosaur, big fun
- Very expensive
6. Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage Playset
In what Hot Wheels calls its biggest garage EVER (emphasis theirs), kids will find a series of ramps and parking spots for three dozen of their favorite die cast toys. There are a bunch of "action stations" including a chomping shark, tune-up shop, and a gas station. The first one could very well be an allegory for a sales dealership.
There is a pier on one end so kids can imagine playing near the sea (hence the shark) while a pair of elevators transport your young gearhead’s scale model cars up and down the garage with speed. The action starts straight out of the box with five Hot Wheels vehicles and one helicopter. Like others on this list, this kit connects to other HW tracks.
- Multiple play options, looks cool
- No real racing track included
7. Hot Wheels Sky Jump Track Set
Hot Wheels track play reaches new heights in this super cool motorized set that looks nothing like your author ever found under the tree when he was a lad. Sky Jump features a vertical jump reaching over 2 feet in the air, plus a motorized booster. It all makes for a high-energy thrill ride that’s heavy on racing and crashing action.
Will your car make the jump or will it plunge into the firestorm mixer to race around the crash zone for another whirl? These are important questions, none of which were answered by any of the life-sized cars that darkened my own driveway over the last 25 years.
- Huge vertical jump platform looks impressive
- You’ll probably go deaf listening to it
8. Hot Wheels A.i. Intelligent Race System Starter Kit
Realizing that all its eggs were in one orange and particularly plastic basket, Hot Wheels dipped a tentative toe in to the world of AI with this, the Intelligent Race System. When it all works, Hot Wheels A.i. uses computer-enhanced Artificial Intelligence to help guide your car around the track.
The A.i. also controls rival racers who will attempt overtake your car and speed to victory. Use driving skills and treachery to launch virtual hazards like oil spills and tire blowouts to win the day. Sounds like a NASCAR race to us.
- Next-level Hot Wheels fun
- Reports of controller jankiness
How do Hot Wheels track sets connect?
Hot Wheels tracks can be connected with the help of a small connector that has two rounded blocks at both sides, and a press button at the center. When you insert one side of the connector in the gap below a track, the rounded block goes in the hole that is near its end, and half of the rounded press button that is present at the center of the connector firmly fits in the notch that is there at the end of the track.
You can then do the same with the second track by inserting the other side of the connector to it until the rounded block goes in the hole of the track, and the other half of the rounded press button firmly fits in the notch that the track has.
You can connect as many tracks as you want by following the same procedure. Therefore, while buying a separate set of Hot Wheel tracks, it is imperative to check if it has a sufficient number of connectors in the box as well.
Also, unless it is intended or necessary, you must try to use the tracks with the sides of common height to ensure stable and consistent movements of the toy.
Do Hot Wheels tracks connect with Matchbox?
A short answer is, yes, they do. To elaborate, both Hot Wheels and Matchbox are owned by the same organization, Mattel Inc. Talking about the history, while Matchbox was introduced in 1953 by Lesney Products, Hot Wheels came to the market in 1968, and in 1997 Mattel acquired Matchbox. Now, because the products of both the brands are manufactured by the same company, the Hot Wheels tracks go well with Matchbox.
What is the difference between Matchbox and Hot Wheels?
One of the major differences between Matchbox and Hot Wheels is that the former is more into realism and manufactures the toy cars that are usually seen on the road, whereas the latter deals in fantasy-oriented toy vehicles, like those you see in Sci-Fi movies.
Another interesting difference between the toy cars of the two brands is that Matchbox offers more variants of lorries as compared to Hot Wheels.
Nevertheless, because both the brands are owned by Mattel Inc., your individual preference of picking one type over the other wouldn’t have any impact on the quality of the product whatsoever.
Do all Hot Wheels cars work in the tracks?
Yes, they all work in the tracks. However, the swiftness of the movements, and stability of the toy cars while driving may vary, depending on the type of track they are driven on. For instance, if you want to drive a toy car on a standard, plane track at even height, tracks with small sides would perform well. On the other hand, if you are using a boost box, or want to assemble an elevated platform, it would be good to use the tracks that have high sides to prevent any accidents or unintentional crashes.
Another important point to consider is, make sure that the sides of a track are compatible with the attachments you want to connect it to. If the sides are bent inwards, i.e., toward the track, your toy car will likely crash while passing through the joint.
From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.
(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)
[Main photo credit: SmLyubov / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]
Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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