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If you happen to take a peek at the selection in your local retailer's aisle of toy cars, there just might be a holiday surprise hidden within the mainline Hot Wheels (the ones that are priced around $1). One sub-collection this year is the 2017 Holiday Racers - a series of five cars, four of which have been revealed. There's Halloween (Poppa Wheelie), Christmas (16 Angels), New Year's (Poppa Wheelie) and the one that I'm sharing since it's Valentine's Day: Rodger Dodger. This classic Hot Wheels ride was originally issued back in 1974 and has been done in many variations since, but for 2017 it's presented in candy apple red with gold accents to celebrate Cupid's favorite day.

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If you happened to catch my latest column at The Toy Insider, then you've already seen a version of that image up-top: a pair of 1974 Dodge Monaco police cars operating on opposite sides of the law. Those 1:64-scale diecast replicas of vehicles from John Landis' 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, are among many produced over the past few years as part of the Greenlight Hollywood series from Greenlight Collectibles. While these have been out there for awhile, the few additional photos that I've shared on social media have piqued some interest, so I'm sharing more right here on the site.

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Things have really changed over the course of the past few years. It was 2014 when I posted about the 35th Anniversary of The Dukes of Hazzard premiering on CBS. A year later, amid outcry due to events in South Carolina, Warner Bros. Consumer Products found itself under fire for licensing replicas of the show's most iconic "character" - the 1969 Dodge Charger known as "The General Lee." Now deemed "politically incorrect" due to the "stars and bars" atop its roof, licensing of the car with its signature feature - a Confederate flag - ceased, and soon after, even re-runs of the series on CMT came to an end. Regardless of what might be deemed (in)appropriate by some today, you cannot erase history, nor can you offer "alternate facts" to what came before.  It was January 26, 1979 that audiences first took a trip to Hazzard County, making today the 38th Anniversary of the series. Queue-up the Waylon...

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The folks at InRoad Toys have been making PlayTape for a few years now - innovative peel-and-stick road pieces and train tracks that allow kids to use their imagination for creating new layouts to use with their favorite toy cars or train sets. Last year, they partnered with Mattel for a licensed assortment of Hot Wheels Playtape Track, bringing the iconic "Orange Track" to the PlayTape realm for the very first time. Touting hours of open-ended play that kids can "unroll, stick & race," the folks at InRoad sent some samples to the Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™, and The Rock Daughters™ were more than happy to go hands-on! Check out the video below...

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Back in the 1980s, Galoob Toys' Micro Machines first hit the scene and became a massive success for a number of years, eventually fading a bit before the small, West Coast toymaker was absorbed by the large, East Coast-based Hasbro. Along the way, Hasbro also acquired TONKA, since licensed out to Funrise Toys, current manufacturers of the iconic yellow vehicles and their many spinoffs. The reason why these acquisitions and licensing deals are important to this story is that the newly-released TONKA Tinys seem to carry a lot of DNA from all of these companies' past endeavors. While there have been plenty of Micro Machines copycats over the past three decades, none have felt as close to the real deal as these new Tinys from TONKA, and that's a pretty cool thing as nostalgia plays so heavily into what parents of today are introducing to their own kids. One decidedly modern spin, however, is that TONKA Tinys are essentially "Blind Boxed," and they tap into the very now trend of micro collectibles.

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Of all the vehicular interests here at Rock Father HQ, one of the most timeless has to be that of TONKA. While the line has evolved over the years to encompass many different types of vehicles in varying sizes and materials, nothing beats the classics - those made of steel or diecast. In last year's Holiday Wish Guide I featured some of the modern diecast singles, but this year I'm focusing on a few different versions, including this TONKA Vintage Diecast 3-Pack. Featuring a Vintage Fire Rescue truck, Vintage Police Cruiser and Vintage Police Wagon (along with a pair of safety cones), the classic styling and sturdy construction will make these a big hit for kids and grownups alike.

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