Unlike most 9-year-olds, Paxton Booth rarely has to be told to clean his room. After playing with his 1,241 (and counting) Hot Wheels cars, the actor scoops them up and neatly parks them on the turquoise-colored shelves around his bedroom.
“I do put them away,” said Paxton, who plays Ollie Wrather on the Disney Channel series “Coop & Cami Ask the World.” “It sounds weird, but I can usually tell you exactly where each car is.”
Paxton’s bedroom, in his parents’ Ventura home, houses all the things he loves — vinyl LPs he finds at swap meets, lanyards from the red-carpet events he attends, his Mickey Mouse ears and a series of newsboy caps. The bedroom features a mash-up of colors — a red dresser, a fuchsia rug, purple bedding.
But it’s the car collection in miniature that defines the room. Paxton started acquiring the Mattel Inc. classic creations when he was 3, when his grandmother handed him some Hot Wheels that used to belong to his father.
“It sparked something,” said Paxton, who also appeared in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Fox. “It became a hobby and now it’s an obsession, really.”
Do you spend most of your time in this room?
This house is nearly 100 years old and the rooms are small. But this room has a big loft bed so I have all this room underneath to play. When I’m playing with my cars, I usually make tracks on the ground using my bedding to make bumps. It’s a whole shebang. Sometimes, I’ll just sit on this ladder and look at all my cars.
What else do you like to do in here?
I love to read mystery stories. I’m into “Goosebumps” [the children’s horror novels] and Geronimo Stilton [the reluctant hero-mouse of his own adventure series]. I’m also a big fan of comic books, like Scooby-Doo.
What else is meaningful to you in here?
I have an inspiration board where I put pictures of friends and family. I also cut out a lot of fashion ads to see what’s on trend right now. And I like to keep the lanyards from events I go to. My favorite is from the premiere of “Dumbo” — I’m a fan of Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, and I got to meet them both on the same night. And there’s a snow globe from my trip to Italy with my family.
What in here is most meaningful to you?
I have the original 16-piece set of Hot Wheels, with replicas of what they were like in 1968 when Hot Wheels started. They only made 1,500 of the sets.
Why do you love Hot Wheels so much?
I play with mine differently. I make a story. Every car has its own personality. Some are faster, and others are better in the dirt than on the street. I get lost in the story. It’s like reading a book or acting — you get lost in that story. I have some in their original packaging; they’re super hard to find. You don’t want to open them, but they’re shiny and fun to look at.
Will you keep collecting?
I think the reason I collect is I’m not allowed to have real cars yet. But once I get a big car, I’m still going to be collecting Hot Wheels.
Do you have a favorite?
I’m going to quote [automotive designer] Carroll Shelby, who used to say his favorite was “the next one.” My favorite is going to be the next one.