Hot Wheels test drive

Kids are getting the chance to test-drive their Hot Wheels before breaking open their piggy banks. Until Oct. 10, Mississauga, Ont.-based Mattel will park a 36-foot trailer and set up a tent outside 16 Toys R Us locations in Ontario, allowing shoppers to check out the new fall collection.

Kids are getting the chance to test-drive their Hot Wheels before breaking open their piggy banks. Until Oct. 10, Mississauga, Ont.-based Mattel will park a 36-foot trailer and set up a tent outside 16 Toys R Us locations in Ontario, allowing shoppers to check out the new fall collection.

‘We wanted to bring the brand to life,’ says Sue Kuruvilla, brand manager of wheels at Mattel. ‘It’s about performance and attitude. We try to come up with creative, innovative ways to get the message out.’

Among the toys on hand: Tech Trax, a customizable track set; Cyborg Assault, a big robo head that eats Hot Wheels (shown above); and Formula Fuelers, which allow children to mix liquids to create fuel.

The result of a brainstorming session with Toronto-based agency Match Marketing, the program was tested at the Molson Indy in Toronto this summer. Of the 70,000-plus passersby, 6,000 walked through the trailer – which showcased 100 new wheels – and 8,000 kids visited the tent.