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Today (if you're reading this on September 26) is BATMAN DAY, an International Holiday created by DC Comics to celebrate The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader... whatever you want to call BATMAN in any and all of his many forms. Growing up, SUPERMAN was always my #1 hero until the "summer of Batman" happened in 1989 and proceeded to give Bruce Wayne's alter-ego a nudge to the forefront. Over the years, I've had some cool BATMAN experiences - from seeing The Tumbler in-action on the set of Christopher Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS in 2004, to putting on the cape and cowl for Halloween last year. This year, I'm celebrating BATMAN DAY by giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a shot at winning one (1) of two (2) complete sets of 2015 Hot Wheels BATMAN Series Vehicles by Mattel! There's six iconic vehicles in all, each packaged in matching artwork. Check this out...

Published in Rock Father Rides

We're pretty big fans of the "Character Cars" that Mattel has been releasing as part of their Hot Wheels line for the past few years, and while we're not quite "completists," there is one pairing that was quite hard to resist. When a car inspired by GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY's Rocket Raccoon hit the streets (featured here back in January), it didn't even cross my mind that the big blastin' Rocket would eventually gain a true companion vehicle based upon his tall friend Groot. While the idea of a Groot car was certainly a given, making it into an actual, functional companion piece is what the designers at Mattel pulled off, and the results are fantastic. Hitting the pegs of your favorite toy emporium this month is the Hot Wheels Groot, and he's joined our fleet here at Rock Father HQ. Take a look!

Published in Rock Father Rides

Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs a Step2 Brand Ambassador, I've had the joy of bringing you a ton of news, reviews and features on new products from The Step2 Company over these past few years. For Fall 2015, we're going a little bit bigger, and I'm helping to drop the curtain on 11 new products (MADE IN THE USA*) destined to be sought-after by children, and almost certain to make several Hot Holiday Toy lists (a few will be in my own Holiday Wish Guide). The lineup is impressive, and we're inviting all of you to share in our excitement by taking part in a very special giveaway - one in which the winner will get their choice of which item they'll receive from the Fall 2015 reveals! Ready to rock? 

Mattel has been doing some really fun things with Hot Wheels lately, one of which are multiple series' of vehicles with themes rooted in pop culture history. Many of these are retailer exclusives that are offered as sort of a "one-and-done" thing - a big shipment arrives in one shot, and when they're gone, they're gone. For families and casual collectors, sometimes completing a full set is a challenge, as there tends to be one or two hard-to-find cars in the set. Recently, Hot Wheels issued a six-car, Tom & Jerry 75th Anniversary Series that was created to commemorate the MGM Cartoons that won Academy Awards from 1940-1957. I've recently acquired a set, and I'm giving all of you a chance to win it, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!

Published in Rock Father Rides

The Step2 CompanyOn my recent trip to the Ohio headquarters of The Step2 Company, I turned a corner to find something mysterious... large... and previously only rumored to exist. The legend turned out to be true... and there it was - headlights shining at me - glaring in front of an iconic blue and orange color scheme that can only be claimed by one of America's biggest and best-selling automakers. Granted, they're usually 1:64 in scale and made largely of diecast metal, but I don't know if any car brand has moved more units than Hot Wheels since the first "Redlines" rolled-out in 1968. The odd thing here is that I found myself staring at what may be one of the biggest Hot Wheels items ever to be produced... and it wasn't in the famed Southern California Design Studio that Mattel has established for Hot Wheels, but in the Ohio testing facility of fellow toymaker Step2. Take a peek at this, and look very closely...

Published in Rock Father Rides

With MARVEL's ANT-MAN in theaters now, your favorite retailers are stocking up on some pretty cool merch featuring a superhero that until now, few were actually familiar with. Being the first true "family" film in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, there's a lot of play value (and potential for learning) here. As with most summer movies (and superhero movies in general), the amount of items hitting the streets for ANT-MAN is massive, but I'm presenting a hand-picked collection of 15 of the coolest toys - a rundown offered up in no particular order. 

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