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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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Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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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Posts: 2272
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

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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Posts: 58
From: Kathleen, GA, USA
Registered: Aug 2005

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
Editor

Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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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Posts: 1031
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

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
Editor

Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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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Posts: 2272
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

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.

Ronpur
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Posts: 1137
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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Posts: 1520
From: Olympia, WA
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:
...ripped it out of the package to play with it!
Not a thing in the world wrong with that.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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
The first of the Hot Wheels Curiosity sets have hit eBay 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.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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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Posts: 236
From: Houston, Texas USA
Registered: Nov 2007

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
Editor

Posts: 38864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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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Posts: 245
From: Bourbonnais, IL USA
Registered: Apr 2011

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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Posts: 376
From: Rochester, NY
Registered: Jan 2012

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
Editor

Posts: 38864
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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Posts: 1284
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 2004

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.

Thanks for the heads-up on this, Robert.

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