It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-cast model fan, car nut, patriot, or all of the above; the upcoming Hot Wheels release will still probably be the hottest thing with four wheels here in Malaysia. That’s because in conjunction with Mattel Inc’s 40-year anniversary here in Malaysia, the company has teamed up with Proton to bring the original Saga back as a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast model.
Yes, it’s the Proton Saga that our then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad famously unveiled at the car’s launch back in 1985, where he bought the first-ever production model as a gift for his wife.
Speaking at the celebration of Mattel’s 40th anniversary today, Mattel Inc president and chief commercial officer Steve Totzke said, “This is an exciting licence partnership as we join to develop a Hot Wheels car, modelled after the original Proton Saga, the first model manufactured by Proton, which will now become a part of Hot Wheels’ singles collection.”
“This licence partnership aims to uphold the proud legacies of both Mattel and Proton to continue to provide high-quality vehicles to fans of all ages worldwide,” he said, adding that the Hot Wheels model will start shipping and be sold worldwide by the end of next year.
The company also announced a new expansion to its operations due in January, which will see its production capacity increase to “over half a billion” Hot Wheels cars per year by 2025, representing a 20% increase in output.
Mattel Malaysia already operates the world’s largest Hot Wheels manufacturing plant, and is the world’s only manufacturer of Hot Wheels singles, the top-selling toy globally in 2021 – we probably played a large part in that.
[Header photo: David Tan/Facebook, Mattel, Proton]