Hot Wheels Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONPROBLEMI researched

Hot Wheels Essay, Research Paper INTRODUCTION PROBLEM I researched which Hot Wheels web sites are the best for the adult collector. PURPOSE The purpose of this report is to discuss the findings of my research.

Hot Wheels Essay, Research Paper

INTRODUCTION

PROBLEM

I researched which Hot Wheels web sites are the best for the adult collector.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to discuss the findings of my research.

SCOPE

The scope of this research was limited to Internet congestion, my full time job, other homework, and lack of time.

BACKGROUND

Many people collect different things. Coins, stamps, and baseball cards just name a few. However, a little die cast car stands above all others in collectables. Hot Wheels started out as a child s toy. Hot Wheels are now one of the most highly sought and highly traded and sold collectable on the market. My fascination with this topic stems from the fact that adults are the primary collectors of these cars. My roommate, for instance, has over three hundred of these cars. They range from the typical small pocket sized car all the way to a car that is 1:18 scale of a full sized car.

METHODOLOGY

I broke this research down into distinct questions regarding website loading times, content quality of the web sites, and to whom the sites were targeted. With Hot Wheels content quality is a big issue because depending on how a site looks you can generally tell if the collector is serious or just looking to make a quick dollar. My key search word was Hot Wheels. I used only one search engine and that was Google.com. When I typed in Hot Wheels it took 4.3 seconds to find over 100,000 sites relating to Hot Wheels. Some of the questions I originally had were only geared to one site at a time. Which sites offered the best variety of merchandise would have made this paper unimaginable in length. The mere thought of having to explain those findings would have created at least twenty more pages of research.

FINDINGS

QUESTION 1. HOW EASY WAS THE SITE IN TERMS OF NAVIGATION?

Five (20%) of the web sites were in the 1-3 or bad category, while 3 (12%) were in the 4-7 or fair category, and lastly 17 (68%) were in the 8-10 or good category. The vast majority of the sites were easy to move around in.

The overall design of the sites in the good category was excellent and the cars and links were easy to find. The other 8 (32%), which fell in the lower categories, were either hastily put together or put together by inexperienced people. I had a difficult time finding what I was looking for in these sites. Other problems for these sites included no pictures of the cars and sometimes information not pertaining to Hot Wheels.

QUESTION 2. HOW WAS THE QUALITY OF GRAPHICS ON EACH SITE?

Ten (40%) rated in the 1-3 or bad category, 12 (48%) rated in the 4-7 or fair category, and 3 (12%) finished in the 8-10 or good category. This study found that the 3 that finished in the good category were every elaborate sites with great pictures. This also included the Hot Wheels home page. (See Figure 1.)

While this question may seem a bit subjective, graphics quality is very relevant to the serious collector. They want to see how the cars look before making any decisions on purchasing or trading with this particular site or person. The sites that did poorly had very few pictures and mostly out of focus visuals.

QUESTION 3. HOW OFTEN IS THE WEBSITE UPDATED?

Five (20%) rated in the not at all category, 3 (12%) were in the not very often category, 16 (64%) were updated often, and 1 (4%) was updated very often. The lone site that was updated very often was the official Hot Wheels homepage.

In this question we can determine how serious the collector is about the hobby. The 5 that were never updated had cars from 1999 that were just ordinary cars. The 16 that were updated often demonstrated to me the site was serious in sharing what they had in their inventory. I determined this question by looking for a date that this site was last updated. All but one site had this information on their web page.

QUESTION 4. HOW FAST DID THE SITE LOAD?

Fifteen (60%) of the web sites loaded within 30 seconds, 9 (36%) loaded within 40 seconds, while 1 (4%) went well past 60 seconds to load. The site that took the longest to load was, again, the Hot Wheels homepage. The other sites were not as graphical in design and loaded much more quickly.(See Figure 2.)

I was impressed with the overall loading speed of the 24 sites that loaded within 40 seconds. I was a bit frustrated with the wait for the Hot Wheels homepage; however, the quality of that page makes up the difference. Net congestion had a lot to do with this question. I had to test the sites a number of times because of net congestion and I also had to clean out my Internet files to assure an accurate timing.

QUESTION 5. WHAT AGE GROUP DOES THE SITE SEEM TO TARGET?

Three (12%) of the web sites seemed to cater to the 10-18 age bracket, while 22 (88%) fell into the over 19 age group.

The 3 web sites that ended up in the 10-18 age group looked to have been put up by someone in that age group. A parent for an 8-year-old boy, for example, put one site together. Not only were there Hot Wheels in that site but also pictures of the boy racing go-carts as well. The other 22 sites were put up by adults interested in either collecting or trading their cars with other enthusiasts.

QUESTION 6. HOW MANY LINKS DOES EACH SITE HAVE?

Five (20%) of the web sites had 0-10 links, while 20 (40%) web sites had 11-30 links on the page. This data shows the serious collectors have more links to other pages like theirs. The sites with fewer links are most likely not searching the web very often for sites with similar interests.

I found the sites with the greater number of links to other sites to be much more involved in their hobby. A few sites even mentioned how often they added links to their pages and asked the user to notify them if a link is no longer valid. These sites tended to be more informational than the sites with fewer links.

QUESTION 7. HOW LONG HAS THE SITE BEEN AVAILABLE ON THE WEB?

One (4%) website has been online for 1-6 months, 3 (12%) web sites have been online for 7-18 months, 10 (40%) web sites have been online for 19-24 months, and 11 (44%) web sites have been online for longer than 25 months.(See Figure 3.)

The really good web sites that I found had been online for at least 19 months. Even some of those sites have not been updated and appear to be rather stale. The sites that have been on for less than 18 months were good as well. Those sites seemed to have active owners and really good graphics as well.

QUESTION 8. HOW MANY WEB SITES HAD COUNTERS?

Nineteen (76%) web sites had counters and 6 (24%) web sites had no counters. The really graphical sites, as opposed to the more text based sites, had counters.

This data demonstrates to me that the website owners are actually interested in how many people come in to their website. A few of the web sites also had guest books for users to sign. There were a couple of web sites without counters that were well put together. Another interpretation of this data might be that the web sites with counters are using that data to make money. There are all kinds of promotions going on with website owners having people just visit web sites. Those visits or hits generate revenue for the individual owner.

QUESTION 9. HOW MANY WEB SITES OFFERED AN EMAIL OPTION TO THE SITE OWNER?

Seventeen (68%) web sites offered the ability to email the owner of the website, while 8 (32%) web sites did not have that option. Again, the really graphical sites had this option and the mainly text based sites did not.

During this research, I took the liberty to email some of these site owners to see how long it takes them to respond. I was surprised to have most of them answered within a few days. My questions varied, with the help of my roommate, on what cars they had available and what kind of cars they would be willing to deal to us. We came up with a list of 4 popular cars from those emails and I used them for the next question.

QUESTION 10. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF SITES HAD A 1956 CHEVY 2 DOOR SEDAN IN THE BLACK BOX, A NOMAD IN THE BLACK BOX, A LED SLEDZ TWO CAR SET, AND A SO FAST IN THE BLUE BACK?

Twenty-two (88%) of the web sites had the 1956 Chevy, 20 (80%) of the web sites had the Nomad Black Box, 19 (76%) web sites had the Led Sledz two car set, and 21 (84%) of the web sites had the So Fast in the Blue Back.

The sites that had these cars in stock were the serious collector sites. According to some of the web sites, these are the most popular cars and are hard to come across. These cars usually retail from seventy-nine cents all the way to five dollars in retail stores. However, when you go to buy them they are usually gone. The only place to find them, once they are all purchased, would either be a collectables shop or specific web sites.

CONCLUSIONS

This research revealed some interesting points of reference for a new collector.

v Sites that are of good quality usually have good graphics.

v Sites that update often are the best sites for locating hard to find cars.

v Links are very important because they offer a wide range of different sites to choose from without having to rely on a search engine all the time.

This research indicates that Hot Wheels is a very popular phenomenon with adults. The data indicates that most of the web sites were put up by adults and were targeting the adult collectors. This research would be a valuable tool for the novice collector and good information for the seasoned collector.

APPENDIX A.

http://www.hotwheels.com/

http://www.hotwheels.com/speedcity/raceway/rw_xvframe.html

http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/2070/

http://users.exis.net/ toyman2/

http://www.onr.com/user/dazybrad/hotwheelsjr.htm

http://davids-wheels.com/

http://www.greeks.net/hotwheels/

http://www.angelfire.com/ne/hw/

http://www4.50megs.com/hwplace

http://netdial.caribe.net/ huntress/

http://www.angelfire.com/ab2/CWHEELS/

http://homepages.go.com/ larrybass/Hotwheels.html

http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/3270/

http://www.sportcraftcars.com/hotwheels2.htm

http://members.tripod.com/smokeyz1/

http://www.geocities.co.jp/MotorCity/1096/

http://www.tncuniverse.com/hotwheels/00HW641992b.htm

http://www.tncuniverse.com/hotwheels/00HW641995b.htm

http://www.dollsandducks.com/hotwheels.htm

http://www.netfix.com/hotwheels/contents.html

http://www.peterswheels.com/

http://www.collectiblecrazy.com/auto-hotwheels-menu.html

http://www.carroll.com/p/billmac/

http://www.diecastwarehouse.com

http://www.curioscape.com/cpages/Toys_Hotwheels_Matchbox.1.html

APPENDIX B.

QUESTION 1. HOW EASY WAS THE SITE IN TERMS OF NAVIGATION?

1-3 BAD; 4-7 FAIR; 8-10 GOOD

QUESTION 2. HOW WAS THE QUALITY OF GRAPICS ON EACH SITE?

1-3 BAD; 4-7 FAIR; 8-10 GOOD

QUESTION 3. HOW OFTEN IS THE WEBSITE UPDATED?

NOT AT ALL; NOT VERY OFTEN; OFTEN; VERY OFTEN

QUESTION 4. HOW FAST DID THE SITE LOAD?

0-30 SECONDS; 31-40 SECONDS; 60+ SECONDS

QUESTION 5. WHAT AGE GROUP DOES THE SITE SEEM TO TARGET?

AGES 10-18; AGES OVER 19

QUESTION 6. HOW MANY LINKS DOES EACH SITE HAVE?

0-10 LINKS; 11-30 LINKS

QUESTION 7. HOW LONG HAS THE SITE BEEN AVAILABLE ON THE WEB?

1-6 MONTHS; 7-18 MONTHS; 19-24 MONTHS; 25+ MONTHS

QUESTION 8. HOW MANY WEB SITES HAD COUNTERS?

HAD; HAD NOT

QUESTION 9. HOW MANY WEB SITES OFFERED AN EMAIL OPTION TO THE SITE OWNER?

EMAIL; NO EMAIL

QUESTION 10. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF SITES HAD A 1956 CHEVY 2 DOOR SEDAN IN THE BLACK BOX, A NOMAD IN THE BLACK BOX, A LED SLEDZ TWO CAR SET, AND A SO FAST IN THE BLUE BACK?

1956 CHEVY; NOMAD BLACK BOX; LED SLEDZ TWO CAR SET; SO FAST IN THE BLUE BACK