One of the toughest things about the pandemic has been its isolating effect on people. It's hard for many of us, car enthusiasts included, to engage in their hobbies in the same way they did before. Car shows are a good example of this, but one car show -- and one of our favorites -- is finding a way to bring some of that vibe back and give people the chance to have their car immortalized.
Of course, we're talking about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, which announced on Thursday that it would be kicking off for 2021 with virtual car shows in New Zealand, Australia and North America starting in April. But the virtual events are just the start; the tour will have live and in-person events later in the year.
The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is a series of car shows that allow enthusiasts to submit their personal project cars for judging based on things like originality, build quality and more. The overall winner gets their car turned into a 1/64-scale Hot Wheels car as part of the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends series. Previous winners have also had their cars turned into a playable vehicle on Forza Horizon 4.
"Finding time to build isn't always easy, but with many spending more time at home in the garage over the past year, we expect to see so many more passion-project submissions for the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour," said Ted Wu, global head of Hot Wheels Design at Mattel, in a statement. "Last year, we received more than 10,000 entries, and with the added international stops, this year's competition is expected to be more impressive with more vehicle variety than ever."
The Legends Tour is being put on in partnership with Walmart and Mobil 1, with many of the live events planned for later this Summer set to take place in Walmart parking lots. The events -- live and virtual -- can be streamed on Hot Wheels' Facebook page and at Walmart.com.
The New Zealand event will take place on April 15, Australia will happen on the April 22 and the first US event will happen on April 29. The final winner will be announced in November and will be selected from a pool of 10 regional finalists. Last year's finale was held virtually at Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage and featured a panel of celebrity judges including Leno and Snoop Dogg.
This 1957 Nash Metropolitan hot rod was turned into a Hot Wheels toy car
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Correction 3/18 at 9:46 a.m. PT: A previous version of this story said that the winner overall would have their vehicle turned into a playable car on Forza Horizon 4. This has been the case in previous years, but has not been confirmed for 2021.