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

Related: Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels Character Cars Bring Eternian Style to the Die-cast Aisle

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.”

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.