Mars Curiosity Rover reaches for youth audience with Hot Wheels

Chris Burns - Aug 1, 2012
Mars Curiosity Rover reaches for youth audience with Hot Wheels

It’s time to get cute with science as NASA is working with Mattel toys to create none other than the Mars Curiosity Rover for their newest Hot Wheels lineup. This little beast of a vehicle is a 1:64 scale replica of the actual NASA Mars Curiosity Rover that’ll be touching down this Saturday Night on the red planet. This machine will be a mix of plastic and hardcore metal and will be landing approximately one month after the real deal makes its mark in just a few days.

This little toy shows off what’s basically the same set of pieces that the actual final rover is made up of, and die-cast quality will be in the mix as this legendary toymaker creates its newest in a line of officially licensed space-age vehicles. This toy will cost you right around $1.09 when it finally hit stores while the real six-wheeled rover cost NASA a cool $2.5 billion USD.

Back in 1997, Mattel worked with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as the California Institute of Technology to create the Curiosity Rover’s distant cousin Sojourner. The Sojourner rover was much smaller than the Curiosity Rover and was part of a three-pack of toys that included the rover, it’s lander, and its spacecraft cruiser. The Curiosity Rover and the Sojourner were both part of Mars missions by NASA.

The Action Pack, as it was called, sold out several times as several different editions were released to stores over the years while JPL’s Commercial Technology Office manager made it clear that, “we hope this does indeed turn out to be a big hit” – referring to the toys, not the actual lander, of course. This newest release of the 2-inch long by 1.5-inch high by 1.25-inch wide (5 by 3.8 by 3.2 centimeters) toy is the only official model to have been announced by NASA thus far.

Check out our timeline below to catch up with Curiosity in all its many fabulous angles, from 3D cameras to landing sequences to how you can catch it on video as it happens!

[via Collect Space]

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