pbskids

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

How Luis Rodriguez's "2JetZ" custom build made history

Andrew Beckford
May 23, 2019
Photographer: Mattel
Hot-Wheels-Build-Process-2JetZ-toy-01

If you're reading this, then it's a safe bet that you have a healthy (more likely unhealthy) love for cars. If that's the case, then I would bet my left ear lobe that at some point during your childhood you played with and/or owned a Hot Wheels die-cast car.

I can make this bold wager with a very important part of my anatomy for two reasons. The first being that Hot Wheels are just a flat-out staple of childhood. Regardless of economic background, gender, or race, we have all had a moment when we've held a Hot Wheels car in our hands and pretended a miniaturized version of ourselves was behind the wheel.

It is practically impossible for me to imagine my life without having had that exact experience. Which brings me to the second reason why I'm so confident the numbers are on my side. Hot Wheels are literally the most sold toy on the planet and that is not hyperbole. In fact, 10 Hot Wheels cars are sold every second.

Imagine if something you created was somehow part of that? Imagine if the passion project in your garage right now was turned into a Hot Wheels car that will be played with by kids around the world? Fabricator and artist, Luis Rodriguez is living that reality as a direct result of his "2JetZ" custom build.

The Hot Wheels team at Mattel chose Luis' car to be immortalized as a 1:64 scale die-cast car. Why was Luis and his 2JetZ chosen for such an honor? Well to answer that, let's start with the obvious part: the car.

Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 01 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

Believe it or not, the 2JetZ is not just an art piece. It is a fully functioning, registered, road legal car that Luis does drive. It all started with a bit of ambition and some artistic inspiration. For our full feature on the build, check out its feature from 2018.

Coincidentally, Mattel and Hot Wheel launched the "Legends Tour" also in 2018, which is a series of 15 car shows held across the country. At each stop, Hot Wheels designers chose a best of show.

Luis heard about one of the stops being local to him in New Jersey, although when he saw the date he realized he had missed it. However, fate smiled on him when he later realized the show was pushed back due to rain. This gave him the chance to attend. He showed up before dawn and his patience paid off. The moment the judges saw the 2JetZ their minds were made up. The 2JetZ won best of show and with that, the car was shipped to SEMA to compete against the 14 other best of show winners from across the country. Of that elite 15, the 2JetZ was once again chosen as the best with the top prize being immortalized as a Hot Wheels die cast.

Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 02 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

Luis' car is the first "Hot Wheels Legend" and has made history as one of the few people outside of Mattel (that also isn't an OEM) to design a car that would be produced as a Hot Wheels die-cast car. To celebrate the honor, Hot Wheels invited me to their design HQ in El Segundo, Calif. to see the 2JetZ in person, and get a behind the scenes tour of the entire Hot Wheels car design process, culminating in the official presentation of the very first 2JetZ die cast to Luis himself.

Hot Wheels Build Process virtual sculpting Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

The tour was absolutely amazing. As a grownup who isn't totally grown up, I was awestruck to see each part of the Hot Wheels production process from design, to concept, to prototyping. One of the most interesting parts of the tour is when I was taken to what was referred to as "the forest". It was a dark corner of the design building filled with decked out cubicles of artists who are responsible for sculpting 3D digital models of Hot Wheels cars. While there I was allowed to play with a $30,000 virtual sculpting tool that was originally invented to remotely control surgery robots. Luckily, I didn't break it.

Hot Wheels Build Process prototypes 01 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend
Hot Wheels Build Process prototypes 02 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

Next, we were taken to the prototyping area which is essentially a room filled with top of-the-line rapid 3D printers, all of which were working on early versions of designs that may or may not eventually become full-fledged die-casts. I spotted a few samples that caught my eye, including a widebody 240Z, Honda Civic Type R, and Mercedes AMG GT.

Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 01 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend
Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 05 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

When the tour wrapped up, the group returned to the Hot Wheels garage where Luis was presented with the first official finished 2JetZ die-cast car. Understandably emotional, Luis stated, "To go from a piece of art and creating a car out of it, back to a toy, this is incredible. This is really special."

Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ toy 02 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend
Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ toy 03 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend

By the time you read this, Hot Wheels would have officially revealed the 2JetZ die-cast car to the world at a Legends Tour event at their design HQ. After speaking with Luis and seeing the 2JetZ in person, I think it is an honor that is well deserved. If you want your own 1:64 scale version of the 2JetZ, Hot Wheels has said that they expect it to hit store shelves in fall of 2019.

  • Hot Wheels Build Process work desk
  • Hot Wheels Build Process VW Bus
  • Hot Wheels Build Process virtual sculpter
  • Hot Wheels Build Process TV car models
  • Hot Wheels Build Process toy track
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Toy Story cars
  • Hot Wheels Build Process sketches 03
  • Hot Wheels Build Process sketches 02
  • Hot Wheels Build Process sketches 01
  • Hot Wheels Build Process off road car
  • Hot Wheels Build Process model
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Mattel Office
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 09
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 08
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 07
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 06
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 04
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 03
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Luis Rodriguez 02
  • Hot Wheels Build Process GTO
  • Hot Wheels Build Process engineer
  • Hot Wheels Build Process el camino
  • Hot Wheels Build Process display cases
  • Hot Wheels Build Process design process
  • Hot Wheels Build Process designer
  • Hot Wheels Build Process concept sketch
  • Hot Wheels Build Process computer rendering
  • Hot Wheels Build Process color palettes 02
  • Hot Wheels Build Process color palettes 01
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Chevy Camaro
  • Hot Wheels Build Process Camaro
  • Hot Wheels Build Process CAD
  • Hot Wheels Build Process bar
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 3d printed prototypes 02
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 3d printed prototypes 01
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ side panel
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ gauge cluster
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ BOV
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ air filter
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ afterburner switch
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 17
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 16
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 15
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 14
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 13
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 12
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 11
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 10
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 09
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 08
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 07
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 06
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 05
  • Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 03
Hot Wheels Build Process 2JetZ 04 Photo 65/65   |   Becoming A Hot Wheels Legend
By Andrew Beckford
64 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

There is no denying Seiji Ookawara's Nissan Silvia is a head-turner. It's extremely low, it's extremely wide, and has a ludicrous amount of negative camber that screams for attention.
David IshikawaSep 19, 2019
On U.S. newsstands: pbskids's annual Nissan Issue! With all the sick S’s – Skyline, S30, Silvia, Stagea, and more!
Bob HernandezSep 18, 2019
This R34 Skyline GT-R Godzilla comes almost entirely armored in carbon - and all that pricey material isn't there for looks, either.
Micah WrightSep 18, 2019
One of our favorite episodes of Top Gear involves the crew heading to Japan where Clarkson jumps behind the wheel of a R35 while Mays and Hammond stumble their way through the country via Bullet Train.
pbskids StaffSep 17, 2019
At a Suzuka Speedway press conference, Super GT and Toyota Gazoo Racing finally pulled back the shroud on the GT500-Class A90 Supra competition machine.
bhernandezSep 11, 2019
Join Our FREE

Sign Up today for our FREE Newsletter and get the latest articles and news delivered right to your in-box.

Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP