Thursday, August 31 2017 10:05

Toy Review: Star Wars Hot Wheels All-Terrain Character Cars

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For the past few years, Mattel has been doing some very creative things with their license to make Hot Wheels vehicles that are inspired or based upon the characters, locations and machinery of a galaxy far, far away. While their Starships line makes diecast scale models of the actual ships of Star Wars, their Carships and Character Cars bend the rules quite a bit. For us, the character cars have been the big hit - so popular that I eventually added a running checklist to this very website, a page that has become increasingly popular. Now, with the Force Friday II debut of merchandise centered around Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Hot Wheels design team has cranked things up and raised the suspension for something new - Hot Wheels Star Wars All-Terrain Character Cars.

The first wave of All-Terrain Character cars has little to do with The Last Jedi, though BB-8 and the First Order Stormtrooper certainly appear. Darth Vader and the classic X-Wing Pilot version of Luke Skywalker are here, and it looks like a four vehicle first wave is the perfect way to test the market. When word on these first leaked, many quested who the audience would be. Quite simply: they're for kids.

From the Packaging: "Your favorite Star Wars Character Cars are taking it from the streets to any terrain in the galaxy. With an active suspension and larger tires, these reimagined vehicles are designed for off-road domination.

Navigating the sandy dunes of Tattooine while on a high-speed chase is no issue for these awesome racers. Encountering the enemy on the snowy fields of Hoth becomes an afterthought as you plow your way through a nasty blizzard.

Get ready for endless fun that knows no bounds!"

Photo Gallery: Hot Wheels Star Wars All Terrain Character Cars

I dig these, but more importantly, my girls dig these. The appeal is much like that of Monster Jam, and with Mattel set to be phasing out that line as Spin Master picks up the reigns down the road, it's interesting to see Hot Wheels still embracing a larger type of vehicle. 

While these are really cool, I should note that the price point is too high. I'm seeing more "premium pricing" on certain Star Wars items of late, and at $7.99, these are on that higher end. Compare this with an average of $4-$5 for a Monster Jam vehicle or $4 for a standard Character Car and that might mean a deal breaker for budget conscious parents. 

Still, these are a fun addition to the growing Hot Wheels Star Wars Character Cars Collection, and since I don't see these reaching the same level of saturation in terms of character variety, it's cool to have a few of these in the mix.

Available now at most major retailers.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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