Hot Wheels Go From Toys To Stunts In Latest Caterpillar Video


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Hot wheels and a heavy education in math and science might not seem related. The legendary brand of die-cast miniature cars may not seem related to anything upbringing, for that matter.

But the latest in a series of Caterpillar Inc. the videos make this link. The earthmoving giant with a big presence in the Peoria area is hoping the bond will last until the kids playing Hot Wheels are old enough to get into the full-time workforce, at least.

The 11th Cat Trials video, which debuted Tuesday, features a full-size Hot Wheels track, built at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center west of Peoria.

On this 6,500-foot track are Caterpillar Next Generation wheel loaders and Hot Wheels replica cars that represent various branches of the company’s business. Professional stuntmen have used them to perform various jumps.

Vehicles have physical weight, according to Caterpillar representatives. But the Hot Wheels pattern is also meant to showcase the potential of a science, technology, engineering and math education, commonly known as STEM.

Archie Lyons, a Creative Director at Caterpillar, called it the power of the game.

“Students who use STEM education are the dreamers and imaginatives of today, but they are also the innovators of tomorrow,” he said. “These are the people we need, our dealers need and our customers need.

“They are the ones who will imagine our new products, our new processes and how we do what we do.”

Pac-Man, Jenga featured in previous Caterpillar videos

The video can be viewed on www.cat.com/Trial11. Previous videos in the series have featured a life-size Pac-Man video game maze and what the company has called the the world’s largest version of Jenga, a game of physical skills.

The primary audience is Caterpillar customers and operators.

For this video, Caterpillar tapped into a relationship it already had with Mattel Inc., which debuted with Hot Wheels 53 years ago. That Hot Wheels is international and doesn’t require much description has resonated with Caterpillar, which operates in nearly 200 countries.

“People all over the world can relate to it,” Lyons said. “From a nostalgic point of view, but also from a real world aspect.

“We don’t do voiceovers and do very little onscreen text. We want the image to carry the story and bring out that emotion. When we align with another brand, (we consider) which brands are helping us in the world. “

Hot Wheels provided full-size vehicles that complemented 27 pieces of Caterpillar gear used to bring the orange-lined track to life. It took eight operators six 12-hour days to build, according to Caterpillar spokeswoman Sarah Ricciardi.

More cat videos:A new Caterpillar video imitates an NBC show. It also highlights a need for service technicians.

These operators moved 15,000 yards of land over a site that covered 6 ½ acres. Josh Hayes, Edwards’ field operations manager, said this project uses more space than any previous Cat Trials event.

Hubert Rowland, a track builder for the Nitro Circus collective action-sport, designed the track and the stunts. The drivers were Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy. Both have significant cinematic pedigrees that include the Bourne and “Fast and the Furious” series.

GPS was used to secure the trail, the stunts were accurate

One of the cars supplied by Hot Wheels that performed stunts on a full-size track that Caterpillar Inc. built at their proving grounds near Edwards.  Caterpillar produced a marketing video based on the Hot Wheels toy cars.

For months, Rowland and the pilots planned the stunts, according to Lyons. Safety was paramount, he said. The Global Positioning System was used to ensure accuracy.

“When Greg Tracy was over there he put two stones on the ground and said, ‘This is the lineup I want for the jump,’” said Hayes. “Our GPS designer could pick those two rocks and determine the alignment. There’s no guesswork with that.”

Video production at Edwards took place over four days in July. It all went off without a hitch or accident, according to Hayes and Lyons.

Children playing with Hot Wheels in a sandbox, on a track similar in shape to the full-sized one, were also caught on camera and featured in the video.

These “actors” are children of Caterpillar employees or their friends, Lyons said. They were given carte blanche but also specific maneuvers to imitate what the adult version portrays.

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In time, perhaps these children and other Caterpillar-related descendants could ask their parents about their work. It may be a root of STEM, Lyons hopes.

“We want them to see this and say, ‘I love Hot Wheels’ and then go and see mum and dad who use Caterpillar equipment and say,’ Have you seen this? something like that? ‘”he said. .

“Next time you’re driving a road over a bridge, little kids playing with your Hot Wheels cars, someday you might. That’s the fun part.”

Nick in the morning

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