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For five decades, Hot Wheels boxes have locked the fantasies of millions of children around the world. Its flamed brand has been synonymous with action and speed on wheels for those who still did not have a driving license and for many who had it but were still captivated by the scale realism of these emblematic miniatures.
From 1968 to the present, Hot Wheels has sold more than six billion units and has maintained that "crazy enthusiasm" that according to its senior vice president and general manager, Chris Down, awakens the company globally.
Hot Wheels, the cars we all wanted in real size when we were little © Photo by Alex Zabavsky on Unsplash
It all started when a co-founder of Mattel (the playful owner of the Hot Wheels brand) wanted to diversify different products and start a line of toy cars . There were times when it was more about collecting and showing that only playing and Handler knew clearly that those miniature vehicles would have a safe place in the market.
For this he knew how to maintain the balance between cars that were flashy and fun but without neglecting an iota some engineering details as realistic as its swivel wheels.
Earned the respect of the most fundamentalist of the engine thanks to that sensitivity for details, Hot Wheels has also managed to successfully cross the barriers of popular culture thanks to the numerous licenses that Mattel has of franchises such as Star Wars, DC Comics or Marvel
In cases where he has recreated such pop models, he has also shown exquisite respect for his references. For example, this happened with his car Darth Vader, who used the mask of the black character of George Lucas as an air intake.
Beattle by Hot Wheels © Alamy
Precisely that Darth Vader model represents one of the few cases in which one of the Hot Wheels miniatures has ended up becoming a real-size vehicle . It is a fully operational car, with an LS3 engine of 526 hp and custom tires with a red line that was presented at the San Diego Comic-Con Festival in 2014. A very recent custom is to build some Hot Wheels to real scale. The first time it was done was in 2001 with a 1969 Hot Wheels Twin Mill with two V8 engines protruding from the hood.
Hot Wheels continues to be the number one brand worldwide selling toys, although it seems that the years of unstoppable growth experienced in the past have been left behind due to the technological revolution we have lived in the last five years.
Real-size hot Wheels by Darth Vader © Getty Images
Now digital native children live abducted by the screens and look much less at analog toys than digital . This has caused Mattel to have experienced losses of nearly 900 million euros in just the last year. A balance of results that has caused four different people to occupy the position of chief executive in the last four years.
Hot Wheels seems to have understood that he has to go out in the street in search of his potential audience and to celebrate this 50th anniversary he has organized a tour called 'Legends Tour' that will end in 12 American cities and that also implies a contest.
To that competition you can sign up all those custom cars that want to participate and from each city there will be a finalist who will go to the grand final at the SEMA in Las Vegas at the end of October.
A shared publication of Hot Wheels (@hotwheelsofficial) on Jun 23, 2018 at 10:35 PDT
The winning car will be the next model that will launch Hot Wheels and can be purchased on the shelves of toy stores around the world.
The tour started on April 28 in Los Angeles (where a 49-year Ford F-5 Truck Dually Rat Rod was classified) and has already passed through Kansas City (where a 1938 Dodge Superior bus passed to the final) Bentonville, Nashville and New York. His next stops will be Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Seattle, Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Scottsdale, Washington, to finish again in Los Angeles on October 20.
Also to celebrate this half century of existence, Hot Wheels has launched a special edition called 'Black & Gold' and dedicated to seven of the brand's most iconic models painted in black and gold. Those seven models are the Bone Shaker, the Twin Mill, the Rodger Dodger, the Dodge Dart, the Chevrolet Impala, the Ford Ranchero and the Camaro.
Not only the brand is celebrating, but also its huge legion of followers throughout the world. Throughout this year numerous conventions are taking place so that these diehard fans meet and can share their experiences. The most massive took place last April in Mexico City and summoned more than 30, 000 people.
All to keep the flame of miniatures that do not understand age, race or gender. According to statistics, one in three girls in the United States has a Hot Wheel car, another sign that these magical toys will survive the digital catastrophe. For another fifty years on wheels!
A shared publication of Hot Wheels (@hotwheelsofficial) on Jun 22, 2018 at 9:00 PDT