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Why Your Car Could be the Next Hot Wheels Legend

Mattel and Hot Wheels are launching a nationwide tour to find the 15 vehicles that deserve to be featured as Hot Wheels Legends. Does your car have what it takes to be immortalized as a legend?

Mattel and Hot Wheels kicked off a cross-country tour this week-end to find vehicles that are so spectacular they deserve to be cast as the next Hot Wheels Legends. Jay Leno was even on hand with his 1957 Chevrolet Corvette to help the toy company launch the nationwide search.

According to the company, when Hot Wheels selected the original “Sweet 16” die-cast cars in 1968, they selected some of the most influential and legendary cars in automotive history.

Now, Mattel is conducting a contest to find custom cars worthy of joining them as Hot Wheels Legends. The contest is being held in conjunction with Walmart and the individual try-outs will be conducted at Walmart locations in 15 different cities.

A finalist will be chosen from each of the 15 cities. The winners will join Hot Wheels at SEMA 2018 in Las Vegas, where one lucky winner will be immortalized as a Hot Wheels Legend and get made into a die-cast car sold around the world.

What Makes a Hot Wheels Legend

According to the Hot Wheels website, they are looking for authenticity. The website asks “Have you ever seen a car and said, “That looks like a Hot Wheels?” We’re looking for that “Hot Wheels-ness” that nails the amazing performance and outrageous design we’re known for.”

They are especially interested in originality. “We’ve made over 25,000 unique vehicle models in the past 50 years, so we’re looking for something with unique details that stands out from the rest.”

Hot Wheels wants to highlight vehicles that took hard work and creativity to develop. The more the custom vehicle looks like it was “garage built” the better. According to Hot Wheels, “It’s built, not bought, just like Hot Wheels. We’re looking to see some elbow grease that exemplifies the challenger spirit it took to build.”

Judging Criteria

According to the official rules, the finalists at each location will be judged based on these five criteria:

a. The Hot Wheels® Story Behind Your Build: 20%
b. Design: 20%
c. Authenticity: 20%
d. Garage Spirit: 20%; and
e. Performance & Fun: 20%.

The first event was held at the Hot Wheels Headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Fourteen more events will be held at Walmart locations between now and the end of October 2018. Find a full list of the competition sites and dates at

According to Hot Wheels, “At each stop judges, which consist of members of the Hot Wheels design team, automotive influencers, and Walmart Store Managers, will cast their votes for the cars that will become part of the new “Sweet 16.”

The winner from each location will win a trip to the world-renowned 2018 SEMA Auto Show, in Las Vegas, to be displayed at the Hot Wheels Legends Pavilion. Hot Wheels will unveil the “Sweet 16” finalists, as well as the new Hot Wheels “HW50” edition made exclusively to celebrate its 50th anniversary. They will also announce which one custom car will be immortalized as a Hot Wheels die-cast toy.