EVERY person feels the need to be different. Being able to set ourselves apart from the crowd lets us express our own unique character.
This is where customisation comes into play. People put a good deal of effort, time and resources to customise their cars, bikes, and even apparel.
Mohd Azwandie Mohamed Hussain has his own take on customisation. The 37-year-old freelance graphic designer and his partner, Muhammad Afiq Abd Razak, run Kreauto, a company that offers the world’s first CAD-designed wheels for Hot Wheels cars.
Azwandie said there were companies providing custom wheel designs for Hot Wheels cars, but those were made out of resin, similar to factory-fitted wheels.
Kreauto, on the other hand, offers two-piece wheels in the form of resin “wheels” wrapped in “rubber” tyres.
“Kreauto manufactures the wheels using a high-precision 3D printer. The printer injects the two different materials for the wheels and tyres into separate moulds before they are hand-assembled,” said Azwandie.
Experts in 3D-design, marketing and supply, Kreauto is not a standalone company. Its products are manufactured by DBR, a Penang-based company run by Mohd Faizal Mansor and Yazid Qirwani Che Azmi.
Azwandie became a serious Hot Wheels collector in 2007 and has been actively customising the toy cars for seven years.
“I redesign the decals and body prints before selling them to other collectors.”
He designed Kreauto’s custom wheels to resemble those from real-world brands, such as Volk Racing, BBS, Enkei and Work Meister.
One of his designs has even been endorsed by Atara Racing - a local wheel brand with a growing fanbase.
In a recent production batch, Kreauto added a “tampo” design, which is the lettering on tyre sidewalls usually called stencils on the real cars, which adds a further degree of detailing.
He said aside from gaining a following in Malaysia, he had received many orders from abroad, mainly due to social media.
“In fact, 90 per cent of our buyers are from overseas,” he said.
Azwandie said Kreauto custom wheels were also compatible with Kyosho, Tomica and other toy car brands that were around the same scale as Hot Wheels.
Azwandie and Afiq are currently designing universal bodykits and spoilers that can be added to Hot Wheels cars, taking inspiration from the RWB Porsche and Liberty Walk custom cars.
They are also designing 1:64 scale Proton Wira, Satria and Arena and are planning to apply for Proton endorsement.