How to design car toys for high-tech kids

HotWheels Radar Gun ($24.99)

Gary Swisher is the guy who has everybody's dream job -- he's the design chief for HotWheels, Tyco and Matchbox, and he's in charge of designing the cool and timeless dream cars in miniature that we only wish we could have when we grow up.

He's also the guy responsible for keeping up with the demanding, tech-savvy tastes of today's kids, and that, friends, is not an easy job considering that today's kids don't know what it's like to live without cell phones, AIM, and the iPod.

BusinessWeek was able to pull Gary aside from that particularly demanding job for a quick interview, in which Swisher lets the reader in on a little secret -- it's not the technology that gets kids juiced about toy cars, it's how you use it. "Having technology is not the feature," Swisher said. "The magic that it brings to the toy is the feature."

And it's not as easy as it sounds -- Swisher says that competing with video games for kids' time and attention is an extraordinary challenge. We think they're on to something with the HotWheels Radar Gun (pictured). Now all we need is the HotWheels Radar Detector and optional Handlebar Mount so our kids can play the same cat-and-mouse game that we do as adults.

[Source: BusinessWeek]

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