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Mattel teases Hot Wheels racing with AR, iPhone-controlled 'Rocket League' car set

Mattel brand Hot Wheels is continuing to embrace the use of mobile apps with it's toy cars, revealing the Augmoto track-based racing set with iPhone and iPad control and augmented reality, as well as announcing a remote controlled car soccer set based on the popular game 'Rocket League.'

Image via Engadget

Image via Engadget

The Augmoto set consists of a track that Hot Wheels cars are propelled along, complete with banked sections and a crossing loop. While previous versions relied on gravity or a motorized section that flings the car forward, usually with no influence from children playing with the set once it is in motion, Engadget reports the cars in this incarnation are able to be controlled by a mobile app.

The companion app on iPhone and iPad allows players to control the course, switching it on and stopping the car, while also seeing extra elements to the track in an augmented reality view. The app also allows players to put the car into a pit stop, allowing them to recharge the small battery inside their vehicle, one that lasts for around a minute between charges.

Players can also use the app to access virtual weapons triggerable by going through the loop on the track, which can then be used against their opponent. Once fired, the starting gate holds the opposing car still until that player completes a mini game on their mobile device to free it, all while the other player is free to rack up more laps on the short two-second track.

This is not the first time that Hot Wheels has experimented with adding technology to its toys to retain their appeal. The Hot Wheels AI cars added remote controls and the ability to easily drive around a flat track,as well as virtual opponents, while the Osmo MindRacers toy let the Hot Wheels cars drive into a virtual track on an iPad.

Mattel aims to ship the Hot Wheels Augmoto set, including the track and two cars this fall, priced at $200.

The Hot Wheels Rocket League RC Rivals Set attempts to recreate the action of the "Rocket League" game in miniature, using remote-controlled cars. Players can use one of two vehicles - controlled by an iPhone over Bluetooth - to push the ball into their opponent's goal in the supplied stadium, which is said to be an easy to construct version of the arenas in the Psyonix-developed car soccer game.

The ball will use infrared to track goals, with sensors in the goals used to check the ball has gone over the goal line. A supplied charging base can be used to charge the vehicles and the ball, with the stadium also touted to have LCD scoreboards to keep track of each player's goals, and will play sound effects when a goal is scored and for other game events.

Also supplied with the set will be a collection of downloadable content codes that can be redeemed in the main game, which is available to play on macOS and other platforms. It is unclear what content will be offered via the codes, but those details will apparently be confirmed closer to launch.

Mattel intends to release the Hot Wheels Rocket League RC Rivals Set in the holiday shopping period later this year for $179.99.

The Rocket League set and other Hot Wheels items due for release this year are being shown at the Toy Fair 2018 in New York, running from February 17 to February 20.