Review of Hot Wheels PlayTape Track: For Cars on a Roll
When I was growing up–and still now, in honesty–I had a sizable collection of Hot Wheels and other die-cast model cars. Frequently, I would polish them and set them out in a “car show” for my LEGO minifigs. But I never had the opportunity to actually race the cars on a real, plastic orange track.
Thus, I was learned to live by the Back to the Future motto…
Now that I’m older, companies are inventing clever new ways to make playing with Hot Wheels easy and affordable for hobbyists and families on a budget. If you’re in need of a temporary, stylish method for creating a track for your die-cast cars, check out InRoad Toys’ patented, officially-licensed Hot Wheels PlayTape.
Review of Hot Wheels PlayTape Track
Manufacturer: InRoad Toys LLC and Mattel Inc.
Size: 1.75 inches wide x 15 feet long (roll); 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches (curves)
MSRP: $19.99 for a starter pack (1 roll, 2 sets of curves)
Ages: 3 and up
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InRoad Toys has been selling its PlayTape product ever since it launched three years ago. It offers a collection of adhesive terrains, from monochromatic surface with dashed white lines to train tracks and double-lane asphalt.
This year, just in time for Christmas 2016, InRoad Toys has announced an official partnership with Hot Wheels to produce the perfect collaboration: an adhesive track imitative of the iconic orange Hot Wheels lanes.
Hot Wheels PlayTape comes in two colors–orange or blue–and two different forms: a 1.75-inch wide by 15-inch long roll and a four-pack of wide, rounded curves. The printed tape is designed to resemble the plastic Hot Wheels tracks yet can stick to flat surfaces. It can easily be removed without leaving a residue and is convenient to carry on the go. It’s eco-friendly, too–non-toxic and recyclable.
There’s no doubt what you’re buying when you purchase PlayTape, thanks to its clear plastic packaging that reveals its contents. There’s also a diagram and explanation of safety details on the cardboard backing.
The packaging looks and feels appealing, durable to the touch, and eye-catching with its vibrant printing that captures the recognizable Hot Wheels style. It tears open easily and can be recycled (it’s not made for recurring storage, unless you try to tape it closed).
The tape itself reminded me in many ways of a thick painter’s tape. It lays on smooth and peels off clean (including from cardboard) when you’re done with it, though it can lose its adhesiveness after multiple applications. It’s easy to tear with your fingers and is the perfect width for Hot Wheels cars.
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Use of Product
There’s not much to explain when it comes to using PlayTape. If you’ve ever used a roll of tape or peeled stickers–which, if you’re a human being, you have–then using PlayTape should be self-explanatory. Unroll as much as you need, tear it (or cut with scissors if you’re precise), and lay it against a surface, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles.
Obviously, like any other type of tape, it cannot stick to carpets, wet material, or non-flat surfaces, so I wouldn’t recommend taking it in the bathtub with you.
If you want to move or reuse a segment, pinch one of the corners and gradually peel up the strip to avoid tearing it.
Does It Do What It Claims?
There are reasons you might consider buying a temporary track like Hot Wheels PlayTape. You may want it for
- instant, temporary roads to “drive” toy cars on
- an affordable alternative to real plastic tracks
- table or centerpiece decorations at a party
- a stylish, unobstructing enhancement to a Hot Wheels collection display
- Hot Wheels-themed crafts
I’m particularly impressed by the amount of aesthetic detail on the tape. What could’ve been a plain orange strip (like the plastic track it imitates) is filled with logo branding and watermark background. There are even white lines imitating divisions between segments as if it was a real snap-together track.
I wouldn’t recommend using PlayTape as a long-term solution because it will tear from use and peel at the corners if touched too much, and it doesn’t hold its initial adhesive level if moved and reapplied multiple times. And if you buy a lot of rolls of it to use on a regular basis, the cost is going to add up quickly–at that point, I’d just invest in the real thing.
Personally, I prefer using my imagination to create roads, but for those who need something concrete, PlayTape is a cheap, quick, convenient way of setting up a simple Hot Wheels track for play or decoration.
Hot Wheels PlayTape is available via Amazon, the manufacturer’s website, and toy stores near you.
Product provided for review by manufacturer.
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.