Interview: Chatting with IWC CEO Chris Grainger about the Hot Wheels Collab, his fantastic collection, and his favorite Hot Wheels cars.

Among a sea of thrilling Hot Wheels collaborations, the Team Transport set with Swiss Watchmaker IWC has to be one of the most surprising. And exciting. Since it was announced, I have dug into what prompted the set, the collab, and the models, and that process was an evolution of treats for me:

  • Hot Wheels is making a racing 300 SL for premium.
  • Hot Wheels is doing it for a special Team Transport set with IWC, who has worked long term with Mercedes-Benz/AMG.
  • The set is based on a real 300 SL that has been raced at Goodwood.
  • Much of this was spearheaded by IWC’s CEO, Chris Grainger, and he worked directly with Hot Wheels on the project.
  • Chris has actually been a Hot Wheels collector for years, and has a tremendously cool display.
  • Chris wants to talk about it, and nerd out a bit on his favorite castings.

That is how the last few weeks played out. The collaboration in and of itself is a great one, introducing a new Transporter and casting, done to replicate the real car that has zipped around Goodwood with a great deal of success.

The collab between Mercedes-Benz and IWC obviously makes a ton of sense, for a million reasons, but the question I had is how Hot Wheels got involved. Turns out it was a chance encounter between Hot Wheels Designer Manson Cheung and the IWC CEO Chris Grainger that got the project off the ground.

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The 1955 Mercede-Benz 300SL Gullwing, along with the Euro Hauler with #IWCRacing livery for Hot Wheels Team Transport. This was a secret project that started over a year ago with our friends at IWC.⁣ ⁣ If you know how I love watches, then you know how excited I am for this collaboration with @IWCWatches. This was a true passion project for me. Sometimes I get to work on some really cool stuff and with some really cool partners. Swipe for work in progress image.⁣ ⁣ Euro Hauler designed by @designspeed744 🖍⁣ Graphics by @steve_vandervate 🎨⁣ HW Marketing @toy.inc 💻 ⁣ HW Design Manager @dmitriy_la ☕️⁣ 300SL designed by @awildermode 🤪⁣ ⁣ A very special thanks to the team at IWC for this opportunity. 🇨🇭⁣ ⁣ #IWC #IWCWatches #Schaffhausen #ProbusScafusia #IWCRacing #MercedesBenz300SL #MercedesBenz #300SL #Gullwing #GNN25 #EuroHauler #HotWheels #CarCulture #TeamTransport #BigPilot #PerpetualCalendar #RodeoDrive #TopGun #52615Calibre #IW503001 #LuxuryWatch #HotWheels3DModeler #HotWheelsDesigner #IMakeTheToysYouPlayWith

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It was a perfect match, with Manson’s love for watches combined with the role IWC, and Chris, has in the world of motorsports.

That is a cool story, for sure, but it goes much further, considering Chris is himself an avid Hot Wheels collector. Not casually either. Like many of us, he has a room dedicated to his hobby, and can cite Hot Wheels nerd-facts as well as anyone. In fact, I was surprised to see comments from him on Lamley blog posts as early as 2012. The EARLY Lamley days. Oh, and his collection display is stellar.

This meant we HAD to chat, so we did. With me quarantined in Utah, and Chris in Switzerland, Zoom was the best option, so a few weeks ago we got together for a chat and recorded it.

We talk the collab, IWC and Mercedes, Chris’s history with Hot Wheels, and then fully nerd out on a few of his favorite castings. This was fun to do, and I think many of you will enjoy it. You might find yourself scouring ebay for a few of his favorites after seeing Chris’s passion for them.

Many thanks to Chris for the time, and IWC for the images and videos.

jtl46

3 thoughts on “Interview: Chatting with IWC CEO Chris Grainger about the Hot Wheels Collab, his fantastic collection, and his favorite Hot Wheels cars.

  1. Those pictures of the 300SL on snow are gorgeous! The 300SL itself is gorgeous, no matter where it is. Is there any chance we will get to see that plain black one in the future?

  2. I have to say… a Mercedes like that is WAY better looking in an iconic silver than an ugly green.. especially green with a red interior!

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