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  Mattel's Hot Wheels "Mars Rover Curiosity" (1:64)

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Author Topic:   Mattel's Hot Wheels "Mars Rover Curiosity" (1:64)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2012 12:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Hot Wheels on Mars: Mattel to land NASA's Curiosity rover on toy store shelves

Soon after NASA's Curiosity rover lands and becomes the hottest set of wheels on Mars, it'll debut as the latest Hot Wheels to land on toy store shelves.

Mattel, Inc., makers of the die-cast line of Hot Wheels toy cars, is ready to release the car-size Curiosity as its latest 1:64 scale miniature in September. The Hot Wheels "Mars Rover Curiosity" set is part of Mattel's assortment of 247 toy cars for 2012.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 08-01-2012 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just had a thought. If Curiosity fails to reach the surface intact, some might end up calling it the "Hot Wheels" space probe curse.

starhopper
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From: Kathleen, GA, USA
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posted 08-01-2012 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for starhopper   Click Here to Email starhopper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my humble opinion, that be one ugly model!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2012 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To be fair, the photos provide no sense of scale. Looking at the model in-person (Mattel sent us a sample), it is strikingly small, which explains some of the lack of detail.

It is also priced to be just $1, which means it has a better chance of ending up in the hands of many more kids — which is a great thing...

Fezman92
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From: New Jersey, USA
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posted 08-01-2012 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must get this. I still have (somewhere in the house) the Matchbox (I think it was them) Pathfinder toy set.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2012 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Pathfinder set (as pictured in the article) was Hot Wheels, too. In fact, it was Hot Wheels first partnership with NASA (though not the first NASA-related Hot Wheels toy).

The Hot Wheels "JPL Sojourner Mars Rover Action Pack Set" was released several times over due to demand. It is possible to determine if you have a set from pre- or post-landing based on the text on the packaging.

The sets that were released before Pathfinder touched down, which were quick to sell out (so much so that the project's manager had to pay a scalper for one) have the following text in the upper left corner:

The real rover is scheduled to land on Mars July 4 1997!
Post-landing reissues included a change to the text:
Rover mission to Mars!
Even later issued sets (c. 1999) had no text in the upper left corner at all.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 08-02-2012 03:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think what Hot Wheels needs to do is release the Curiosity Rover in a two pack with a Mini Cooper, since NASA and the press had fun comparing its size and capabilities with a certain terrestrial based car of a similar size.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-02-2012 03:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe, given this, it should be the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor...

Ronpur
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From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 08-03-2012 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And to think I had the first release of the Pathfinder, and ripped it out of the package to play with it!

I will get this one and try to add some detail to it.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 08-03-2012 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ronpur:
And to think I had the first release of the Pathfinder, and ripped it out of the package to play with it!
Not a thing in the world wrong with that. A friend of mine works at a Toys R Us and he thinks it's a shame that so many products he sells are to 'middle aged white guys' who have no intention of ever doing anything with them.

Maybe he's seen, "Toy Story" too many times, but I can't help but think he has a point. I'd rather something like this fueling the imagination of a young person than in the hands of a collector...

Gilbert
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posted 08-04-2012 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sure they'll make enough to satisfy both [viable] markets.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-10-2012 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, the first of the Hot Wheels sets have hit eBay (although I'm not sure how, as Mattel still has this listed for September) and the demand is clearly there...

Of the sets that have already sold, prices have ranged from $22 to $71, with each lot attracting between 14 and 25 bids. Of the couple of sets that are still open for bidding, they are already at $31 and $51 respectively. That's quite a premium over an average retail price of $1.09.

p51
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posted 08-10-2012 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just like a lot of things, the feeding frenzy of people having to be 'first' to have them pay a bundle, then the patient ones just wait for that to subside and get theirs for a sane price.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-11-2012 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now I would be curious to see if those die-casts being offered for "sale" really are on hand or if they might be pre-sales (i.e. "we will get this in when it comes out and ship it to you when we have it").

That is pretty common with die-casts, mainly NASCAR stuff. I almost never partake in those sales since there is a chance one might not get the piece and if we are talking a pre-order of over a month before the item arrives, one might not be able to dispute the charge with eBay as easily if the seller doesn't want to issue a refund for merchandise not delivered.

But for Mattel to ship these to shops in September, there already has to be produced ones in the pipeline to get here from the factories in China. So some of the sellers might be based in China or Hong Kong. Or some sellers might be getting theirs air freighted as opposed to being transported by slow boat FROM China.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 08-14-2012 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stopped by the Toys R Us where a pal of mine works. He says they are NOT in stores yet. He knows this because what he calls the "Drooling hordes of overweight older white guys" who collect die cast cars (his term, NOT mine) have been showing up every morning at opening time for over a week and running to the row with them to look for one. They haven't gotten any shipments since the word came out. He was advised this is a 'chaser' item which means only one or two will be put in each case.

Ugh. Not good.

You think space fans are scary sometimes? Try being at one of these stores the day a new toy like this comes out. I've seen it, it's the thing that nightmares are made of...

Fezman92
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posted 08-14-2012 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
You think space fans are scary sometimes? Try being at one of these stores the day a new toy like this comes out. I've seen it, it's the thing that nightmares are made of...

Worse than the midnight sell of the last Harry Potter book?

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
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posted 08-14-2012 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just called my friend at Toys R Us, he said they expected to get them in the next week or two. They have a strict "no hording" policy, so I won't be getting one through any inside contacts.
quote:
Originally posted by Fezman92:
Worse than the midnight sell of the last Harry Potter book?
Good point. I've never been a Harry Potter fan and am NEVER in a line to be the 'first' to get anything.

I watched a guy strangle another one for a Hot Wheels old-school Batmobile a while back at a Wal Mart as I just happened to be walking by (I do collect items from the character "Sarge" from the "Cars" movies). The funny part is while they were fighting, it was dropped and slid right to my feet. I picked it up and walked to the checkout with it while they were fighting over it. When someone asked, I told him I immediately planned on opening it up as I had one just like it as a kid. The guy almost had a stroke when I told them that. It sits right next to my monitor as I type this, just as I promised, on it's own wheels.

Gilbert
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posted 08-15-2012 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Old-school Batmobile" meaning 60s TV show Batmobile? Coolest car ever!

QuiGon Grin
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From: Rutherford, NJ 07070
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posted 08-19-2012 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for QuiGon Grin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes that Batmobile. You can see it here. It's being sold as a Wal Mart exclusive.

The 2012 Hot Wheels line is out as I bought the "The Bat" from "The Dark Knight Rises" this week. So its possible that "Curiosity" may be out in stores. I didn't see "Curiosity" though.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2012 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's store is now taking pre-orders for the Hot Wheels Curiosity at $5 each. The toy however, will not ship from JPL until November.
Please order separately from other items as the rovers will not ship until they arrive in November.

bthumble
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From: Houston, Texas USA
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posted 09-10-2012 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bthumble   Click Here to Email bthumble     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone found them in the stores yet? I have been looking at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, etc and no luck so far.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-10-2012 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The message boards at Mattel's official Hot Wheels collector's site includes several reports of finding them at Walmart, but it seems to be hit and miss. Some stores have several, some none.

jjknap
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From: Bourbonnais, IL USA
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posted 09-24-2012 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally found several at WalMart south of Chicago (Bourbonnais, IL where I live). They were in a cardboard floor display piled high with Hot Wheels. There were several "Angry Bird" themed cars in the group, so those must have come out in the same series.

the clocks running
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posted 09-24-2012 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running   Click Here to Email the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found mine in Rochester, NY at a Wegmans grocery store. I just happened to walk by the toys and found the only one of these Hot Wheels Mars Rover's in the store. The best $1.00 that I spent all week!

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28568
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-11-2014 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Almost missed this...

Mattel re-released the Mars Rover Curiosity as part of its 2014 Hot Wheels lineup. This time it is not part of a limited distribution but there are two variants.

Pictured are the two new 2014 sets and the 2012 set for comparison.

The only difference between the 2012 and 2014 models are the color of the wheels. Two years ago, the rover toy was released with black wheels. This year's model has reddish-brown "dirty" wheels, indicating the science laboratory has been busy roving Mars.

The second 2014 variant has the original black wheels.

These were apparently seeded to stores (Kmart in particular) in November, so may be harder to find "in the wild" now. As to be expected, they can be easily found on eBay. (I picked up both 2014 models for a total of $3.77 including shipping.)

And while on the subject, there were several different packages for the original 2012 model. The U.S. (domestic) original packaging is pictured above, but there was also international packaging that did not have the QR code promo and was labeled "2012 HW Premiere."

There was also a "short card" with the backing card half the size (there are short card editions of the 2014 variants, too).

GoesTo11
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posted 01-12-2014 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just picked up the 2014 release with the "dirty" wheels on eBay for $3.69 shipped (I already had the 2012 model).

Maybe not the best bargain I could have found, but trolling eBay listings to save maybe another buck didn't strike me as time well spent, especially when there's an NFL playoff game on.

Thanks for the heads-up on this, Robert.

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