Drag Illustrated Issue 169, June/July 2021 - Page 38

Dirt

HOT WHEELS
Wheels at Mattel . “ We ’ re honored to once again roll into the staging lanes , watch the Tree light up , and ignite the Hot Wheels challenger spirit in NHRA fans of all ages .”
That move has been heavily anticipated , while Laughlin has been thoroughly pleased with how his partnership with Hot Wheels has unfolded .
The company gave Laughlin a batch to distribute to his fans and within 24 hours , the standout driver was sold out .
“ I was astonished more than anything ,” Laughlin admits . “ I have some merch I sell on my site , but it ’ s not like I have some amazing distribution platform for things like this . The word spread extremely fast and the consensus so far is people are really into them .”
The premium aspect of the Corvette has made the car a huge hit with collectors , and it ’ s helped all parties involved . It ’ s been a big deal for Laughlin , while Mattel and Hot Wheels have seen strong sales and a positive response from the cars as well .
NHRA hopes for similar results with its release , putting its name back with a major company that is still popular with collectors of all ages . That ’ s especially true for attracting fans who play with
Hot Wheels cars at a young age , and Laughlin has seen a multitude of positive effects .
But he believes it ’ s only the beginning , promising a number of exciting moves with Hot Wheels that expands into apparel and more . Those moves have been hits with young drivers in other motorsports mediums in recent years , and Laughlin figures it ’ s time to convert those young Hot Wheels fans into drag racing as well .
“ This has given me huge credibility ,” Laughlin says . “ Having the Hot Wheels logo on my car , all the kids see it and recognize it and I can ’ t tell you how many times people come over and say , ‘ This is the Hot Wheels driver .’
“ Making fans early on definitely helps , but I really feel like this is just the beginning of being able to produce cool things and collaborate with Hot Wheels .” DI
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