In the past year or so, there's been a growing number of diecast metal figures hitting the market, each from toymakers looking to do something a bit different to stand out from the already crowded pack. Generally, when one thinks of diecast, it would be in reference to toy cars, and that category is one that the folks at Jada Toys know very well. Now they're putting their toolmaking skills to work with a new line called METALS that were once teased as being "worth the weight" - and they do have some bulk, firmly stamped as being "HEAVY." I know a thing or two about "heavy metal," so I appreciate the concept. Having tackled characters from both DC Comics and the MARVEL Universe, this summer brought a tie-in for the relaunched GHOSTBUSTERS franchise with an assortment of GHOSTBUSTERS Classics focusing on characters from Ivan Reitman's 1984 film. All four members of the crew are available, including Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore and Peter Venkman. Also issued were the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and a two-pack featuring a "slimed" version of Dr. Venkman alongside the famous green ghost, Slimer. The latter two arrived here for review in our Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™ in a care package from my friends at The Toy Insider. Let's take a look!
It's been pretty-much determined that it was Disney•Pixar's CARS that inspired the love of vehicles that both of The Rock Daughters™ share with daddy here at Rock Father HQ. It started with Addie fairly early into things, an interest that spread to little sister Finn - who just may be the more octane-inclined at this point. Regardless of who has the bigger "need for speed," our daughters have a collection of Hot Wheels, Matchbox and CARS vehicles that has already eclipsed that of my own youth, and these girls are just 4 & 7. One common thread is that all of those brands are produced by Mattel, and something that came to us recently through Mattel's Play, Rate & Review program is the Disney•Pixar CARS Piston Cup Collection - an 11-car box set of fan favorite vehicles from the famed Piston Cup Championship.
Mattel's collaboration with Lucasfilm to create diecast vehicles with roots in a galaxy far, far away dates back to 2014, and without a doubt the major success has been the line of Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Cars (view the checklist here). Now comes the next chapter, with the summer 2016 SDCC debut of Hot Wheels STAR WARS Carships! Launched with the release of an exclusive set for SDCC, more Carships have been racing into retailers and flying off the pegs. For the spring of 2017, new packaging featuring the STAR WARS 40th Anniversary branding began hitting stores.
It's the beginning of summer and you decide that it's time to take The Great American Road Trip. After setting your sights on a cross-country trip from Chicago to California, you head on over to Lou Glutz Motors to pick up the special-ordered Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with the CB and the optional Rally Fun Pack -- the car that the entire family has been waiting for. Instead, you're presented with the all-new Wagon Queen Family Truckster in Metallic Pea. It's not what you ordered - not even the same model - but Lou's got a few of 'em on the lot, and with a trip to Cali happening in the morning, you settle. At least, that's what Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) did in 1983's NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, and in 2016, thanks to the folks at Greenlight Collectibles, you can bring the Family Truckster home.
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.
Back in the 90s, the folks at Hallmark offered a series of "Kiddie Car Classics" - diecast vehicles based on classic pedal cars, each with a Keepsake Ornament counterpart. Recently, the line returned, and now there's a new assortment racing into Hallmark Gold Crown stores (and online) featuring four new Kiddie Car vehicles - 1945 Gillham Fire Engine, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Tracy's Hot Rod and 1957 Ford Thunderbird - each as a detailed diecast replica (with collector card) priced at $49.95, and as a Keepsake Ornament priced at $19.95. They look pretty sweet... take a look...
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