AutoMatters & More: Hot Wheels Premium transport set for IWC Schaffhausen Classic Racing Team

Hot Wheels creator Elliot Handler at the 40th Anniversary celebration
Hot Wheels creator Elliot Handler at the 40th Anniversary celebration

(Jan Wagner)

Hot Wheels is synonymous around the world with scale model, die-cast cars, trucks and all sorts of vehicles. Back in 1968, working out of his garage, Elliot handler revolutionized the way that kids played with toy cars, when he introduced toy cars that rolled faster and further than any before them. He also introduced exciting new designs, inspired in part by the emerging hot-rod culture in Southern California. Fifty years later Hot Wheels had become the world’s best-selling toy, with 20,000 designs and six billion vehicles produced!

Likewise, IWC is a global brand renowned as a manufacturer of precision instruments and innovative engineering. IWC began as International Watch Company, combining Swiss craftsmanship and American industrial technology to manufacture the best mechanical watches money could buy, including the “Big Pilot” watch – a professional pilot’s watch and true cultural icon that has become one of the most recognized designs in the watch industry.

IWC Racing Hot Wheels set with racing helmet
IWC Racing Hot Wheels set with racing helmet
(Jan Wagner)

IWC is also familiar to many for its presence in international motorsports. Its IWC Schaffhausen Classic Racing Team presented a perfect opportunity for collaboration between IWC and Hot Wheels, and a great way to bring IWC and their mechanical watches to the attention of younger consumers.

The IWC Schaffhausen Classic Racing Team competes with the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, raced by F1 legend David Coulthard. That and its Euro Hauler have been combined into a stunning, 1:64 scale Hot Wheels Premium set (“Real Riders” Metal/Metal) – one of four in its Hot Wheels Car Culture Team Transport series.

IWC Racing Hot Wheels Team Transport set
IWC Racing Hot Wheels Team Transport set
(Jan Wagner)

The Merc race car is faithful to the original, life-sized car on IWC’s racing team, in great detail – from its bucket seat interior to its racing rims. IWC’s lead graphics designer worked closely with the Hot Wheels graphics team “to create a striking livery reminiscent of the heyday of the ‘Silver Arrows’.” These exquisite graphics details are particularly evident on the accompanying Euro Hauler transporter, in the 2020 livery of the IWC racing team. The car’s number – 68 – is also the year that Hot Wheels began.

The packaging art includes a subtle image of the “Goodwood Motor Circuit, the iconic UK racetrack where David Coulthard won the Tony Gaze trophy in 2019 piloting the IWC Racing 300SL.”

IWC Racing Hot Wheels set — out of the package
IWC Racing Hot Wheels set — out of the package
(Jan Wagner)

The enthusiasm for the creation of this special racing set came right from the top. Speaking about the Hot Wheels and IWC collaboration, IWC’s CEO Cristoph Grainger-Herr said: “This partnership celebrates the merging of these two beloved brands by highlighting the detail and performance of both Swiss luxury and American automotive excellence, all in the palm of your hand.” Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel, added: “IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels have become industry leaders through generations of craftsmanship and design to create a premium product for our fans.”

“The global release of the Hot Wheels IWC Racing Team Transport set coincides with the opening of IWC’s new immersive flagship store in Zurich, Switzerland. Themed as “IWC Racing Works” – home of the IWC classic racing team, the store concept will feature the full-sized 300SL Gullwing as its centerpiece.”

IWC Racing Hot Wheels set — out of the package
IWC Racing Hot Wheels set — out of the package
(Jan Wagner)

IWC recently announced their “TIME WELL SHARED” initiative, which encompasses online lectures, speeches and webinars that are intended to entertain and support people in these coronavirus-challenged times. Their initiative, in support of “Save the Children” and a volunteering program for schoolchildren and their parents on “Good Tutors Finder,” includes contributions from IWC brand ambassadors and partners including Tom Brady, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG, Tottenham Hotspur, German racing driver Maro Engel, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Solaris Yachts.

The other sets in this through-the-decades, 2020 Hot Wheels Premium Car Culture Team Transport series are the 2016 Ford GT Race car and Ford C-800 transporter, the Volkswagen “Classic Bug” and Volkswagen Transporter T1 Pickup, and the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and its “Retro Rig” transporter. I was sent one of each to review.

Complete with their packaging’s beautiful artwork, these are highly detailed, premium sets, intended for serious Hot Wheels collectors. For more information about this 2020, four-team set ($51.99 plus shipping and processing on Mattel’s Hot Wheels Collectors website), visit: https://hotwheelscollectors.mattel.com/shop/en-us/hwc/collector-sets-cases/2020-hot-wheels-team-transport-mix-2-hflf56

As I have found repeatedly — as recently as at Comic-Con@Home, the Hot Wheels collectors’ market is quite competitive. Certain products are especially in-demand and sell out very quickly. At least there’s always eBay (sigh).

To see additional photos, visit www.drivetribe.com, click on the magnifying glass, select “POSTS” and enter “AutoMatters & More #655” in their search bar. Please send your comments to AutoMatters@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2020 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #655


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