Hot Wheels(R) Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Legendary Drag Duo ``Snake and Mongoose'' With Exciting Offerings; Anniversary Plans Include Exclusive Collectibles, Museum Exhibit and MoreEL SEGUNDO, Calif.--July 8, 2005--Mattel and its Hot Wheels(R) brand today announced plans to produce a line of products targeted to collectors of all ages to celebrate its 35-year relationship with iconic drag racing legends Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen. A variety of die-cast models of the classic Hot Wheels(R) race cars will be available this summer.
In addition, McEwen has restored his original 1971 blue Plymouth(R) Duster Mongoose Funny Car to its former glory, which will be placed on display this summer as part of the Hot Wheels(R) Hall of Fame exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the Mongoose flopper next to its racing rival, the Snake's famed white Hot Wheels(R) Barracuda Funny Car. It will mark the first time in more than 30 years that the two celebrated vehicles have been seen together.
Prudhomme and McEwen burst onto the drag racing scene in the mid-1960s and developed one of the most publicized rivalries in the sport's rich history. Their mutual sponsorship with Hot Wheels(R) in 1970 paved the way for motorsports marketing partnerships. The original Hot Wheels(R) "Snake and Mongoose" toys from the era are now highly sought-after collectibles for racing enthusiasts.
"Fans of all ages come up to me at the race track and talk about the Snake and Mongoose and Hot Wheels(R) all the time," Prudhomme said. "The excitement is as strong today as it was 35 years ago. The Hot Wheels(R) partnership really helped build our image and status and it's a good feeling to relive such great memories from years past."
"The relationship with Hot Wheels(R) is definitely a highlight of my racing career," McEwen added. "Not only was the partnership with Hot Wheels(R) a big deal for us, but also for the entire sport of drag racing."
Prior to placement at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the "Snake and Mongoose" vehicles will be on display at the Hot Wheels(R) Custom Car Show on July 9 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif. Hot Wheels(R) also will host a dinner in honor of the two legends of the sport that will include special appearances by Wally Parks, John Force and many others.
"This is an exciting milestone, not only for fans of Snake and Mongoose, but also for us at Hot Wheels(R)," said Mark Sullivan, senior vice president, Mattel. "We've been sponsors of this duo since they first burst onto the circuit, and we're thrilled to be able to honor Don and Tom with a variety of collectible products and a number of special events throughout the year."
Fans of the legendary duo can look forward to an assortment of collectibles available at retail, including a model of the vintage Mongoose and Snake track set that started it all, along with a limited edition 1:64 scale two-car set. Online exclusives will include Snake and Mongoose Rocket Oil(R) vehicles.
Those collectors lucky enough to attend the Hot Wheels(R) Custom Car Show the following day will have the opportunity to pick up Snake and Mongoose vehicles exclusive to the event -- along with some other surprises.
With such a wide array of events and collectibles planned for this anniversary year, racing enthusiasts will be able to relive the exploits of Snake and Mongoose all over again.
Mattel, Inc., (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever created. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price brands (www.fisher-price.com), including Little People(R), Rescue Heroes(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.