I tried to append this update to the original post, but Kinja refused to publish the changes. Anyway...
They all look amazing and roll smooth & straight. KITT is the only one of the lot which has mismatched wheels. The spectraflame paint alone is almost worth the $7. I personally like the plastic wheels because these are toys first and collectibles second, and plastic wheels roll better and work on tracks.
I got the HW50 Concept fantasy casting because I was enamored with it from the mainline version:
This is a track monster. The huge wheels pushed all the way to the edges of the car make this a super fast roller and world class stunt machine for loops and jumps. These are some of the largest wheels I’ve seen on any HW casting. Compare to my old Treasure Hunt F355:
Anyway, back to the HWid cars, I downloaded the app and played with it a bit, the ‘racing’ gets kind of repetitive and the app seems to encourage buying upgrades for your virtual counterpart cars with real money, so be aware of said microtransactions if you have a kid who plays on this app. On the plus side, there is nothing you can buy with real money that can’t also be obtained with simply winning races in the app. The physical cars that you can scan in, all start with the same stats.
From the futzing around I did over the course of a half hour, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of an adult collector cataloguing/sharing system, and indeed the app generates a random username for you upon installing, probably to help protect kids’ identities. There is no option to select your own username or put in any other details about yourself. You basically just have the options to race and look at your own garage of scanned or in-app-purchased cars (which can be purchased with points earned from racing, no physical car required).
In summation, I’m a bit disappointed in the online/app side of HWid, as of right now it’s very gimmicky. But the cars themselves, while really expensive for 1:64 hot wheels, are very nicely detailed and appear to have gone through some additional quality control, as every one of the seven cars I picked up today roll perfectly smooth and straight. Compare to recent mainline cars which might roll straight and smooth 1/3 to 1/2 the time.
And to segue into a broader observation: I think it’s time for Hot Wheels to give up the $1 mainline price point. If they raised the price to just $1.50, but included better QC to ensure good-rolling cars with fewer finish defects, everyone would be better off. The buying (and in this case, manufacturing/QC) power of $1.00 just isn’t enough to do Hot Wheels justice anymore. Remember that the first HW cars from 1968 sold for $1, which adjusted for inflation is roughly $7.50 today. Which coincidentally is more than these HWid cars retail for! And given that we can get the premium collectors’ cars that are Metal/Metal with RealRider tires for just $5, I have to give Mattel considerable credit for keeping costs down. But they shouldn’t continue to put out barely-adequate mainlines at an increasingly unsustainable bottom dollar price tag.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the photos. I’m gonna set up my 3-lane super speedway track set and a drag strip to see how they stack up against some of my other HW cars!
P.S. for those of you who made it this far, a bonus pics of the Nissan Silvia CSP311 that I picked up along with the HWid cars: