Wednesday, July 26 2017 23:55

Toy Review: Dinosaur Train, Peppa Pig & Marvel Mini Vehicles from Jazwares

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Over the past year or so, I've noticed an uptick in the amount of simple toy vehicles being released - specifically ones that are character-based, or include a non-removable character behind the wheel. Geared toward the preschool crowd, there's some cool ones out there, and one of the newest players is Jazwares, who've served-up a new collection of miniature vehicles including Peppa Pig Mini Buggies, Chuggington Train Cars, Chuck & Friends (featuring a crossover with Marvel Comics) and Dinosaur Train. Sent to us for review here at Rock Father HQ, here's a look at some of what's in stores now...


Dinosaur Train Mini Cars (pictured top) feature Buddy, Mr. Conductor, Shiny, Don, Tiny and tank - all easy to connect in any order kids may choose. Airing on PBS Kids, the series from The Jim Henson Company has been a little slow to hit the toy aisle, so these are really great to see.

Jazwares already has a hit with their Peppa Pig action figures, vehicles and playsets, and now with their Peppa Pig Mini Buggies, they're bringing Peppa and her friends deeper into the world of vehicular play. We first discovered these when The Easter Bunny put a couple in The Rock Daughters' baskets this year, and now the fleet has increased in size. There's somewhat of a soap box vibe here that I really dig.


On the train front, Chuggington has been calling on kids to "ride the rails" for years, and now there's some new ways to do it. These plastic train cars each come with a little "garage" of sorts that conveniently hooks onto the classic wooden train tracks that you probably already have somewhere in your house. Kids love these.


Hasbro's The Adventures of Chuck & Friends has seen several toy iterations over the years, but under license to Jazwares, these new minis feature classic characters like Chuck, Boomer and Sally, but also crossover characters from the Marvel Comics universe. 


We've got Spider-Man and Captain America here at Rock Father HQ and they're pretty cute, even though they seem to be adversaries of late, if the Marvel Cinematic Universe is any indication. Don't forget that Spidey swiped Cap's shield in Captain America: Civil War, and in the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming, young Peter Parker is taken under the wing of Mr. Tony Stark. Yes, Jazwares does make an Iron Man Chuck & Friends truck as well!


All of these mini vehicles carry a suggested retail of around $3, which makes them affordably-priced for families looking to collect a large fleet, or just have a few around. Their size makes them great for travel, too! Look for them at major retailers now.

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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