While driving through downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, my eyes lit up by something I had always hoped for as a child – a full-sized version of the Hot Wheels loop-de-loop toys. Seeing it as an adult shines a different light on it, as I have no thoughts that I could ever stomach driving a care through the loops – like I believed I could have done in my minds-eye as a child. Other than the excitement of seeing the full-sized toy in real life, the realization of what Mattel was doing with their Hot Wheels brand made me even more impressed. Mattel is seizing on the opportunity presented by ESPN’s X-Games to introduce, re-introduce and just plain make their products more relevant in an entertaining and engaging way.
Taking place tomorrow morning during the X-Games coverage, ESPN will air the feat between two daredevils. The drivers will face 7-Gs of force as they do the loop and will only hope that they do not crash into each other.
I had read somewhere that this opportunity was a creative one that they arrived at when they realized there was no big blockbuster to sponsor. They decided to create their own sort. At a supposed cost of $1 million dollars to pull off, the content and buzz generated by this should more than pay off.
The fact that Mattel has already been engaged in full-scale treatments of their beloved line of toy cars provides even more reason to do such a thing. You can check out more at their site. They already have a good distribution point for video content and this should provide a wealth of content beyond just the initial viewers on ESPN.
Mattel has recently had a knack for doing strong creative partnerships, such as their program with Gallery 1988 in Hollywood – allowing artists to do renditions of the hot wheels they love. All of these help to make Hot Wheels extend beyond the pre-teen years of boys.
With less than 24 hours to go, it will be great to see whether this stunt flies high or takes a crash. My bet would be on the former – regardless of how the stunt drivers’ Hot Wheels end up.
[UPDATE] The stunt was successful – with the only thing shocking me was that they only reached a top speed of 52 MPH. I would have thought you would have needed to go faster than that to go upside down. Does that mean I can go straight from the end of a CA highway on-ramp into a loop? Check out the video on ESPN.