Last month, a mysterious new program appeared parked in the virtual garage over at Netflix. TEAM HOT WHEELS appeared for viewing, but what exactly was this 22-minute episode? With my two car-obsessed girls at my sides, we pressed play and opened the doors to "Larry's Garage" to check out this new adventure, based on Mattel's long-running line of diecast cars... the same ones that we have several hundred of here at Rock Father HQ. The show - focusing on four, go-kart riding kids that transform into TEAM HOT WHEELS to cruise a world lined with bright, orange track - was a ton of fun, but it played like a "pilot episode," and a quick web search came up largely dry. Today, that mystery has been solved.
I realized something this afternoon as I browsed the press releases coming in from Toy Fair 2014: I never owned any PLAYMOBIL toys. None as a kid, and thus far, none as a parent. Not really sure why, since we've often looked at them while visiting the local Toys "R" Us, but I certainly respect what they do, and have even covered them here on the site in the past. Now comes news that the brand is celebrating it's 40th Anniversary with a massive product launch for 2014. Whether it's the PLAYMOBIL Racers (which I'm highlighting here), or your into animals, dragons, outdoor life, the big city, or mythical landscapes, PLAYMOBIL has something for almost everyone.
In our casual collecting of HOT WHEELS here at Rock Father HQ, we sort of have two ways that we go with it. The girls (Addie, in particular) like whatever they like... I mean, they're kids, so you never know what's gonna strike their fancy. I, on the other hand, like "star cars" - the toys based on vehicles from pop culture, movies, tv shows, etc. There's all different levels of this, from the $1 "mainline" cars to the $5 "Retro Entertainment" series that I dig, and beyond that there's some really expensive versions that are bigger, more detailed, and frankly, not for me. I want stuff that the girls and I can play with, and $1-$5 I can dig. While the world of real-life rides is stirring with announcements set to come from the forthcoming auto shows in Detroit and Chicago, this week, news surfaced out of Mattel that a new vehicle is on the way for the kids... Introducing, THE HOMER!
One of the coolest toys to roll in here this season is the Throttle Motorcycle from Worx Toys' EduTech line. Had it been earlier in the year, I would've covered this one in my "Rock Father Rides" section, but the uniqueness of these vehicle has it firmly planted right here in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Coming from a company that was founded by a trio of Dads with inquisitive kids, the EduTech line goes beyond a standard plaything and offers kids a genuine educational experience by teaching them about basic functions of the rides they love. In the case of Throttle, we have a speedy motorcycle with a transparent casing that through lights, sounds, and an accompanying book, explores everything from headlights to transmission.
Just in-time for the Holiday Season, my friends at Toy State hit us with a fresh batch of new rides to put to the test right here at Rock Father HQ. Among the new offerings to capture the interest of my car-obsessed little ones was one of the all-new Road Rippers Street Beatz vehicles. With lights, sound, music, and motorized action, the girls have been racing this new ride around the family room, having to opt out of our traditional "road test" on the sidewalk... since there's already snow on the ground.
We don't have HESS EXPRESS stores here in the Midwest, but my friends on the East Coast do, and today comes some pre-Holiday news regarding an annual tradition for those with a Hess nearby: The Hess Toy Truck. For nearly 50 years, families have been picking up and collecting the Hess Toy Trucks, which were introduced by Leon Hess in 1964 as "a fun, high quality and affordable toy for families during the holliday season." While the line has gone beyond just trucks to include vehicles such as a police car, fire engines, a space shuttle, jet, and race cars, this year they're back to trucks, with the 2013 Hess Toy Truck and Tractor. Check it out below...