Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

The latest mini-theme to join Mattel‘s 1:64-scale Hot Wheels mainline assortment is out of this world.

For the first time in more than 20 years, HW Space is in the mix with five die-cast vehicles inspired by the spirit of exploration. The Hot Wheels team collaborated with NASA for the Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover die-cast vehicle which is numbered 95/250 and leads the HW Space theme as No. 1 of 5.

The mainline vehicle is hitting stores now ahead of the NASA Perseverance Rover’s expected landing in the Jezero Crater on Mars Thursday, Feb. 18. The real life Rover will study the Martian landscape and seek signs of ancient microbial life as it collects samples over the next year.

Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover | Source: Mattel

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For more than 30 years, Hot Wheels and NASA have collaborated on die-cast toys. In 1996, the pair kicked off a collaboration inspired by projects from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Five Hot Wheels Action Packs were released between 1997-1999 under NASA or JPL themes.

  • JPL Sojourner Mars Rover (1997)
  • Apollo Mission (1998)
  • Galileo Mission (1999)
  • John Glenn (1999)
  • JPL Returns to Mars (1999)

Mattel says that the decision to add HW Space to the mainline this year is “due to the increased interest from kids and the general public regarding space exploration.”