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Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013: Did anyone give away little cars instead of candy?

I have never been a fan of Halloween.  Call me the Ebenezer Scrooge of the end of October.  I won't dress up, I hate having to falsely compliment everyone's mostly dumb costumes, and I am a little perturbed that kids don't even say "Trick or Treat" anymore.  They just run to the door hoping you will help add to their rapidly-growing candy stash.  Bah-humbug!

Well, maybe I had my Tiny Tim-induced moment this year.  While my kids went out raiding other homes of their candy with friends, my wife and I stayed home and gave away Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.  And we had a blast.

The intention was to give away all the extra models I have accrued over the last few years of collecting.  It would be a little different for the kids who visited our door, and it would not be toothbrushes.  At the last minute, I thought it might be more fun if we made the experience of giving the kids a car a little more memorable.  So I hit the Toys R Us and found this:


A fairly generic, very simple set of Hot Wheels track.  I haven't owned Hot Wheels track or sets since I was a young boy, but I thought a simple track setup would make this more fun for the kids.  After a few failed setups, this simple track was what we settled on:


And it was...AWESOME!!  Kids would come to the door, we told them to stand next to the basket, and we let a model fly.  Watching the kids reaction to the car hitting the basket, and then telling them that the model was theirs to keep, was priceless.  They would run back to their parents to show them their unbelievable luck that they hit a house with Hot Wheels.  It was fantastic, and made for a great Halloween night.  The first great Halloween night for this old grump in awhile...

Yeah, it is a simple setup, and I am sure there are some track gurus who could put together something much more cool, but this worked great.  My observations after racing cars on the track for the first time in 30 years?  Here are a few:

  1. Hot Wheels are faster, but Matchbox cars make a cooler noise when they hit the loop.  The ridges on the wheels make a nice hum.
  2. It is surprising how well the track stays together and that the models stay on the track, even on our badly rigged track.
  3. Metal-base-with-plastic-body models are the fastest, and that Guv'ner that came with the set was fantastic.  However, we found the Hiway Hauler 2 was maybe the fastest model, based on our very unofficial observations.
There.  Our minicar Halloween experience, and it was a good one.  

Anyone else give toy cars away?

15 comments:

  1. We gave away hot wheels as well. But not with a track!!!! That is an awesome and fun idea!

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  2. That reminds me of the only Hoyt Wheels car I've ever acquired while trick or treating back in the day: a yellow Turbo Mustang with blackwalls. The house I got it at had a basket filled with candy and various toys, and I was told that I could pick out one piece of candy and a toy. The Turbo Mustang was the lone car in the basket, and it was a no-brainer. I still have it to this day.

    -ThisDudeAbides

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    1. "Hoyt Wheels." That's a first when it comes to typos.

      -ThisDudeAbides

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  3. Very cool :) I might have to steal this idea for next year and thin out my loose hot wheels a bit...

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  4. Yup I managed to give out a bunch of loose hot wheels I didn't need from wheel swaps and such and new ones I had laying around. I also had little bears for the girlies too...I mean yeah candy is nice but when I was a kid I would get cars, pennies rolled in foil, little robots. I just had them hiding and dropped them in the bag. Awesome idea I bet the kids are going to talk about your house for a while. You could make the Hot Wheels logo out of chalk and put it in front of your house too for laughs...like a haunted raceway...lol

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  5. I also gave out a bunch of extra cars I had from 9-packs and accumulated extras. The younger kids would always yell "I got a Hotwheels!"

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    1. then threw it away and said, I wish it was a matchbox :-)

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  6. Thank you for sharing!! The world needs more folks like you!! Awesome Night for you and great Memories For those kiddos!! You Rock!!

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    1. Agreed! Additionally, I will be trick-or-treating at his house next year! Spare a few Datsuns please?!? :D

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  7. I'm SO doing this next year.

    Also, the humble Chevrolator is ridiculously fast. At least the one my daughter has is fast.

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  8. That's a pretty cool idea. I don't care too much for Haloween either; just give me the candy....and the cars.

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  9. What an awesome and healthy way to celebrate Halloween.

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  10. would be difficult to do in some neighborhoods. I was at friends house and they went thu 3 COSTCO size mini treat bags!!! It was a zoo. I could see myself doing it in a small neighborhood but not a place like that.

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  11. We gave out about 25-30 Hot Wheels, some school supplies, and of course, some candy, too!
    We have some kids that have coming back year after year for Hot Wheels. Our anniversary is on the 30th, and a lot of the kids (& parents, too) call out "Happy Anniversary & Happy Halloween/ Trick or Treat, too"

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  12. Our first year doing this and it was great! We gave everybody a choice of candy or Hot Wheels and it ran about 50/50. Surprisingly, lots of the older kids went for the cars. I heard one girl (probably about 13) saying how cool it was that she could now race her little brother on the track. I gave away my openers from all of the mail-ins for the year. Will definately do this from now on.

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