Burn Rubber with the Best Kids Race Track

Breanna | Updated May 19, 2022 |

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Toy cars are pretty much a childhood staple, right? Everyone, boys and girls alike, has played with matchbox cars in a pile of dirt or over the surface of the kitchen table. If you were lucky, you may have had the flashy race tracks that went along with them. 

Race track toys can range from simple gravity tracks that take seconds to set up to large, expansive sets with blasters and loops. Either way, they’re great for teaching the concept of cause & effect, gravity, and encouraging social engagement. They’re also good for eliciting pretend play. 

If you’ve been on Amazon or looked through a toy magazine in the last few years, you’ve probably seen that there’s a wide range of race tracks, many of them Hot Wheels. However, with so many themes and special features, it can be hard to decide on which sets are best for your kiddos. That’s why we’ve narrowed down a list that ranges from the simplest gravity race track to a top notch slot racing track for older kids. Have a look at our top picks for the best race track toys below before you decide…. 

The Best Kids Race Track Toys – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Kids Race Track Toy Reviews

Wooden Race Track Car Ramp Racer

If you want to start your kids with cars as soon as possible, this wooden race track car ramp is a dream. It checks all the boxes for parents that don’t want sensory overload, lots of plastic, or endless battery swaps. Plus, it meets all the American and European safety standards, so you can feel good about handing it over to your infant or toddler. 

Recommended for ages 1+, the cars feature sturdy construction that minimizes the risk for breaking and choking hazards. Plus, the car itself is large enough that it won’t present itself as a choking risk. 

Using gravity and colorful car ramps, this toy is simple enough for the youngest car enthusiast. Its simple design teaches cause & effect, visual tracking, social skills/ cooperation, and an early concept of gravity. Overall, this brightly colored wood and plastic combo is a perfect starter toy that doesn’t overwhelm your child or your toy storage. 

What we liked:

  • Simple design 
  • Wooden cars/ramp (sturdy design) 
  • Meets European and American safety standards 
  • Teaches concept of gravity, cause & effect, and encourages social cooperation 
  • Bright colors

What we didn’t:

  • Though it meets safety standards, the cars are smaller than they appear in photos

CubicFun Race Track

The CubicFun Race Track is great because it packs a ton of action into a relatively compact track. Unlike others that just have a drop and a few curves, this one has switches, ramps, and turns, making a great toy to encourage visual tracking, comprehension, and cause & effect. Parents will appreciate the rounded corners on the track and simple operations. 

Using the switches, you kiddo can change the directions of the race track, raise the bridge, and use the car lift, among other roadway challenges. This set includes 3 mini cars that emulate real-life emergency vehicles. So, along with the action, your child learns about emergency responders and what their rides look like. This race car track toy is also great for color recognition.

What we liked:

  • 3 included cars
  • 8 roadway challenges
  • Teaches color recognition/perception
  • Gives examples of emergency responder vehicles
  • Great for hand-eye coordination, visual tracking, and cause & effect 
  • Rounded edges for more safety

What we didn’t:

  • We didn’t find any! Overall, it’s a great educational piece.
Here’s a simple demo of the track mechanisms from Deanna Richter

USA Toyz Snap Trax

This is a STEM toy that’s heavy on the engineering concepts. Inside, you’ll find 203 track pieces, 2 LED trucks, 3 construction trucks, 1 crane, 2 bridges, 12 tunnels, 10 dividers, 4 cones, 6 construction signs, 2 arches, 1 gate, and 1 trax ball. As you can see, there is the potential to build whatever kind of track your child can dream up. They can test their designs and modify as needed, which is great for logic and critical thinking. 

Another great feature of the Toyz Snap Trax, is the movement. The cranes, arches, and trucks all mimic real-life mechanisms. The race track pieces are also bendy while maintaining their “locking” integrity, making the track even more customizable. Additionally, this company offers a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. 

What we liked:

  • STEM learning 
  • Includes over 200 track pieces and 5 trucks, among other track features 
  • Cars and track features mimic real-life movement 
  • Customizable setup
  • Encourages building, logic, and critical thinking 
  • Encourages social skills and engagement

What we didn’t:

  • No cons here. This is a great choice, especially for STEM learning.

Carrera First

If your kid is a fan of the Disney movie Cars, this could be a great choice. While the race track is simple with a few sharp curves, it’s also a beginner level electric racing track. Coming in at 7+ feet, the track sends Lightning McQueen and Dinoco Cruz with the control of two joysticks that fit perfectly to the contours of your preschooler’s hands. 

Another great feature of the Carrera First set is the multiplayer capability. With two players, you can (hopefully) eliminate the dreaded fight over who gets to play. Everything you need for racing is included, so you’re ready to go straight out of the box.

What we liked:

  • 7+ feet of action 
  • Beginner level electric slot car 
  • Easy to use control 
  • Two player capability 
  • Features Lightning McQueen and Dinoco Cruz 
  • Ready to go straight out of the box

What we didn’t:

  • Not the best choice for those tight on space
Here’s a demo and review of the Carrera First Race Track from Fourie FamCam

Hot Wheels  Criss Cross Crash

If speed and loops are your thing, the Hot Wheels  Criss Cross Crash should check your boxes. The set fosters problem-solving and healthy competition. With four “zones” and motorized boosters, everyone can get in on the action. 

While the set only includes one HotWheel matchbox car, most of their racing cars will fit within the track. Your kids can grab their friends and a troop of cars to enjoy this 16 foot track together. The set also includes a few “parking spots” for extra storage. 

What we liked:

  • 4 zones and 16 feet of track 
  • Motorized boosters to send the cars flying 
  • Encourages problem solving and hand-eye coordination 
  • Allows for healthy competition 
  • Multiplayer toy 
  • Extra parking for spare cars

What we didn’t:

  • While fun, this toy can be loud
Here’s a detailed review and demo of the Criss Cross Crash set from TTPM Toy Reviews

Hot Wheels  Track Builder Starter Kit

Like we mentioned above, Hot Wheels  sets have the potential to be as big or as small as you want them to be. This starter kit is one of the best race tracks available. It is the perfect first step in building an entire world of racecars. Use these pieces alone or with other kits for added track. 

Use the utility hook for a flashy gravity drop. When you aren’t using it for speed, all the pieces can be attached to the hook for handy storage. With easy carrying, this is the perfect race track set to take on the go to friends’ houses or over to the grandparents’. This track also comes with one Hot Wheels car, but many of their other cars are compatible with the set. 

What we liked:

  • Starter kit with plenty of pieces for fun and speed 
  • Pieces can be used with other Hot Wheels  tracks 
  • The included utility hook is great for launching cars
  • Utility hook can also be used to store/carry track pieces 
  • Comes with one car

What we didn’t:

We didn’t find anything to note.

Here’s a review from TTPM Toy Reviews for the Hot Wheels  Track Builder Starter Kit

Hot Wheels  Stunt and Go

This one is for the daredevils at heart. Made for on-the-go play, this set looks like a semi truck when it’s all packed up, but pull on both ends and you’ll discover a fun stunt track with a loop. 

The launcher features 4 speeds to send cars sailing through the air. Launching is easy with one simple “pull” motion, your car will be sent flying through the loop and into the air. The storage on this is top notch as well, with enough space for 18 cars. Fully portable, this is perfect for play dates and engaging with friends. 

What we liked:

  • Fully portable when folded into semi truck 
  • Launching is easy with one “pull” motion 
  • 4 launch speeds 
  • Setup stores 18 cars 
  • Great for social skills and engagement 
  • You don’t have to bother with building a huge track

What we didn’t:

  • We didn’t find anything!

Carrera GO DTM Master Class

If you really want to go “all out” on the track and cars, this slot race car track could be a race fan’s dream. It comes with 29 feet of track, controllers, and 2 cars. It’s great for multiplayer racing and healthy competition. 

Another great and exciting feature of this Carrera set, is the ability to add in additional track pieces to fully customize the experience. Add in new accessories and cars to create even more new race scenarios and play. Slot cars are fast-paced fun, which is great for the entire family. When you purchase this race track, you get everything you need to get the cars rolling and racing straight out of the box. 

What we liked:

  • Comes with 29 feet of track 
  • Comes with 2 cars and speed controllers 
  • Additional track pieces and cars can be added to change up the experience 
  • Great for multiplayer and family fun 
  • Ready to race straight out of the box

What we didn’t:

  • Great set, but could be a little big for homes short on space
Here’s a demo and review that shows the setup of the Carrera GO DTM Master Class set from Greg’s World

What to look for in a good kids race track

Ages and stages

Like any toy for small children, the complexity increases with age and acquired dexterity. Race car track toys become exponentially more complex the older the age recommendations. 

With that being said, there are a few options for infants and toddlers ages 1-3. The biggest factor in tracks for that age group is safety, i.e., lack of choking hazards. Also, you want the track and cars to be pretty minimal, think wooden cars and ramps. 

From there, most tracks tackle the age group of 4-8 or 10. This is where matchbox cars typically come in, though there are many options aside from those department store classics. For that age, tracks range from bare bones to extensive ramps and loops. This is where you’ll experience the most variety. 

When you get to the age range of 10-12+, the cars are going to be more intricate, the race car tracks more complex. You might have to build a portion of it, or the setup might be powered by electricity. Typically, these sets are best for kids, preteens, or teens that can follow directions without breaking any of the fine mechanics of the cars or track. 

How many cars are included?

It’s important to check out how many cars come with the track. You’ll want a few to keep the action going and that’s especially true if you have more than one kid playing with the setup. Depending on the brand, you may be able to pick up some multipacks to go with the track, in addition to whatever comes with it. 

Typically, you can find single Hot Wheels cars for about a dollar. Multipacks of 3+ go up from there. Word of advice from one parent to another, just buy a bunch. Those little cars are easy to lose. 

Is it easy to put away and store?

This is a big factor in choosing your track. The bigger the track, the bigger the mess. Let’s not forget how bad it hurts to step on one of those race cars in the dark (it gives Legos a run for their money). Look for tracks that break down easily and maybe even have a case to store it in. That will save your sanity and your feet! 

Motorized vs gravity tracks

Gravity tracks will definitely be the best bet for younger kiddos. The mechanism is simple and resetting the race cars is as easy as moving them from one end of the track to the other. Plus, you won’t have the annoyance of constantly drained batteries

On the other hand, older kids enjoy the zip and action of motorized slot car race tracks. They zoom around curves and can take on multiple loops. If you have a budding adrenaline junkie on your hands, it could be worth it to dive into motorized tracks. It will keep them engaged and having fun longer. 

Are hot wheels cars an investment?

Hot Wheels can be an investment, depending entirely on how you go about starting your collection. They’re great because they have something for nearly every age and developmental stage, including promoting fine motor skills. Their prices also come in a wide range with some starter sets being very affordable. What’s great is the compatibility of their race cars and tracks. You can start small and build up to having a larger collection without putting a dent in the piggy bank.


Breanna is a former therapist turned writer. She earned a master’s in psychology in 2015 but ultimately decided she would like to be more present for her family. Currently flexing her writing skills as a stay-at-home mother of two toddlers (with another baby on the way), she enjoys writing in the parenting and home/DIY niches. She also writes fiction and has been published in a handful of literary magazines and a fiction anthology. In her spare time, Breanna enjoys blogging, painting, running, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee.


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