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Hot Wheels has partnered with Paralympic athlete Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham to release a remote-controlled wheelchair toy. The Hot Wheels R/C Aaron Wheelz Wheelie Chair can spin and jump, race along at up to 4 mph (6.4 km/hour) and comes with a ramp for performing flips.
Fotheringham is a five-time global wheelchair motocross champion. He started using a wheelchair from the age of eight and tagged along to skate parks with his older brother, who encouraged him to join in on his own set of wheels. He went on to compete in extreme wheelchair sports, mastering death-defying stunts like a double back-flip.
While people are sometimes described as 'wheelchair-bound' or 'confined to a wheelchair,' those phrases entirely miss the point. Wheelchairs are incredibly useful tools. They're enabling and liberating, and they're also an opportunity for fun.
Toy-sized changes can make a huge difference. Allowing kids to see themselves and their differently-abled peers in the objects they play with creates acceptance and removes stigma.
Progressive companies like Mattel-owned Hot Wheels are making space for a more diverse array of voices than ever before. What can your brand add to its offerings to change outdated narratives?
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