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It was a sunny day at the end of late spring when the crew from DriveShop delivered a 2016 Toyota Avalon Touring Edition to Rock Father HQ for testing. Straight-away, the Avalon is a familiar ride, one with nearly a million-and-a-half siblings sold in the U.S. since 1994 - a car that even my own father owns. In "Sizzling Crimson Mica," the Avalon stands apart from the crowd wearing a color that's hard to describe with its purple/red hue. Making this particular subject even more dramatic is the choice of dark grey (nearly blacked-out) 18" alloy wheels. On the interior, it's Almond Leather and brown accents provide a color scheme that doesn't immediately seem to match the exterior (to me), but it works. So how does the 2016 Toyota Avalon hold up as a family car? More importantly, what do The Rock Daughters™ think of it? 

When you think of Hot Wheels, you might not automatically think about the real-world physics and planning that goes into each car. Things get even more complicated when the project is a collaboration between icons, and that's been the case when it comes to Mattel and Lucasfilm working together on several lines of diecast vehicles with roots in a galaxy far, far away. After a massive success with the Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Cars (see my checklist here) and Starships, now comes the launch of CARSHIPS (just-launched checklist here!) at Comic-Con International (SDCC). With a stellar Trench Run Exclusive being offered at SDCC, the Hot Wheels team is back in force, with a full-size, drivaeble 1:1 X-Wing Fighter Carship on display. This ride is inspired by the X-Wing Fighters of the classic STAR WARS Saga, but paired with a dragster to form a functional race car that can actually perform in real-life, while the Hot Wheels 1:64-scale version is one of the fastest Hot Wheels cars to date, able to "fly" down the Orange Track! Check out the new vehicle in action below, along with a behind-the-scenes video and gallery showcasing the build.

#GhostbustersWeek rolls on with a look at some new rides from Hot Wheels...

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Hot Wheels GHOSTBUSTERS Classics based on the original Ecto-1 from 1984's GHOSTBUSTERS, and the Ecto-1A from 1989's GHOSTBUSTERS II, alongside the Retro Entertainment version of the Ecto-1 as featured from 1987-1991 on THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoon series. Of course, with Paul Feig's 2016 GHOSTBUSTERS hitting theaters, the folks at Mattel have given similar treatment to the two rides featured on the big screen this summer - the Ecto-1 Cadillac hearse and Ecto-2 motorcycle, presented together in a 1:64-scale two-pack (available from Amazon and my allies at Entertainment Earth).

The Ecto-1 in 1984's GHOSTBUSTERS is no doubt one of the most iconic vehicles of film and television, a symbol from the 80s that will last for all time. While it's the '84 version most-often seen (and reproduced in 1:1 replica form), I've always been a big fan of the car as it appeared in 1989's GHOSTBUSTERS II, upgraded after falling into disrepair (if you'll recall, the Ghostbusters had hit some tough times), cleaned-up and packed with new gear and a ton of flair. As a big fan of Mattel's Hot Wheels (and their Retro Entertainment and HW Screen Time cars), getting my hands on an Ecto-1 or Ecto-1A had escaped me for years, with numerous versions of my preferred 1:64-scale released and becoming hot items on the secondary market. That's changed now, as both have been reissued in a Classic GHOSTBUSTERS 2-pack ahead of the 2016 reimagining!

Thursday, July 07 2016 22:41

TERRIFIC TRUCKS Rolls Onto Sprout...

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If my nearly-seven-years of parenting has taught me anything, it's that kids love trucks - especially anthropomorphic trucks. With The Rock Daughters being certified aficionados of most things vehicular in nature, I'm fairly certain that TERRIFIC TRUCKS will become a part of the viewing regimen when it makes its debut on July 9 at 9am ET on Sprout, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment's 24-hour preschool network. TERRIFIC TRUCKS is a half-hour series featuring five real trucks in a real world setting,  featuring cameo voices from celebrity parents Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Check out a preview and the official announcement below...

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