Proton Saga Hot Wheels to launch in 2024: Malaysia-themed packaging designed by Penang girl

The Hot Wheels Proton Saga die-cast has been highly anticipated by many Malaysians, including us. The die-cast model of the first national car is not ready for sale just yet, but Mattel Malaysia, the manufacturer of Hot Wheels has just unveiled its packaging design at the 2023 Art of Speed show, which is happening this very weekend (July 29 & 30, 2023) at MAEPS Serdang.

The blister card packaging design for the Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition die-cast is done by Saw Jane Harn, a 9-year-old girl from Penang who won the Hot Wheels x Proton Kids Design Competition held earlier this year. This also makes her the first kid in the world to see her hand-drawn artwork on a Hot Wheels die-cast packaging.

Saw won the competition with her design that captures and celebrates a range of Malaysia’s natural features and achievements, such as the rhinoceros hornbill and hibiscus, which are the country’s national bird and flower, as well as the National Monument, the companies said. The winners of the Hot Wheels x Proton Kids Design Competition, including the champion herself were awarded with Hot Wheels toy sets for their great efforts in the competition.

And as mentioned earlier, the Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition die-cast is not for sale just yet, as Mattel and Proton plan to launch the product around 2024, or by the end of this year at the earliest.

RELATED: Moving Malaysia since 1985 – Proton celebrates 38 years of the Saga

However, we were able to see for ourselves samples of the actual Proton Saga die-cast that were showcased here at Hot Wheels’ 2023 AOS booth. The products feature a red exterior, just like one of the prototypes shown last year. However, they have now received more details such as dual-tone rims, side mirrors, as well as black stripe decals which run across the sides of the die-cast model.

The designers at Mattel even added a “Saga” decal sticker on the die-casts’ rear door, which we have to say is rather cool. The sample die-casts also feature detailed designs such as the headlights, front grille, original Proton logo, front bumper, and door handles which are all crafted to look as close as possible to the actual car itself.

The die-cast model of the beloved first national car will be manufactured by Mattel Inc at the world’s largest Hot Wheels manufacturing plant in Penang, which is operated by Mattel Malaysia itself and will be joining the global Hot Wheels singles collection. The Penang plant is also the world’s only manufacturer of Hot Wheels singles, which was the world’s top-selling toy in 2021.

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A prototype of the Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition die-cast model was unveiled late last year (2022) in conjunction with Mattel Inc’s 40-year anniversary in Malaysia, which also marked the toymaker’s first collaboration with the Proton. Besides Mattel Malaysia, Proton is also celebrating its 40-year anniversary, as well as the Proton Saga’s 38-year anniversary this year.

In celebration of the Proton Saga’s 38-year anniversary, Proton held a mini carnival at its headquarters, the Proton Centre of Excellence (CoE) on July 9, 2023. The carnival saw multiple Proton Saga owner gatherings held by various car clubs, the hand-over ceremony of Proton’s longest distance ski driving stunt certificate by the Malaysia Book of Records, the Proton Saga “Taxi Ride” experience, as well as various generations and versions of the Proton Sagas, among other events.

The die-cast model is specifically based on the original Proton Saga Orion, which was powered by the 4G13 1.3-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine from the Orion series. The first national car of Malaysia was launched in Malaysia on July 9, 1985, by fourth prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who himself was also the national carmaker’s founder. The first generation had a nearly 23-year long run and received multiple facelifts over the years before finally passing the baton to the second-generation Saga BLM in early 2008.

Are you excited about the Hot Wheels Proton Saga, and will you be getting one for yourself when it is officially launched? I myself am not just excited but also proud to be able to see the day of our beloved national car being recreated as a Hot Wheels die-cast. Anyhow, do leave your thoughts in the comments!

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