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When it comes to iconic, American toys, one of the few brands that immediately springs to mind is TONKA. For me, simply hearing the word conjures images of those five bold letters standing out in the stamped, embossed metal form that I grew up on as a kid in the 80s. My cousins and I had many adventures with our TONKA Trucks and construction vehicles - the original-style metal versions that were built like tanks. From the sandbox to the garden, and even at one point an actual construction site (my aunt and uncle had a property being built that had some cool ditches we used as a "quarry"), we were there with TONKA, getting dirty and having fun. In fact, "Gettin' Dirty Since 1947" is TONKA's tagline in 2015, and all these years later, it's a tradition that The Rock Daughters™ have now been experiencing here at Rock Father HQ...

Published in Rock Father Rides

Right now, we have two Ford F-150 SVT Raptors in our garage. They're both toys, of course, the first being the Step2 ride-on we got last Fall, and now something a little bit smaller - the Road Rippers Piston Thumper Ford F-150 SVT Raptor by Toy State. This is the latest addition to a growing fleet of vehicles from Toy State that we've either purchased or received over the past few years, and this one is a new spin on their lights/sounds/motorized offerings. As the name would indicate, there's some genuine "piston thumping" going on. Check out the "In-Action" Video below, featuring THE ROCK DAUGHTERS (Adalyn and Finley) giving the truck a test drive...

Published in Rock Father Rides

One of my favorite vehicles from the 2014 Chicago Auto Show was a full-size TONKA Ford F-150, which someone near me bought, because I see it all the time. While it's Funrise Toys that currently produces child-size versions of the legendary TONKA line (under license from Hasbro), Ford has continued to get creative with the brand for real-world applications, and the latest is the Mighty Ford F-750 TONKA, "the ultimate TONKA truck," built on the all-new 2016 Ford F-650/F-750 from Ford’s commercial truck lineup.

Published in Rock Father Rides

Since it's premiere last Fall, Nickelodeon's BLAZE AND THE MONSTER MACHINES has been one of the more surprising hits in educational programming. The high-octane series based on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum has made it's way into the coveted spot of be a "requested" show here at Rock Father HQ, particularly snagging the attention of 5 ½-year-old Addie. Out of Toy Fair last weekend came news that Mattel would be producing a line of toys through their Fisher-Price division, and tonight I've got your first look at some highlights from the new collection. These will be rolling out to select retailers this May, with a full Nationwide launch to take place this Fall. Stay tuned...

Published in Rock Father Rides

Holiday 2014I had a very "Christmas morning" type of moment here at Rock Father HQ not long ago, a priceless moment, yet one that comes with the unique position of running this website - I'm always afraid of messing up the timing with my little ones, if only because the stuff I write about can come seasonally ahead-of-schedule. Just a couple of weeks ago, I featured the Collector's Edition Hess Toy Truck (which is now sold out and going for insane prices on eBay) in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide, a special entry into the long-running series of Hess Toy Trucks that I'd written about in the past, but always had to admire from afar since they were previously an "East Coast" tradition. But that wasn't the only truck that the Hess Corporation released this year, but a companion to the 2014 50th Anniversary Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout a three-in-one toy that was just released for this Holiday season. Wouldn't you know, a rectangular box, neatly enveloped in Hess green wrapping paper arrived here at our home, and I gave it to Little Finley to open. Her reaction was beyond adorable.

Holiday 2014I've written about the Hess Toy Truck several times here on THE ROCK FATHER, but since it's been an East Coast tradition, we never owned one until earlier this year when we were out in Pennsylvania and managed to score a Hess Miniature Truck at a Hess Express location. The Hess Toy Trucks have always been fascinating to me since they're a true American classic - launched in 1964 as an affordable, high-quality toy - and one that's become a phenomenon loved by families and collectors alike. This year, they've taken the trucks online, and in honor of the Hess Toy Truck’s 50th anniversary, Hess Corporation has released the first-ever Collector’s Edition Hess Toy Truck, an individually numbered tanker truck with a replica of the original 1964 tanker trailer inside. Thanks to the folks at Hess, we now have one - and I'm including this as a must-have in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide. Just look at how beautiful this is... packed with play features and more than 100 working LED lights...

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