Over the years, Hot Wheels has released more than 20,000 unique die-cast models. In partnership with Mattel Future Lab, Happy Finish has supported the toy company as they’ve made the epic leap from physical to digital collectibles, for a new generation of Hot Wheels fans and collectors.
Hot Wheels NFTs are unique digital collectibles that combine collectability, tradability, and best in class animated 3D artwork.
As a Mattel 3D content production partner, Happy Finish was recently tasked with creating marketing assets and final NFT animations for a limited run of Hot Wheels collectibles to celebrate the new Fast & Furious Film, Fast X.
We developed 19 digital cars – all replicas from the long-running movie franchise. These collectibles gave fans and enthusiasts the opportunity to own valuable and rare digital artwork. Collectors lucky enough to gather all 19 limited edition digital vehicles were rewarded with a unique ultra rare physically redeemable die cast car.
Our team’s focus was to create beautiful digital assets across key art for marketing and the NFT products themselves, complete with profile shots of the cars in all their glory, alongside standout artwork for teaser videos, social channels and website use.
Alongside the creative output, we were challenged to increase efficiencies across the product pipeline, future-proof assets for potential interactive play, and accommodate a reduced timeline to market. We had to establish a workflow that could be smoothly replicated for future seasonal drops in 2023 and beyond.
The project included CAD prep, UV unwrapping, texture mapping, environment design, modelling, rigging, lighting, animation, render and composition work.
How did we do it?
Our main objective was to provide seamless 3D asset creation support with an emphasis on 3D CAD conversions, UV unwrapping, environment design, modelling, rigging, animation and detailed texturing. We also streamlined processes and provided scale to the existing pipeline. This was done to ensure on-time delivery of content for launch without compromising on quality.
Our expert team reviewed the previous production workflows we had carried out for Series 4 and 5 for Hot Wheels NFT Garage to explore how the process could be optimised. Beginning with the Fast & Furious activation, we developed an entirely new 3D workflow with Unreal Engine. This resulted in content being created at the same quality as before, as well as future-proofing the digital assets for potential gamification and utility further down the line.
The high quality of the final digital assets is clear to see. Mattel successfully launched the project on time, with no compromise to the quality of the outputs, and the collectibles sold out within five minutes.
Happy Finish’s partnership with Mattel Future Lab continues to expand and evolve and we are gearing up for further exciting collaborations throughout 2023 and beyond.
“Happy Finish have seamlessly integrated into our wider production pipeline to take our raw CAD product, intended for physical manufacturing, and turn them into high end, game engine ready assets, capturing a high fidelity of detail, whilst maintaining a level of robust functionality for future integrations.”
Ron Friedman, Vice President – Mattel Future Lab.
By utilising our experience and expertise using real-time game engines, brands can realise new opportunities to scale their digital asset banks – with everything from 3D content to digital twins, digital collectibles and social media marketing materials.