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Recent Celebrity Chat At HWC™

Jun Imai And Wayne Scott Drop In On Collectors

HWC Staff 07-01-08




The chat room at HWC™ was burnin’ hot last Tuesday morning, 6/24, during another opportunity for Hot Wheels® collectors to get some direct Q&A time with our design team. This time, our guests were Hot Wheels® Graphics Manager Wayne Scott and Hot Wheels® Sr. Designer Jun Imai! (It seems we even had a special cameo appearance by Wayne’s mom…)


Jun Imai

Wayne Scott

We understand that not everyone could be there who wanted to be, so here’s your chance to catch up on what you missed. Read on for the transcript of all the fun that went down during the chat session.


HWC Chris: Good morning, everyone. Say hey to HWC Jun and HWC Kidd, also known as Wayne Scott.

HWC Kidd: HELLO!

HWC Jun: Hello, everyone.

HWC Kidd: I GUESS I WON'T BE HIDING ANYMORE... HWC KIDD IS ME.

HWC Jun: Wayne, screaming as usual.

HWC Kidd: I'M NOT YELLING - I LIKE CAPS.

HWC Jun: We're not in the studio, dude.

HWC Kidd: I'LL TRY AND BE NORMAL FOR ONCE I GUESS... LOCKS GOIN' OFF...

hotwheel_madman: Mornin’ guys!!! How’s the weather?

HWC Jun: Weather is nice. Cooling down for a change.

dustinmu88: Wayne, what exactly does a graphics manager do?

HWC Kidd: We have a team of graphic designers and I oversee the group.

HWC Kidd: Everyone is responsible for other HW lines... the scheduling/etc.

HWC Kidd: For the most part, I art direct the group and I still manage to create art as well.

jelooby: Ok, Jun, what are you working on now that we will see this year or next?

HWC Jun: Busy working on the '09 line for you guys. Lots of new stuff coming up.

hotwheel_madman: Is either of you going on the Road Trip?

HWC Kidd: Road trip --- I'll be joining in for part of it!

HWC Jun: Same here. I'll be at certain stops.

Acererak: Wayne, will we see anymore of the Super Hero themed cars?

HWC Kidd: Super hero cars... licenses aren't up to me... I'm sure we will though...

jelooby: Jun, what is your favorite color to work with/design around?

HWC Jun: Personally, I like white and red cars, but it really depends on the design. Some colors show off the lines of a car better than others, in my opinion.

jelooby: No way! White and red are what I like on cars too, Jun.

HWC Jun: Yeah, white and red work well on many cars.

dustinmu88: What’s your guys’ favorite Hot Wheels?

HWC Kidd: As a kid, I loved the Super Van (black w/flames), the Formula PACK (black w/#8), the Demon/Prowler w/the burglar & the devil... so many others...

HWC Jun: My favorite Hot Wheels is probably one of my first ever as a kid -- the Dixie Challenger, among others.

tarwheels: I would like to know when a convention will come to good ole NC.

HWC Kidd: ME TOO!!! WHO IS THIS? YOU KNOW I'LL BE THERE!

tarwheels: Hey, kidd, this is your mom.

HWC Kidd: Who you callin' kidd?

HWC Kidd: HI, MOM! NICE OF YOU TO JOIN, BUT I NEED QUESTIONS... WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW? LOVE THE NAME BTW (TARWHEELS)!

Acererak: Jun, what new models can we expect to see for ’09 based on 1:1 cars?

HWC Jun: We've got a little bit of everything for '09. Not going to dip into too many specifics, but we finally got the one car I've been waiting for. Something for the import fans.

Acererak: What is your favorite HW car that you didn't design, Jun?

HWC Jun: That's a tough one. I'd say the Twin Mill is one of the cars that sparked my interests in Hot Wheels.

hotwheel_madman: What is your Greatest Achievement since joining Mattel?

HWC Kidd: Greatest achievement... that's a tough one...

HWC Kidd: I don't know if it's my greatest achievement, but I'd say the greatest thing has been the traveling and meeting collectors and making new friends.

HWC Jun: My greatest achievement has to be taking part of the design for the 40th anniversary car, the HW40. It was a lot of fun working on that project!

BILLSHOTWHEELS: Is Mattel going to do the Nissan GTR?

HWC Jun: Hmm...

jelooby: Jun, are you doing anything with the Twin Mill 3?

HWC Jun: No -- the TM3 is Josh Henson's creation.

Acererak: Jun, if you could redesign one of the original Redline castings, which would it be?

HWC Jun: I'd like to see a modern version of the Greased Gremlin.

jelooby: Yes, Gremlins are so cool.

HWC Kidd: I love the Gremlins, too!

hotwheel_madman: FINALLY... a Gremlin fan!!!

AGENTAIR: It would be nice to see a new Gremlin and a new Vega in the mainline.

AGENTAIR: Even better if in the adult 100% line.

hotwheel_madman: Wayne, you should push the envelope and make them use the Gremlin casting more.

HWC Kidd: I'll try... and I'll also try to get some more CORVAIRS!

ben1franklin: How many cars have you designed?

HWC Jun: Honestly, I lost count. If you count all the different lines I've worked on (basic cars, collector, trend, entertainment) it's up there. Maybe 70-80.

ben1franklin: Will you guys be at the Reston Nationals?

HWC Kidd: Perhaps... We'll have to see if I get invited!

sweethw: Hey, Jun, what would you recommend to someone who wants to do what you do?

HWC Jun: Draw cars all day long. During class, eating dinner, while you sleep... Specifically, most of the designers here have gone to design schools for car and product design.

sweethw: I have a son that will be a senior, and he is looking to go to an art college in Cali. Any recommendations from either of the designers?

sweethw: He is aiming at industrial design, would that fit the bill?

HWC Jun: Yes, that would. Industrial design with an emphasis on automotive design, but problem solving and product design are equally important.

HWC Kidd: I'm w/Jun -- DRAW, DRAW, DRAW! Tell him to look at every car out there and practice makin' 'em better... Draw 'em like he thinks they should look!

tarwheels: I used to get notes from Kidd's teachers saying, “Great ‘kidd,’ but tell him to quit doodling so much.” We never discouraged him, and he is doing great.

HWC Kidd: I still do this and get in trouble while in meetings at Mattel... I swear I pay attention better when I'm drawing!

Acererak: Have either of you ever taken any elements from the customizers who compete at the conventions for inspiration?

HWC Jun: Hot Wheels customizers are visionaries -- I love seeing what they come up with. I spend a lot of time looking at the customs at the conventions and also on the customs board on HWC.

HWC Kidd: Love the customs, too!!! Jun & I customize Hot Wheels as well… when time allows, of course.

Acererak: Going back to the HW40 car you designed, Jun… What was your inspiration behind it?

HWC Jun: Many things. A combination of Hot Wheels heritage and our visions for the future of Hot Wheels.

ben1franklin: Technically, you guys are always customizin’ Hot Wheels.

HWC Kidd: 'Tis true!

jelooby: Would any of you consider designing a Tucker?

HWC Jun: Tuckers are cool. Maybe we'll throw that up on the board for a future concept.

blackcaddy: Do you guys ever take submissions for design consideration?

HWC Jun: If you guys have any ideas or concepts you'd like to share, throw them up on the board. We're always lurking.

crawfish: Wayne, you need to enter one of your customs in the ECHWC at one of their shows.

HWC Kidd: I don't think they would allow us to enter the customs show -- unfair advantage... Even though I'm not even close to many of the customizers’ talent.

ben1franklin: Maybe they could do a designer class of customs.

HWC Jun: A customs class? I'd check that out.

AGENTAIR: I always wondered why there are not many hot rod station wagons in the HW universe?

HWC Kidd: Love the station wagons myself... I'll see what I can do!

vingsthing: This isn't a question. I just want to thank you guys for all the hard work and effort you put into these cars. You are the reasons most of us are here collecting today.

redryder31: I think that the open hole 5-spokes are one of the greatest wheels to come out in quite a while. What do you guys think about the different look they can give to your creations? Do you feel it has improved the look of some castings?

HWC Jun: I like the open hole 5-spoke wheels -- it gives a modern feel to our castings.

jelooby: Can you tell us which import car?

HWC Jun: Take a guess.

BILLSHOTWHEELS: What kind of graphics will be on the GTR?

HWC Kidd: This recurring thing about the GTR is rather amusing...

Acererak: What is the hardest graphic you ever worked on, Wayne?

HWC Kidd: Probably the 1:18 Acura that we did a few years ago... So many people were involved... Too many tough ones to please...

ben1franklin: What is your favorite Hot Wheels line?

HWC Jun: Basic cars, of course.

Acererak: Are there any pics you can share with us of current projects or finalized cars?

HWC Jun: Best thing is to keep checking the Sneak Peeks.

redryder31: How do you guys take it when a graphic is misinterpreted? The latest example would be the Impala graphics... some thought it was satanic.

HWC Kidd: It happens here a lot, too... We do things with no intentions of upsetting anyone, and it never fails -- like that one for instance. The graphic on the Impala is indeed an impala...

HWC Kidd: I could do a happy face on a car, and it will most likely be misinterpreted.

sweethw: Will we be seeing more ocean/beach graphics? I am drawn to those like moths to a flame.

HWC Kidd: I think we'll do more w/moths and flames!

Acererak: Will we ever see an actual "Beetle" shell graphic on any of the VWs again? Like the short run VW casting from 1974?

HWC Kidd: Anything is possible...

ben1franklin: Is there any plan of another Zamac series or something like that in the future?

HWC Kidd: I would think so... We all like the Zamac series here, too -- but ya never know...

redryder31: I see customizers doing lots of brand name graphics. Any chance we will see some of those? (UPS, Dairy Queen, etc.)

HWC Kidd: I hope so. It just depends on the brand of course... Some just don't go w/Hot Wheels.

ben1franklin: In your opinion, what is your best design?

HWC Jun: My best design... I think Nerve Hammer is one of my favorites, as far as doing something progressive. The transparent body let me think a little deeper and have fun with the design.

crawfish: Will either of you be at the Nationals in Reston, Virginia?

HWC Jun: Request my presence, I'll be there.

HWC Kidd: Probably.

crawfish: I hope both of you will be.

sweethw: Where do you get ideas for graphics?

HWC Kidd: Everywhere... car shows... record art... other artists... graphics everywhere...

redryder31: Any chance of seeing a 1970-1972 Monte Carlo anytime soon? (Not as a low rider.)

HWC Kidd: Hope so!

ben1franklin: What do you think of the Speed Racer graphics? They seem to be a new style of wrap.

HWC Kidd: I'd like to do my own version of full wraps on some of the basic HW.

BILLSHOTWHEELS: Nissan?

HWC Jun: Hmm...

HWC Jun: I'll give you another clue on the import.

BILLSHOTWHEELS: Is the import car going to be a Yugo?

HWC Kidd: YOU GOT IT, MAN!

HWC Kidd: ONLY KIDDing.

HWC Jun: The clue for the import -- it's VINTAGE.

deanoLV: Datsun?

HWC Jun: Hmm...

saltycruiser: CVCC?

HWC Jun: I really like that car!

Acererak: Did you ever have a desgin for a car that did not get approved, that you felt very strongly about, Jun?

HWC Jun: There are a lot of concepts that don't make the cut. However, there's a time and place for all designs in my opinion. What might not be appropriate at one moment might be right later on.

deanoLV: How many graphics designers work for Hot Wheels?

HWC Kidd: Five, including myself... full-time that is. We have quite a few contractors as well.

ben1franklin: Wow, that is a lot less than I would have guessed.

HWC Kidd: Me, too.

Acererak: Jun, has there been any thought of doing a "true-to-scale" car hauler of some type?

HWC Jun: That would be cool. Actually, keep your eyes open for some new stuff in the truck department -- we've been working on some fun stuff to extend the play of 1:64 basic cars.

Excel_aratorin Speed: What is the process when graphic designs on Hot Wheels cars?

HWC Kidd: We use many -- the most common is tampo.

HWC Kidd: The rest are top secret. If we told you... well... you know...

deanoLV: What programs do you use to design in?

HWC Jun: Many of the original designs are created by freehand sketches. I usually come up with designs during meetings. I clean them up and render them in Photoshop and Illustrator.

HWC Kidd: We use mostly Photoshop & Illustrator.

Excel_aratorin Speed: Do you use a Graphire or Wacom before creating the designs on the cars?

HWC Jun: I actually use a tablet, so I draw on screen.

HWC Kidd: I do a lot of my art w/the mouse... and a lot w/the Cintiq monitor.

HWC Kidd: And a lot w/good ol' fashion sketchbooks!

Excel_aratorin Speed: How long does it take to render the cars on the computer in Photoshop?

HWC Jun: It depends on the level of detail. For example, the red HW40 you see on the site took me about two hours.

Excel_aratorin Speed: Do you ever -- on recolors -- change the designs or colors in Photoshop?

HWC Kidd: Yes - recolors we do in Photoshop & Illustrator.

Excel_aratorin Speed: How many cars do you draw a day?

HWC Jun: It depends on my daily schedule. I keep a sketchbook with me and I'm always doodling on it. I'll fill up a few pages in meetings.

deanoLV: What is the typical workload for design? How many cars a week?

HWC Jun: Depends what department. Graphics and product design have different criteria, but the workloads are always insane.

HWC Kidd: We do hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of graphics per year... each designer...

Excel_aratorin Speed: How does a college grad or so get to become a graphic designer for the car tampo designing?

HWC Kidd: Always lookin' for more talent!

deanoLV: Where do we apply for a job?

HWC Jun: Mattel.com!

Acererak: Is there any specific 1:1 car you’d like to see as a HW?

HWC Jun: Yes. Wayne's.

HWC Kidd: I want to see my 1:64 basic car first!!!

HWC Kidd: THANKS, ER'BODY!

HWC Jun: Thanks y'all.


There will be more guests in the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for our updates on who you can expect to chat with, and when. Until then, see ya in the chat room!