I've had many opportunities to talk to toy designers and marketers over the years, and one of the things I was once told when I was pretty young was that glow in the dark is largely considered to be a cheap, lame gimmick. I never felt this way - to me it was a valid reason to buy something, and was the main reason I snagged this Arachnorod. The design has been in circulation since 2000, most of which express the spider motif in more interesting ways. But this one? This one glows, so screw the other ones.
For this release, Mattel made the spider element and the wheels out of glow in the dark plastic. It glows green, as most glowing toys do, after being exposed to sunlight briefly. These parts were previously chrome, black, gold, and other hues while sitting on an automobile chassis in all sorts of colors. Oddly, few if any really play up spider coloring and tend to be rather bright with a silver bug on top. Why not hairy? Why not black or brown?
The arachnid motif continues on the front of the car with multiple sculpted (but unpainted) eyes, and on the sides are a sort of a lizard meets flame paint pattern. To be honest, it goes over my head, but whatever. Because glowing spider. The canopy is green and you can see the interior with a steering wheel on the inside. The engines also have some clear green coming out of the back, and it's worth mentioning that the friction on the wheels allows them to spin freely for quite some time. It's a solid, fun little car.
While I do have a small (relatively speaking) Hot Wheels collection, this one was pulled out and lives on the glow-in-the-dark toy shelf. It's bright enough to be interesting, but it's not like you can light up a room with it. Based on all of the designs for this mold so far, I would say it's the most interesting - but there are plenty of opportunities for Mattel to crank out creepier, more realistic paint jobs to really sell that spider idea. I got my dollar's worth, and I hope to see more glowing cars out of Mattel in the future.
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