For the first time in its history, Hot Wheels has invited outside artists to design and create an original Hot Wheels vehicle. The company says that its inaugural “Hot Wheels Designer’s Challenge” is a way for the brand to honor its automotive partners and get them to participate in its 40th anniversary celebration in 2008. Selected designs will form the basis of a new 40th anniversary Designer's Challenge product line to hit store shelves in spring 2008.
"This is the first time in Hot Wheels history that we've turned outside the company to seek new car designs,” said Geoff Walker, vice president of wheels marketing, Mattel Brands. “Who better to go to than our automotive partners who have been a part of Hot Wheels history for the last 40 years? We couldn't be more thrilled with the results of this program, and we're anxious to see the designs come to life as 1:64-scale models."
Automotive manufacturer participants in the Hot Wheels Designer's Challenge—Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Lotus and Mitsubishi—were tasked with designing a car that captured the die-cast brand's core essence of speed, power, performance and attitude, while encompassing the distinct attributes of each company's automotive brand values. Each car also had to perform a loop on a classic Hot Wheels orange track.
The top three designs from each automotive manufacturer were selected and presented to a panel of judges that included editors from the Los Angeles Times, Car and Driver, and Men's Journal, along with Hot Wheels designers and executives.
The designs selected for the Hot Wheels Designer's Challenge line include:
Dodge XP-07 (Dodge, designed by Marc Reisen)
Gangster Grin (Ford, designed by Steve Gilmore)
Chevroletor (General Motors, designed by Amaury Diaz-Serrano)
Honda Racer (Honda, designed by Guillermo Gonzalez)
Lotus Concept (Lotus, designed by Steven Crijns)
Mitsubishi Double Shotz (Mitsubishi, designed by Gary Ragle)
HW-40 (Hot Wheels, designed by Jun Imai)