“Challenge accepted!” Those were the words of Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield when asked to host an exciting new kids YouTube series that combines footy, fast cars and fun.
Dangerfield is joined by some of the biggest stars of the AFL and AFLW leagues in AFL Players’ Garage, which is a collaboration between the AFL Players’ Association and Hot Wheels.
The four-episode series sees kids share their love of footy and Hot Wheels cars with some of their favourite AFL players, including Alex Rance, Ben Brown, Erin Phillips, Mason Cox, Josh Kennedy, Nathan Jones, Callan Ward and Mo Hope.
The live audience joins Dangerfield for a footy quiz, skills clinic, Daytona race and the Champion Challenge, which sees four lucky kids compete against an AFL star in a special activity of their design built on the elements of competition, experimentation and creativity.
Rance tries his hand at illustration, Kennedy puts his footwork to the test in a dance off, Phillips shoots arcade hoops and Jones puts his surf skills to the test in nippers.
Dangerfield loved the chance to host his own program, despite having to step out of his comfort zone and into the “Danger Zone” at the end of each episode.
“I’ve never hosted a show on this scale before, so I was quite nervous. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces made it all worthwhile. They seemed to particularly enjoy the Danger Zone segments, where I would always end up having to drink, eat or do something disgusting,” he said.
A key feature of the AFL Players’ Garage set is Dangerfield’s custom Hot Wheels Ford Mustang, which helped evoke a feeling of nostalgia in Dangerfield.
“Hot Wheels has clearly been around for a really long period of time, and I remember having a little Ford Mustang Police car, so to drive a real one onto the set today was super fun,” Dangerfield said.
“To see the kids walk into a garage like this with the Daytona machines set up, Hot Wheels cars everywhere and a real Mustang in the back, it’s a kid’s paradise.”
Jacinta Whitehead, Director of Marketing Mattel ANZ, said the fifth year of partnership between Mattel Hot Wheels and the AFLPA presented the right opportunity to take on the challenge of creating a kids TV show.
“Hot Wheels ignites the challenger sprit that lives within every kid to reach their true potential, and this is exactly what the AFL Players’ Garage did. It’s all about imagining the impossible then relentlessly pushing through any obstacle to make it happen,” she said.
“Watching the AFL Players Garage come to life was so much fun. It was great to watch the kids go between playing with all the Hot Wheels cars and track sets to then talking to the amazing AFL players that were involve in the episodes. You could see they were really torn between what was more fun!!”
AFL Players’ Garage is available via the Players’ Association’s website and YouTube channels from April 3.