A Mind-Blowing Collaboration: Daniel Arsham and Hot Wheels Unveil Fascinating “Fictional Archaeology” Collectibles
In a stunning and unprecedented collaboration, acclaimed artist Daniel Arsham and popular toy brand Hot Wheels have joined forces to introduce a captivating concept called “fictional archaeology” in a convenient and pocket-sized form. This groundbreaking partnership brings together Arsham’s unique artistic vision and Hot Wheels’ iconic cars to create a collection that is sure to mesmerize both art enthusiasts and die-hard Hot Wheels collectors.
You may already be familiar with Arsham’s renowned eroded and crystallized car-based artworks, which have been showcased by prestigious brands like Porsche and at prominent automotive museums such as The Petersen. Now, Arsham has taken his imagination to a whole new level by envisioning these pop culture icons as decayed and fossilized artifacts that could be discovered by archaeologists in the distant future.
Hot Wheels x Daniel Arsham presents a series of collectible sets, known as “Laps,” which will be released in four waves. The adventure begins with Lap One, scheduled to launch on October 27 through the Mattel Creations website. The initial wave features two extraordinary models: a classic 1973 Hot Wheels Rodger Dodger and an iconic Porsche 930 with the renowned whale-tail design.
We all have experienced that wave of childhood nostalgia when stumbling upon a battered and chipped Hot Wheels car while cleaning out our attics or basements. But imagine the astonishment if one day, these discoveries were made by archaeologists in the far future. Arsham’s work delves into this fascinating scenario, transforming beloved cars like the DeLorean DMC-12 into decayed, crystallized, and fossilized relics, blurring the boundaries between past, present, and future.
The selection of the Rodger Dodger for this collaboration is a brilliant choice. This classic Hot Wheels creation, conceptualized by the legendary Larry Woods, features a 1973 Dodge Charger with a powerful supercharged V8 engine bursting from its hood. Its design embodies the essence of early 1970s muscle car culture, making it a perfect candidate for Arsham’s fictional archaeological treatment.
A more personal touch in this collaboration is the inclusion of the Porsche 930. Growing up, Arsham spent his youth sketching sneakers, cameras, and the iconic whale-tail Porsches. He has previously applied his distinct “fictional archaeological” style to a 992-series 911 for Porsche in 2019. Additionally, Arsham recently completed his very own 1986 Porsche 930 project, featuring elements inspired by Porsche’s racing heritage, including a reimagination of the Apple racing livery and references to the RSR and Kremer K3 models.
Arsham has garnered significant recognition for his eroded and crystallized car sculptures, and some of his remarkable works were displayed at the prestigious Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit showcased two beautifully weathered cars, an air-cooled 911 and a 1961 Ferrari GT, paying homage to the famous film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The third car on display was a Porsche 356, skillfully weathered and adorned with Japanese details, embracing the concept of “wabi-sabi” and celebrating the beauty of imperfection.
Scaling down Arsham’s artistic ethos to the 1:64 scale of Hot Wheels presented its fair share of challenges. However, after two years of meticulous collaboration, Mattel discovered a suitable material called Silkstone from their toy catalog. Silkstone, resembling porcelain but adaptable to modern manufacturing methods, perfectly complements Arsham’s partially eroded aesthetic, resulting in exquisite details that leave a lasting impression.
In addition to the remarkable cars, Lap One introduces an Arsham-inspired version of the Super Rally carrying case. This iconic case holds eight slots meticulously designed to accommodate the upcoming models from Laps Two through Four. For devoted Hot Wheels collectors, this limited-edition collaboration is nothing short of irresistible catnip, destined to occupy a place of pride on their display shelves.
However, even if you have never considered yourself a collector, the Arsham and Hot Wheels collaboration captures the imagination and evokes a sense of wonder. These extraordinary collectibles transport us to a world where an archaeologist, armed with futuristic scanning technology, uncovers a small toy that was once a cherished childhood possession. It’s the kind of discovery that belongs in a museum, and for now, it can evoke a sense of awe and pride as it graces your own personal display space.
In conclusion, the collaboration between Daniel Arsham and Hot Wheels is truly mind-blowing. By merging the realms of art and play, they have brought to life a captivating concept of “fictional archaeology” in an accessible and pocket-sized format. These collectibles transcend time and space, offering us a glimpse into a future where our most cherished toys may become the archaeological artifacts of a bygone era.