Mattel Looks To Build On Hot Wheels Power

Gentlechildren, start your engines. Mattel is rolling out “Challenge Accepted,” a new campaign for its Hot Wheels segment. With a message aimed as much at parents as it is at kids, the new work focuses on the key elements of resilience, urging kids to “try, fail, repeat, grow.”

The campaign, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, starts with a spot focusing on one frustrated but determined kid trying to make a looped track that lets his Hot Wheels car stick the landing.

“This campaign reframes Hot Wheels as more than just fun, but also a catalyst for kids to develop the grit they need to take on challenges both on and off the track,” the company said in its announcement.

The new effort comes as a way for the El Segundo, California-based company to continue to look for avenues  to accelerate sales for the Hot Wheels franchise. Despite some industrywide softness and a dip in Mattel’s overall sales, market research company Circana reports that Hot Wheels' market share grew last quarter. In its most recent quarterly earnings, Mattel reported a 10% increase in vehicle sales, driven primarily by Hot Wheels. And in a conference call for investors, company executives say they expect Hot Wheels to notch its sixth record year



But, as evidenced by the mega-smash status of its “Barbie” movie, Mattel is taking a much broader approach to brand sales. In addition to sales of the physical toys, it is readying the launch of Hot Wheels Racerverse, a new character-driven play system. And this fall, the company will introduce “Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged,” a sequel to its digital game.

Adult-themed TV is also part of the growth equation. In addition to “The Barbie Dream House Challenge,” a home makeover competition series hosted by Ashley Graham, running on HGTV, Mattel has high hopes for “The Hot Wheels Ultimate Challenge.” The reality series launched in May and ranks as a top NBC alternative series to launch on Peacock.

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