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Mattel Asks Moms Why They Don’t Play Hot Wheels With Their Sons

Interesting feature in BusinessWeek: Mattel’s Mom Issue: They Really Don’t Get Hot Wheels

“In town for a toy fair, Matt Petersen, a Mattel vice president … had invited the women to discuss one of the great mysteries of modern life: why moms don’t know how to play Hot Wheels with their sons.”


Besides reaching out to mothers through bloggers and social media, Mattel is planning to dedicate part of the Hot Wheels website to them. Content may include the benefits of vehicles, tips on playing with cars and using them to teach science and math, and a forum for moms of sons. Traditional advertising may eventually include messages to mothers. The toymaker plans to make shopping for Hot Wheels easier at retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart Stores, where signs and posters will explain categories within the brand organized by themes such as stunt, showroom, and city.

You can read the rest at BW.com.

Of course, the mom-women-sons involvement with Disney Pixar CARS seems to be much, much higher. 🙂

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10 March 2013 Mattel, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS 24 Comments


  • John in Missouri says:

    The next time my wife asks me if her outfit makes her hips look interesting, I swear I’m keeping my mouth shut!!

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    I’m pretty sure I wrote this story before; but when I was 2 my mom would buy me bags of hot wheels cars from flea markets and such. She would help me make roads and buildings in our dirt and gravel driveway. I was obsessed with cars back then especially fire trucks, since my dad was a firefighter. I remember this so well because one day when my mom and I were playing in the driveway, my dad was coming home, and backing in the driveway with his van. My mom got up and told me to follow her into the house. I got halfway and realized my hot wheels were still in the driveway. I ran back to save them, but ended up getting backed over by my dads van in the process. Luckily nothing was broken. Not a single car. And yeah, I came out fine too. Still have a pretty cool little scar on my side and my bag of hot wheels to this day. After that little scare my mom bought me these cases that opened up and had the roads and bridges inside. We played with hot wheels inside the house from then on(at least until he-man and gijoe came out).

  • Tom says:

    I just read some quotes from the BW article to my wife (because, you know she can’t read).
    She said (from the kitchen) if she had her own money to spend she would never buy anything from Mattel.

    In all seriousness, Mattel once again show how out of touch they really are.

  • aaaf317 says:

    My mother-in-law sent me a box of my wife’s old HWs and MBX cars all the way from Taiwan shortly after we married. She knew I was a collector and wanted us to have them, including LOTs of RLs and military vehicles, in near pristine condition! I’m glad she was willing to part with them, and she definitely knew how to take care of them. 😎

  • Cherie says:

    “why moms don’t know how to play Hot Wheels with their sons.”

    WOW. What a degrading, stereotypical statement.

    I certainly never had a problem understanding how to play with Hot wheels and I sure as hell don’t need “tips” on how to do so.

    This article is pure drivel. I am surprised you would post such garbage on this site. VERY DISAPPOINTED.

    (MET: I never said I agreed with the statement, just posting it. In fact, I point out that with CARS, it’s clear it’s a pretty equal distribution of fans).

    • Cherie says:

      Yet, YOU stated that the article was “interesting.” Hmmmm…. It is not “interesting” on any level. It is blatantly sexist. You stated no disagreement with any of the content. In fact, you directed readers to the rest of the article, and quoted sexist excerpts. If you read the comments with the original article you will see that that the article was offensive to many women and moms. To put it on your website, call it “interesting,” and direct readers to it, is to propagate garbage. NO EXCUSES.

      • TopherDawg says:

        Sorry Cherie, but you have clearly misunderstood the intention of posting the article.

        It is an interesting article and the fact that it received quite a few comments proves this. MET isn’t required to approve or disapprove. He merely quotes sections that indicate what the article is about and provides the link of the original article for us to read, if interested.

        Also, I’m not sure of how often you are on this site, but most Mattel articles generally show how off base their marketing research is and once again this article proves this.

        • Cherie says:

          Just because people comment on an article does not mean that they found the article “interesting.” In fact, most of the people who commented were expressing their outrage over the contents of the article. I never said that MET had to approve/disapprove of the article. I stated that I was surprised to see it posted here and labeled as an “interesting” read.

          (MET: Yes, I did find the article “interesting” and noteworthy to pass along. I thought it was an odd foundation that Mattel was working from but since I had no access to the research, I just headlined it as “Mattel SAYS.” I did not really comment on it as I do not comment on a lot of topics, merely presenting it and letting everyone decide for themselves – as the other day, I presented a bunch of variant releases – some people might think it’s foolish to buy another one that looks 98% like the other one but others are happy to add a variant … I do note at the end that clearly CARS is not in the same boat as it has a much higher percentage of women buyers … BTW, you can contact mattel here. )

          • TopherDawg says:

            “You stated no disagreement with any of the content”

            The above is exactly what you said, notice the quotes. So you were clearly saying that he didn’t disapprove.

            I wouldn’t comment on something if it didn’t generate interest, or why else spend my time? Some reading comprehension on your part might be helpful. If it really bothered you that much, then let Mattel know, and Bloomberg who ran the article.

            Mattel and the “blogging moms” concocted this, and apparently the Moms needed some guidance as to how to play Hot Wheels with their children. If this doesn’t represent you, then congratulations! Maybe Mattel’s next marketing/scrap book event could include you.

            • Cherie says:

              I did not state the he HAD to approve or disapprove – there IS a difference. And I only stated that he did not disapprove, AFTER he said that he never said he agreed with it. I stated that the article and content itself was not “interesting.” “Interesting” is not an adjective one would use to describe something they find to be reprehensible – any moron can understand this (I am sorry that you cannot). The majority of people people who read and commented on the article would not have referred to the contents as “interesting.” Maybe you should go back to Preschool, little boy.

              • TopherDawg says:

                Haha, name calling? really? Once again, you show your intellect. While you go and google intellect, look up the word interesting as well. The topic clearly is.

              • collectormom says:

                Holy cow Cherie enough already! You’re starting to look foolish. I DID find the article interesting and I WASN’T offended. It shows how out of touch Mattel really is.

                Met can post whatever he wants because this is HIS blog. You didn’t find it interesting, you were offended. That’s your opinion. Everyone has one!

                And name calling is completely unnecessary and childish. Just be done with it already.

                (MET: Thanks for the interesting debate 🙂 (too soon?! 🙂 ) … we’ll close the books here and move on).

          • pwschuh says:

            It appears perhaps that you don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘interesting.’ I don’t believe that the article is sexist, it’s merely pointing out the results of Mattel’s research. However, even if Mattel’s research was biased (unlikely), it is possible for something to be interesting and sexist at the same time. In fact, you have confirmed that it is ‘interesting’ by taking an ‘interest’ in it. If you had not have responded… if no one had responded, then it would truly be uninteresting.

            • Cherie says:

              Having an article that generated interest or controversy and the “interesting” content of an article are two entirely different concepts. Please try your best to understand this.

          • Cherie says:


            You really can’t say that Hot Wheels is in a different “boat” than Cars because Cars has a higher percentage of female buyers. Mattel is trying to blame a decrease in sales on the inability of women to understand the concept of how to play with toy cars with their sons – they actually acknowledge that women are the main purchasers of the product. The testimony of so many men who’s mothers played Hot Wheels with them and women who said they regularly play Hot Wheels with their sons/daughters and enjoy it (imagine that) pretty much debunks Petersen’s sexist rant and proves that low sales have nothing to do with the inability of the female mind to grasp how to play with toy cars. This is the premise of this article, which is riddled with sexist presumptions. Many would describe Petersen’s ideas and the premise of this article with adjectives such as “ludicrous,” “disturbing,” “sexist.” But “interesting”?! NOT in this lifetime.

  • Wraukn says:

    My mom couldn’t understand why I took a brick and smashed a bunch of hot wheels to make a junkyard. Of course, this was 1976 and they unfortunately were all redlines!

    • John in Missouri says:

      Around the same time, I would line up my Matchbox cars and Tootsie Toy cars and roll them past my Mom’s Farberware pans. Watching the reflections go from small to big to small again was like magic to me.

  • brittanycenter2007 says:

    What a joke, i think mattels v.p. needs to get out of his office more!

  • MoMcQueen says:

    Moms don’t know how to play with Hot Wheels? This sets my blood to boil. I think these Mattel execs need to leave their ivory towers more often.

  • jestrjef says:

    So when do Mom’s get to sit down with Mattel and ask them “WHY CAN’T I FIND THE DISNEY CARS MY SON WANTS?”

    • Lorri says:

      Right on Jeff! I always played Cars with my son and my daughter too. They both loved them!