‘Mad Mike’ the latest Kiwi to be immortalised in Hot Wheels
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In the same way that it will always carry grand meaning for a celebrity to appear as a character on The Simpsons, it will always be special for any race driver or motoring personality to have their four-wheeled likeness be replicated as a Hot Wheels car.
This is normally reserved for American race drivers and car designers like Ken Block and Chip Foose, but occasionally the odd European sneaks into the line-up.
Photo / Mad Mike Whiddett
Even more rare are cars connected to New Zealanders, but they do exist thanks to the mountainous efforts of Rod Millen through the ’90s. His two most famed Pikes Peak destroyers — the Toyota Celica and Toyota Tacoma — both eventually made it to kids bedrooms all over the world as miniature slices of rolling inspiration. And now, another Kiwi has struck a deal with the toy company; ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett.
It's no shock really, with Whiddett's ridiculously talented son Lincoln already sporting a sponsorship deal with the American giant. But nonetheless it's quite the achievement. Whiddett confirmed this morning on social media that Hot Wheels would produce his 13b-powered second-gen Mazda B-Series pick-up — known as a 'REPU' (rotary pick-up) to those who wear their hats in the backwards position. This is the ute that Whiddett drives as a daily vehicle while he's in California, fashioned largely in matte black barring aged door skins with faux rust.
Photo / Hot Wheels
This raises the question of whether more Mad Mike models are coming, and it looks like they are. Whiddett talked in pluralised language when revealing the news, saying that Hot Wheels are planning to create “some of my full size builds”, which could include some of his drift machines as well.
Photo / Hot Wheels
The obvious one is RADBUL — his wee little MX-5. Hot Wheels already have the tooling for that model (big rear wing and all) ready and waiting. They've also got an FC-generation Mazda RX-7 coming, which could provide a platform for them to produce MADBUL too.
Either way, how cool is it to see this level of recognition for a Kiwi? Hopefully there are many more different models to come.