Hot Wheels plans anniversary car

Discussion in 'Artwork - Photoshops and Sketches' started by ajzahn, Jan 16, 2008.


    Hot Wheels plans to produce a collector's edition car and roll on a cross-country tour to celebrate its 40th anniversary, chief designer Larry Wood said Wednesday at the AutoWeek design forum.

    The collector's edition car will commemorate production of the 4 billionth Hot Wheels car, which will happen sometime in February, Wood said. The first Hot Wheels car was built in 1968.

    Wood and Hot Wheels worked with jewelers on the design of the commemorative car, which will be unveiled at the 2008 New York Toy Fair.

    The specifics of the nationwide tour are still in the works, Wood say. But it will likely run in late summer. It will make a stop in Detroit and at the vintage races in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Collectors cars, which will be made in several colors, will be handed out during stops on the tour. (Autoweek)
  2. Larry Wood toys around

    Larry Wood, Hot Wheels chief designer

    Some might consider Larry Wood a copycat. Lately, that is actually one of the biggest compliments he can receive.

    Wood, the chief designer for Hot Wheels, has been focused on recreating successful street cars into toy-collector editions. While the creativity is somewhat limited, the fun is not.

    “If you are copying a car, there is no real design in it,” Wood said on Wednesday at the AutoWeek Design Forum. “We have a spec we have to meet. So you only have so much to work with. But I’m a car guy, and I like doing hot rods and muscle cars. So I’m still doing what I love to do.”

    While Wood enjoys creating Hot Wheels from other’s design genius, he still thinks creating his own designs are the most fun. When he began his work at Hot Wheels in 1969, Wood spent plenty of time doing that. The new toy company needed designs, and lots of them. He has created muscle cars, race cars, concept cars and anything else he could dream up.

    “I’ve got more cars on my desk than are at this [Detroit] auto show,” Wood joked.

    His favorites are still the cars with oversized engines, dripping with horsepower.

    While Wood now spends most of his time recreating other’s designs, he recognizes that his work has had a considerable impact on today’s leading designers.

    “I have heard that a lot of designers in the industry have Hot Wheels on their desk,” Wood said. “A lot of the young designers grew up with Hot Wheels, so I’m hoping that had a lot to do with their inspiration.”

    Wood calls himself a “paper and pencil guy,” and marvels at the technology that Hot Wheels now uses for most of its design work. But while some things change at Hot Wheels, others won’t. Most cars still cost $1, and the company’s headquarters is still more like a playground than an office.

    “Executives come by and there’s paper airplanes flying by,” Wood said. “I work in a business where if you don’t hear somebody laughing in the background all the time, then there is something wrong.”

    Wood, who began his career at Ford Motor Co. designing real cars, still keeps acquainted with his true inspiration by restoring cars in his garage each weekend. (Autoweek)

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