Mattel, Media Release

Hot Wheels® – 50 years old and getting better with age

Johannesburg, 18 May 2018: There’s something special about a young boy playing with a toy car that his father played with, especially when it’s a toy car that his father’s own father played with. This is just one of several reasons Hot Wheels® is so special: the popular die-cast vehicles and track systems have been exhilarating and challenging kids worldwide for over three generations.

Hot Wheels Car

Today Hot Wheels® is the number one selling toy and vehicle property in the world and this year, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the brand is going into overdrive – with a campaign designed to celebrate five decades of pushing the limits of performance and design.

At the starting line are specific 50th anniversary products including: a Black & Gold Themed Assortment, Zamac Themed Assortment, a Premium Collector Favorites Assortment and a special 5 Pack – as well as distinctive 50th anniversary branding on all 2018 products in the track set range.

This year, Hot Wheels® is also introducing Hot Wheels® City – a system of play, compatible with the others, that allows kids aged 3 to 6 to build a Hot Wheels® world. Parents can expect the infusion of stunting, jumping and looping with imagination and storytelling.

As Hot Wheels® enthusiasts already know, the ‘try, repeat’ play pattern that’s intrinsic to these die-cast toy vehicles awakens the challenger spirit in every individual – helping to boost confidence, inspire creativity, and entrench a sense of good sportsmanship in younger children, older children and lifelong Hot Wheels® collectors.

Hot Wheels Gold Car

It’s also part of the reason that over 6 billion Hot Wheels® have been produced since 1968, with more than 130 new car designs released each year in 150-plus countries. That’s 16.5 Hot Wheels® produced per second, across 20,000 variations.

Known to have partnered with almost every auto manufacturer in the world, Hot Wheels® is licensed to create scale models of many full-size cars, including the use of original design blueprints and detailing. It also has segments in digital, automobile parts, licensed apparel, merchandise, live events, the Guinness World Records and video gaming, where Hot Wheels® cars are featured in some of the biggest games in the industry, including Forza, Need for Speed and Rocket League.

But where did Hot Wheels® come from? It emerged, as many legends do, from a challenge

In 1968 Elliot Handler, US inventor, businessman, and co-founder of Mattel, dared his design team – a rocket scientist and a car engineer – to create a toy car that was cooler and performed better than anything else on the market, so that young boys could experience the thrill of hot rod culture. When Handler saw the first trackable toy car, with its custom design and eye-catching paint job zipping across the floor, he said: “Those are some hot wheels!”

Hot Wheels® have become popular with adult collectors, for whom limited-edition models are now made available, over the last 15 years. The average collector owns over 1,550 cars.

Not the sort of 50-year-old to fall behind on the latest trends, #HotWheels is shared every 30 seconds on social media. No reason you shouldn’t add to that tally right now. #HotWheelsSA #ChallengeAccepted

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