Hot Wheels Announced

As many of you know at last weeks Amusement Expo International in New Orleans, Hot Wheels Pinball machine made an appearance. We know this caught many of you by surprise as APIs past reveals were at pinball shows. As we are committed to growing pinball on location, this was an important audience to promote to that Pinball is alive and well. We had plans to have a big reveal at the Texas Pinball Festival, and while it was probably not realistic, we were hoping to keep things on the down low so as not take away from our TPF reveal, but this was a show pinball needed to be at and we felt it was important to have Hot Wheels™ there.

I’m sure you have noticed we have been slow to reveal details of the game, and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, we planned to have the official reveal at the Texas Pinball Festival (TPF) and for a while we wanted to hold back until then, second, given this is a licensed game, we needed to have all the necessary approvals before we could share content. While we have approvals for the physical machine, cabinet, art and playfield, we are still in the process of submitting game content (animations, voice calls, etc.). Since the playfield and cabinet have been approved we can share images of the machine at this time.

We are very disappointed we will not be able to give the game the reveal we had planned at TPF, we had a lot of cool stuff planned. In addition to a dozen games in our both, we had plans to include two life size Hot Wheels™ cars and a giant Hot Wheels™ track for kids and adults to play with.

Unfortunately TPF is not the only show that has been or will be cancelled, and since we won’t be able to offer ‘show specials’ over the next couple of months, we are going to offer everyone a ‘virtual show special’. For a limited time, all games leaving the factory, including Oktoberfest and Houdini, will include a shaker motor. Details will be posted soon on our website.

Obviously we have seen the various comments on pinside and elsewhere and we find some of the conjecture to be quite humorous. Now while we can’t comment or respond to everything that has been posted, either for sake of brevity or things we are not yet able to talk about, we did want to provide clarity on a few things that have been brought up.

  1. Whats with the offset monitor?

Despite some suggesting we did that since we had to fit it into the provided art, I can tell you that is not even remotely close to the truth. It has been our goal to integrate the game display into the backglass when possible, in this case as a jumbotron or digital billboard. The team also felt we could do more with the backglass if we could create a larger canvas for our artist. We did testing of playing the game with the offset monitor and found that it takes very little time to adjust to the different position. After a game or two you don’t think about it being offset. And we do believe that the larger canvas allows the theme of the game to come through, even when the machine is turned off.

  1. What’s with the dinosaurs?

Thankfully there are still toys in the world that encourage kids to use their imagination. And over the years Hot Wheels™ has expanded its’ universe to include playsets that allow kids to explore different worlds with their Hot Wheels™ cars. Using your car to battle dinosaurs, gorillas, sharks and other creatures is the norm for many kids now playing with Hot Wheels™. Given our goal was to capture all the different aspects of Hot Wheels™, collecting, track building, racing, the stuff may of us grew up up with, we also felt creature battles should be a part of it.

  1. What’s with the spinning car?

Without context it easy to see how the spinning car seems a bit out of place. The car does respond to what is happening in the game. And while I won’t go into a lot of detail on that in this first post, I will say that we are still adjusting how it is used in game play, regardless, there are settings to control how much it is used, a little, a lot or none at all. So for those who really don’t like it, you can just turn it off. I will say that when you actually play the machine, it is not as distracting as it might look watching a cell phone camera video of game play, and it can be quite helpful in knowing when the tach value is dropping – you will soon learn why this is important.

  1. What’s the price?

Each of our games has been priced, based on what is in the game. Hot Wheels™ has a lower price than either of our first two games, with an MSRP of $6,295. This price reflects that the game has a little less in it feature wise. Also, as I indicated above, we want to grow location play and operators need a game at a price that works for them, so it was our goal on this machine to make it a little lower priced to better serve operators and to get more pinball on location. Given what is going on right now, there is little doubt that collectors won’t mind paying a little less for a great new game.

Even with this lower price, the game is still loaded. Multiple ramps, drops targets, a vuk with loop ramp, a front facing kicker, staggered stand-up targets, real direct printed backglass and tons more. The game is 100% RGB LEDs for inserts and general illumination, using over 140 LEDs, including multiple LEDs in arrow inserts to allow better illumination and lighting effects. Cabinet inside art is included, the first of its kind, 3D Lenticular backpanel is included, art on the front of the apron included, powder coated rails included, and as mentioned above, for a limited time, the shaker motor is included. Oh, and the rules are designed to give you a lot of different objectives to pursue, which will keep this game challenging and entertaining for a long time.

  1. What’s with the stop motion animation?

Mattel has created a youtube series called Hot Wheels City™ and when we watched it, it just grabbed us. We loved the world they created and just watching it makes you smile. It is about having fun and that is what pinball is supposed to be about, so after much discussion, we decided that we wanted that to be part of the game and our friends at Mattel were willing to let us do so. You will see we mix that bit with some other animations that we feel better capture other aspects of Hot Wheels™ that some of us grew up with, such as track building and car collecting.

This is already getting to be pretty long for a post, so I’ll wrap it up here and ferret and I will share more details soon.


I think it looks fun. Thanks for explaining some of your decision making process to us. Can’t wait to find one on location.


Here is an overview of the rules…

First, let me say we looked at all the ways you play with Hot Wheels™ and created game play around each. Each of the objectives areas are tied to “Hero Cars”, collect all five Hero Cars and you can become a Hot Wheels™ Legend!

Racing – you start in 13th position (12th place flashing), you need to get to 1st to start Victory Lap Multiball… you can see the race positions/shots on the playfield image. Victory Lap Multiball can be incredibly lucrative, if you have the skills to build the Super Jackpot all the way up before collecting it. The main game music soundtrack is tied to racing: as you advance race positions, the music will advance with you.
Car Collecting – leads to mystery awards and special modes.
Track Building – shots to the Track Builder lane build increasingly more complex tracks, complete one and you are in Track Multiball. This is the easiest multiball to start, as it only takes four shots to get to it (the first time).
Creature Battles – These are modes, with each being quite unique. All feature a ‘fuel bonus’ based on how much is left on the fuel gauge when you defeat the creature. Defeat all four creatures and then you battle the mad scientist Draven.
Loop Crash Multiball – make lots of loop shots to start this Multiball that grabs the ball with the magnets when the super jackpot is ready… CRASH that ball before the magnet lets go to collect the super. BTW, the only two MBs you can stack together are Loop Crash with Victory Lap – but only if you start them at the same time! All MBs can stack with Battles and EPIC features, speaking of which . . .
EPIC Features – spell EPIC at the lower lanes and then hit Start EPIC, where ramps and/or loops and/or car targets and/or orbits and/or the whole playfield builds up an EPIC jackpot. The more you start together, the higher the scoring, but also harder to qualify collect… be sure to collect it before you drain or it will be an EPIC Fail!
Tachometer – I’ve saved the most important thing for last. This is very important, but very simple. The higher the tach, the higher the scoring. This idea of a single feature affecting all scoring is something that I’ve had bouncing around my head for a long time and was a perfect fit for the theme. Scoring on everything is based on the tach. The higher the tach, the higher the scoring. The primary way to increase the tach is by shooting the RPM targets, which are the ‘stepped’ stand-ups right in the middle. If you can redline the tach, well, get ready, because Redline Mania is going to be coming at you (great objective for kids). BTW, there are inserts right by the flippers that show the tach levels (as well as on the display), but the spinning car will be quite helpful in helping you know when the tach is getting low. If you are not making shots, the tach will go down and down and down. If that car is not spinning, your scoring is probably lower than you would want, spinning slow, not bad, but when it is going fast . . .
The Tach really adds a great dimension to game play for the enthusiast and for the tournament player who is focused on score. It creates a great risk/reward scenario relative to keeping the tach up, as it requires you to shoot the stepped standup targets that create random action.
Turbo Boost – use the pops to build up the boost… once lit, you can trigger it at the kicker, and that will then increase the tach value by 10X for a very brief period of time, so use it wisely.


Can’t wait to play Hot Wheels once this pandemic is over! Congratulations and best of wishes to American Pinball.


these rules sound amazing, Joe!! i am REALLY excited to play it!


Looks fun Joe! Can’t wait to see the stream this weekend.

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The stream kept cutting out, buffering, losing sound, etc. so I eventually bagged it. Will a cleaned-up version be posted some time soon? The game did look fun, from what I was able to watch.

Yeah, there were unfortunately Internet problems at the start… Jack switched to a hotspot and things got better. Try this stream:

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Full video is also up on Youtube:

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