WEDNESDAY - APRIL 3 - 5:45 TO 7:00 PM - JUNIOR BALLROOM AB
BRENDON VETUSKEY, MANSON CHEUNG, MIKE MCCLONE, LARRY WOOD, HOWARD REES,RON WONG, BRYAN POPE, MIKE ZARNOCK, CHRIS WALKER
THURSDAY - APRIL 4 - 12:00 TO 2:OO PM - LILAC A
BRENDON VETUSKEY, MANSON CHEUNG, MIKE MCCLONE, LARRY WOOD, HOWARD REES,RON WONG, BRYAN POPE, MIKE ZARNOCK, CHRIS WALKER
FRIDAY - APRIL 5 - 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM - LILAC C
MATTEL Q & A
JIMMY LIU, JULIAN KOILES, BRENDON VETUSKEY, MANSON CHEUNG
SATURDAY - APRIL 6 - 10:00 AM TO 12:00 NOON
LET'S TALK DESIGN
MANSON CHEUNG, MIKE MCCLONE, LARRY WOOD, JULIAN KOILES,
RON WONG, HOWARD REES, BRENDON VETUSKEY
SATURDAY - APRIL 6 - 2:00 TO 4:00 PM - LILAC A
MIKE MCCLONE, JULIAN KOILES, LARRY WOOD, HOWARD REES,
RON WONG, CHRIS WALKER, MIKE ZARNOCK
SUNDAY - APRIL 7 - 10:00 TO 11:30 AM - GRAND BALLROOM
BRENDON VETUSKEY, MANSON CHEUNG, LARRY WOOD, HOWARD REES,
RON WONG, BRYAN POPE, MIKE ZARNOCK, CHRIS WALKER
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR GUEST OF HONOR
*** MANSON CHEUNG –– SCULPTER
As a 3D Modeler and Sculptor, Manson has a unique job at Mattel, as he takes the two-dimensional design sketches from the Hot Wheels® Design team and translates it to a 3D prototype. In the past, he has sculpted cars by hand, he now uses a computer modeling program to make 3D models. He has worked on over 600 cars.
In addition to modeling cars, Manson has also designed about 25 cars for Hot Wheels® in the Basic Mainline and Adult Collector Lines. These include, 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, all the Back to the Future™ Time Machines, various Batman™ vehicles, A Team™ Van, Mystery Machine™, all the Ghostbusters™ Ecto cars, The Simpsons™ cars, Snoopy™, and others. Many of the Hot Wheels® San Diego Comic Con Exclusives were designed and/or sculpted by Manson. He also designed many of the Hot Wheels Elite® Cult Classics Line, bringing his passion for entertainment cars on a larger scale, including 1/50, 1/43, and 1/18. His projects include vehicles from Back to the Future™, Ghostbusters™, A Team™, Flintstones™, Scooby Doo™, Batman™, James Bond™, and other entertainment brands.
Our Other SPECIAL GUESTS
***BRENDON VETUSKEY - Lead Designer HWC/RLC Die Cast
Brendon joined Mattel, Inc. in 2007, and began working on the Hot Wheels Track & Play Sets team. He developed the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Trick Tracks product lines, as well as the 4-Lane Elimination Race and Super 6-Lane Raceway sets. From that he was the lead designer on Monster Jam for two years developing items like the “Then & Now” series, the “Mighty Minis” line, as well as numerous 1:64, 1:43, and 1:24 scale replica Monster Jam trucks and play sets..
Brendon got his start on designing 1:64 Hot Wheels cars for the 2010 Model year with the 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 and the 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396. Additional designs include the 1972 Ford Torino Gran Sport, 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500, 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone, 1967 Olds 442, 1967 Ford Bronco, 1970 Chevy Blazer, 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, 2011 Dodge Charger R/T, 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD455, 1981 Chevrolet Camaro, K.I.T.T., 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, 1984 Hurst/ Olds, Subaru B.R.A.T., 1970 AMC Rebel Machine, Highway Hauler 2, 1955 Chevy Gasser, 1971 Plymouth Satellite, 1958 Plymouth Belvedere, 1976 Chevrolet Chevette, 1988 Jeep Wagoneer, 1980 Dodge Power Wagon, 2014 C.O.P.O. Camaro, K.I.T.T. Super Pursuit Mode, Mountain Mauler, Corvette Grand Sport Roadster, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Furious 7 Off Road Charger, 2016 Camaro SS, Gotta Go, 2017 ZL1 Camaro, Fate of the Furious Ice Charger, Custom 1967 Pontiac Firebird (a replica of Brendon’s own car), 2017 Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Camaro SS, 1955 Chevy Nomad (retool) as well as the Elite K.I.T.T., K.A.R.R., Herbie The Love Bug, and The Fast and the Furious Dodge Charger in 1:18 and 1:43 scales. And, more cars to come in 2018!
Currently, Brendon is the lead designer for HWC/RLC diecast and Monster Jam diecast vehicles.
Outside of work, Brendon has been collecting Hot Wheels and other vehicle related toys since the early 1990's and has been designing vehicle toys throughout his career. When he's not at work he is likely working on his own project cars (a 1967 Pontiac Firebird and a 1955 Chevy Gasser), helping others with their cars or at some car related event.
*** RON WONG – MATTEL, HONG KONG
Ron works at Hong Kong Mattel Office as product designer, handling various lines of product, including track and playset, entertainment/licensed product and Hot Wheels® innovation design.
In 2014 he joined Mattel as an intern for a summer holiday program, and officially joined Mattel as Product Designer in Hot Wheels® team in 2015 after graduating from Hong Kong Design Institute. With a dream of being a car designer and a car enthusiast, he handled serval vehicle-based project such as Spider-Man Vehicle Launcher, Marvel Feature Character Car, Hot Wheels® AI line, Stunt SEMI RC truck and die-cast design projects.
His first die-cast car design was the exclusive Spiderweb car in Spider-Man Vehicle Launcher. Later on, he also designed character cars for Star Wars All-Terrain Vehicle series, including Chewbacca, Han Solo, Rey and Kylo Ren. The most recent die-cast design is the exclusive Repulsor Blast Car in Iron Man Vehicle Launcher, which is an aerodynamic focused Hot Wheels® car. He always puts track performance at the first place as he believes it is crucial to make a Hot Wheels® designated car to work well on track and playset.
He has been a Hot Wheels® collector since he was 6 years old, collecting mostly first editions, redlines, blackwalls and Hot Wheels® racing models. His collection is including over 10,000 Hot Wheels® 1:64 cars, plus 200+ larger scale model cars.
In his spare time, he is a freelance photographer and videographer, mostly doing automotive photography for hobby.”
*** LARRY WOOD - Retired Designer
In his forty years as Mattel's principal designer of Hot Wheels® vehicles, Larry Wood saw more of his designs produced than any other automobile designer in the world.
Larry graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and headed for Detroit where he worked for the Ford Design Center on the GT 40 project and the '69 Mustang. After the first snow, Larry decided a warmer climate was more to his liking and headed back to Los Angeles. There he signed on with Lockheed, designing aircraft interiors. “The great events of my life have always happened at parties.” Larry has said. It was at a party that Howard Rees (the principal Hot Wheels® designer in '69) told Larry that he was tired of designing toy cars and wanted to move to space toys. Howard promised Larry that he would mention him for the job he was vacating. The rest, as they say, is Hot Wheels® history.
Larry's first design for Mattel was the Tri Baby/Buzz Off. He continued to work on many of the models from 1970 through 1974 and almost all of the vehicles from 1975 through the eighties, retired in 09, and still does a few cars a year.
Two of Larry's favorite Hot Wheels® cars are the Purple Passion® and the "Elwoody" ('50 Buick) in 1/64th scale, the 1/24thscale '49 Merc the detailing involved with the cars he designed include the Tri-Baby, Bugeye, ByeFocal®, Classic Cord, Grass Hopper, The Hood, Jet Threat®, Mutt Mobile, Olds 442, Special Delivery, Strip Teaser, T-4-2, Street Rodder, '31 Doozie, Super Van, Ramblin' Wrecker®, Vega Bomb, Neet Streeter®, '56 Hi-Tail hauler, '57 Chevy, GMC Motor Home, '57 T-Bird, A-OK®, 3-Window '34, '40s Woodie, Greyhound MC-8, Old Number 5, Classic Cobra, ’65 Mustang Convertible, '32 Ford Delivery, Propper Chopper® and the '56 Flashsider®. Some of the cars Larry designed for the collectible line include 1949 Mercury, Dodge Viper GTS, ‘38 Ford C.O.E., '59 Woodie, '69 Riviera Chevrolet, '53 Bel Air, Chevelle, Olds 442 and the Plymouth Hemi GTX. He also did the HWC Mobil Oil series and both the Preferred line and the Collectible line singles for 2002 and 2003, Classics, Street Show®, RLC & the Ultra Hots line.
Lately Larry has designed the Bone Shaker®, ’66 Batmobile, Straight Pipes, Corvette Grand Sport, H2GO™, Tri-Baby Too, A-OK®, ’29 Pickup, Cadillac Pickup, ’41 Willys, Haul of Flame® (the Hot Wheels® shuttle) and all the Larry’s Garage™ cars.
Now he spends his time at his “Elwoods Garage” working on real cars.
***CHRIS WALKER - Designer and Author
Chris Walker “Night Stalker” burst onto the die-cast scene customizing cars for competition. After winning multiple awards, he focused his attention towards high-end custom pieces for celebrities and famous designers. His workis on display at Foose Designs, was displayed at Mattel for Elliot Handlers Birthday, and is currently the only die-cast customizer to have his work appearing in the Hot Wheels® exhibit in the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Expanding out into the die-cast world, he started doing freelance work in packaging and graphics for various die-cast companies, and doing event cars for various U.S. and International conventions.
Chris was inducted into the first year of the Die-cast Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the only member to hold 3 rings. He has been featured in various automotive and hobby magazines for his work, and even had a hand in designing his own casting, The Dreamliner for his own company. Currently he has now turned his attentiontowards writing a few collector books, The Ultimate Guide to the Hot Wheels Drag Bus, and the Ultimate Guide to Steering Rigs, co-written by Joseph Wiggins. Still going strong in the die-cast world, he has no plans to stop. “It's way too much fun!”
*** MIKE MCCLONE - Design
Mike McClone studied fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and digital design at Columbia College Chicago. He worked in Chicago as a freelance designer doing web illustration and a short stint designing stained glass before moving to California in 1999. In June of 2000 he joined the Hot Wheels® graphics team and worked on virtually all of the diecast lines for the next 10 years: Basics Singles, Adult Collector (1/64 and 1/18 scale), track sets and playsets, RLC cars, Moto X bikes, Rapid Transit trains, and many of our full-size show cars.
Since 2010, Mike has been responsible for 5 Car Packs (through 2017), Walmart Premium exclusives (Jukebox, Road Trip, World Tour, Decades, Stars & Stripes, Detroit Muscle, 50th Camaro Anniversary), Basics themed auto assortments (Fast & Furious, Gran Turismo, Forza, Lamborghini, Corvette, Porsche), Licensed Entertainment assortments ( Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Star Wars, Avengers, Tom & Jerry, Captain America, Ghostbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League, Thor Ragnarok, Looney Tunes, and Mickey Mouse), and all Basics holiday cars.
In 2018, Mike was responsible for all Basics HW 50th Anniversary cars, including Black & Gold, 50th Camaro, Zamac Flames, and HW Race Team® sets.
Julian Koiles has been with Hot Wheels packaging since 2014, designing and art directing the packaging for the Hot Wheels premium lines, which includes: Pop Culture, Car Culture, and Replica Entertainment. Along with the Premium line, Julian is also responsible for designing and art directing the packaging for RLC, Hot Wheels Core Track Sets and Play Sets, as well as many of the customized lines, such as the Target Retro Nostalgia line. Julian’s passion for cars, design, and serving the packaging needs of the Hot Wheels collector is evident in the painstaking research and development he does in the process of creating each and every package.
Julian graduated from Academy of Art College with a major in illustration, and a minor in 3d modeling. Prior to coming onboard at Mattel as a packaging designer, Julian had worked as an illustrator, and a product designer at various consumer product companies.
Julian was introduced to the world of cars when he bought his first car; a 1966 Chevy Caprice Coupe. From that moment on cars would become an important part of his life, first personally, and then later professionally. Julian continues to be a “car guy” currently driving a “modded” 2012 Ford Mustang GT.
*** BRYAN POPE (Pope Designs)
My love for Hot Wheels® began as a collector and continues through today as a customizer. I was born and raised in Knightdale, North Carolina on a 150-acre tobacco and cattle family farm. My dad encouraged me to pursue a career other than farming as he knew my artistic talents would take me far. For the last 15 years I have been employed as the art director & package designer for Jerry’s Artarama, the nation’s 2nd largest art supply company based in Raleigh, NC. Beginning in 2004 with a batch of customs promoting a charitable cause, the popularity of my custom creations was almost instant and sold out quickly. In 2006, a Christmas themed custom Hot Wheels® Drag Bus I donated to the 20th Annual Hot Wheels® California Convention auction sold for $1000! It was that milestone that lead me to begin my own die-cast design brand called Pope Designs. Over the last 13 years, many conventions, and thousands of customs later, Pope Designs has expanded its fan base worldwide. I’ve traveled throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, spreading the art of Pope Designs. I also have a Facebook club page called Pope Designs All Access, where I highlight my work and announce my newest creations and items for sale.
***HOWARD REES - Retired Designer
As far back as Howard can remember, he was always drawing airplanes, cars, cartooncharacters, etc. With this love for drawing, he decided to go to Art Center College of Design where he graduated in 1962. While going to college, he worked part time for Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, replacing Ed Newton. After college he got a job designing at the Ford Design Center in Dearborn, MI. Some of the cars he worked on were Mustangs and the Ford J-Car. While on vacation in California he was driving past Mattel where he decided to stop and visit a friend who was working there. It just happened that Ira Gilford, the Hot Wheels® designer at that time, had quit that very day and Howard was offered the job. Since he loved sunny California more than the weather in Detroit, he accepted the job and became the only Hot Wheels® designer at that time. He designed
Hot Wheels® cars for the next two years, first finishing some of the models that were partly done by Ira Gilford. Howard is the main reason that Larry Wood started working at Mattel. It seems that Howard and Larry Wood, who he had known from working at Ford, met at a party in 1969. Larry had recently moved to California and was working at Lockheed designing airplane interiors. Howard mentioned that he was working at Mattel designing cars. Larry told Howard that he had always loved drawing cars and was envious of his job at Mattel. Howard had decided that he wanted a change anyway and asked Larry if he wanted to apply for that position because he had been talking about transferring to the Space Toys - Action Figures department. Larry got the position and stayed there forty years. For the next six years Howard worked on action figures and then worked freelance for the next three years. He then moved to Sutter Creek in Northern, CA to devote full time to fine art painting which he continues to do today. He also does workshops on different watercolor painting technique. Although he does all types of painting, his favorites are local gold country landscapes and small-town scenes. He sells his original paintings through fine art galleries throughout the west, for anywhere from $2000 to $6000 a piece. All of the cars designed by Howard were originally issued in 1970 or 1971, but some of them were re-issued in later years with either the same name or under a new name. These include the Mantis which in 1973 was changed to Double Vision® and in 1984 was changed to Speed Seeker®. Also, the Demon (Prowler & Li’l Coffin) and the Jack Rabbit Special (Sand Witch) were later changed. Cars that Howard customized and re-proportioned include the Carabo (show car), Demon (show car originally done by Darryl Starbird), Classic Nomad, Porsche 917 and the Spoilers series which he did with Ira Gilford (Light My Firebird, King Kuda, Boss Hoss, TNT-Bird and Heavy Chevy) Some of the concept cars that Howard designed include the Mighty Maverick, Mod Quad, Peeping Bomb, Seasider, Cockney Cab®, Noodle Head, Short Order, Jack Rabbit Special and the Mantis which was done with Ira Gilford. While at Mattel, Howard also designed other items including label sheets (decals), some Sizzlers® cars (Anteater, Live Wire® and Side Burn), and sets (Road Sprint set). Howard’s wife Janey runs his Art Workshops fulltime. He has three kids; Damon, a wild life artist in Utah; his daughter, Shauna, a housewife with six kids and his youngest, Ryan, works for Wells Fargo Bank in Glendale, AZ.
***MIKE ZARNOCK - Author, Columnist, Hot Wheels® Specialist
Michael is an American author and columnist, who writes collector guides and articles about Mattel “Hot Wheels®” toy cars and accessories.
Michael’s knowledge along with his massive Hot Wheels® collection has earned him notoriety around the world. Whether it be because of the 14 books he has written on the subject, the numerous chapters in other books and countless magazine articles that he has written about Hot Wheels® toys or just the sheer size and diversity of his die cast vehicle collection, this extensive knowledge has earned him the label, “One of the world’s leading Hot Wheels® Historians.”
Did you know? Michael’s collection has earned him 2 Guinness World Records!
Michael was born April 21, 1958 in Utica, New York into a working-class family. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, Utica, New York in 1976.
Some of Michael’s other accomplishments over the years include racing Moto Cross as a teenager to building and driving many Drag Race and Show Cars. Some of which ended up being Street Racers for other people.
Michael has many stories about those Street Racing days including the time he was kidnapped for not giving up the money. That story made its way across the country to Hollywood where he was asked to write a screenplay about it for
Actor/Producer Christopher Titus. He has also rewritten that script to be published as a novel titled as “Once Upon A Street Race”
Michael has had a passion for Hot Wheels® toy cars and their accessories ever since their release in 1968 when he was 10 years old and has collected them whenever he could find them. It’s come to be that Michael has spent so much time and effort on his collection that he’s become one of the world’s most respected Historians on Hot Wheels® and their variations. So much so, that it prompted him to write a best-selling Collector Guide called “The Ultimate Guide to Hot Wheels® Variations”, first published in 2002 by Krause Publications. That book sold out almost instantly and went into a second printing in less than a year after its release. Since then Michael has written 13 more books, was under contract with “Toy Cars & Models Magazine” for 6 years where he wrote a monthly Hot Wheels® column and price guide, written numerous chapters in many other die cast books and countless articles for magazines such as “The Car Room” and “Die Cast X ”. He is currently Senior Contributing Editor at “Die Cast X Magazine” where he has had his Hot Wheels® column since 2011.
Michael also provides Hot Wheels® Collection Appraisal services for Insurance Riders, Insurance Claims, EBay Fraud Claims, US Postal Damage Claims and Court Cases including Estate and Divorce Settlements, including services to authenticate or disprove fraudulent Hot Wheels® product including issuing Certificates of Authenticity when needed.
Michael makes his home in the small upstate New York town of Deerfield with his wife Tina along with his youngest son Cody and his wife Joanna. His oldest son Christopher makes his home in Conway, South Carolina and is an avid Hot Wheels® collector himself. Michael makes appearances at Schools, Conventions, Toy Shows and Hot Wheels® Club functions across the United States and Canada. You never know where you’ll find him. He has been featured in many Television shows about collecting, been featured in many magazines and he’s even made a few appearances in the movies. He made his screen debut playing “Artie, the sleazy comic book publisher”, in the “Catch Your Breath Productions” film “Detour”. He returned to take on the role of “Freddy Grecko, talk show host extraordinaire” in “The Death of Daniel Whately” and also played “Chester Greenfield II,” the wealthy father of the main character in the movie “Anchor Eddy’s”.
For more information about Michael Zarnock, his latest books and appearances go to his official websitewww.MikeZarnock.com
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