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This is about things I get to my email address ‘marcus.smith’ @  Having a fairly common name and being lucky enough to get in on the ground floor for my email address I tend to get a lot of things meant for people who are not me.

Sometimes these emails touch me in some way and get my mind wandering…

The other day I got this in.  Apparently I’m the parent of a boy of Hot-Wheel-lovin’ age who was gracious enough to get me in on the action.

Dear Parent,

We are writing to let you know that your child has signed up to join Our site is the ultimate online destination for boys (ed: interesting assumption I wonder if the barbie site says ‘girls’) to experience the thrill of Hot Wheels® cars and to play great games, compete with friends, track their car collection and stats, and get the latest Hot Wheels® news.

When kids register, we ask them to provide a username, their e-mail address, AND the e-mail address of a parent so we can send this letter!

We invite you to visit the site and check it out. Monitoring where your kids go on the Internet is part of your job (ed: ha, I guess if you don’t care about you’re obviously a bad parent) and we want to assure you that is a safe space for fun online! We’ve taken every precaution to partner with you to keep your kids not only safe, but also engaged, entertained and challenged.

Please view our privacy policy at We care deeply about personal privacy and any and all information we collect is used to help us improve our site, our services and our products.

As a parent you have the right to ask us to not contact your son online and to remove him from our e-mail database at any time. If you do not respond we will send your child e-mail newsletters and updates periodically. If you choose to remove your child, they will not receive future e-mails from Unfortunately, they will also be unable to enjoy lots of exclusive content available with membership which enhances the experience and makes it more fun. (ed: still not too late to be a bad parent) To remove your child from our email database click here

You may want to save this e-mail for future reference.

We really appreciate your time and we hope you and your child will visit us at soon!


P.S. Please do not send a reply to this email.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of mail we receive, we can’t respond to individual e-mails. Thank you.

P.P.S. If you are having trouble using links, cut and paste or type the entire link into your website browser address line.

© 2009 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The site itself is gaudy, plays the stock photo equivalent of rock (or ‘juice-box-commercial rock’ if I had to put a genre to it), and opens with a video game montage of giant purple sharks.  In other words, exactly the sort of thing I’d love if I were a 12 year old boy.

I remember long ago establishing Hot Wheels as my standard kid currency.  They were traded like marbles on the open after-school market.  My personal favorites were the classic ones w/ the soft tires and metallic flake paint.  GI Joe’s were too expensive, had parts that could go missing rendering them of more questionable worth, and were badass soldier personalities complete with cardboard profiles so you grew way too attached to them to merely trade away.  Hot Wheels however were these perfectly encapsulated units of awesome rolling power that was easily transferable and lacked the complications of GI Joe attachment.  What?  Trade my SEAL and Lady Jane for a Destro and Arctic Trooper?  You must be out of your mind.  I’d much rather sit back and covet your toys while thinking about how my father didn’t love me enough to help me complete my set then even dream of eliminating from my precious supply.

The email goes on to assume said kid’s excitement in their exclusive content and “latest Hot Wheel news”.  So much that they seem to be making not only a desperate plea for the parent’s approval but the establishment of a firm belief that they are essential for the customer, um, kid’s development having now found the ultimate boy destination.  Like this 7-12 year old had discovered a secret much too powerful to be tempered with.  Dunno if I remember ever caring about latest Hot Wheels news, I guess there was a time when I wanted to be that first kid on the block with that new racetrack where they would do a flip.

So, sorry Marcus Smith.  I truly hope your kid can remain a loyal follower/patron of Hot Wheels dot com and never miss out on their new developments.  Otherwise it would make me a bit sad despite the shameless hubris exhibited by the Mattel corporation.

Posted by: on April 6th, 2009 | Tagged with: , , | Comments (3)