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Part of a series of features from The Rock Father™ celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels, Mattel is throwing things back to where it all began... to May of 1968 when a 1:64-scale Spectraflame blue Chevrolet Camaro first hit stores. Elliot Handler, who co-founded Mattel with his wife, Ruth, wanted to do something big. He wanted to create a toy car that was better than anything else out there at the time. It had to look cooler. It had to perform better. And, with a rocket scientist and the help of Harry Bentley Bradley, a designer plucked from General Motors, an icon was born. Famously stating "Those are some hot wheels!," the "fastest metal cars in the world" now had a name and 15 more would join that blue Camaro to become known as the original "Sweet 16." These rides have become highly sought-after, so for Hot Wheels official birthday (May 18), Mattel has unleashed the Hot Wheels 50th Originals Collection. The assortment includes replicas of five Hot Wheels from the Sweet 16, each presented with legacy graphics, detailed Spectraflame paint, Redline wheels, and just like the originals, they come with a collectible button packed alongside the car on reproduction blister packs that look just like they did back in 1968!

Published in Rock Father Rides

The first in a series of features from The Rock Father™ celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels.

Since the launch of Mattel's Hot Wheels back in 1968, there have been hundreds (perhaps thousands) of playsets released, each providing an environment for generations of children to enjoy countless hours of high-octane imaginative play. At the center of that, the ever-updated range of garages has always been the pinnacle (we love our Ultimate Garage), but those were seldom portable - which is where the Sto & Go collection came in. Launched in 1979, the Hot Wheels Sto & Go Playsets perfectly reflected their name, packing big fun into a set that could quickly be flipped into a briefcase form that's ready to go wherever the family might be headed. Perhaps the most famous of the sets is the one that I had - the Hot Wheels Sto & Go Service Center, but there were several others, including the Sto & Go City, Construction Site, Car Wash & Service Station and lesser-known versions like the "Trucks & Trains" Railroad Freight Yard, Alpine Mountain Adventure military-themed "Action Command" Sto & Go Base. The line ran into the 90s before going dormant for a bit, but in 2016 it returned as part of the Hot Wheels Retro Style Series. Available exclusively at Target, the modern Hot Wheels Sto & Go Playset is not a direct copy of any of the vintage sets, but rather inspired by the best features of what came before it - largely pulling from the Service Center and City Sets. Check out the music video below to see this set in-action!

Published in Rock Father Rides

Over the past year, there have been a ton of PJ Masks toys released. While I love what Just Play has done with the line, I do think that there comes a point when "overkill" comes into play, and it happens to the best of toy lines. When there's duplication between characters and vehicles in different scales, it can become confusing for families - parents and kids alike. This has happened with PJ Masks, and earlier this year I shared a picture of four different scales of the Catcar, along with five variations of Catboy. Since that time, there's been four additional versions, and an equal collection of Owl Gliders and Gekko Mobiles. Now comes yet a different scale, but it's one that I don't mind at all. In fact, it's a whole new realm when it comes to PJ Masks, and these may be my personal favorites when it comes to this line... PJ Masks diecast. Launched as a Toys "R" Us exclusive to begin with, the first wave consists of five vehicles - the three heroes, alongside Romeo's Lab and the Night Ninja's Bus. I dig 'em.

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As we speed toward the holiday season, Mattel's Hot Wheels division is on fire. With loads of new product offerings hitting stores, the team at Mattel has revved-up their new "Challenge Accepted" initiative to remind parents (and show new ones) that "Hot Wheels are more than just a toy - they're a tool that helps kids develop life skills." Already knowing that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is at play in the world of Hot Wheels, Challenge Accepted breaks down how skills and traits like problem solving, creativity, sportsmanship and confidence can get a boost from those famous 1:64-scale diecast cars. Check out the new commercial below to see what happens when a mother and son take off for some action in a real-life Redline...

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Do you hear the rumble? The folks at Spin Master just inked a "monster" deal with Feld Entertainment - one that will see them begin a 10-year partnership as the worldwide master toy partner for MONSTER JAM beginning in 2019. "This decade-long brand partnership with Spin Master will grow the Monster Jam toy line exponentially, engaging new and current fans, while reinforcing the Monster Jam franchise as one of the most exciting and fastest growing in all of motorsports," noted Kenneth Feld, CEO, Feld Entertainment.  For longtime fans of Monster Jam, this news marks some big changes ahead.

Published in Rock Father Rides

When it comes to the rides of a galaxy far, far away, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more legendary vehicle than the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Indeed, the Millennium Falcon is the most famous example of the Corellian Engineering Company's YT-1300 Light Freighters - albeit a heavily-modified ship that managed to consistently defy the odds under Captain Han Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca, along with Lando Calrissian and most recently, Rey. To celebrate the legacy of this ship during the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, the folks at Mattel have issued the Hot Wheels Collectors Millennium Falcon Special Edition - a highly detailed Metal/Metal fully-diecast version of the ship as it appeared in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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