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Hot Wheels!
August 10, 2004 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Hot Wheels!
When I was a kid, I forever played with the Hot Wheels plastic tracks that click together. The tracks also had loop de loop and corner accessories. It was fun, because not only could you run your cars on it, but it was also like Legos. Building your track down the stairs and racing your cars down it. Just hours and hours of fun. Fast forward, many years later, I now have young children, and I would like to get them the same thing. I've looked in quite a few toy stores and on eBay, and mostly what I find is one piece items that require no assembly, or just small lots on eBay. If you've played with them you know what I mean, the tracks had a tongue that slipped into the groove of the next track. Does anyone know where I can find this? Do they still make them?

Here is an example of the kind of track I'm talking about.
posted by patrickje to Shopping (12 answers total)
 
They're called "joiners," and even back in the day they were nearly impossible to keep on hand. There's a small number on eBay for a lot cheaper than this guy is selling them.
posted by coelecanth at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2004


And incidentally, if you want to see a truly brain-melting site, check out hotwheels.com.
posted by coelecanth at 9:24 AM on August 10, 2004


It looks like Mattel sells replacement parts. Also, from their Consumer Relations Answer Center:

How can I purchase spare Hot Wheels parts (i.e. extra track or joiners)?

You can visit us at www.service.mattel.com, or toll free at 800-524-TOYS. A service representative will then give you the option of purchasing the product over the phone or by mail order.

posted by bachelor#3 at 9:27 AM on August 10, 2004


I've looked in quite a few toy stores and on eBay, and mostly what I find is one piece items that require no assembly,
Thought I've seen advertisements for sets that had various configurations.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2004


tracksets like these were one of my favorite toys as a child. the ones I had were most specifically *not* hotwheels: the tongue and groove construction is as you described, and the cars had a winding action and would take off at a surprising rate of speed when you released them.

looks like the track sets I had when I was a kid were branded Darda.

here's a link to purchase them.

i remember these being impossibly bad-ass (way cooler than hotwheels, imho). They usually only carried tracksets at those yuppie toy stores (you know the ones with all the Brio train sets?) that almost always had a HUGE darda set up with loop de loops and whatnot.
posted by fishfucker at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2004


oh, btw: the Darda products are a lot cheaper on ebay, but you bastards better not get in a bidding war with me.

thanks for the post, patrickje: i'm going to buy a bunch of this crap now.

posted by fishfucker at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2004


I have, er - my son has, the Darda tracks. The tracks themselves go together like hot wheels but the cars don't "coast" on the tracks. You push them backwards and they power themselves. I have to say, the mechanism they use in these little things could power rockets. They are fast fast fast.
posted by dhacker at 11:35 AM on August 10, 2004


I actually threw out a couple hundred feet of Hot Wheels track when I left home 15 years ago. The stuff was old when it was handed down to me, and I kind of regret ditching it, but I had nowhere to keep it. I imagine the stuff would be worth several hundred bucks today.

I, too, have been keeping an eye out for a supply of the stuff as well as the rubber band-driven "launchers" that were used to send cars down the track. Frankly, your best bet is going to be scouring the dingy flea markets in stadium parking lots. Actual used toy vendors know that Hot Wheels track in bulk is worth more than gold, but you may stumble across some shady guy with a blanket full of junk who may not know its value.

The Darda stuff seems new to me. I've only encountered it within the last month or so, and the set-ups I've seen weren't very Hot Wheels-like at all. The track was rigid, not floppy, and it didn't seem to require the plastic tongues to be assembled. On the other hand, the cars are cool.
posted by majick at 11:57 AM on August 10, 2004


I've seen cheap sets of black imitation track that looks hotwheel compatible at MalWart. My kids have Darda and like it, but the cars can only go so far on one winding.

I'd like to find the equivalent of those little chargeable sizzler cars, and slap them on that imitation track. Uh, I mean my kids would like that.
posted by mecran01 at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2004


The threat when I was growing up was that we would get our butts smacked with that evil orange track.
posted by mecran01 at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2004


I was also going to mention the Darda cars and tracks.

I remember them being much more expensive then Hot Wheels when I was a kid, but worth it. Those Darda cars are almost dangerous. They aren't your average wind-up toy car.

I'm pretty sure they make battery (or rechargeable capacitor) powered Hot Wheels scale cars these days, too.

But even all these fancy self-powerd options don't have the simple play value of a set of stairs, a stair-length of track with a nice jump at the bottom and a box full of beat up Hot Wheels to pour down it in one at a time or dozens at once for a monster pile-up.

But, then, you could send a Darda car through dozens and dozens of loops with power to spare, and the cars would move so fast you could barely see them.
posted by loquacious at 12:47 PM on August 10, 2004


I see stuff like this at my local used toy store-- Once Upon a Child, appears to be a franchise, maybe there's one in your area? Call 'em up, they'll probably know what you're talking about.
posted by bonheur at 2:05 PM on August 10, 2004


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