- 9-year-old Penang girl is the first kid in the world to have artwork featured on Hot Wheels® packaging
- Hot Wheels x PROTON Kids Design Competition for kids to reimagine packaging design
- Hot Wheels Proton Saga Special Edition is a reflection of Malaysian pride
Kuala Lumpur, 29 July 2023—It’s a dream to be bestowed the title of “first in the world” and for one Malaysian 9-year-old, that dream has become a reality. Saw Jane Harn, 9, from Penang, has been named the winner of the Hot Wheels x PROTON Kids Design Competition 2023, and is set to be the first kid to see her hand-drawn artwork on Hot Wheels die-cast packaging. Harn’s design* will be printed on the special edition Hot Wheels Proton Saga, available for purchase nationwide in 2024.
In 2022, Hot Wheels and PROTON unveiled a prototype of their very first collaboration: a Hot Wheels 1:64 scale diecast of the iconic 1985 Proton Saga, Malaysia’s first national car, in conjunction with Mattel Malaysia’s 40th anniversary celebration. The Hot Wheels Proton Saga will be brought to the global stage as it joins the world’s top-selling Hot Wheels singles collection—of which Mattel Malaysia is the sole manufacturer.
In 2023, Hot Wheels and PROTON decided to make their collaboration even more meaningful with the announcement of the Hot Wheels x PROTON Kids Design Competition. The brands invited kids from across the nation to get involved in this historic effort with a blister card design that captured the essence of “A Malaysian National Car” to be featured in a special edition of the product. Over 386 hopefuls aged 4-12 years old submitted their entries, a wash of patriotic blues, whites, reds, and yellows. But in the end, it was Saw Jane Harn, 9; Ezra Rehan Pal, 11; and Austin Goh Zi Hao, 11, who took the top three spots.
“For over 50 years, Hot Wheels has been known for igniting and nurturing the challenger spirit that lives within every kid to help them reach their true potential,” said Murat Ariksoy, General Manager, Mattel South Asia. “Our team aspires to bring new and thrilling experiences to develop kids’ skills and confidence to take on the world by combining competition, experimentation, and creativity. We are happy to collaborate with PROTON to design this competition that empowers the next generation to dare to say, ‘Challenge Accepted!’.”
Saw’s design captures and celebrates a range of Malaysia’s natural features and achievements, from the rhinoceros hornbill and hibiscus, the country’s national bird and flower, and the National Monument.
“The Malaysian elements Jane Harn chose for her design are a quintessential summation of our beautiful country,” said Azlan Othman, Chief Designer at PROTON and one of the judges for the design competition. “We thought that her artful execution of these undeniably Malaysian icons would set a wonderful backdrop for the Hot Wheels Proton Saga.”
“We are grateful to Mattel for this opportunity,” said Tang Sing Chant, parent of the winner. “Not only have they gifted our daughter such a great honour, they have ignited a spark for a deeper appreciation for our country. We still can’t quite believe that her design will be available for purchase in stores across Malaysia – we can’t wait to see it in person.”
*The winning design will undergo a pre-production review to identify any regulatory or other approvals that may be required, and the Mattel/Proton team will endeavour to secure such approvals. The team hopes to keep as much as possible the original design elements and aims to launch it in 2024.
The challenge’s top three design creators, plus three consolation prize winners, went home with cash prizes, Hot Wheels products, limited edition Hot Wheels merchandise, and an exclusive meet and greet experience with Matt Gabe, Hot Wheels Lead Packaging Designer, who was visiting from El Segundo.
“At Hot Wheels, we’re always designing with kids in mind,” said Matt. “This competition has been a great way to see first-hand what impact car culture has had on participants and get a glimpse into their creative minds.”
The 40th Anniversary of Mattel Malaysia has included many firsts: the brand’s first collaboration with PROTON, the first chance to bring Malaysia’s national car in diecast form to people around the world, and the first Hot Wheels diecast to feature packaging designed by a kid.
“Just as Mattel Malaysia celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022, PROTON also celebrated its 40th anniversary on 7 May this year,” said Roslan Abdullah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PROTON. “Meanwhile, the Saga just turned 38 on 9 July 2023, so the Hot Wheels Proton Saga is an apt way to celebrate these milestones in our company’s history. Going forward, we will seek more collaborations with partners such as Mattel Malaysia who, like PROTON, have played a central role in inspiring Malaysia’s car culture and our love for cars.”
Car enthusiasts both in Malaysia and worldwide can look forward to the Hot Wheels Proton Saga, available for purchase in over 150 countries, in December 2023. The Hot Wheels Proton Saga Limited Edition, featuring the design* of the winner of the Hot Wheels x PROTON Kids Design competition, will be available for purchase in Malaysia in 2024 at leading toy specialty stores, departmental stores, hypermarkets, petrol kiosks, online and in convenience stores nationwide.
For more information about the Hot Wheels X PROTON collaboration, please visit https://www.facebook.com/hotwheels.