When I was little, there was a Hot Wheels truck that I always loved, called the "Highway Hauler." 40 years later, the Highway Hauler still exists in a modernized form, and one of the cool things about it is that since it's a box truck, the box on the back can be used to create an "advertisement," just as they were back in the day. When i'd play with friends, it was always cool to see which version the other kids had, because these trucks would often reflect the real world with brands like Pepsi, Pennzoil, and even other Mattel lines like MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. On a similar note, Matchbox first released their "Billboard Truck" back in 2003, and since then there have been several versions stamped with everything from Scooby-Doo and DC Comics to Nintendo and Roswell, New Mexico. What I found most striking, however, is a recent version done very simply in red-and-white, stamped with "This Is Mattel" - an ad for the parent company, complete with their mascot, "Matty," hanging in the back. Available as part of a Matchbox City 5-Pack, it's a really cool ride that I actually swiped from The Rock Daughters' collection to sit near my desk here in the office, though they're certainly welcome to play with it at any time...
A little more than a month ago, I blogged about the 60th Anniversary of MATCHBOX, and the fantastic promotional campaign that Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) put together to celebrate the occasion. One big element of the anniversary is the MATCHBOX Heroes Wanted promotion, a sweepstakes with weekly prizes that will be capped-off with a $60,000 College Scholarship to be awarded to one winner. As noted in my initial post, I entered my car-obsessed daughter, Adalyn in the contest... and now she's become one of the weekly winners - an official "MATCHBOX Hero-in-training!"
Earlier this month, I posted a blog regarding the MATCHBOX 60th Anniversary Celebration that Mattel is currently promoting (read it here). One thing I didn't mention in that piece was that for the first time ever... MATCHBOX has issued a "chase" vehicle - a variation produced in limited numbers and randomly distributed - similar to what the MATCHBOX cousins at HOT WHEELS do with their "Treasure Hunts." While the 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Line of MATCHBOX is said to include 24 Vehicles, there is actually a 25th - the unnumbered Routemaster Bus in Red Chrome, with special artwork.
Times may change, but over the past sixty years, one constant has been the presence of MATCHBOX cars and toys, both on store shelves (and pegs), and in the homes of families everywhere. While the line has seen some ups-and-downs since it's launch in 1953, six decades of MATCHBOX memories have been created for parents and kids alike.
My daughter thinks that "the Batcave" is the large hole on the sub-woofer next to my desk. Actually, she calls it "Batman's Cave," and though I don't recall doing so, I probably told her that it was awhile back and thus she just repeats it all the time. I like Batman a lot.
As The Rock Father continues to grow, I've been getting a few opportunities to contribute some virtual ink on some other fine sites around the 'net. This week, I've got a guest blog up in The Play Forum over at Time to Play Magazine. A leading destination for toy reviews and other fun stuff for Children, New York-based Time to Play invited me to join the ranks of their guest bloggers, and I was quite excited to do so.