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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Exclusive: Is Something BIG Coming from Hot Wheels and Step2?

The Step2 CompanyOn my recent trip to the Ohio headquarters of The Step2 Company, I turned a corner to find something mysterious... large... and previously only rumored to exist. The legend turned out to be true... and there it was - headlights shining at me - glaring in front of an iconic blue and orange color scheme that can only be claimed by one of America's biggest and best-selling automakers. Granted, they're usually 1:64 in scale and made largely of diecast metal, but I don't know if any car brand has moved more units than Hot Wheels since the first "Redlines" rolled-out in 1968. The odd thing here is that I found myself staring at what may be one of the biggest Hot Wheels items ever to be produced... and it wasn't in the famed Southern California Design Studio that Mattel has established for Hot Wheels, but in the Ohio testing facility of fellow toymaker Step2. Take a peek at this, and look very closely...

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Behold: 15 of the Coolest Toys from MARVEL's ANT-MAN

With MARVEL's ANT-MAN in theaters now, your favorite retailers are stocking up on some pretty cool merch featuring a superhero that until now, few were actually familiar with. Being the first true "family" film in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, there's a lot of play value (and potential for learning) here. As with most summer movies (and superhero movies in general), the amount of items hitting the streets for ANT-MAN is massive, but I'm presenting a hand-picked collection of 15 of the coolest toys - a rundown offered up in no particular order. 

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Watch: The Making of HOT WHEELS' Life-Size BATMAN v. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Twin Mill...

Guests at Comic-Con International in San Diego last week got a first-look at the latest real-life vehicle to be spawned from the world of Mattel's iconic HOT WHEELS brand. The BATMAN v. SUPERMAN Twin Mill was inspired by the forthcoming BATMAN v. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, and will be reproduced as a 1:64 scale diecast car that kids and collectors will be able to find next spring as part of a larger BvS line of vehicles. Check out the making-of video below, along with some words on the styling direct from the Hot Wheels Team...

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Watch: Hands-on with the Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Cars Chopper and Boba Fett!

Accelerate the fun at the Hot Wheels Headquarters at MattelShop.comOne of the fastest-growing and most exciting toy collections here at Rock Father HQ in recent months is the Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Car Collection by Mattel. It's a unique thing - spawned from the first time that Mattel has held a STAR WARS license in the nearly 40-year history of the franchise, and something we've been covering since the first vehicles began hitting retail last year. With designs inspired-by characters from nearly all facets of a galaxy far, far away, two of the most recent additions are Chopper - the Astromech Droid from Disney XD's STAR WARS REBELS - and bounty hunter Boba Fett. Take a look at our new hands-on video below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER!

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STAR WARS HOT WHEELS Character Car Collection Checklist and Guide

STAR WARS fans of all ages got excited in 2014 when it was first revealed that Mattel would get to dabble with the STAR WARS license for the very first time under their flagship HOT WHEELS brand. Jumping in heavy, the announcement came with the debut of a life-sized, functional Darth Vader character car, along with the slow roll-out of a variety of STAR WARS-inspired rides across several different assortments, pack sizes and retailer exclusives, keeping up has quickly become a difficult pursuit. That's why I've begun putting together a checklist, complete with all the details I can wrangle for this exciting new collection. And this is just for the STAR WARS Hot Wheels that are on wheels. There's a whole separate line of diecast ships and playsets yet to come, and that will warrant its own guide. In the meantime, here's the latest, and this list will continue to be updated regularly...

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Giveaway: Win A Complete Set of the 2015 Happy Easter Hot Wheels!

Accelerate the fun at the Hot Wheels Headquarters at MattelShop.comEach year, Mattel produces a limited-edition set of Hot Wheels vehicles that are sold exclusively through Walmart for Easter. Much like the Holiday Hot Rods series that they do,  these bargain-priced diecast rides are generally a one-and-done type of deal. Each store gets a sidekick display or two, and once they're gone, they're gone... and a ton of them end up on third-party resale sites like eBay for significantly higher prices. For 2015, the "Happy Easter" Series contains six cars, each priced at just $0.84 cents each in-store... but the trick is to actually find a whole set... which is where I come in. For the past two years, my girls have received a set, and I already have confirmation that the Easter Bunny will be delivering a set for my little ones this year as well. But there is another full set of six - one that I have here in my possession at Rock Father HQ, and I'm going to give it to one of you. These would make some really cool basket stuffers! Ready for a chance to win?

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Giveaway - STAR WARS REBELS Action Figure + STAR WARS Hot Wheels Prize Pack!

Jedi vs. Sith. Empire vs. Rebels. Hasbro vs. Mattel. Polar opposites in some cases, fierce rivals in others. For the latter two, they're more alike than different, a pair of the most recognizable toymakers in the galaxy. While their competition is heated, for the first time in forever they're both bound by something greater than them both... a license known as STAR WARS. While Hasbro continues the lineage started with Kenner in bringing forth 3 ¾-scale STAR WARS action figures (among many other things), this past year has seen STAR WARS married to Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels line through a series of Character Cars, retailer exclusives and playsets. Bottom line: It's a great time to love STAR WARS, and as Disney and Lucasfilm ready the release of J.J. Abrams' THE FORCE AWAKENS for this December, there's some cool new toys that are slowly making their way into retailers. To have a little unofficial celebration of The Force here at Rock Father HQ, I've decided to offer-up a little something special - a Galactic Prize Pack featuring a pair of STAR WARS Hot Wheels Character Cars from Mattel, and a sought-after STAR WARS REBELS action figure from Hasbro's Saga Legends assortment. Will The Force be with YOU?

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Rides: Hot Wheels High Jump Frenzy R/C by Toy State (Review)

When it comes to radio-controlled vehicles, 2015 is already off to an exciting start with the arrival of the HOT WHEELS R/C High Jump Frenzy vehicle from Toy State. The latest entry into Toy State's growing Hot Wheels line (produced under license from Mattel) actually hit the streets just before Christmas last year, but it's taken a little time to get back up-to-speed here in our state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ  (our house) to present an accurate review.

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Toyography: Here's Rocket Raccoon's Hot Wheels GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Character Car...

Every so often, beyond the normal realm of traditional vehicles, Mattel releases a fresh batch of Hot Wheels "Character Cars" - concept vehicles inspired by a pop culture franchise. In the past, the Character Cars series has seen MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, TOY STORY 3, THE MUPPETS, and even SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS get the Hot Wheels treatment - but right now the two big lines are based on STAR WARS (two of which I showcased here) and MARVEL Comics. From the MARVEL assortment comes the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Rocket Raccoon car, featured in a #Toyography post on my social networks last week, and one that I've decided to share here on the site with a little more detail. First, the original photo...

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Hot Wheels Holiday Hot Rods - 2014

'Issued as a Walmart Exclusive in the United States for the 2014 Holiday Shopping Season, the Hot Wheels Holiday Hot Rods were a series of eight diecast vehicles produced by Mattel in limited quantities. Sold for an original retail price of just $0.97 each, the Holiday Hot Rods carried on the tradition of previous years, each with custom card artwork featuring a Hot Rod Santa Claus taking a turn on a Christmas-themed speedway, giving a "thumbs-up" as he throws the car into the curve.

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