Reviewed by Marc Cheatham
Like many families with a 7-year-old, we have a large assortment of Hot Wheels (cars and trucks), which to our dismay, the 7-year-old, Cam, leaves all over the floor in our home (even when we have a particular place for them). As his dad, I have bought, constructed, and now removed more Hot Wheels tracks than I can remember. But I must admit that the full Hot Wheels world never came to life for me, and Cam that is, until we visited the new Hot Wheels exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia: Hot Wheels: Race to Win.
Spoiler alert: It was great!
Immediately upon entering the visually stunning exhibit, we were teleported into a world of all things racing. There were Hot Wheels everywhere, along with interactive displays, authentic racing artifacts, and Cam’s favorite part: special Hot Wheels racing tracks. The whole exhibition is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look into the history of racing and a great view into today’s racing world.
Hot Wheels: Race to Win is as educational as it is entertaining. Following the path of the exhibit, we learned everything from how engines operate to which tires are best for speed and even what fuels are used in our favorite race cars.
Cam found the display of helmets throughout the years and the evolution of racing uniforms particularly exciting. But his favorite displays were the large Hot Wheels tracks — one, in particular, included a few built-in jumps. He ran several cars through the several different jumps, excited and overjoyed every time.
Before experiencing this exhibit, Cam viewed Hot Wheels like a standard — dare I say — garden variety toy. However, through this display, Cam and I both were able to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and math, all of which are truly needed in the world of professional racing.
Nearing the conclusion of our time at the Science Museum, Cam put on his Hot Wheels Pit Crew uniform and took his shot at racing the clock at the Pit Stop Challenge. It was his chance to change tires and fuel up a stock car against the clock: He loved it. As he loved this entire display.
Hot Wheels: Race to Win is an excellent exhibit for all ages. Cam is already revisiting his old Hot Wheels cars in his collection at home, and it looks like I may be building a new Hot Wheels track over the next few days. Yes, it will include jumps.
Included with Science Museum admission, Hot Wheels: Race to Win runs through January 23, 2022. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit SMV.org.
Photos courtesy Marc Cheatham