Toy giant Mattel, Inc. has commissioned Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment to produce a series of animated videos based on Hot Wheels storylines and characters created by Starlight Runner Entertainment to promote the 35th anniversary of the toy car products. The CGI toons, HOT WHEELS HIGHWAY 35, will follow five Hot Wheels race teams as they compete across the challenging terrains of parallel universes thwarted by a cadre of villains. Starlight Runner created the storyline and characters which have been rolling out since January this year in the form of 35 different small-format comic books packaged with a different die-cast metal Hot Wheels World Race vehicle. Starlight Runner is also making a special edition comic book for Target stores, as well as a comprehensive property bible and packaging art assets to be used across the World Race retail product franchise. The first three videos in the series will be packaged in collectible World Race Video Packs, which include two Hot Wheels Highway World Race cars and two World Race comic books. The direct-to-consumer 22-minute videos are scheduled for release in March, May and July 2003 from Mattel. A fourth video is scheduled for a September 2003 release with a running time of 44 minutes. Starlight Runner collaborated with Mainframe to adapt the stories and characters. Mainframe is the only studio to produce animation projects for both of Mattel's landmark toy brands, having produced BARBIE IN THE NUTCRACKER and BARBIE AS RAPUNZEL direct-to-video features. Mainframe is one of the world's most prolific producers of computer animation for television and video. Mainframe is best known for the groundbreaking REBOOT series, and is expanding into long-form CGI for feature films, commercials and interactive entertainment. Check out www.mainframe.ca. New York-based Starlight is a producer of highly successful franchises, specializing in developing new and established intellectual properties across multiple media platforms. The company is also actively developing new toy lines, as well as a slate of original animated and live-action feature films and television programs. For more on its activities check out www.starlightrunner.com. For more on Mattel and Hot Wheels check out www.mattel.com and www.hotwheels.com.
Don Perro goes for a tour of Mainframe Entertainment and finds they are working on more than television now.