For kids, part of the fun of playing with Mattel’s Hot Wheels is the ability to create insane racetrack designs that are limited only by their imagination – intense loops, straightaways and hair-pin turns are all literally in their hands. Visual effects/animation studio Clockwork VFX tapped into that cool factor in a new, high-intensity animation sequence that sets the tone for a new campaign for classic toy brand, created in-house by Mattel and directed by Emmy®-winner James Wahlberg of production company The Calvary, Los Angeles, CA.

“While this is our first project for Mattel, our experience working with numerous toy brands, coupled with our car work, made us a great fit for Hot Wheels,” Jason Tomlins, Clockwork VFX’s Creative Director says. “We understood the kind of energy they wanted to inject into their CG intro. The creative team at Mattel had clear ideas on the look and feel of the Hot Wheels world, but also allowed us to contribute creatively come up with our own vision for this.”

That vision centers primarily on a CG intro and four animated transitions that open each of the four spots in the new campaign: “Monster Jam,” “Splash Lab,” “Spiral Stack” and “Super Speed Blastway.” Although each spot features a different Hot Wheels play-set, they all begin with a shot of a 3D animated Hot Wheels logo hovering over a richly-detailed Hot Wheels world – an elaborate cityscape filled with never-ending tracks, followed by an intense race in which pieces of track fall from the sky connecting only seconds before the cars arrive.

Tomlins notes that the track connection creativity is a huge part of why kids love Hot Wheels and Mattel wanted to feature it in a singular way in the spots.

“There were some challenges in creating the look for this,” Tomlins says. “There are few straight lines and we had to do some experimenting to create an organic track model that could be used for the over-the-top looping action. Secondly, we were challenged with the timeframe. We had to squeeze a lot of action into just a few seconds, in a way that it is meaningful to viewers and communicates the brand message. It’s a delicate dance, but one I think we pulled off with this campaign.”

Click here for more info about Hot Wheels campaign

Monster Jam

Splash Lab

Spiral Stack

Super Speed Blastway:

Creative Credits
Client/Agency: Mattel Inc.

Project: “Monster Jam,” “Splash Lab”, “Spiral Stack” and Super Speed Blastway” (all :30s)

Production Company: The Cavalry, Los Angeles, CA
Director - James Wahlberg

Animation: Clockwork VFX, Dubai and New York
Creative Director: Jason Tomlins, Executive Producer: Nina Davenport

Post Production: Silo Films, Santa Monica, CA

About Clockwork VFX
Clockwork is a visual effects and CG animation company. For the past 8 years, our core business has been the creation of high-end CG visual effects and animation for the commercials market. We characterize ourselves as an ‘Artist Driven’ company – and we mean exactly that. Each member of the team is highly skilled in their fields of fine art, sculpting, motion graphics, compositing, modeling, and texturing, animation or character animation. For more information visit