What kid doesn’t like to play with cars and race tracks? My son and daughter had hours upon hours of excitement with their Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and other race track toys and sets. They would use their track pieces to create whole cities, complete with intersections, street and stop signs, a gas station, and so much more. And cars. Oh, my goodness, the cars! We had so many of them.
Confession time: I may have had just as much fun than they did (that is when they’d let me play…)
Now, as young adults, they still love to play and race their cars around a good track set. They are excited at the opportunity to teach their kids all about race car track toys and how to make the best track design while showing them how to make it to the finish line first.
If you’re looking for an exciting race track for ages 4-10, your best bet is to get the Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Motorized Track Set. You can never go wrong with Hot Wheels, and this track is very popular because of its exciting intersections, hairpin turns, and crash zone.
For older kids (ages 8 and up) who are looking for a more sophisticated slot-car set, I recommend the Carrera Go! Slot Car Racing Track Set.
Without disclosing my age (hint: I’m a Nana), my kids’ toddler years were full of Disney’s Lightning McQueen and Fisher-Price cars and race tracks. However, the older my kids got, the more interested in racing tracks, Hot Wheels cars, and Formula 1 racing they became. But no matter their age, my son and daughter were always looking for that perfect racing experience.
In this article, I’ll give you some tips on what to take into account before purchasing your toy race car tracks, as well as how I’ve come up with my best picks and why. I searched for the best race tracks with affordable prices and great value, reviews, and quality materials. I even considered their customer care teams.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look for When Buying Toy Race Car Tracks?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toy Race Car Tracks
- Our Top Picks for the Best Toy Race Tracks for Kids in 2021
- #1: Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Motorized Track Set (Best Value)
- #2: Carrera Go! Slot Car Racing Track Set (Best Overall)
- #3: Snap N Glow Trax (Best for Travel)
- #4: Disney and Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day (Best for Child Development)
- #5: Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop Set (Best for Teenagers)
- #6: Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower (Best for Toddlers)
- #7: Anki Overdrive Starter Kit (Best With App)
- #8: Ontel Magic Tracks RC (Best for Budget)
- Verdict: Your Best Toy Race Car Tracks for Kids
What Should I Look for When Buying Toy Race Car Tracks?
Here are a few of the criteria I think are essential to consider before making any toy race track set purchase. Some of the things I took into consideration are kids’ ages, if the cars and track set is portable or not, and if it’s affordable.
Criteria #1: How Old Are Your Racers?
While you can find race car tracks for just about any age, most of these toys are for ages three and up. You don’t want to go all-out on an expensive race track and cars for your younger kids, but at the same time, you don’t want to buy something that is under their skill level.
Considering your kids’ ages, their hand-eye coordination and their ability to use a handheld remote control will help you to determine the best type of track for them. Also, most of these race track toys come with and are built using ABS plastic materials, so the tracks can withstand just about anything your kids can throw at it.
Criteria #2: Where Will You Put the Track? How Often Will They Be Racing?
You’ll want to keep in mind where your kids will set up the race track and if they have enough room for the configurations where they want to experiment and play. Will they be picking it up once they’re finished playing with their cars, or will the track be a permanent fixture in their bedroom or playroom?
Criteria #3: Is the Price Affordable?
It’s a pretty well-known fact for anyone with kids – they outgrow their toys at an exponential rate. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a race track that your kid will only play with for a short bit before growing out of it, possibly never to be played with again. (Thank goodness for younger siblings and yard sales.) Never fear! I’ll help you find the right track at a great price for your kids’ ages. The cars and tracks on this list will provide plenty of playtime for kids of all ages.
Criteria #4: Does the Race Track Toy Have Good Ratings?
As always, check the product ratings. While I get that this can be boring and mundane, it gives you a chance to get a feel for the quality of the product. Are tracks and pieces made well? Are cars interchangeable? Does the company have a customer service team to help with any potential problems? The good news is I’ve done this work for you.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toy Race Car Tracks
I’ve taken the time to determine the best toy race car tracks by looking at the track toys’ product reviews as well as their educational value and ease of assembly. And let me start by saying this: Adults are quick to put up a bad review of a product they don’t like. Thankfully, just as many parents and grandparents are quite capable of defending and going to bat for products they do like.
Educational value is also an influential factor, especially for younger kids and toddlers. Ease of assembly is another good selling point for any adult who has ever tried to put together one of those model airplanes. You know the ones. They look so simple on the box, until you open it up and find entirely too many small pieces and instructions you can’t understand. We don’t want that. So that’s why we are looking at how easy it is for you or your kids to put together their new race track.
Our Top Picks for the Best Toy Race Tracks for Kids in 2021
#1: Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Motorized Track Set (Best Value)
Recommended for ages 4 to 10 years old.
If you were born anytime after the late 1960s in the United States, you’ve probably had or at least heard about Hot Wheels and Matchbox vehicles and their race car track toys set. Hot Wheels and Matchbox were direct competitors of each other as makers of die-cast cars until 1997 when Hot Wheels bought out Tyco Toys, the then-owner of Matchbox. The rest is, as they say, history. The Hot Wheels Criss Cross Cross Motorized Track Set is one of Mattel’s hottest and newest race track toys for kids 4 to 10 years old.
You’ve Got an Unlimited Choice of Hot Wheels Vehicles
While the track set itself only comes with one die-cast Hot Wheels car, you can use virtually any of the Hot Wheels 1:64 scale vehicles that you can find. Choosing perfect cars or trucks can be just as fun as playing with the racing track.
It’s Great for Storytelling and Problem-Solving
Yes, this car track is known for its racing with its challenging intersections, hairpin turns, and a crash zone. There’s no denying that. This track is similar to the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower as well as the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit in that it teaches your kids storytelling and encourages growth in their problem-solving skills.
This track is for the four to 10-year-old age range. The Go! Go! Smart Wheels are more for preschoolers and toddlers. The Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is geared more toward teenagers and young adults.
As you can probably guess, consumers gave the Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Motorized Track Set high ratings. Since the company’s been around for a while, they’ve built a strong reputation and hold to it today.
#2: Carrera Go! Slot Car Racing Track Set (Best Overall)
Recommended for ages 6 and up.
The Carrera Go! is fast-paced racing at its best. This race track set comes with over 29 feet of customizable and extendable track and realistic-looking cars that can reach an astounding scale speed of up to 370 mph. Everything you need to get started with toy track racing comes in one box, complete with two Audi RS 5 race cars, two-speed controllers, and a track layout. Watch as your kids have a blast with their friends.
The Cars Are Super-Fast
These cars can go as fast as 370 mph scale speed. Your kids will love to play with this track. It’ll be a fun challenge to keep the cars on the track at those speeds.
This Track Has the Same Features with a Lower Price Tag
The Carrera Go! has all the similar features of the more expensive models with all of the same fun. However, unlike other models, the Carrera Go! is only meant for two players. But that won’t get in the way as your kids’ race to their way to the finish line with family and friends.
There’ll never be a dull moment with this track. In addition to the two cars the set comes with, you also have the option to purchase Formula 1 racing cars or your favorite Disney or Nintendo cars.
It Comes with Throttle Clips
The Carrera Go! is the only race car set in this list with throttle clips. These clips make it easier for kids of any age to learn how to work the remote controllers.
As with the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit, you have the option to purchase expansion kits, but with Carrera Go!, you can also get double contact brushes and spare car parts.
Reviews show that the directions are easy to follow and won’t take hours to set up. Also, it seems the parents had just as much fun (if not more) than their kids. The biggest downside is learning how to use the controllers so that the cars will stay on the track. Free tip: Don’t go full-throttle around the corners.
#3: Snap N Glow Trax (Best for Travel)
Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Have fun day or night with the Snap N’ Glow Trax. This race track is a small glow-in-the-dark race car track toy that is great for keeping kids busy during outings or when traveling. This track is bendable and rolls up easily for storage. But don’t let the word “small” fool you as this race car track can extend up to 18 feet.
It comes with over 350 brightly colored track pieces, two race cars with LED lights in different colors, road and stops signs, an intersection, a bridge, and two Trax spheres. Snap N’ Glow has also earned USA Toyz a STEM.org Authenticated Trustmark.
Have Track Set, Will Travel
As parents, we sometimes find it can become burdensome to keep your kids busy when you’re on the go. Whether you’re visiting relatives or traveling for vacation, keeping kids entertained for any period can be challenging, especially if they are out of their element. While the Carrera Go! and Anki Overdrive Starter Kit are good choices for a more permanent race track, the Snap N’ Glow Trax race track can travel with your kids just about anywhere.
It’s Completely Battery-Operated
While this isn’t the only control-less race track on this list, the Snap N’ Glow Trax is geared more for kids who want a good light show while watching their cars race around a track design they built. It’s just another example of a plus when traveling. These battery-operated cars also make it perfect for any age to use; all they need to do to start the fun is to construct the racing track, turn the race cars on, and watch them go.
The reviews for this product were great overall. Customers stated their children love using their imaginations to build up and tear down so many different track configurations. The possibilities are endless. The only negative review we found was that someone didn’t receive all of their track pieces.
#4: Disney and Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day (Best for Child Development)
Recommended for ages 2 months to 8 years.
Another race track toy for preschools and toddlers is the Disney and Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day race track by LEGO DUPLO. A fast favorite of youngsters everywhere, this race track features the characters, Lightning McQueen and Mater, from the Cars series. They’ll learn to fix repairs at the gas station and have fun racing to the finish line, while they have fun and play with their race track and cars.
These Race Track Toys Can Accelerate Development
Similar to the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower, this racing track will stimulate your kids’ imagination as well as provide developmental benefits as they play with their race track toys. However, Disney and Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day will also help develop your toddlers’ emotional development.
The familiar racing track and characters will provide them the tools to build fine motor skills as they role-play imaginative stories. Your younger kids will be learning while they play and have fun with their car set.
There’s No Need for Batteries with This Car Set
Unlike most toys in the world today, this car toy set doesn’t require batteries. And parents of toddlers everywhere just shouted a collective, “Hallelujah!” This feature of the playset is a good one because you won’t have to worry about the batteries dying or little fingers getting hold of them and putting them in their little mouths. Little kids seem to think they need to taste everything. Well, at least my kids did.
As another great toy, parents and young kids alike enjoy this race track toy set. It allows kids the opportunity to learn during playtime. Everyone will love the ability to combine the Disney Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day with other LEGO DUPLO sets for even more fun.
#5: Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop Set (Best for Teenagers)
Recommended for ages 8 to 15 years old.
Not to be outdone by the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit or even the Carrera Go!, the Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop Set makes the perfect track toys for your teenager. They’ll love that their remote-controlled cars can be driven at variable speeds and with top scale speeds reaching 500 mph.
These cars can recharge by plugging them into the control. The race cars even feature undercarriage lights in different colors that make the cars look like they are hovering over the car track rather than racing on it.
These Race Tracks Have Some of the Best Race Configurations
While they may not admit it, teenagers will love the many options available with their new race track toys. With over 46 feet of glow-in-the-dark track, a glow-in-the-dark dual loop, six glow-in-the-dark corners, and 26 X-BLOX construction brix, racing these two remote-controlled cars will bring hours of fun to even the most fickle teen.
The various track configurations will ensure no player is bored. There’ll be no more sitting in front of the TV or texting on their smartphones for hours at a time because your older kids will be begging to play with the Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop Set.
The Track Set Comes from an Award-Winning Toy Company
The Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop is also an award-winning toy. Max Traxxx R/C has won the Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and Family Choice Award, as well as the Creative Child Magazine Product of the Year Award. With this many awards, you can feel confident in your track toy decisions.
The race car track set also has good reviews. Consumers like how fast the cars go as well as their ability to race them forward or backward. Most of the reviewers raved about the glow-in-the-dark features. The negative comments I found were in response to receiving cars that wouldn’t work, but it looks like Max Traxxx has a good customer support team that can promptly get you new ones if needed.
#6: Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower (Best for Toddlers)
Recommended for ages 1 to 5 years old.
If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or have friends with kids, you probably know that Fisher-Price and VTech have cornered the play market for toddlers and preschoolers. The Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower by VTech is no exception. The car set includes a SmartPoint police car, five SmartPoint locations that, when used with the police car, activates different sounds and phrases, and a non-electronic getaway car.
This Race Track Is Educational for Toddlers and Preschoolers
This track set encourages language development for toddlers with fun sounds and phrases. Po the Car also has three sing-along songs and six melodies to boost your child’s imagination. Connect with other Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets for even more fun and learning. The bright colors of the set will catch your toddlers’ eyes and attention.
It’s Perfect for Little Fingers
The Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower stands 29.5 inches tall and comes with chunky parts, making it great for little fingers still learning to grip and hold things. You can also add on to the track other VTech playsets to make it even more fun for your toddler or preschooler.
Much like the other items on this list, the reviews for the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower are excellent. Easy to assemble and at a great value, this race track is a gift for the younger kids wanting to play with track toys.
#7: Anki Overdrive Starter Kit (Best With App)
Recommended for ages 8 to 15 years old.
The Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is our top pick. This slot car WiFi track gives kids the ability to build up to eight battlefields in just seconds. While the kit comes with two control cars, your kids and their friends can race up to four Supercars at one time. They’ll have fun using their mobile devices to take command of their Supercars and trucks. They also have the option to expand the battle with add-on expansion and track pieces, Supercars, and the all-new Supertrucks. There is even a Fast & Furious Edition. An additional plus is that the set doesn’t need the AAA or AA batteries that most sets need because it comes with a charging platform and adapter.
The kit comes with two robotic Supercars, one tire cleaner, and includes two riser pieces that make it possible to build a base for an even larger track.
It Develops STEM Skills
While the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is a bit on the more expensive side, it’s a way for kids ages eight to 15 to use and enhance their STEM skills. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which they’ll use with this track. Kids can also spend hours upon hours creating and recreating new track sets which will help them to further develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills.
With the addition of other players, your racers will have the potential to not only make new friends but develop teamwork skills as well. In my opinion, this is the best race track because of its educational qualities for this specific age range.
4 Players Can Race at Once
What makes this track so great? This track is the only one on this list that allows four players to race at once. Having a multiplayer game is a must-have if you have more than one kid. And if you have just one, they most likely have friends. Finding a race track that allows more than one or two players is great to keep the arguments down as well as keeping up to four players busy at a time. It’ll give you the time you need to finish making dinner or relaxing and catching up on that book you’ve been trying to complete. The only sounds you’ll hear are the sounds of laughter and fun coming from the other room. Win-win, if you ask me!
This product has super reviews at Amazon.com. Customers commented that this track is easy to set up and is fun for the whole family. The drawbacks mentioned include the lack of customer support and problems with using the app. That’s because the original makers of Anki Overdrive went bankrupt and shut down in 2019. However, Anki assets are now owned by Digital Dream Labs.
#8: Ontel Magic Tracks RC (Best for Budget)
Recommended for ages 3 and up.
The Ontel Magic Tracks RC is another 10-foot glow-in-the-dark race set that gets kids excited as the colorful LED car races on the bendable and flexible tracks. The 200-piece track snaps together and can be bent, looped, and flexed in just about any way a kid (or adult) can imagine.
This Race Track Has Great Reviews
Often, when people see an item for under, let’s say $50, they immediately wonder about quality and performance. Well, we checked out the reviews for this car track set, and let us put your mind to ease. The Ontel Magic Tracks RC has a great rating with over 1,150 reviews. Of course, there are always going to be naysayers, but it looks like Ontel has a great product here, for hours of play and fun. That’s a good thing in our book.
The Car Set Is Lightweight and Portable
This car track is another option if you’re looking for a portable race track. At 1.3 pounds, this track is considerably lighter than the Snap N’ Glow Trax, which comes in at a whopping 3.34 pounds. It also has fewer pieces – 200 instead of the 360 that comes with the Snap N’ Glow Trax. As anyone who has ever left or lost toys anywhere but home knows, the smaller amount of pieces can be a lifesaver. There’s not much more that can cause a spontaneous meltdown than that of a kid with parts missing to their favorite toy.
While we covered reviews for this item above, there are other reasons to choose the Ontel Magic Tracks RC. Because the tracks can flex and bend, it can be very versatile and great for the imagination. The remote is also great for the younger kids that are just starting to get the hang of their hand-eye coordination.
Verdict: Your Best Toy Race Car Tracks for Kids
If you are looking for the best, pick the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit (make sure you add the tracks to the kit!).
If you want the fastest cars, pick the Carrera Go!
If you are looking for a track your teenager will love, pick the Max Traxxx R/C Infinity Loop Set .
If you are looking for the best for travel, pick the Snap N.
If you want to spend under $25, pick the Ontel Magic Tracks RC.
If you are looking for a set for toddlers and preschoolers, pick the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch and Chase Police Tower.
If you want to emphasize childhood development, pick the Disney and Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen’s Race Day.
For the majority of these best race cars and track sets that you might choose, be sure to keep batteries close by. Most of these tracks will require AAA or AA batteries. Some of these tracks and controllers only take two batteries, while others take four or more. Typically it’s stated if the product will require batteries, what type, how many, and whether or not they’re in with the parts and pieces. You don’t want to get your track set put all together and ready to play just to find out you can’t use it. It happens, believe me. There is nothing worse than having to run to the nearest convenience store late at night because I’d forgotten those darn AA batteries . . . again.