Hot Wheels: Highway 35/Acceleracers (partially found work on animated film; early-mid 2000s)
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|Acceleracers Ignition cover image|
In 2003, Toy Maker Mattel celebrated then 35th anniversary of their world famed Hot Wheels toy line with the release of a 5 part CGI miniseries Hot Wheels Highway 35: World Race on DVD and was later aired on the Toonami Saturday Video Entertainment System programming block and rereleased as a direct to tv compilation film. The film and accompanying video game and toyline were a smash hit and ensured a sequel two years later in 2005, as a series of TV films aired on Toonami as Hot Wheels: Acceleracers, which involves some returning characters and new characters fighting against the evil Robotic Racing Drones in mysterious alien worlds known as Racing Realms. Despite Mattel's intentions of the line being apart of a "aging up initiative" for the Hot Wheels line and the support of young kids, many older fans of Highway 35 and various casual viewers loathed it for the darker tone in the story, the convoluted broadcast time and feeling it lacked the heart of Highway 35 (including Toonami themselves, going as far to referring the show as "Mattel's Bionicle"). Along with poor toysales and Mainframe's budgetary problems that led to them shutting down and reform as Rainmaker Entertainment, the show ended on its 4th episode The Ultimate Race with a cliffhanger.
The Discovery of the Promo
In mid 2016, a redditor on the r/Acceleracers subreddit named Sun619 told the subreddit that he had found a promo on Youtube that made him think Acceleracers was continuing via Warner Brothers (who had distributed the films back when they were producing episodes). When others asked Sun619 for a link, he said he couldn't find it again and that the video had been taken down shortly after it was uploaded.
For a while, people doubted the legitimacy of Sun619's comment until June 30, 2017 when another r/Acceleracers redditor named kevinm0388 had gotten in contact with former writers and Mainframe animators about the matter and confirmed that such a promo did exist and was made for Warner Brothers and Mattel roughly in late 2005 to early 2006. and upon the revelation that Acceleracers action figures were to be made featuring the characters that Sun619 mentioned being in the promo (including RD-K1 leading the Drone, and Banjee Castillo, a character who was once long thought dead in the show, being alive on the Silencerz team), thus confirming his account on the trailer.
According to Rainmaker Studios, the only way they can release the promo is if Mattel approved of the release and that the toys were turned into a McDonald's toyline. Mattel when asked about the matter, reiterated the same thing Rainmaker said and didn't elaborate further.
Sony's Involvement in the Unmade Films
Sony had also trademarked the Hot Wheels: Acceleracers series after it ended and copyrighted each film along with "2 Production Materials" in 2009, the same time as Warner Brothers released Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5. The 2 scripts that writers mention drafting were presumably the aforementioned "Production Materials" and allegedly Sony had plans on continuing the series and made a promo for a sequel film to show to potential investors (which may have been the previously stated promo from Sun619).
Highway 35 Unresurfaced Extended Footage
In addition, in episode 4 of Acceleracers prequel Highway 35 that originally aired on August 2, 2003 on the Toonami Video Entertainment System block and on a rare VCD in Southeast Asia that contained extended and deleted scenes from the episode. Some scenes that have resurfaced in the Spanish dub, including an extended intro that features the drivers introducing themselves to the audience. One scene has yet to resurface in any language, however is a short clip where a character named Dan Dresden says "Yeah, I'm willing to put aside competition...for now."
- The Toonami Wikia article on the block. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- The Toonami Wikia article on Hot Wheels Acceleracers. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- A YouTube video explaining the story of Hot Wheels Acceleracers. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- Sun619's Reddit post. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- kevinm0388's Reddit post. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- An Acceleracers Writer confirming the existence of the Promo. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- A Hobbydb website listing the SDCC 2005 action figures. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- Another image of what could have been the McDonald's toyline. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- The Lost Films page of Reddit discussing the film. Retrieved 22 Nov '17
- The Accelepedia article on the deleted scenes. Retrieved 22 Nov '17