Hot Wheels launches the first remote-controlled wheelchair toy

The toy was created in collaboration with five-time world wheelchair motocross champion and Paralympic athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. Fotheringham, who was born with spina bifida and has used a wheelchair full time since the age of eight, is known for performing elaborate tricks and backflips in his wheelchair.
The toy, available from toymaker Mattel on Amazon, has been designed to mimic Fotheringham’s bespoke wheelchair and includes a built-in figure designed to look like him, a remote control and a ramp so users can perform tricks like him .

For Fotheringham, the collaboration is a dream come true. “Growing up, I had nothing like that,” the athlete told CNN. At the toy’s launch event, he saw children, including wheelchair users, “having fun” playing with the toy. “You could kind of see their faces light up,” he said.

Fotheringham’s wheelchair motocross career began with a visit to the skate park when he was just 8 years old. His brother suggested he try dropping down the skate ramp on his wheelchair. After a few failed attempts, he finally succeeded.

“Then I dropped everything else and became obsessed with the skate park,” he said.

“What I loved about going to the skate park, and what I still love, is that you can be as creative as you want,” Fotheringham added. “You never really get bored. If you’re bored, you don’t progress.”

The athlete says he “couldn’t even believe it” when Hot Wheels approached him about the partnership. “For Hot Wheels to want to do my chair was the biggest compliment ever,” he said.

He hopes the toy will help change public perception of wheelchairs, showing that a medical device can also be fun and adventurous. “I think the (remote control toy) is great because it really puts a fun, positive light on something that people otherwise make too serious.”

Gerry Cody, director of product design for Hot Wheels RC and innovation at Mattel, said he hopes the toy inspires kids to push past perceived limits.

“We are thrilled with our latest collaboration with Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham and the introduction of our first-ever Hot Wheels R/C wheelchair toy, furthering our goal of inspiring kids to break boundaries and chase their dreams. , whatever personal challenges they may face,” Cody said in a statement shared with CNN.

“We worked closely with Aaron to ensure this product was an accurate representation of his wheelchair and a fun toy to play with. We can’t wait to see all the stories that come with a very first, one-of-a-kind first. nice toy like this.”