The geekdaddy is a very “hands on” Dad, and from the moment we decided to have kids he wanted to be involved every step of the way. We share the childcare pretty evenly, and it’s working really well for us. From what I can tell, most of the other Dads that I know are like this as well. So it came as no surprise to me when Mattel sent me the details of recent research that shows that dads are now playing a more important role than ever in the upbringing of their children.
They gave me these key points from the “State of Dads” report (US Consumer Insights MRD # NO-ALL-14-73-WW-F July 2014):
- Aspirational role. Dads want to make a positive impact on their children’s lives more than ever before.
- Value of quality ‘dad’ time. Dads are spending more and more time with their children.
- Balancing responsibilities. Dads believe the responsibilities are split evenly in the household (but mums still see this differently!)
- Childhood memories. Dads are more likely than mums to choose toys that remind them of their childhood or that can help build a connection with their child.
With Father’s Day coming soon, Mattel are today launching a new campaign to remind dads of their childhood, celebrate their connection with their children and champion the value of playing together. To show us what a great toy Hot Wheels is for Dads and kids to play together, Mattel sent us a Hot Wheels Spiral Stack-Up track set, and asked me to see what happened when I left the geekdaddy and the kids alone with it.
The kids were very excited with the new delivery:
… and couldn’t wait to open it:
Everything started out very neatly packed into the box:
… but soon it was all tipped out:
… and the serious job of building began:
The Hot Wheels Spiral Stack-Up set didn’t take long to set up, and didn’t pose the geekdaddy any problems. It’s an interesting set, which provides a tall stand for the curved track to fix on to, creating a kind of helter skelter ramp for cars. Additional tracks can be clipped onto the side of the curve, with little “gates” that can be set up with cars in – sending one car down the track will cause these other cars to be launched off down their own pieces of track.
This make the Spiral Stack-Up set work either on its own as a stand alone toy, or with any of your other Hot Wheels track to create a larger and potentially more complex track. The kids and the geekdaddy spent a lovely afternoon first building and then playing with this set.
The geekson was happy to get another car to add to his collection (there is only one included in the box, so if you are buying this as a stand alone set you would be best to buy a couple of additional cars to go with it to take advantage of the launching mechanism.
… and the geekdaughter seemed to be having fun too:
The only downside of the Spiral Stack-Up track is one that I think applies to many Hot Wheels sets, and that is the question of storage. If you were to disassemble the whole thing it wouldn’t take up too much space, but we’ve ended up leaving the spiral part of this track set assembled, to make it easier for the geekson to set up on his own next time, which then takes up quite a lot of space. I am going to have to find a better way of storing the geekson’s ever growing Hot Wheels collection because he now has a number of the larger pieces.
I like that the Spiral Stack-Up track set can be built in all sorts of different configurations, although we haven’t tried anything other than the build pictured on the front of the box. It’s nice to see how versatile the set is, though, and how much potential it has, especially when you add some addional track and/or track sets to it.
The Hot Wheels Spiral Stack-Up track set has a retail price of £20.99, but as always I recommend you shop around as it can usually be found cheaper than that. For example it is currently selling (at the time of writing) on Amazon (affiliate link) for just £15. Considering the amount of track you get for the price, I think it’s very reasonable, and any Hot Wheels-loving child would be very pleased to add this to their collection, or have it as a starting point.
Maybe the kids could even buy one for their Dad as a Father’s Day present (as long as he promises to play with them, and not keep it all to himself!)
Disclosure: We were set a Hot Wheels Spiral Stack-Up track set for review purposes. The Amazon link in this post contains my affiliate details – if you make a purchase after clicking I will be paid a very small commission payment (at no additional cost to you). All opinions are my own.