Review: We Put The Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister Through Its Paces

Last weekend, a huge box was sitting patiently outside my front door as I arrived home. The markings on the outside labeled it clearly as coming from Mattel, but instead of the usual Masters of the Universe Classics or Dark Knight Rises fare, it was from a brand I don't normally cover here on Geek: Hot Wheels! Inside wasn't the track set or small die cast cars I was expecting, not by a long shot. Instead, staring out at me, and my incredibly excited 4 year-old son, was the new Terrain Twister! Naturally, I charged up the included battery for a few hours and we made our way out into the wilds to put this thing to the test! Come along as I get muddy and take a closer look at the Hot Wheels' R/C Terrain Twister!

The packaging for the Terrain Twister consists of an eye-catching window box. The bright blues contrast well with the red vehicle within and force of primary-colored buying potential. Normally I would go into further detail, let's face the facts that no one is buying this remote-controlled monster to keep in the package. Inside the package, you get the vehicle, remote control, 2 AA batteries, a wall charger, and the 7.2V NiMH rechargeable battery.

The design for the Terrain Twister is very Hot Wheels-centric with it's slick design that no actual automobile manufacturer would ever dream of putting into production. It has a very aggressive stance with sharp lines along the cockpit and continuing all the way to the spoiler on the back-- cause spoilers make anything go faster! The braces for the turbines are gray and have been sculpted to look more intricate. The turbines themselves have been molded in red on the the tips and black in the middle. They are constructed of a stiff plastic to help push their way through dirt and muck without getting stuck up. A hatch on the back of the Terrain Twister ,right behind the cockpit, can be removed via a Phillips head screwdriver and the hinged rechargeable battery can be installed. Reinstalling the cover makes a pretty water-tight seal, keeping the battery safe from moisture and corrosion.

The sand of the volleyball court was the site of my son's high-pitched laughter as he tore ass through the yellow-hued terrain, running alongside the Terrain Twister as it sprayed a sandy rooster tail into the wind. There were no problems with getting stuck up and the spiraling treads on the turbines left patterns cut in the sand as it moved from left to right at high speeds.

Grass is the Terrain Twister's greatest foe. While sand, mud, and even the depths of a lake were no match for the twin turbines, grass caused the vehicle to spin in place when it hit the slightest of dips. It rained earlier in the day, so possibly the dampness of the grass added to this problem... but it is still a drawback worth noting.

Putting the Terrain Twister into a mud-hole is a thing of unfettered joy that will incite excited laughter from even the most jaded of individuals. No troubles here as even when slowed by the thick trenches of slimy mud, the turbines made their way through without the slightest of hiccups thanks to the ability to adjust their angles with the button on the right side of the controller. A word of caution: The Terrain Twister will spray mud all over your new jeans, causing you to use vast amounts of profanity in a very public place.

When it came time to send the Terrain Twister in the water, I was kind of hesitant. Sure, there were claims on the box, but I was about to send this thing into a lake. Not only that, but an area of the lake so nasty that there would be no way I would be recovering the Terrain Twister if it were to sink to the shadowy depths. Thankfully, I got this f**ker for free, so into the drink it went! The PowerScrews (that's what they're called!) churn the water furiously and propel the Terrain Twister across the surface almost as fast as when it's on land! Still, after a few minutes, I put this thing through its paces by cranking the joystick to the lower right, causing the whole thing to spin around and around as I attempted to cause it to take on water and sink like a stone. Yeah, I know I originally worried about sinking it, but madness took hold and destruction quickly filled my mind!

All in all, I know jack about remote controlled toys, but I do know that the piles of kids that quickly surrounded us at the park is a good sign that the Terrain Twister is going to be hit this holiday season-- and that being completely surrounded by children quickly becomes an anxiety-filled exercise in trying to escape with the toy they all want to try...for hours...nonstop...relentlessly. For more on the Terrain Twister, and Mattel's other Hot Wheels products, be sure to check out their online store and the Hot Wheels website!

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