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Since 1964, the Hess Toy Truck has been an annual tradition of collectible holiday toys. For years, families on the east coast would look forward to the reveal of the annual Hess Toy Truck - which hasn't always been "a truck," but a high-quality vehicle offered at a great price and wrapped-up in signature green giftwrap, ready to roll for the holidays. Because it was an east coast thing, we'd missed out on it since we didn't have Hess Express gas stations here in the Midwest, but we really started getting into these around five years ago - ironically, just a year or so before Hess sold-off their gas stations. While the stores may be gone, the tradition of the truck lives on, and every year on November 1, a new Hess Toy Truck becomes available exclusively on HessToyTruck.com. We recently got our hands on the 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader (sent to us for review), and after seeing the girls eagerly crack it open, it's easy to see why it's a top pick in my annual Holiday Wish Guide™!

Friday, November 03 2017 22:41

Preview - ToyMakerz Season 2 Comes to Velocity...

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They say that "big boys love their big toys," and that's something I know very well here at Rock Father HQ. Another fine representation of that is ToyMakerz, which returns to Velocity for a second season this month. Presented in eight one-hour parts, the action will begin on November 10, 2017  at 8pm and 11pm ET with re-airs on Saturdays at 10am. Driven by the life and creations of David Ankin, owner of ToyMakerz, the series follows his team as they bring unrivaled ingenuity and a unique skill set to motorized builds. Check out a season 2 preview below!

A Holiday tradition continues with the release of the 2017 Hess Toy Truck! Officially launched at 10am ET on November 1, the 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader is available exclusively via HessToyTruck.com, continuing the pattern of the last few years following the sale of the Hess Express stores.  With over 30 brilliant LED lights plus realistic sounds, the over-sized dump truck and 2-way motorized, track-driven loader are a versatile team, ready to tackle the toughest jobs! Check out all the details below!

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!

Test driving a vehicle can be a lot of fun, but I've long-held the belief that nothing beats the opportunity to really use a new ride to get the full experience. That said, I was able to put the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum AWD to good use during the midst of a long-awaited project here at Rock Father HQ - the tear-down and rebuild of our sizeable 27-year-old deck (more on  that project in a feature down the line). Now, we're not talking heavy hauling here, but for supply runs and tool rentals, the RAV4 was up to the task, in addition to being a really comfortable family ride. Let's take a look...

There have been a lot of strange petitions over the years, and per the guidelines, any petition toward The White House that garners 100,000 signatures or more will require an official response. It wasn't that long ago that the Obama Administration had to formally announce that they would not be building a full-scale functional Death Star based on the iconic battle station seen in Star Wars. Now comes something a little more realistic, but still potentially divisive... if the United States of America had an Official Vehicle, should it be the pickup truck?

It's been nearly 50 years since Mattel launched Hot Wheels back in 1968, and for the past five decades kids have been imagining their toy cars rolling out on exciting adventures that tap into unique heroic personalities. Despite so many years of play for kids of all ages, it's only been within the last few years that a cultural shift has been taking place in the way that toys are marketed, and for the first time ever on a Hot Wheels box, the description reads "For boys and girls…” That new product is Hot Wheels MindRacers, the latest addition to the "New Play Movement" from Osmo, who have worked together with Mattel to create an experience in which physical play with diecast cars seamlessly blends with digital gameplay. Check out a video preview and full details below for the debut of Hot Wheels MindRacers!

As we speed toward the holiday season, Mattel's Hot Wheels division is on fire. With loads of new product offerings hitting stores, the team at Mattel has revved-up their new "Challenge Accepted" initiative to remind parents (and show new ones) that "Hot Wheels are more than just a toy - they're a tool that helps kids develop life skills." Already knowing that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is at play in the world of Hot Wheels, Challenge Accepted breaks down how skills and traits like problem solving, creativity, sportsmanship and confidence can get a boost from those famous 1:64-scale diecast cars. Check out the new commercial below to see what happens when a mother and son take off for some action in a real-life Redline...

Friday, September 08 2017 15:42

Test Drive: Rockin the Road - 2017 Mazda6 GT

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When I really started working with cars on a frequent basis a few years back, Mazda was a nameplate that didn't immediately strike me as interesting. For some reason, the cars of their past were largely stuck in my head - images of the 1980s that I just couldn't shake. But once I had a real chance to experience what Mazda is now, I really became a fan. In fact, I love their CX series - with last year's CX-9 ranking among my favorite vehicles of the year. Now comes a look at the 2017 Mazda6 GT.

I've always been fairly straightforward in admitting my love of the Lexus brand. When it comes to their vehicles, my affection tend to be toward their cars, so when the folks at DriveShop delivered one of their bigger rides to Rock Father HQ on-loan from Lexus USA, I was excited to see what an SUV under the Lexus nameplate had to offer. As the name implies, the 2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury is just that - a luxurious option for some big hauling and power.

Microsoft Education Workshop's STEM Saturdays are part of a Microsoft initiative to host a range of free hands-on educational programs through the Microsoft Store. Today it was revealed that Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels brand will be a part of the program, with Hot Wheels getting "hacked" as participants get to learn about forces in motion. The program begins September 9, 2017, and runs every Saturday through the end of the month.  

Tuesday, September 05 2017 08:38

Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 Races Home this Fall!

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One of our favorite movies of 2017 is finally coming home. Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 races home Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ on Oct. 24, and on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ on Nov. 7.  The news came down today in an announcement timed to honor world-champion racer Lightning McQueen - #95 - on his date-sake 9/5. The film surged to the front of the pack opening weekend, with audiences racing to see the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) team up to beat the new generation of blazing-fast racers. Now, this summer’s high-octane hit cruises home—loaded with bonus features like the all new mini-movie starring the demolition derby legend Miss Fritter.

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