I’ve never had a $10,000 Hot Wheels car; but then again, I’ve never seen an ultra-rare mini car paired with a high-end watch and packaged in a titanium toolbox, either. That’s the package IWC is offering in conjunction with Hot Wheels for its “Racing Works” collector set. And if that appeals to you, I’d advise you to get in line quickly, because only 50 are available. Actually, make that 49, since the first was auctioned off by Bonhams yesterday for a whopping $96,000.
This is definitely not a toy for the kids to toss around in the sandbox. At only 50 in production, it is among the rarest production Hot Wheels cars in the world. And while Hot Wheels has created a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing in the past, this IWC collaboration model was designed and engineered from scratch.
Chief Design Officer at Mattel Inc. Chris Down says it’s one of the most detailed castings ever created by the company, with five times more parts than a typical Hot Wheels basic car, and double the typical Redline Club collectible. It has been decorated with every last detail authentic to the IWC Racing livery, including clear lenses for the headlights, working gullwing doors, and a unique fixed-axle wheel design that allowed them to recreate the full-sized SL’s look, right down to the real rubber tires.
“We knew we wanted to up the ante from what we’ve done in the past with the 300SL Gullwing, including our past collaboration with IWC in the highly successful Team Transport set,” Down shared with The Drive via email. “In order to get the high level of authentic detail that both IWC and Hot Wheels teams wanted for this special edition, the car had to have considerably more unique parts than is typical. Being an ultra-limited production, much of the work to make the 50 cars was done manually and every hand-built car had to pass the highest quality inspection standards.”
Introduced last week in tandem with IWC Racing team’s participation in Goodwood Motor Circuit at its 78th Members’ Meeting event, the collector’s set includes a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph. It’s a version of the current model of the same name (which is priced closer to about $5,500), but with racing-themed details like a checkered racing flag pattern on the dial. Both the watch and the car are emblazoned with the number 68 as a nod to both the watchmaker’s start in 1868 and the launch of the first Hot Wheels line 100 years later in 1968.
I asked Down to explain what it’s like to create a toy model versus designing a full-size car. There are similarities in that both are looking to create something beautiful that also has to perform, he said. And it’s more than a little different if the track is extruded plastic at 1:64th scale versus an asphalt track at Goodwood.
“Hot Wheels designers use a haptic arm (force-feedback) and digital CAD software to create every physical component digitally,” Down said. “This is done from the ground up in order to ensure that every important exterior and interior detail is captured and recognized at this tiny size. Physical models made from 3D printed and machined parts allow for the whole ‘look’ to come together, and importantly allows the toy prototype to be track tested, including straightaways, berms, and even loops. No full-scale clay models or massive tape drawings are required in the Hot Wheels design studio.”
If you’re burning to know more about how Hot Wheels cars are made, read about Victoria Scott’s tour of the Hot Wheels design studio here. Meanwhile, go get your cars out of the closet, rig up a loop Dude Perfect style, and capture video in slo-mo. Trust me, it’s hours of entertainment.
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