HOT WHEELS® AND CANADIAN RACING STAR ALEX TAGLIANI TAKE THE NATION BY STORM WITH 2011 PARTNERSHIP

Tagliani to drive one-of-a-kind #12 Dodge Hot Wheels® racecar in Canadian NASCAR events

TORONTO, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - Hot Wheels® is excited to announce that it will be the primary sponsor of Canadian racing superstar, Alex Tagliani as he races in three Canadian NASCAR events this summer as part of the Canadian Tire 2011 NASCAR Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Tagliani will be showing off his "hot wheels", literally, this summer in his one-of-a-kind #12 Hot Wheels® car, customized with a unique and edgy branded design.

"Hot Wheels is so excited to be working with Alex as we share the same passion for speed, power and performance," says Melissa Chau, Hot Wheels® Brand Manager at Mattel Canada. "We look forward to watching him roar past the competition in his specially-designed vehicle that embodies a look only Hot Wheels can create".

Racing professionally for 15 years, Montreal-born Tagliani recently became the first Canadian ever to earn the Pole at the Indianapolis 500 that took place this past weekend. This summer, Tagliani will race his Hot Wheels® car in three NASCAR events. On June 4-5, Tagliani will race the Circuit ICAR NASCAR Canada Series in Montreal; on August 19, he will race the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve NASCAR Canada Series in Montreal; and on August 20, he will race the Circuit Gilles Villenuse NASCAR Nationwide Series in Montreal.

For the NASCAR nationwide race taking place August 20, Tagliani's custom Dodge Hot Wheels® #12 NASCAR is a newly designed black car weighing in at 3,500 lbs.  The Dodge dealers of Québec have secured the Nationwide series #12 Penske/Dodge Challenger for Tagliani. The car will be branded with the iconic flames of the Hot Wheels brand toy cars, vehicles that helped fuel Tagliani's love for car racing as a young boy.

"Hot Wheels® has defined racing for a generation, so working with this legendary brand again is a great honour for me" says Tagliani. "Hot Wheels® has given my Dodge Hot Wheels® car a look any Hot Wheels® fan could only dream of, and I'm thrilled to be racing it in my home town."

Tagliani's racecar, fire suit and his pit crew shirts will all be designed by the Hot Wheels creative team with a customized design that reflects Alex's fearless and competitive driving style on the racetrack.

For more information on Hot Wheels® visit www.hotwheels.ca

About Alex Tagliani
Alex Tagliani, nicknamed "Tag", is an avid karting buff who also enjoys swimming, cycling, bowling, and in-line skating. In addition, he is a big fan of DVDs, music and video games, especially those that test his abilities as a racecar driver. Alex is married to Australian model Bronte Tagliani, whom he met during a race weekend in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Tag caught the racing bug at the age of 10 when his paternal grandfather introduced him to karting during a trip to Italy. Alex splits him time between his residence in Las Vegas and his hometown of Lachenaie, Quebec. He is fluent in French, English and Italian.

Career Highlights

  • Became the first Canadian to earn the pole position during the Indy 500's 100th anniversary in 2011
  • Finished career-best seventh in 2004 and 2005 Champ Car championship standings
  • Scored first Champ Car victory with win at Road America, 2004
  • Scored at least two podium finishes per season in six of his eight Champ Car seasons
  • Finished among top five in Toyota Atlantic Championship standings from 1997-99

About the Hot Wheels® brand
Since 1968, Hot Wheels® has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. Hot Wheels® began as a line of 16 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a true, global lifestyle brand for boys of all ages, with segments that range from aftermarket parts to licensed apparel to branded digital content from Team Hot Wheels™, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts. For consumers to learn more, visit www.HotWheels.ca and www.Facebook.com/HotWheels.

About Mattel
Mattel, Inc., (NASDAQ: MAT) (mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie® the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica:® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price®  brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels®  and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fourth year in a row. Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" and the "World's Most Ethical Companies." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 31,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play.

SOURCE Hot Wheels

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Kiel Hume, GCI Group
kiel.hume@gcicanada.com
416.486.7231

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