UNBOXED: Reviewing Anki Overdrive Fast and Furious Edition
As caught up as we get with all of the cool tech that we review for UNBOXED, sometimes it’s just fun to get to play with a tech toy that’s meant for a younger audience. Aside from the inherent joy of getting to act like a kid, reviewing products like the Anki Overdrive Fast and Furious Edition is a nice reminder how tech for the younger crowd out there serves as a test bed for new and emerging tech.
The simplest way to describe the product is that it’s Hot Wheels for today’s tech-crazed kids out there. The bundle comes with two toy cars, a bunch of track pieces, and a charging station for the cars. From there, you can follow the included diagrams for building different track options or you can use your imagination and create your own track. Once charged (which takes barely any time) you place the cars on the track, connect to them through the Anki Overdrive app, and you’re all set.
The app itself provides a few different game modes for the user—a single player story-based mode, multiplayer games, and an open drive mode. This being a Fast and Furious-themed game, the story mode and the cars themselves tie in all kinds of intricacies from the movies, including characters, types of game modes, and more. Once connected to the cars on the track, you actually watch them drive around the course to scan their environment as the track comes to life on your phone. From there, the cars line up and the race begins. Controlling the car through the phone is a simple and fun process. There’s a gas pedal on your left that you drag up and down on to increase speed or slow down, and you can change lanes by simply tilting your phone to the right or left.
One of the only struggles that I experienced with the product had to do with attempting to play a multiplayer game with a colleague, only to have the WiFi crap out on us a couple of times, which of course impacted the gameplay experience. So, it’s nothing directly against Anki, but if parents know that their homes already struggle with WiFi coverage, they may want to make sure they get that corrected to prevent any frustrations when trying to use this product.
From a retail perspective there’s plenty to love about the Anki Overdrive product—whether it’s the Fast and Furious Edition or any other Anki Overdrive kit. The product has endless amounts of add on opportunities. The bundle itself comes with plenty to get the user started, but add-ons like additional track pieces and new cars mean there’s an endless supply of upsell opportunities for the retailer. And with the $170 price tag for the bundle, you’re not asking too much of the buyer from the start for this product, so the attachment sales should be simple to come by. At the very least, if they walk out with just the bundle, you can expect that they’ll be back soon enough looking for those additional pieces.