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Toy StateAfter checking out their new "Extreme Action" line last week (review here), this week, Toy State hit us with a new entry from their "Hyper Racer" line of Hot Wheels vehicles, created as part of an agreement with Mattel. Recommended for Ages 3 and Up, the Hyper Racer assortment serves up a pair of large-scale vehicles based on Yur So Fast and Spin King, both originally offered as 1:64 scale diecast cars from the Hot Wheels mainline starting in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Toy State's specialty is ACTION, and the Hyper Racers are infused with lights, sound, music and motorized play. Yur So Fast rolled into the toy testing facility here at Rock Father HQ, and my girls had no problem taking it for a spin...

Published in Rock Father Rides

Our foam-based arsenal is growing here at Rock Father HQ, and the most recent addition is the NERF N-Strike Elite Mega Magnus Blaster. Sent to us by Hasbro for review, this new offering for Spring 2014 is undoubtedly my favorite Nerf blaster thus far. Problem is, it might actually be a little bit too powerful, and it's already gotten me into a little bit of trouble.

Step2Of all the things that the late Spring arrival here in Illinois has brought with it, one of the highlights has been the coming of new toys. We've all been infected with a bad case of Cabin Fever this year, and that's only been made worse by the fact that we've had certain things here in "the warehouse" at Rock Father HQ that we've been unable to use right away, thanks to snow. The BIG example? The Step2 Alpine Ridge Climber & Slide, a brand-new offering for 2014 that's being sold Exclusively at Toys "R" Us Stores. As a Step2 Brand Ambassador, my family gets to try out many of the coolest new toys that Step2 has to offer, and this one was at the top of the girls' list. With the snow finally gone, our Alpine Ridge is set-up and ready to rock.

Toy State Test DriverAs Aerosmith once said, we're "Back in the Saddle" again when it comes to new rides from Toy State (I'm one of their "Test Drivers"). With Spring here, the new models are hitting the streets, and this month brings the first vehicles that Toy State has created in partnership with Mattel under the Hot Wheels brand. One of the most exciting lines to be featured is the "Extreme Action" collection, a subset of three unique Hot Wheels that have been given a larger size, and infused with light, sound, music, and motorized functions. Included in the first wave are SCORPEDO, the SHARK CRUISER, and the iconic STREET CREEPER. The latter just arrived here for review in our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house and neighborhood), and here's the lowdown...

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Earlier this year, after the past success of their building sets based on JOHN DEERE and CATERPILLAR, the folks at MEGA BLOKS added JEEP to the mix and combined all three under a new brand, AMERICAN BUILDERS. While these sets are geared toward kids 5+, I'm pretty well-aware that there's quite a few grownups who enjoy these as well, especially if they strike an emotional chord of some kind - and these certainly can. Where nostalgia can be a factor (I played with a lot of John Deere tractors as a boy), adventure is the key on the Jeep note, and my girls and I recently dug into the American Builders Jeep Off-Road Adventure Set, which was sent to Rock Father HQ for review.

Published in Rock Father Rides

It's hard to believe, but it was over a year ago already that MEGA BLOKS announced a partnership with MATTEL to create a series of HOT WHEELS branded building sets (MATTEL recently announced that they've straight-up purchased MEGA Brands). They started rolling out to retailers last Fall, and in that initial wave, we received the first assortment of their Turbo Tubes Build & Collect Vehicles for review here in our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house). Those rides were an immediate hit, so we were pretty excited when a trio of new rides rolled up to Rock Father HQ a few weeks ago, part of the 2014 Spring assortment. Up for review this time: BAD TO THE BLADE (Team Blue), FAST FISH (Team Green), and a new Team Yellow version of TWINDUCTION.

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