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(Pocket-lint) - Toy-maker Mattel is set to launch a new iPad accessory that lets you interact with its Hot Wheels Apptivity app with a real Hot Wheels car and, as you might expect, we've already had a play ahead of the UK launch.

The idea is that you buy one of four of the new Hot Wheels iPad-friendly cars for £11.99 and then use it on screen to control a virtual car around a series of racetracks and obstacle courses.

Pocket-lintapptivity hot wheels pictures and hands on image 2

The vehicle itself is a standard-looking Hot Wheels car with a locking mechanism to raise or lower the rubber touch point elements that make it work with the iPad.

There is a further "action" button at the front for use in game, but this too is kept out of the way so you can send it hurtling down any standard Hot Wheels track if you've not got an iPad to hand.

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In app, and those "touch points" replicate your fingers - you can download the app and have a go now if you like without the car - and the car works in the same way as the pen stylus you've no doubt seen people use before.

In practice, lining up the car with the outline on screen and it's surprisingly easy to control what is happening on the screen with a physical object, although the action is all very "close quarters" - not that your young kids will probably care about that.

Pocket-lintapptivity hot wheels pictures and hands on image 5

If you are brave enough to let your toddlers loose on your iPad, and they are big fans of Hot Wheels, this is a no-brainer, just make sure they don't grab any old car, that could be dangerous.

The new cars will be available in the UK in the August. There are four different designs, and Mattel has told Pocket-lint there will be combo packages as well for those that want to collect them all. 

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 16 April 2013.