EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug 19, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Hot Wheels(R) today kicked off a three-week, six-city, cross-country road trip from Mattel, Inc.’s (NYSE:MAT) El Segundo headquarters to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The road trip will travel closely along U.S. Route 40, making stops at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah; Speed, Kansas; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum in Indiana; and the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit, before culminating in a grand finale celebration on September 5 in Watkins Glen, New York, home to American road racing.
At each stop, Hot Wheels(R) will host a free event open to the public, featuring life-size Hot Wheels(R) cars, historic Hot Wheels(R) memorabilia, kiosks for kids to create custom Hot Wheels(R) drivers licenses, Hot Wheels(R) die-cast races, autograph sessions with Hot Wheels(R) designers, and many more family-friendly activities.
“Over the past 40 years, Hot Wheels has been a part of children’s lives around the world, creating a tremendous, passionate fan base,” said Geoff Walker, vice president, Wheels and Games Marketing, Mattel Brands. “We wanted to be able to celebrate this milestone with our fans and bring a unique experience to their neighborhoods.”
During the road trip, Hot Wheels(R) will return to Speed, KS, the site of the 2006 “Need for Speed” event that drew 10,000 people to this 47-person town. Featured activities in Speed include a car and motorcycle show, soap-box derby and performances from local musical groups, Carbon Cowboy and The Heartland Band, featuring Miss Hot Wheels(R) 2006 Megan Brumbaugh, as lead singer.
Other road trip stops that will have localized activities include Detroit where Ford, one of the automotive partners of Hot Wheels(R), will be displaying life-size vehicles. In addition, designers from Chevy(R), Ford, Honda and Mitsubishi will be signing sketches of their winning Hot Wheels(R) Designer’s Challenge(TM) vehicles. The Hot Wheels(R) Designer’s Challenge(TM) was a historical anniversary initiative in which Hot Wheels(R) went outside the company for the first time ever to solicit designs from six major automotive manufacturers. The design mandate was to embody their respective companies’ brand essence but also represent the attributes of Hot Wheels(R) – speed, power, performance and attitude.
Also on display at each road trip stop is the custom jeweled Hot Wheels(R) car, created by celebrity jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills, as a way to commemorate the production of the 4 billionth Hot Wheels(R) vehicle. This unique car, the most expensive in Hot Wheels(R) history, contains nearly 3,000 diamonds, weighs nearly 23 carats and is valued at approximately
40,000. The road trip will be the last opportunity for the public to view this one-of-a-kind Hot Wheels(R) that will be auctioned to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.
Hot Wheels(R) collectors will have the opportunity to receive a commemorative 1:64-scale Hot Wheels(R) die-cast car created especially for each stop, available while supplies last. The commemorative vehicle to be given away is based on the Hot Wheels(R) car seen on late-1960s packaging, originally designed by Otto Kuhni. The car featured on the packaging was never produced in die-cast form. As a tribute to Otto for this milestone anniversary year, Hot Wheels(R) designers recreated his design in die-cast form for the first time.
General Hot Wheels(R) 40th Anniversary road trip stop details are listed below. For more detailed event information as well as photos, videos and event recaps from the road trip, cruise over to www.hotwheels.com/40th.
— Wendover, UT – Thursday, August 21 – Hot Wheels(R) celebrates Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time)
— Speed, KS – Sunday, August 24 – Hot Wheels(R) returns to the Speed wheat field, the site of its 2006 celebration honoring the rich automotive history of America’s rural highways. Festivities will be held at the Intersection of Highway 9 and W. 500 Rd (CR-534) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (local time)
— Indianapolis, IN – Saturday, August 30 – The racing capital of the world opens its doors to celebrate the Hot Wheels(R) 40th Anniversary. Join in the fun at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, 4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time)
— Detroit, MI – Monday, September 1 – Motor City celebrates Hot Wheels(R) at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum, 21400 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time) with FREE admission to the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum on event day.
— Watkins Glen, NY – Friday, September 5 – The road trip comes to a close at the Grand Prix Festival, 100 N. Franklin St. Watkins Glen, NY with activities from Noon to 7 p.m. (local time)
About the Hot Wheels(R) Brand
Hot Wheels(R) cars revolutionized boys’ toys in 1968 with an original line of super-fast, customized cars built for speed, power, performance and attitude. Now, 40 years later, Hot Wheels(R) is a global lifestyle brand that represents the coolest cars imaginable in scales from miniature to full-size. Each year, Hot Wheels(R) also introduces a new line-up of innovative vehicles, track sets and playsets, while also remaining a popular collectible for adults. For more information, go to www.hotwheels.com.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire
For more than 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire (BBBSLAIE) has been dedicated to help children in need reach their potential through professionally supported one-on-one relationships that have measurable impact. Through two core programs — Community-Based Mentoring and School-Based Mentoring — BBBSLAIE creates mutually beneficial relationships that result in meaningful, high impact changes for youth who are challenged by a myriad of social, emotional and economic issues. Our programs vary in requirements and physical settings, but share a fundamental purpose, to help young children attach to a caring adult contributing to brighter futures, better schools, and stronger communities for all. For more information, please visit www.bbbslaie.org or contact Anja Kloch, Vice President Development, at 213-213-2407/Anja.Kloch@bbbs.org
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:MAT) (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R), Radica:(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(R) brands, including Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2008’s 100 Best Companies to Work For by FORTUNE Magazine, among the 100 Most Trustworthy U.S. Companies by Forbes Magazine and is ranked among the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by CRO Magazine. Committed to ethical manufacturing sustainable business practices, Mattel marks a 10-year milestone in 2007 for its Global Manufacturing Principles. With global headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel’s vision is to be the world’s premier toy brands — today and tomorrow.
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