Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
An Overview of the Hot Wheels Radar Gun
The Hot Wheels Radar Gun by Mattel is a fully functioning device for identifying the speed of moving objects.
"Just set the scale to 1/64th or real speed, and MPH or KPH, aim the gun at objects coming toward you or moving away, squeeze the trigger, and check out the digital readout."
Although you can track the speed of Hot Wheels toy vehicles, Mattel’s TV commercial shows kids tracking a skateboarder and go-cart racer.
Hot Wheels cars are rated for toddlers starting at age 3, but the gun is rated for 7-year-olds. Mattel seems to be marketing this toy squarely at pre-teen boys, which isn’t the product’s core demographic.
A radar gun is more appealing to 30-something gadget geeks. I don’t like guns in general, but this thing looks like a Flash Gordon ray gun, and as we all know, ray guns are fantasy and therefore my wife can’t complain when I order one. Besides, no one can reasonably expect me to sit back and wait until Mattel produces a radar gun that is shaped like a flower or even a teddy bear.
Another core audience is 60-something retirees who complain at government meetings about the number of cars that don’t make a full and complete 2 second stop at the local stop sign. Now they can complain with cold, hard, impartial, immutable, unimpeachable data.
Check out this video of a consumer’s toy car speed test:
Now, the real reason I’m sharing the radar gun with you is Rob Cockerham, the brain behind the humor site Cockeyed.com. Since Rob had a daughter a few years ago, I’ve been waiting for his fatherhood to creep into the activities he documents online.
When Rob glued mirrors to a full-size satellite dish in his backyard and melted a My Little Pony doll and a box of crayons suspended from a pole, well, that was nice, but it just didn’t scream "insane dad" to me. I mean, come on, he has been melting a lot of things besides children’s toys in the last few weeks.
But yesterday he posted a photo essay, My Neighborhood Speed Trap, wherein he attempted to slow down cars on his street with a Mr. Potato Head and his daughter’s tricycle. Rob measured the effectiveness of these traffic calming devices by using his Hot Wheels Radar Gun.