A Tour of Mattel HQ: Hot Wheels Legends Unveiling & Design Tour

Hot Wheels HQ tour
Photos via Eddy Vega for Ballerstatus.com

El Segundo is the home to Mattel HQ and within those walls is everything Hot Wheels. We were recently invited to an exclusive unveiling of Hot Wheels first ever 1:64 Hot Wheels toy that’s modeled after a lucky fans car! How exactly did Luis Rodriguez’s custom 2JetZ become the first car to get chosen? Last year, Hot Wheels went on its very first Legends Tour, in search of the most unique and extravagant cars that are out there! Out of 3,600 different cars and 15 finalists from around the country, the 2JetZ was the obvious winner. He met the criteria of; authenticity, creativity, and being garage built.

The 2JetZ model was amazing! Something straight from your imagination and turned into a vehicle. Normally people would see a toy and make a real-life replica of the toy, this was reversed where Luis made a car that others now want as a toy. 2JetZ looks just like a jet on the road and is as loud as one when revved up as well. I got a chance to hop in and get to experience the inside and it felt like flying a plane in the streets. After enough admiration behind the vehicle, we were then all gathered around for the unveiling of the toy replica. Seeing the life-size model shrunk down to a Hot Wheels toy in front of our eyes was amazing. Looking at the toy I would never have imagined that I was able to sit inside the actual car it was based on. The toy model in front of us was the first of its kind, hand painted just for us.

After the unveiling of the 2JetZ toy replica, we were taken on a behind the scenes design tour of the Hot Wheels HQ. The front entrance is equipped with orange tracks that go down the stairs. Atop the stairs is a little basket with a variety of Hot Wheels toys you can launch down the track to the bottom. When you enter through the front entrance you’re greeted by the front desk security, but right behind are a couple of life-size vehicles based off other Hot Wheels.

The main lobby is set up with a display for their Toy Story 4 collaboration where guests can check out the upcoming toys for the movie. Right next to that is a story tall Hot Wheels orange track loop. Head up the stairs and grab a toy car and see if you can get it to go through the whole track without falling off. Our car made it past the loop but not to the end of the track, unfortunately. From there we moved past a hall that showcased other recent collaborations the brand has done.

We arrived at the design table with a bunch of photos of Luis’ 2JetZ car as well as a presentation of the process it took to make the Hot Wheels version. Surrounding the design table were previous designs as well as a wall of cars all presented to make it easier to look at the color variations. Our favorite section had to be the wall with superhero designs. We then got a breakdown on what goes down when brainstorming what parts of the actual car can be made into a smaller replica and what can be fantasized.

Moving on we stopped at the graphics creation. From the minds to the screen we got to see how they made the 3D printable version of the cars. Letting us play along with the tools, it takes a lot to be able to maneuver that pen and get used to the flow behind it. Once they finish that part we head over to the 3D printing side and got to explore the process behind seeing these cars come to life and straight to our hands.

The whole tour of the Hot Wheels HQ was a great experience. Being able to see the steps it takes to make the toys go from the mind to paper to the screen and then physically into our hands was amazing. Gives you more of a certain appreciation to each toy. The tour ended with one last surprise but you’re going to have to wait for that one and trust us, it’s worth it.

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