The idea for the collection format came from last year’s Surf Green With Envy collection, which saw the Custom Shop all working within the constraints of using Surf Green in some way. This time, the brief was to design a guitar around one particular Hot Wheels car.
“We’re honoured to be working with Mattel to bring this Hot Wheels collection to life,”said Fender’s Mike Lewis. “For years, we’ve taken a deep source of inspiration from the automobile industry and with such a unique take on cars, Hot Wheels was always a dream partner. Each builder crafted their own guitar with world-class creativity and we can’t wait for people globally to see these collectable products.”
Hot Wheels’ global head of design Ted Wu added: “The Hot Wheels team is thrilled to create such a special collection of guitars with the global leaders of musical instruments at Fender Custom Shop. Both of our brands trace their roots back to California, with Hot Wheels embodying SoCal car culture and Fender synonymous with Los Angeles rock ‘n’ roll. We can’t wait for artists and car enthusiasts alike to see these one-of-a-kind designs.”
While the guitars’ inspiration is certainly kid-friendly, their price tags are anything but, starting at a rather hefty $12,000. All 16 earn that price tag, however, with a bevvy of ultra-premium appointments including gorgeously figured neck woods, ebony fretboards, top-of-the-line pickups and hardware.
While the collection mainly spans shapes such as Stratocasters and Telecasters, there is the notable inclusion of the Katana. This shape is a little like an offset V that’s had the space between its horns filled in. It first appeared in 1985, and despite it not exactly being at the forefront of Fender’s historic models since, it’s made a few appearances since. For example, last August Fender Japan resurrected the bass guitar version of the shape for a signature model for Hama Okamoto.
Find out more about the Custom Shop’s collaboration with Hot Wheels below.
The collaboration is not the first time Fender has partnered with Mattel. Last year, the two brands joined together for the new Barbie movie Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams. Fender added two of the movie’s original songs, See You At The Finish Line and Before Us, to its Play learning app.
The brand spoke about the time of its hopes for partnering with Barbie. CMO Evan Jones said: “We want young women to see they can be anything – whether that’s a guitar player, songwriter, producer or any other career – in the music industry.”