What exactly you do at Hot Wheels Collectors/Red Line Club website?
I am the one who manages the HWC website with my team of people and I am the lead administrator on the boards as well as run the shop side of the fence with our shop team and I also talk to our customer service about the issues that membership has from time to time.. I have an assistant (HWC Jodie) who helps me with the everyday running of the website. We have two writers (HWC Gary and HWC Eve) that are on the site as well as an staff writer (HWC Staff) for quick articles. We have a designer who designs and cuts all of the images and makes the banners, avatars/wallpapers and themes. I have a business analyst (HWC Jaideep) who helps me with the on how long things are going to take to do and the requirements that are needed to get it done. Then I have two actual programmers that we share with a couple of other sites and then we have our QA team who test everything before we push it out live to the servers for the membership to see. I get the schedule of events/sales and other items from the marketing team and pass out the work to my team for the week and we upload it and get it out to all of the membership. After all of that I get on the boards and answer post and talk to the members in the chat room.
Do you collect Hot Wheels to? How much you have? Since when?
I do collect Hot Wheels. I have played with them as a kid, but since I have been working here I have received Hot Wheels over the years over working on the site and the shows. I would say I have approximately 2500 cars including the sets. I do not open them unless I have to. They are tucked away in a nice dark room to be pulled out one day when I have grand kids. I have been working at Mattel for 10 years, 4 years and a QA tester of games and 6 years in this position. So I have been collecting seriously for the last 10 years or so. I have collected quite a few shirts along the way as well. I like the shirts that we have made over the years and wear them every day at work and around town. I have close to 35 collared shirts and about 30 t-shirts that I wear at work and at home
As we can see, you do a lot of travel for conventions around US, and we're having a convention too this year. Are you coming? Last year we had Larry Wood, who's gonna be with us this year?
That would be fun to do, but that is not my decision on that matter. You can always request from marketing to have me go down there. I can tell you this that would be a fun time down there with all of you I am sure.
We have a Red Line Club in Brazil too. What do you know about brazilian collectors? What can we expect for this year here in Brazil?
I know that the Brazilian collectors are a very passionate group of collectors. I have talked to the marketing team in Brazil and they say the collectors in Brazil are very dedicated to the Hot Wheels line and would love to have everyone come down to visit their conventions as well. I know we have a bunch of cool cars this year that are coming out. My buddy, HWC Bryan had a fun time picking the cars this year and you will all be surprised by the cars that are coming out.
We see that the 2010 mainline have a lot of international cars, and a great number of "real" cars, instead of "fantasy" cars. Is Mattel going to a more adult and global kind of design?
The marketing team is always looking to expand globally. They have developed a one global packaging with the design team so there is only one packaging for the whole line through out the world.
How Mattel US sees the brazilian market? Can we expect to have more and more special series, conventions and exclusive cars?
The marketing team knows that the Brazilian market is a growing market. I am sure they are going to be focusing on it with cool, new and exciting items that I am sure everyone will love and the Hot Wheels growth will be tremendous.
For some people, working at Mattel is a dream job. What's the feeling of working with a lot of products that everyone wants, and to know about a lot of products that's going to be released, and you can't say a word about that? Is it difficult to deal with a lot of collectors and their emotions and anxiety?
I do get a lot of questions on the boards on what is coming out, but some of the product is very hard to keep quiet with all of the great products we have coming out. I have to bite my tongue a lot to make sure nothing slips out. When someone asks me what is coming out, I usually tell them they will have a smile on their face when they see what it is and to have patience because when it get here they will love it
The 2010 mainline and collector lines are much better than the previous years, according to collectors in US and Brazil. Can we expect more good news for this year and the next? What you can tell us about the future?
You better believe it that this is going to be a good year. With the two marketers that are picking the cars (HWC Bryan - adult and HWC JohnF - mainline), they are in tuned with what the collector wants and is looking for in the different lines. With those two working with the designers, I see nothing but good times for everyone.
For the first time we have a brazilian car in the mainline (VW SP2), and we can't wait to grab one! Is Mattel working or planning more brazilian or international cars?
I am sure they are planning much more for the emerging markets. They are very sensitive to the needs of the other markets so I am sure they are going to be focusing on growing the area by putting the specialized cars in those markets.
We're seeing a lot of "retro" styled cars in the 2010 RLC. What's the style for this year? Are we gonna have a Drag Bus or a Drag Truck for this year?
I don't believe we on the site will be offering any of the VW cars this year, but the RLC line for this year has a little bit of everything. There are some retro cars that we have not seen in a while. If you look at the RLC poster, we have the Superfine Turbine which has not been made in a while. That should tell you that this year is going to be a good one...
Do you have any advice for new collectors?
I do and that is collect what you like. A collection is made up of the cars that the collector likes and wants. It doesn't matter if it is a Mutt Mobile or a Rodger Dodger, it is what the person wants to collect. If you see a car you like, get it, don't let others tell you what they think is cool, get what you think is cool and you will have one of the best collections around.
Thanks for this and I hope to come down and see you all in Brazil.