The Pathfinder Martian probe has been one small step for NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and one giant leap for…Mattel? Sudden interest in the fourth rock from the sun has sent demand for the Hot Wheels version of the Sojourner exploration vehicle into orbit. When the Mars Rover Action Pack shipped to stores in May, initial sales of the $5 toy were less than spectacular. (Mattel declines to release specific figures.) But with Mars mania in full swing, toy stores nationwide are selling out of the mini-space probes. The gift shop at JPL headquarters in Pasadena unloaded its stock of 1,500 models in less than 20 minutes. ”They were selling them right out of the shipping cartons,” says Sara Rosales, Mattel’s manager of public relations. ”We had no idea that this would get so large.” Which explains why toy Rovers are now as scarce as water on the red planet, though Mattel promises to have them back on store shelves within a week or so. Project engineers at JPL, however, won’t be waiting on back orders. Mattel sent each of the Sojourner’s designers a Hot Wheels of his or her very own.
Posted July 25 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Michael Keaton on 'Beetlejuice' sequel: 'It's possible that ship has sailed'
- 'Another Period' guest blog: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome on latest episode
- 'Barely Famous': Sara, Erin Foster on celebrity stalkers, TV industry
- Lenny Kravitz asks to 'Let Love Rule' for DNC performance
- Joe Biden calls out Donald Trump's 'malarkey' in blistering speech
- Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Darren Criss, more sing at DNC
- ‘Wayward Pines’ finale postmortem: EP on what that last scene means
- 'Planet of the Apes': See the Famous Faces Behind the Makeup
- Toronto Film Festival 2016: See First Look Images From This Year's Lineup
- 'One Tree Hill': Where Are They Now?
- 'Little Miss Sunshine': Where Are They Now?
- 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child': 22 Magical Photos
- Comic-Con 2016: Celebs at the Biggest Day 4 Panels