Hot Wheels in hot meals

The Ford Fusion is Ford Motor Company’s hot-selling new midsize sedan, so you would hardly expect the company to be giving it away, but that’s just what Ford is doing. Beginning Oct. 13, a limited-edition Hot Wheels Fusion will be tearing up America’s tabletops, one of a fleet of eight wild customs to be featured in McDonald’s Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals at participating McDonald’s restaurants in the United States and Canada.

The seven other Hot Wheels carry the names Brutalistic, Clawful, Asphalt Assault, Formul8tr, What 4-2, Cul8tr and 16 Angels, all with special features that make the Happy Meal collection exclusive to McDonald’s.

Hot Wheels cars have been making regular appearances in Happy Meals since Mattel partnered with McDonald’s in August 1991. While McDonald’s doesn’t release official numbers, says millions of Happy Meal toys are given away each month.

“Hot Wheels Happy Meal events have been delighting young guests for more than 15 years,” says Kathy Pyle, director of kids and family marketing, McDonald’s USA LLC. “We’re thrilled to offer kids and collectors this classic favorite.”

The Fusion Hot Wheels giveaway is part of Ford’s marketing plan to keep the Ford Fusion brand fresh with potential buyers, young and old.

“The key is to get brand impressions,” says Killol Bhuta, Ford marketing manager. “It’s not just the kids who will come into McDonald’s looking for the Fusion. A lot of these customers are adults who’ll want to add these cars to their collections.”

The same Mattel Hot Wheels team that created the other vehicles in the collection designed the Hot Wheels Ford Fusion.

“They kept the three-bar grille and headlamps,” says Bhuta, “but gave it a real aggressive stance and a cool look.”

Each bright-red Hot Wheels Fusion comes bagged with a sheet of stickers, branded with the Fusion name and Ford blue oval, allowing little racers to personalize their Fusions. The Fusion also packs a surprise in the trunk. Press on the rear spoiler, and a pair of jet engines pop into place to provide some extra propulsion.


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