Mattel officials approached the IRL last year with the idea of creating a line of Hot Wheels cars that look like real race cars. Though Mattel isn't forking over much cash for the deal, the California-based company is promising to put lots of marketing muscle behind the initiative.
"This is a pretty comprehensive program where Hot Wheels is going to come up with a bunch of cars," said IRL spokesman John Griffin. "Clearly from a licensing and promotional standpoint, this is a huge opportunity for us."
Mattel also has proposed releasing a special series of larger toy IRL cars and track and car sets, and intends to put the 2009 IRL schedule on all of its packaging for IRL-themed items.