Sponsored by Hot Wheels, all opinions are that of The Rock Father™
There’s certain things that tend to appeal to children almost by default - things like dinosaurs, wide-eyed cartoon characters, sandboxes and large vehicles. For the latter, monster trucks are a big thing with cross-generational appeal. Once a side-show act at local motorsports events, monster trucks are now an arena-filling main event spectacle that is truly a global phenomenon - reaching families far beyond their roots in the garages and dirt tracks of the American Midwest. Kids have long held the desire to bring that excitement home, and for years the team at Mattel has been crafting diecast replicas that have become sought-after by kids and collectors alike. But just as the real-life monster trucks have evolved over the years, so have those in the toy world, and now comes the time to fire up the engines and raise the garage door on the next big thing from the crew in El Segundo… Hot Wheels Monster Trucks!
The first-ever Hot Wheels Legends Tour is currently making its way across the U.S. in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels brand. After kicking-off at the Hot Wheels garage in El Segundo, California back in April, this traveling car show is popping up in Walmart parking lots from coast-to-coast, and by the time it wraps back in Los Angeles on October 20th, 15 real-life cars will have been chosen to head out to the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where one car will be crowned champion and immortalized in diecast form as an actual mainline Hot Wheels toy car! For the Chicago date, I was invited by Mattel to serve as a guest judge, checking out the field with The Rock Daughters™ (my little Hot Wheels enthusiasts) along for the ride. It was a hot and rainy morning in Bedford Park, and while the rain may have scared away some participants, a great time was still had by kids and grownups alike, celebrating that after 50 years, Hot Wheels are no longer just a toy - but a lifestyle. At the end of the day, I had the honor of rockin' the mic to say a few words to the hometown crowd, including the introduction of the winner of the day - Brian Bergeron and what began as a 1987 Porsche 944, now completely redesigned for racing as the Widerstandsfahig #001-15. Check out the video below from Donut Media to see highlights from Chicago, the winning car and to hear more of Brian's story...
The 50th Anniversary Celebration of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels collection continues, and today comes news that Knockaround and Hot Wheels have teamed-up for some limited edition sunglasses. Yes, I just bought a pair. I've been a fan of Knockaround's Fort Knocks shades for awhile, particularly some of their limited edition collaborations, so this is right in my wheelhouse. The Rodger Dodger Fort Knocks feature a nitrous blue frame with a hot-rod red interior on the front, and classic speedster flames running down both arms. Reminiscent of the blown engine popping out of the hood, they sport polarized silver chrome lenses that provide full UV400 sun protection. One of the coolest features? They come packaged on a card that's made to look like a Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary diecast package!
Mattel's Hot Wheels Pop Culture Assortment is an ever-changing collection of vehicles that feature artwork inspired by many fandoms and interests. Unlike the Character Cars, which take design cues for body styles from actual characters, these are traditional, yet highly-detailed vehicles that are emblazoned with colorful art - think along the lines of those custom 70s vans that used their panels as a canvas. For the latest series, it's all about the Wonderful World of Disney, specifically some classic animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are all being paid tribute with the latest assortment. Check 'em out below!
The 1970s were a ridiculous time, and in the world of comics, things were known to go off the rails into new realms of crazy. Along with Spider-Man's Dune Buggy, the Mad Titan himself - Thanos - had a helicopter. Of course, it wasn't just enough that a 1979 comic gave the Infinity Stone-obsessed purple baddie a helicopter - no, it had to be bright yellow and actually say "THANOS" in bold black letters on the side. Where would Thanos go to have such a ride constructed? Was the place that 1966 Batman got his Batcopter taking orders? While it's a notoriously strange vehicle, my fingers are crossed that we see Josh Brolin piloting one of these when the sequel to Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters next year. In the meantime, Mattel is issuing a diecast version at Comic-Con International in San Diego this year, complete with comic-inspired packaging and the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary logo!
Hot Wheels are something that I've written about regularly here on The Rock Father™ Magazine for the better part of a decade. This year, Mattel's iconic diecast vehicles are celebrating a milestone - their 50th Anniversary - and we were able to take part. Earlier this month, a crew from NBC News paid a visit to Rock Father HQ not to meet with me... but to interview our girls, The Rock Daughters™. Addie and Finley have a Hot Wheels collection that far eclipses what i had as a kid, and little Finley is the proud owner of one of the rarest Hot Wheels products ever made - The Rock Daughter™ Edition Hot Wheels Bed, created three years ago in collaboration between Mattel, yours truly and The Step2 Company. On June 5, 2018, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt aired the Hot Wheels special feature as the NBC Nightly Snapshot. If you missed it, here's the video in its entirety...