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There will be four 60-minute movies during 2005, all premiering on the Cartoon Network. The story will be taken to a new level with known characters and some really cool new ones; there will be new teams, advanced racing technology, and the ultimate in high stakes: the winner will take control over all Racing Realms and the world as we know it. To be clear, a Racing Realm is not your traditional racecourse. It’s a race through a gauntlet of thematic hurdles and challenges that are specific to the Realm. The pictures in this article should give you an idea of what’s in store. In addition, we worked with racing consultant Don Nimi to make sure that every Racing Realm offers knowledge of real-world racing techniques.

All AcceleRacers cars are high-performance track vehicles, and four race teams will be involved in the AcceleRacers story. Here’s a brief description the teams.

> TEKU. It means “technology” in Japanese. This team is all about the tuner-car lifestyle and genre. The designs were created to appeal to young hot-rod enthusiasts. The vehicles are equipped with turbos, lighting effects and super-high-output audio systems. Teku drivers use their pounding music for fun and defense (their systems are so strong that they can literally push drivers off the track). This is new-school tuning, tricks and style at its best.

> METAL MANIACS. This team is about old iron meeting new technology. These older-style muscle cars are outfitted with numerous engine upgrades and add-ons. A “no-holds-barred” mentality brings this team together, and “Enough is never enough” is their motto. This will be clear when you see how powerful their machines are. Slightly crude but still visually compelling, this team packs a serious, old-school-style punch.

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> SILINCERZ. This mysterious team has infiltrated the race from Europe. They are well-funded and entirely focused on creating the best cars using the newest, slickest technology. All of their cars use vertical-frame technology (VFT). Each car has a special look and handling like no other car’s on the track. Equipped with secret tricks and ultra-high-output engines, this team will prove that they are strong contenders and capable of winning in the most challenging racing environments.

> RACING DRONES. Created by the Accelerons (the alien race that created Highway 35 and the Racing Realms), these robot racers were built to win at all costs. It was believed that the Accelerons had dismantled all of the Racing Drones after they tried to seize control of the Accelerons, but a few Drones escaped and have created a large empire of robots. This team is the evil nemesis of all of the other racing teams. Their cars use special propulsion systems never before seen in Realm Racing. They don’t sit in their cars to drive; they transform themselves into cars. For fun, the Hot Wheels graphics group created a Racing Drones alphabet that’s the foundation for all the graphics on the cars. If you can decode the language, you will be able to read the messages on the Racing Drones cars.

After the teams had been established, special themes were created for the wheels (one of the most important cues on any Hot Wheels cars). For AcceleRacers, new wheels were generated that not only perform but also have a special look. They’re two-color co-molded style sports translucent tires that are color-specific to each team. Every wheel has “through holes” between the spokes—a first for high-output track cars—and all have red center caps that are specific to the line (this is a modern expression of the old redlines that marked Hot Wheels cars back in the late ’60s). There are new body finishes (for example, anodized-aluminum colors) and tighter clearances between the wheels and the bodies (thanks to our enthusiastic manufacturing team). Another interesting feature of these is the laser-etched code on the bottom of every car’s chassis. This code will enable you to log on to the AcceleRacers website and play online games with the cars that you own simply by typing in the codes on your cars.

In addition to the cars, there’s a collectible card game. Every car comes with three cards that build on the initial starter set. The art for the cards is simply outstanding, as you can see by the variety of images that accompany this article. These are but a few of the 246 that can be collected and used to play the game. This is the first time that a collectible-card game has been developed for a vehicle-based product line.

I think kids and adults will find the AcceleRacers program to be a new, exciting way to enjoy Hot Wheels.

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Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:22 AM

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