A lot of buzz from New York Toy Fair this week revolved around Mattel’s upcoming View-Master refresh, but Mattel is also making a push into original 360° content with their latest video series. On Monday, Mattel launched the first of sixteen episodes for the Hot Wheels 360 Challenge, placing viewers in the center of a 360° head-to-head race between two iconic Hot Wheels cars.
The Hot Wheels 360 Challenge is set in a stadium with two dueling cars racing down a fluorescent orange track, one on each side of you. An official race announcer gives you a play by play as the two Hot Wheels fly to first-place.
Production for the series began late last year with Mattel partnering up with Circle VR and Epicenter VR Productions to create the 360-degree video series. The challenge series was shot with multiple RED cameras inside a giant stadium to capture 180° race views that were later combined in post-production to bring to life the full 360° race to the finish line.
Founder of Circle VR, Chadwick Turner stated, “As the creator of the View-Master — with seventy years of brand equity and a game-changing relaunch in 2015 — this 360-video series highlights Mattel’s support of and strategic advantage within the world of immersive media.”
Shooting video of miniature die-cast Hot Wheels cars in general can be a challenge, but it seems like the team was able to pull it off, in 360° video mind you. Epicenter VR Founder and Director of Hot Wheels 360 Challenge, Joseph Itaya shares that “the most extraordinary thing about virtual reality is the life-like sense of proximity and scale. And with the Hot Wheels 360 Challenge shoot, viewers will be able to feel the excitement of the race like never before.”
You can get a look behind the track and the production process in the behind-the-scenes video below: