Hot Wheels toys were born in 1968 at the height of the custom car craze, when DIYers built their own chop-tops and rat rods, and superstar customizers like Ed "Big Daddy" Roth created wild “show cars” that toured the nation. Since then, Hot Wheels fans have built their own custom culture, from redline restorations, to flawless flake paint jobs, to post-apocalyptic “Gaslands” mayhem-mobiles. For this year’s 50th anniversary, Make: and Mattel teamed up for the Hot Mods Contest — show us your Hot Wheels mods for a chance to win great retro Hot Wheels prizes and get published in Make:! Click “Participate” to get started.
- A Red Line Club exclusive 3D-printed prototype Steam Punk Truck — the Mattel Model Shop’s certified, handmade working model of the brand-new 50th Anniversary Steam Punk Truck (released in October at the Hot Wheels Collectors Convention) created by famed Hot Wheels designer Larry Wood. Built in the U.S. by hand, this resin prototype features moving parts, Real Riders wheels, and comes carefully packed in an engraved wooden crate within a sturdy, stamped fold-open box. Only 250 were made! More pics and specs here.
- Project write-up in Make: magazine. Winner must to be able to submit original photos, and additional content as required by Make: editorial staff. Projects may be considered for profiles, round-ups, overviews, or in-depth how-to's.
- One retro reissue original “Sweet 16” Hot Wheels car — the 50th anniversary special reissue HWC Original 16 Custom Eldorado!
- The 1967 Cadillac Eldorado was heavily redesigned, creating a much slicker version of a luxury car. Notice the headlights? No, because they were hidden behind vacuum-operated doors. The Custom Eldorado made the inaugural Hot Wheels lineup in 1968, and now returns— — in its first release since 1971! — in the HWC Original 16 series.
- This edition features an opening hood, a Spectraflame magenta finish with matte black roof, and Neo-Classics Redline wheels. More specs and pics here.
Contest submissions are open to all; however prize awards are not open to employees of Maker Media or Mattel.
Make: is written by makers like you. These guidelines are designed to help you submit your best work to Make: online. “What about the magazine?” you ask. We’re glad to consider your work for print, too. Showcase your very best work here to be considered for both our website and print publication. Read these guidelines, clear off your workbench, then show us what you’ve got!
All finalists will be contacted before announcements are made to ensure delivery of full size images for the magazine. Entrants who are unable to accommodate this request within a week of contact, may forfeit their inclusion in the magazine.
Dos and Don’ts for Submissions
- DO put your best effort into your submission.
- DO aim for at least 200 words. This ensures that you have provided enough discussion so that it is helpful and informative to the community. The more context, details, and information you can provide, the better.
- DO shoot landscape-oriented photos that are at least 1200px wide. The higher quality the better. If your project is selected for publication, we will be emailing you for high resolution originals.
- DO use clear and consistent language. Write with precision. Use correct terms for materials, components, and processes. What’s the pointy part of that one thingy? Please look it up. Carefully define directions and areas (top, bottom, right end, left edge, etc.), and use these terms consistently.
- DO include a link if your work has been published elsewhere.
- DO include a link or credit to your inspiration.
- DON’T plagiarize or submit work that belongs to someone else. This absolutely includes all visual assets. Don’t upload assets to which you don’t have the rights (public domain, open source, and your personal IP are all allowed).
- DON’T submit inappropriate content that is violent, pornographic, or hateful.
- DON’T use this as a platform for advertisements. Projects that show a use/application for a commercial product are fine.
- DON’T include affiliate or referral links.
What Counts As a Project?
- A project is a step-by-step set of instructions and photographs of a specific build that others can reproduce and iterate upon, based on your documentation. The more you can document your project, the better.
- If you’ve made something cool (or have come up with a cool hack or tweak for something) and want to show other people how to make one, we’d like to publish it. Note: We’re interested in hearing about things you’ve already made, not things you are just thinking about making.
- Remember: you’re the readers’ coach. Think of your reader as a smart person who doesn’t necessarily know what you know. Imagine the questions he or she might have about your project. Explain everything they need to know to recreate the thing you’re writing about, just like you would explain it to a friend in a conversation. Describe difficulties you encountered, and suggest workarounds.
- If your project has parts that are better explained or delivered via media other than standard text and photos, that’s no problem. We can point to PDFs, code, software, audio, video, photos, etc.
Can I Submit Something Besides a Project?
Please do submit other things right here! We have a few other types of content besides Projects — namely Stories and Skill Builders.
- Stories are intentionally broad. Anything that falls under Show & Tell is acceptable (unless it’s a step-by-step of a specific build, then it should be a Project). If you’ve built a project that you want to share, but you don’t have sufficient documentation of step shots or materials lists, etc., you can showcase it as a story instead of a step-by-step project. Additionally, we want to see your stories. Your journeys. Your trials and tribulations and failures and hilarities. Show us your series of ceramic animals. Tell us what you’ve learned from dismantling your drone. Tell us about the time your dad made a homebrew computer based on the Apple II schematic. Tell us the funny story about the motorized surfboard you made. What’s the strangest experience you’ve had making something? If it’s surprising or funny, we’ll run it.
- Skill Builders are crash-course introductions written by experienced makers for aspiring DIYers who want to learn new skills. You can browse Skill Builders on the site to get a better feel for what they are. If you’re an expert on something and feel we haven’t properly addressed all the intricacies and pro tips, consider sharing your knowledge in the form of a Skill Builder.
For this year’s 50th anniversary, Make: and Mattel teamed up for the Hot Mods Contest — show us your best Hot Wheels mods for a chance to win great retro Hot Wheels prizes. You can submit photos or video, just be sure to tell us how you did it! Your submission will be judged by real Mattel Hot Wheels designers, and you’ll be eligible to win cool prizes: A retro reissue original “Sweet 16” Hot Wheels car for runners-up, and for the overall winner a still-secret Grand Prize and a chance to be published in Make: magazine. It’s easy to enter!
- Click the Participate button above to get started.
- Select a project from your Maker Share porfolio using the pull-down, and click Submit.
- Or click on Create A New Project, and you’ll be prompted to add your photos and description of your Hot Wheels mods. Then remember to come back here and Select it, and click Submit.
You'll see your project added to the Mission down below. That’s it! While you’re at it, click Follow and you’ll be notified [email] to see who else adds projects to this mission.
Submit your Project by November 30 to be eligible for prizes. Be sure your Project includes great photos of your Hot Wheels modifications. Go ahead and use the Story and Add a How-To tabs to tell us what inspired you to create it, and how you did it. You can add videos too — we love seeing you demonstrate your techniques!