EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (March 21, 2002) - Hot Wheels(R), the #1-selling toy in the industry (based on dollars and units sold according to NPD's TRSTS full-year 2001 data), blasts off to a whole new galaxy, where die-cast cars turn virtual for the ultimate experience in online racing and customization - creating an entirely new planet of speed, power and performance!
Planet Hot Wheels(TM) is an on-line gaming and community site that allows players to race online in real-time, competing head-to-head against either their friends or computerized opponents for real and virtual prizes. Hot Wheels cars in the basic line assortment will have an access code inside the package that can be used to log onto planethotwheels.com.
A special Planet Hot Wheels "Get The Code" sweepstakes kicked-off with the debut of Planet Hot Wheels. Players can "Get The Code" inside all Hot Wheels basic cars. Every new Planet Hot Wheels registrant is entered for a chance to win the grand prize - a day with seven-time Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath and a personalized Hot Wheels-themed motocross bike. Codes may also be obtained upon request by writing to Planet Hot Wheels.
"This marks a new chapter in on-line gaming for kids," said Amy Boylan, senior vice president of new media for Boys/Entertainment at Mattel, Inc. "A solid development team at KORE Entertainment in conjunction with a stellar internal group at Mattel, has produced a wonderfully rich site with state-of-the-art graphics, and real-time, 3D racing action, in an environment that's safe for kids of all ages."
Racers see their virtual cars, ready to roll, in a fully rendered 3D environment. They have the chance to earn points by winning races and performing wild stunts; with those points, players can take their cars into the online "mechanic's shop" and upgrade them with the latest new parts including hydraulic brakes, force fields, tailpipes, jet engines and spiked tires.
Racers will also be able to visit different cities and environments throughout the Planet Hot Wheels universe, in hot pursuit of new racetracks that feature everything from fearsome mountains to electrifying loops.
Beginning in July, fans will be able to purchase one of six 1:64 scale die-cast Planet Hot Wheels Energy Cars (Electrical, Chemical, Geothermal, Cyber, Protonic or Particle) at all major retailers; each Energy Car will come with a CD-ROM packed with a sneak peak at the new Hot Wheels Energy cars and previews of the Planet Hot Wheels games, plus a component that will allow the user to build a sizzling online track when all six CD-ROMs are purchased.
By fall 2002, players will be able to race their customized cars online against three other players in a real-time, head-to-head racing environment. Also this fall, Mattel will launch "Race Back to School... with Planet Hot Wheels" promotional codes with Hot Wheels cars, Hot Wheels Energy cars and select licensed consumer products (including school supplies and apparel), as well as another sweepstakes for a second grand-prize winner to meet Jeremy McGrath.
By 2003, players will be able to customize their virtual cars even further, enter them in a Planet Hot Wheels custom car show and craft the ultimate Hot Wheels model by choosing from a wide array of colors and designs. Fans will also be able to take a snapshot of their car for their desktop wallpaper or send it as a postcard to a friend; really creative racers can even submit their designs for new and innovative parts for additions to the mechanic's shop, or enter their creations for a chance to win a real 1:64 Hot Wheels model of their car.
Some of the partners in Mattel's all-new Planet Hot Wheels include McDonald's, American Licorice, Macromedia, Accessory Network and Rand sporting goods.
Hot Wheels cars thundered into the toy world in 1968. More than 30 years later, Hot Wheels is a global lifestyle brand and a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of vehicles, playsets and tracks. In addition to leading the way with speed, power and performance, Hot Wheels cars are also cool collectibles for adults. For the latest information on Hot Wheels, make a break on the information superhighway and cruise over to www.hotwheels.com.
Mattel, Inc. [NYSE: MAT] is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of family products. With headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel has offices and facilities in 36 countries and sells its products in more than 150 nations around the world. For more information on Mattel products, please log on to our website at www.mattel.com.
HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks are owned by Mattel, Inc.