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Hot Wheels creates a car for children with autism



Hot Wheels cars are a toy every child can enjoy, but the company continues to find new ways to be inclusive. The Mattel brand’s latest car, for example, was developed in conjunction with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to better include children with autism.

The Flippin Fast is a car that rolls just as well upside down as it does right side up. It has large wheels that suspend the body at their midpoints, and the car is symmetrical along its x-y diagonal. In other words, the front chin spoiler on one side becomes the rear wing on the other. Traditional cars have a top and a bottom, a front and a rear. The Flippin Fast isn’t limited by those orientations, and thus offers a more open-ended play experience according to Hot Wheels.

The fun doesn’t stop there. A rotating center piece that includes the cockpit also spins independently of the car body, so kids can use the toy as a fidget spinner if they so choose. This feature offers an additional sensory aspect that some children can find comforting.

“Too often, autistic children and their families are told that they are 'playing wrong,' but allowing kids to play in the way they choose can promote self-regulation and self-expression,” explained Zoe Gross ASAN’s Director of Advocacy. “This car can be played with in any configuration, and whether kids prefer to play pretend with it or just spin the wheels, the design emphasizes that there's no wrong way to play.”

The Flippin Fast comes on the heels of last year’s Braille Twin Mill, the first Hot Wheels to have Braille dots molded into the car itself, as well as the plastic packaging.

Furthermore, Mattel is working with ASAN to develop other products across its many toy brands that take children with autism into account. In 2022 they launched Bruno, a character with autism from the Thomas & Friends franchise.

The Flippin Fast arrives just in time for Autism Awareness Month, which takes place in April. It can be found at most retailers nationwide for $1.25.




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