They call it a “shared passion for engineering, design and storytelling” — especially when it comes to small items, but IWC and Mattel’s Hot Wheels are more about cars and racing in this new partnership. The result of the alliance: the Hot Wheels IWC Racing set with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing car and Euro Hauler.
It was two years ago that IWC and Mattel formed the bond that would lead to this newest Hot Wheels IWC Racing car. The first IWC Racing-themed Hot Wheels set (race car and transport truck) was officially unveiled last week, when Mattel’s president Richard Dickson and IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr hosted a digital discussion about their brands and their stories.
While IWC was founded in 1868 by American Florentine Ariosto Jones, who went from Boston to Schaffhausen to make industrialized watches, Mattel was begun 100 years later in 1968 in El Segundo, CA. There, a man by the name of Elliot Handler, who was married to the inventor of the famed “Barbie” doll, opted to improve model cars that kids played with. He fashioned his miniature models after the emerging hot-rod culture in Southern California, added some space-age design trends, and the Hot Wheels brand took off like lightning. Today, the die-cast cars are the world’s best-selling toy, with 20,000 designs and 6 billion cars cast.
The IWC Racing Hot Wheels Set
The new IWC Racing Hot Wheels set recalls the Swiss watch brand’s involvement with auto racing. IWC even has its own racing team. For this new Hot Wheels set, the El Segundo Hot Wheels design team created a 1:64 scale replica of IWC’s 300SL, driven by F1 legend David Coulthard. Coulthard won the Tony Gaze Trophy last year while piloting the IWC Racing 300SL at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in the United Kingdom.
The car replicates in detail such aspects as the bucket seat interior and racing rims. IWC’s lead graphics designer Nicholas Schmidt worked closely with Hot Wheels’ graphics team to create a striking livery reminiscent of the heyday of the “Silver Arrows”. The racing number “68” was the perfect choice since both brands were born in the year ’68. The packaging art shows a background scene of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. The car set retails for $24.58.
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. The store has an opening theme of “IWC Racing Works” and plays home to the IWC classic racing team — complete with a full sized 300SL Gullwing in the store.
“IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels have become industry leaders through generations of craftsmanship and design to create a premium product for our fans,” said Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel. “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.”
IWC Time Well Spent
The discussion between the two executives was part of IWC’s recently launched “Time Well Shared” initiative that includes digital online lectures, speeches and webinars that entertain and support people in these challenging times. The initiative includes contributions from IWC brand ambassadors and partners such as Tom Brady, Mercedes- AMG Petronas Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG, Tottenham Hotspur, Laureus Sport for Good, Solaris Yachts and Orlebar Brown.
Through its efforts, IWC supports Save the Children, which aims to strengthen its programs that protect children and families in countries that are hit by the Coronavirus, increase support for national health systems, and raise awareness among parents and caregivers on how to provide psychosocial support to children. Another crucial pillar of “TIME WELL SHARED” is a personal volunteering program on ‘Good Tutors Finder’ to support school children and their parents. In their own free time, and on an individual voluntary basis, IWC employees are encouraged to offer online tutoring support for school children in basic subjects.