If you were into cars as a youngster, chances are you had many Hot Wheels models in your possession. The biggest name in automotive toys was likely scattered across your bedroom, infusing you with a love for what looks and goes fast.
Hot Wheels is a global icon, not just for kids but for grown men and women alike, and in recent years the brand has expanded into life-size build-off events, races and tours. Last year was the company’s 50th anniversary and the first Hot Wheels Legends Tour, which was such a success it has returned in an expanded, nationwide, multistop carnival of custom car culture. And at the end of it all, one builder’s car will be selected to be the next Hot Wheels 1:64 scale model.
The 2018 tour attracted over 65,000 fans with more than 3,600 cars competing for the honor of Hot Wheels immortality, but many more entries are expected in 2019.
“The reaction from our fans that attended was unparalleled,” says Chris Down, global head of Hot Wheels. “Live events like the Legends Tour offer a way for fans to come together to celebrate car culture and engage with the brand in a physical setting. Whether it’s building (not buying) a car from the ground up or redesigning a favorite hot rod, the Legends Tour embodies all aspects of the Hot Wheels challenger spirit.”
Real vehicles go head-to-head for the chance at becoming the next die-cast model, but it’s not a straight point-scoring shootout, as Down explains. “Our judges, including Hot Wheels designers and automotive influencers, are looking for cars that exhibit the kind of creativity and originality that will allow them to stand out as a Hot Wheels toy. Over the past 50 years, Hot Wheels has created thousands of different car models, so we’re looking for one-of-a-kind builds that will continue to diversify our collection.”
The Hot Wheels Legends Tour, sponsored by performance workwear brand Dickies, will start in Miami on March 16 and conclude in Los Angeles on October 29. One finalist from each of the 18 stops will win a trip to the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas from November 5 through 8. There, final judging will commence to determine which car will be made into a die-cast star.