Hot Wheels® today announced its year-long plans to celebrate the brand's 40-year heritage at the 105th American International Toy Fair®. Anniversary activities were kicked off with the unveiling of a custom jeweled 1:64-scale Hot Wheels® car, designed by celebrity jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills. This one-of-a-kind car, the most expensive in Hot Wheels® history, was made to commemorate the production of the 4 billionth Hot Wheels® vehicle.
The diamonds on the custom-made jeweled car, valued at $140,000, totals more than 2,700 and weighs nearly 23 carats. The car is cast in 18-karat white gold with the majority of the vehicle detailed with micro pave-set brilliant blue diamonds, mimicking the Hot Wheels® Spectraflame® blue paint. Under the functional hood, the engine showcases additional micro pave-set white and black diamonds. The Hot Wheels® flame logo found on the underbelly of the car is lined with white and black diamonds. Red rubies are set as the tail lights, while black diamonds and red enamel create the "red line" tires. The custom-made case that houses the jewel-encrusted vehicle also holds 40 individual white diamonds, signifying each year in the legacy of Hot Wheels®.
"Collaborating with Mattel on the jeweled Hot Wheels car was a dream project for me," said Jason Arasheben, president & CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills. "The car is truly spectacular and will be a brilliant addition to anyone's collection."
The vehicle was unveiled by multi-platinum recording artist and car enthusiast, Nick Lachey, who grew up playing with the die-cast car line. In late 2008, this unique Hot Wheels® vehicle will be auctioned off to benefit Lachey's charity of choice, Big Brothers Big Sisters.
"Since its introduction, Hot Wheels has revolutionized boys' toys and inspired automotive trends," said Tim Kilpin, general manager and senior vice president, Boys and Entertainment, Mattel Brands. "The historic activities we have planned are a fitting tribute to the brand's heritage and will allow us, and our fans, to celebrate this milestone year in true Hot Wheels style."
In 2008, Hot Wheels® will honor the partners that have helped make the brand successful and will take to the road to celebrate the brand's heritage with its faithful fans. These activities include:
Hot Wheels® Designer's Challenge™
For the first time in its history, Mattel went outside of its in-house design team to seek new car designs and to honor the automotive partners that attributed to the success of Hot Wheels® cars over the years. Car designers from Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Lotus and Mitsubishi designed their version of a Hot Wheels® concept car based on the brand's attributes of speed, power, performance and attitude. Each submitted design was created in a 1:5-scale model and unveiled this past October at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. In late March the 1:64-scale versions will be available at retailers nationwide as part of the Designer's Challenge™ product line.
"I've been involved in multi-million dollar concept car designs but not everyone can relate to these kinds of projects," said Amaury Diaz Serrano, creative designer, General Motors. "But, everyone can relate to a Hot Wheels. Regardless of age, race or background, everyone has fond memories of playing with them. To be able to design for Hot Wheels is the closest I will ever get to winning an Oscar."
Hot Wheels® Cross-Country Road Trip
This summer, fans across the country will be invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary as Hot Wheels® travels Highway 40 to bring together automotive enthusiasts of all ages. Kicking off at Mattel's headquarters in El Segundo in mid-August, the road trip will make stops at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah; Speed, KS; Indianapolis; and Detroit, before culminating in a grand finale celebration on September 5 in Watkins Glen, NY, home to American road racing. There, Hot Wheels® will partner with the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen, to participate in the annual celebratory kick-off event honoring the history of the town and race track.
At each road trip stop, Hot Wheels® will host a free event that will be open to the public. Each event will feature life-size Hot Wheels® cars, kiosks where people can create their own custom Hot Wheels® "drivers license," family-friendly activities, and the opportunity to receive a commemorative 1:64-scale Hot Wheels® car created especially for each stop, available in limited quantities.
"40 years. 4 billion cars. It is a year of exciting milestones for Hot Wheels," said Geoff Walker, vice president, Wheels Marketing, Mattel Brands. "We just can't wait to get on the road to celebrate with the millions that share the Hot Wheels passion."
For information on Hot Wheels® and its 40th anniversary activities, cruise over to www.hotwheels.com/40th.