Kids these days. They just don’t seem to like playing with physical things. Or, they do, but no matter what, toys are going to take a hit from gaming and mobile devices. It’s at least going to be a timeshare, and one that hasn’t exactly been favorable to Hot Wheels, which has been struggling with declining interest. They’ve tried to address that in the past with app-toy crossovers, but their newest idea might be the most clever of all.
Starting in France, Hot Wheels has kicked off the Hot Wheels Car Rental program, and unlike the corresponding experience for adults, this one isn’t soul-sucking. Hot Wheels set up shop in Europcar rental centers in a few places around France. While parents have the distinctly unfun experience of real car rentals, kids have the awesome experience of flipping through a catalog of Hot Wheels toy cars, picking out which one to rent for the upcoming ride. They do as their parents do, signing rental contracts, picking out upgrades, joining loyalty programs, and agreeing to late-return penalties. It’s a toy, and it’s an introduction to the pedestrian nightmare of adult life. Yay?
Well, it is awesome for the kids, because 45 percent of cars given out were kept (charged to the parent’s credit card, of course). Hot Wheels even managed to keep mobile tech as a key part of the program, offering up on app where kids could select their rental ahead of time. Even though some of the rentals got wrecked (credit card!), it seems like all the kids actually ended up having a pretty sweet time with their toys while on the road. Turns out toys aren’t dead after all, you just have to trick the little guys into playing with them.
Via Ad Age