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Part of a series of features from The Rock Father™ celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels, Mattel is throwing things back to where it all began... to May of 1968 when a 1:64-scale Spectraflame blue Chevrolet Camaro first hit stores. Elliot Handler, who co-founded Mattel with his wife, Ruth, wanted to do something big. He wanted to create a toy car that was better than anything else out there at the time. It had to look cooler. It had to perform better. And, with a rocket scientist and the help of Harry Bentley Bradley, a designer plucked from General Motors, an icon was born. Famously stating "Those are some hot wheels!," the "fastest metal cars in the world" now had a name and 15 more would join that blue Camaro to become known as the original "Sweet 16." These rides have become highly sought-after, so for Hot Wheels official birthday (May 18), Mattel has unleashed the Hot Wheels 50th Originals Collection. The assortment includes replicas of five Hot Wheels from the Sweet 16, each presented with legacy graphics, detailed Spectraflame paint, Redline wheels, and just like the originals, they come with a collectible button packed alongside the car on reproduction blister packs that look just like they did back in 1968!

Published in Rock Father Rides

Spring unofficially marks the start of cleaning season as people across the country will tidy up their nests and celebrate the incoming warm weather. Though it’s late, it appears that spring has finally arrived in the Midwest, so we need to be sure that our vehicles are prepared to adjust to the changing weather and conditions.

Published in Rock Father Rides

This Rock Father™ Rides feature is brought to you by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Last week, we finally saw the first substantial snowfall of the season here in northern Illinois. The two things to note are 1) that it arrived about a month later than it used to, and 2) that it's already melted. Overall, there was around 3" in the heaviest spots, and it was cold enough that the ice fishermen were already placing their huts out on the lakes. Today it was 46°, but the forecast shows next Monday as being 15°. The long-running unfunny joke here has always been that in the Chicagoland area, "you can see all four seasons in a day" - and to an extent, that's been true. As a driver, that makes it challenging when reacting to a mix of dry pavement, heavy snow, ice or wetness. With that in mind, Goodyear has unleashed their latest tire - the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady, which they say is their best "for Mother Nature's worst." Rated for rain, snow, ice and sun, they're so confident in this tire, they're outright calling it "the best all-weather tire in company history." For the sake of perspective, Goodyear introduced their first all-weather tire back in 1908!

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It's been a few years since we've seen a real-world Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro available at dealers, but now it's happening again - and better than ever before. Chevrolet and Hot Wheels have announced the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, "celebrating 50 years of partnership, performance innovation and design." Announced ahead of SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas, the special package will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2018, while diecast versions of the vehicle will also be rolling out to retailers as well. Check out the specs below!

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2017 CAS LogoAs The LEGO Batman Movie soars into theaters this weekend, it's pretty appropriate that The Batmobile is in the Windy City. After all, Chicago doubled for Gotham City back when Christopher Nolan was crafting his Dark Knight Trilogy. Thing is, this Batmobile is a much different beast. The 2017 LEGO Batmobile from Chevrolet made its official debut in Detroit last month, a life-sized replica of "The Speedwagon" driven by LEGO Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) in the new film. Now, that ride, crafted from a total of 344,187 LEGO bricks supported by a square-tube aluminum frame, is sitting in McCormick Place, the result of 222 hours of design time, and 1,833 hours of construction by LEGO Master Builders. For it's appearance at The Chicago Auto Show, the LEGO Batmobile sits in front of a brick wall illuminated by moving Bat (and Chevy) signals, each zeroing in on LEGO Batman himself! As a bonus, kids can take part in their very own LEGO Batmobile mini-build, available for free to take home! We had a chance to check out the full display during the Media Preview - take a look...

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Back when Barbie first started "moving in" here at Rock Father HQ a few years back, one of the first vehicles we bought the girls for their dolls was a "remote controlled" Barbie Corvette. For whatever reason, that car, along with nearly every RC car we've ever found made specifically for dolls has been what's known as "simple RC" - they go forward, but they only turn in reverse. Now comes what I believe is the first-ever full-function RC to be an official Barbie product. Created by Toy State under license from Mattel, the Barbie Cruisin' Convertible Corvette is available exclusively at Toys 'R' Us this holiday season, and is a featured pick in my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide!

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