Tuesday, July 02 2013 13:57

Review: ROAD RIPPERS Hatchbacks and Come-Back Racers (Toy State)

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Last month, the crew over at Toy State dispatched a special assortment of vehicles to Rock Father HQ, with each to be subjected to a rigorous series of performance studies in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, backyard and neighborhood). Strapping on our lab coats and racing suits, the octane-obsessed Addie and I carefully inspected the collection before deciding which would be the first our first subject. Her choice: The ROAD RIPPERS Hatchbacks and Come-Back Racers. We know that they roll (that's a given), but do they rock as well?

Toy State Road Rippers Come-Back RacersRoad Rippers Come-Back Racers: DODGE RAM

Before it was even out-of-the-box, this DODGE RAM (complete with a HEMI) had already attracted Addie's attention. Was it the beefy styling of this red and black POWER WAGON, decked-out in full racing regalia? Perhaps that was the initial appeal, but the fact that this truck plays a cover version of The Edgar Winter Group's 1973 hit, "Free Ride" was the big draw. Thanks to this toy truck, Addie has memorized the chorus and now gives me a DAZED AND CONFUSED reminder periodically throughout each day.

The Road Rippers Come-Back Racers DODGE RAM

This truck features an illuminated "light tree" on it's roof, with each color (Green, Yellow, Red) activating the action features of the ride. While we've already covered the musical aspect, there's voice announcements ("Start Your Engines!"), working head and tail lights, additional lighted vents on the hood, sound effects of the engine idling, revving, and roaring, tires squealing, etc. While "Free Ride" plays, the truck sort of dances back and forth. Additionally, the true "come-back" action finds the truck racing off on it's own power, then stopping and flipping into reverse to come back to it's "driver."

Road Rippers!

While not the target age group, the Road Rippers Come-Back Racers are pretty appealing to little ones as well. The combination of lights, sounds, and motion have captivated Baby Finley, and have made this a go-to toy under adult supervision.

Addie "Washes" her Come-Back RacerThrough some solid play, our DODGE RAM has already received a few scuffs, and looks like it's done some legitimate "trading paint" here and there. While Addie enjoys "washing" her vehicles with bubbles, the designs on the Road Rippers are decals - so I'm not entirely sure yet how the long-term wear will be vs. having them painted on - a process that would likely increase the cost.

Bottom line - The Road Rippers Come-Back Racers are a fun toy that we expect will provide a ton of fun for a long time to come.


The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

Toy State Road Rippers HatchbacksRoad Rippers Hatchbacks: FORD Fiesta

A free-wheeling car with sleek styling and detail, this Hatchbacks series vehicle carries a surprise in the trunk. With each lift of the hatch, a different "stereo" appears, cranking out a different, non-licensed jam each time. In addition to the lights in the trunk, the headlights flash as well.

Road Rippers Hatchbacks FORD Fiesta

"I've got a surprise for you," whispered Addie to my wife one night while playing with her FORD Fiesta. She opened the trunk and was pretty pleased to show off the illuminated speaker before quickly closing it and opening it up again.

Road Rippers... Race!

I don't think it's exact, but the scale on this series of vehicles sorta matches the Come-Back Racers, so playing with these side-by-side feels right. Compact and affordable, the Hatchback is a fun addition to our collection.


The Rock Father Rating: 3/5 Stars

FTC Disclosure: As noted above, a selection of toy vehicles was provided to The Rock Father by Toy State for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn, with influence from his children. Got it? Good! Now hit the road for adventure!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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