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This toy is meant for ages 4+ but I think most boys enjoy Hot Wheels as a much earlier age. My own sons started with them at age 1. Hot Wheels colour shifters have a plastic body that changes colour when exposed to heat. This means children can "paint" the cars by dunking them in hot or cold water. My five year son absolutely loves these, and is forever asking for one on visits to toy shops, or the large Tesco that also sells them. We have a fair collection and our first car was bought when they were first released. I can not remember how long ago that was but am guessing about 18 months ago. These cars have really taken off and more and more models are becoming available. Some have very little change in colour, especially the army ones, but others are quite dramatic. It does require fairly hot water to change these, the average bath will not do it. the car then basically stays that colour for some time unless it gets very cold, or it is placed in cold water. As I said, my son loves these, and I will continue to buy them occasionally, even though they are a bit dear at approximately £3.50 per car. He will certainly find a couple of these in his sock this Christmas. I do have one problem with them though which is bringing their score down by 1 star. As the cars age they become more and more resistant to change. Hmm that sentence could describe a lot of people too, LOL. Instead of going a nice all over colour it becomes patchy and it requires hotter and hotter water to get a change. When you first buy them you can make a colour change by really rubbing the car. Our older ones now require water from the kettle which of course is something my son can not play with, so I have to change them for him.
Hot Wheels Colour Shifters were one of the cheapest Christmas presents in our house this year, but also one of the most popular. The usual retail price is around £3 - £4 for a single Colour Shifter, but look out for offers as we managed to get two for the price of one just before Christmas. These look and feel exactly like standard die cast cars do. Obviously being made by Hot Wheels, they're nicely detailed and made to a reasonably high standard as well. They've got a special coating on them that allows them to change colour when heated though, which is of course what makes them just a little bit different to your standard toy car. The idea is that you're supposed to put them in warm water to make them change colour, though I happen to know that you can achieve the transformation through exposing them to any kind of heat. For example if you held them in front of a fan heater they would change. But obviously this isn't something you want to encourage small children to do, so best stick to telling them they only work in warm water! The colour change is really quite dramatic and intense, as the cars don't just change a few shades but an entire colour. For example our violet coloured one goes pale turquoise. It doesn't take too long for the change to happen either, as you only need to hold them in the water for about twenty to thirty seconds to see the change happen. The cars retain their new colour when exposed to the air, but if you want you can dip them in cold water to change them back faster. If you want you can just dip the front half in cold water, or even splash a few drops over the roof to make a pattern. The grandson has been having hours of fun doing this in the bathroom sink for weeks now! This are a really fun concept that are great for both play time and bath time. They work really well and they withstand the water just fine too. Bubble bath and the like doesn't appear to have any affect on the effectiveness of the special coating yet either which I'm impressed with. These are a great idea that have been really well made, definitely good value for money.