I was contacted by a reporter from The Waterloo Region Record earlier this month. She did a short phone interview and wrote this nice article I thought I would share:
Hot Wheels fan can't wait for museum visit
Jason Norton is always on the lookout for another exotic car for his collection.
The 32-year-old design draftsman has been playing with Ferraris, Porsches and Camaros since the mid-'90s.
He tries to keep most of them in their packaging.
"But I don't mind a few to zip around on my desk," he said.
It's become a bit of an obsession, he admitted.
Norton's not sure how many tiny Hot Wheels cars he has, but there are "many thousands," he said. He scopes out department stores and will buy up to 200 of the $1 or $2 toys every year.
"I don't consider it an investment," he said by phone from his home in Smithville in the Niagara region. "I think of it as more of a special treat."
It might be the lifelike mini car models or it could be the way they fly across toy race tracks with ease. But there's something about Hot Wheels that's attracted generations of boys for 40 years.
"It's so iconic at this point," said Nancy Modrcin, a marketing manager for Mattel Canada. "It's a toy that's been around because kids play with it, and they keep playing with it."
Kids -- and their parents -- will have the chance to play with the toys when a life-size Hot Wheels car rolls into town for two weekends in August. It will make a pit stop at the Waterloo Region Children's Museum in Kitchener on Aug. 7 to 9 and at the KidSpark festival in Victoria Park in Kitchener on Aug. 17.
Modrcin said she's not surprised many adults still adore the toys. With more than 200,000 registered users of Hotwheelscollectors.com, the cars are a vehicle for nostalgia. "It's like a generational toy -- it gets passed down."
She said although the core target market is three- to six-year-old boys, there are lots of young girls and adults who like the cars, too.
"It becomes quite the family experience," she said.
The Hot Wheels car and interactive trailer will have "really awesome tracks and challenges," she said. They'll also give away free toy cars.
The Hot Wheels brand has been around since 1968, when Mattel recruited designers from real car companies to develop miniature California hot rods. Now, more than 800 models and 11,000 variations have been released.
Norton, who hosts two websites and a blog about his passion, said his wife and three-year-old son are "very supportive" of his hobby.
"I've always been a car guy," he said.
He drives a Mazda Miata with HOTWLZ on the licence plate.
"It's my own little Hot Wheels car for real life."
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I am finally getting around to blogging again. Recently I have been directing most of my on line activity to my other Hot Wheels websites. I have revamped the Hot Wheels Ferrari collection site and I hope to have a new addition to it soon. The Ferrari FXX has been seen in a few different colours for 2008 and it is pretty cool. What I am most looking forward to though is the near future release of the 288 GTO. That one happens to be one of my favorite car designs of all time. I will make a point to get some pics posted as soon as I find one.