June 10, 2023

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Hot Wheels: Rift Rally Review – The Ultimate Remote Control Car

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally Review – The Ultimate Remote Control Car

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally brings your Hot Wheels collection to life.

Mixed reality experiences are becoming more popular and accessible. It is an exciting time where fandom, collecting, and technology are coming together in ways never before possible. Velan Studios and Mattel have joined forces to bring one of those experiences to life with our beloved Hot Wheels collection with Hot Wheels: Rift Rally. With this mixed reality experience, players/collectors are able to bring just about their entire Hot Wheels car collection to life in the real world through the aptly named “Chameleon” remote-controlled car.

Players choose their car and the Chameleon adapts its properties stats and even its look via augmented reality.

There are 3 key components to the experience. The car, the Chameleon, the track, and the actual game itself, Hot Wheels: Rift Rally. The way I did it, is I set up my track, via the pylons provided, then loaded up the game, connected the Chameleon, then loaded up a car, and drove through the pylons to program the track into the game. Now For all levels and game modes, the track is set. So all levels and game modes will be programmed to that track and setup until you decide you want to change it up. It sounds complicated, but the setup guide is very intuitive and after the first attempt it becomes second nature.

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally’s Chameleon

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally

I’ve had a few remote control cars in my day. The Tantrum and Sidewinder are particular favorites, something about a car that can’t be flipped over. But the Chameleon outclasses those cars in every way. It’s faster, the battery lasts way longer, and it is far more intuitive to operate. It’s great when you have a turbo button at actually makes the car go

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RC Car

Hot Wheels Rift Rally Turns Your Home Into a Mixed-Reality RC Stunt Track

A few years ago, Nintendo’s real-life-meets-video-game Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit turned my pandemic home into a theme park racecourse for my kids. Now, Mattel and Hot Wheels have created a new mixed-reality game for remote-controlled cars with Mario Kart Live developer Velan. 

Hot Wheels Rift Rally, arriving March 14 for $130, is an RC car video game that races around on your real-world floor.

And just like Mario Kart Live, it’s a lot of fun.

You need a Nintendo Switch to play Mario Kart Live, but Hot Wheels Rift Rally works with iPhones, iPads and the PlayStation 4 and 5. It can cross-play between them, either locally or with others online.

A white and red RC race car from Hot Wheels, with a camera on top of its body

Hot Wheels Rift Rally is an RC car video game with a camera built in to stream racing to your phone or TV, with mixed-reality effects.

Scott Stein/CNET

I played with the Rift Rally for about an hour in New York. The concept is similar to Mario Kart Live: A camera-enabled RC car streams its point of view to your TV or Apple device. From there, you drive the car and see the real world augmented with all sorts of video game special effects and a glowing race track.

The twist with Rift Rally is that the car itself, a sort of futuristic compact race car called the “Chameleon Car,” can transform in-game into 140 different Hot Wheels cars. It works weirdly well. Even though the physical car drives around your home the same way, in-game you see a different car appear, along with different driving physics and speeds.

Hands holding an iPhone with a game controller on, playing a racing game

Rift Rally works on iOS with or without a controller: We played with an iPhone that had a Backbone snapped on.

Scott Stein/CNET

Much like Mario Kart Live, the camera-equipped car works along with four included gates that form

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RC Car

Remote control mini-monster truck rally heads to Colonial Heights this weekend

Happy 804 day, y’all! Celebrate the day with the team at Buskey Cider and use the Virginia Cider Trail digital passport to login and score a free coozie. Local cideries Blue Bee Cider and Bryant’s Dry Cider are also on the passport. Learn more from this segment of 8 @ 4 presented by VCU Massey Cancer Center from the Virginia Wayside Furniture studio.

They look like monster trucks. They act like monster trucks.

But they’re mini-sized remote-controlled monster trucks, and they’re heading to Colonial Heights this Friday through Sunday for the Solid Axle Showdown.

They’re modeled after real live monster trucks, like Gravedigger or Max D, but they’re much smaller in size. Most measure around 15 inches by 8 inches and weigh anywhere from seven to 14 pounds.

Solid Axle Showdown

Most mini-monster trucks measure around 15 inches by 8 inches and weigh anywhere from 7 to 14 pounds.

“They range anywhere from $300 and up. Some people put thousands into them,” said Marlon Cox, one of the organizers with Showtime R/C Motorsports. “There will be trucks here that are worth $2,000 to $3,000. It gets crazy. Almost all of them are exact replicas of monster trucks.”

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About 50 to 70 competitors are headed to Colonial Heights this weekend to race 300 remote-controlled monster trucks in 10 different classes.

It will look like a Monster Jam with track obstacles, jumps and crashes, Cox said, but on a much, much smaller scale. There will even be mega mud trucks and a mud pit.

“Virginia has a big, big community following these trucks,” he said.

Cox and about 30 to 50 of his friends from Showtime R/C Motorsports meet up once a month to race their RC monster trucks. But this weekend’s rally is the

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RC Monster Truck
Remote control Monster Truck Rally

Remote control Monster Truck Rally

Remote control Monster Truck Rally

COLONIAL HEIGHTS – Start your engines and charge your batteries. Hundreds of remote control monster trucks are at Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum this weekend.

The 7th annual Solid Axle Showdown is happening today through Sunday, August 7. Races will be held from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. each day.

The event includes more than 300 remote control monster trucks – patterned after real monster trucks – competing for the coveted title of Solid Axle Showdown Champion in 10 different classes.

The Solid Axle Showdown will feature track obstacles, jumps, crashes and plenty of excitement. The event, considered one of the largest solid axle racing events in the country, is organized by Chesterfield-based Showtime R/C Motorsports, a local remote control monster truck enthusiast and racing group.

Brothers Marlon and Rafael Cox created Showtime R/C Motorsports. They have been monster truck and R/C enthusiasts for over 20 years.

Racers from Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Maryland, New York and Illinois will compete for trophies and awards.

A Solid Axle Showdown young attendee checks out a remote-control vehicle on display at Chesterfield County Fairgrounds in 2019.

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Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum

The museum encompasses more than 125,000 square feet. It’s cool, combustive and guarantees to take you on an exhilarating walk down memory lane.

Keystone has tractors, classic cars, a still, an old Gulf service station, vintage gas pumps, oil cans, toys, tools, bottle collections, automotive signage, clocks, advertising posters of yesteryear and much more.

It is free to watch the race with the price of museum admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors [62 and older], $5 active military and students [ages 6-17], and free for children five and under. Purchase tickets at the museum in the gift shop.

The museum is open seven days a week 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The last admission is

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RC Monster Truck