Hot Wheels were never like this. Hot Wheels were always like this.
It was the best of die-cast times. It was the worst of die-cast times. We had Matchbox cars back in the day, and then Hot Wheels showed up. Matchbox cars looked just like real cars and trucks. They were miniatures, not toys, exactly. You’d push them around in little fantasy towns made of Legos or American Bricks, but honestly, their hyper-reality made the fantasy a little less fantastic. Being real offers its own kind of fun, but unreality lets the mind wander more.
Hot Wheel cars were built for one thing: speed. Matchbox cars developed bockety wheels if you played with them gently outside or roughly inside. They rolled like cars running out of gas. Hot Wheel cars flew. The banked track kept them earthbound, but they went so fast they were blurry. They looked best blurry, because they were made in the most garish shapes and color scheme imaginable. If they weren’t ugly enough out of the gate, you’d put stickers on them and make them even more hideous. Who cares? It would be like complaining that a clown’s tie didn’t go with his suit.
Hot Wheel track was expensive, or at least it seemed so to us at the time. But in our mind’s eye, every time, this video demonstrates how we saw every run down the orange track. Beautiful.