Hot Wheels Gets Curious About Mars
The one way that NASA can get kids excited about space again is to get every toy maker excited about space toys. That’s why I’m stoked that Mattel is putting out a Hot Wheels version of the Mars Curiosity Rover.
“To commemorate the Mars Rover Curiosity created by NASA/JPL-Caltech, Hot Wheels created a 1:64 version,” Mattel’s product description reads. “Curiosity carries many tools such as a drill, cameras and a laser. Its mission [is] to see if Mars could have ever supported small life forms called microbes… or if humans could explore there some day!”
It’s not the first time that Hot Wheels has put out space toys. They did a Rover toy in the 90s as part of the Hot Wheels “JPL Sojourner Mars Rover Action Pack Set” (I still have mine). But that pack had three toys: the Sojourner rover, its lander and spacecraft cruise stage. Hot Wheels also did series for Apollo (how did I miss that?!) and also NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter, Deep Space 2 Microprobe and Mars Polar Lander – the last three crashed on the red planet.
The 1:64 Scale model of the Curiousity Rover (which is about the size of a Toyota Prius in real life) will be part of Mattel’s 2012 collection. Unfortunately, though, Mattel isn’t including the cruise/reentry stage, the parachute or the crane enabled lander, but the six wheeled Rover itself is highly detailed with cameras, tools, and even a laser attachment.
The cost is about $1.09 for the Rover and hopefully, kids will be thinking Mars as they play with it.