This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias
In just a few weeks, the school bells will be ringing as kids prepare to rock the halls for another year of learning. While that means that the Back-to-School season is officially upon us as families shop for school supplies and new clothes for fall, it also means that we're just about to "the dog days of summer" - a time when families will be out there rockin' the road once more for a late summer road trip. Whether it's a far-off locale or a quick weekend run to a fun spot just hours away, it's always important to hit the road prepared - both the family and the ride. For me, that means a trip to the Walmart Auto Center for an oil change
It's no secret that when it comes to Hot Wheels (and diecast vehicles in general), I really love the "star cars" - those inspired by television and film, or those with some other kind of pop culture spin. This week, Mattel made the official announcement that for the first time ever, THE BEATLES and HOT WHEELS have teamed-up for a collection of seven vehicles - each meant to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the band's 1966 single, "The Yellow Submarine," and the film that followed it two years later.
Each year, the folks at Mattel release numerous special edition Hot Wheels collections, many of which land as retailer exclusives. A good majority of these limited-edition sets find their way into Walmart stores, and the availability tends to be sketchy - many times arriving in a one-and-done type of deal, usually a single shipment in a dump bin and they're done. This makes finding complete sets to be a daunting task at times, particularly for the collectors who keep these toys in their original packaging, unlike the routine here at Rock Father HQ where everything gets opened and played with. While I tend to lean toward the "open it!" mentality with most of our toys (there have been a few exceptions), there's one recent Hot Wheels collection that certainly does look mighty fine on-display in the retail packaging, and it's because they were intended to work together. In fact, I don't know that Hot Wheels has ever done this before - a set of ten individual vehicles that when displayed together form a glorious American Flag, complete with a pair of striking Bald Eagles. Take a look at the 2016 Hot Wheels Stars & Stripes Series...
Over the past few years, we've developed quite a few Holiday traditions that happen to involve Mattel's HOT WHEELS. You might not automatically make the Holiday connection with Hot Wheels outside of being a coveted gift each December since 1968, but for many years the Hot Wheels team has been developing and producing seasonally-themed vehicles that often show up as retailer exclusives a few times each year. When Spring rolls around, the Easter Bunny has a habit of dropping a few "Happy Easter" Hot Wheels into The Rock Daughters' baskets, and this year is no exception, with the release of the 2016 Happy Easter Hot Wheels collection, available egg-sclusively at Walmart. There's six cars in all, with spring-themed, pastel versions of 16 Angels, Blvd. Bruiser, Circle Trucker, Furiosity, Monster Dairy Delivery and the Torque Twister all included. I've got a set right here, and one (1) lucky reader of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine will be able to put it in their own Easter Basket!
Who could've predicted that Netflix - a company known for shipping movies on DVD in little red envelopes - would evolve into a streaming giant and bastion of original content that would proudly carry a flag for resurrecting retired pop culture icons? While it was probably never predicted, that's just what happened, and Netflix has become a home for reimaginings of DANGER MOUSE, FULL HOUSE (FULLER HOUSE), INSPECTOR GADGET and CARE BEARS (CARE BEARS & COUSINS). The latest characters from my youth to become a Netflix Original Series are the POPPLES, brought back by Saban Brands and launched with a five-episode inaugural season. I remember these little creatures fondly - cuddly little munchkins that could roll into a furball, and then "POP!" back open into upright-standing, long-tailed, brightly-colored bear-like creatures. Like all good fruits of the 80s, they once had an animated series and a robust toyline - originally spawned by American Greetings, the same folks that brought forth Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears. Three decades later, POPPLES are back, and thanks to Spin Master, they're back in the toy aisle as well - as a Walmart Exclusive for the Holiday Season.
Sticking to your guns and doing what you believe in is something that many can relate to - especially when going against the odds (or even the wishes of your family). I've done that... on more occasions than I should've, but it makes for a good story on occasion. A solid story is what's at the root of THE JOURNEY HOME, and with it's recent DVD release (available at Walmart), the folks at Image Entertainment (RLJ) have teamed-up with THE ROCK FATHER Magazine to offer readers a shot at scoring a prize pack that includes the movie on DVD + a $25 Visa Gift Card. Learn about the film and enter to win below!