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Wednesday, July 18 2018 14:26

Rides: Summer Safety and Your Vehicle

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Summer is in full-effect! Are you ready fun in the sun at the beach and lakes, family vacation, and serious off-road recreation? Nothing puts a damper on your summer enjoyment more than an accident or other unforeseen incidents. Being summer safe means more than slathering on the sunscreen to protect your skin. Protect you and your family from hot-weather disaster by keeping your vehicle(s) summer-ready, too. Give them a good wash and wax as their sunscreen, and then follow these additional tips.

For those heading to San Diego for Comic-Con International (SDCC) this week, Moose Toys will be rolling into the convention center with their Shopkins Cutie Cars Golden Collection. Glittering in gold, these Cutie Cars will add weight to your collection with a premium die-cast finish. There will only be 500 of this pack available during the show, which includes premium Carrot Cake and Donut Deluxe cars. These will be available at the UCC Distributing booth #5610.

It's been a big summer for Ford: not only did the company reach its emissions goal eight years early in June, it also partnered with Baidu, a Chinese internet company, in order to make your smart car even smarter.

In Ford Motor Company's annual sustainability report, the company revealed that it has hit its lowered emissions goal eight years earlier than expected. Set in 2010, the automotive supplier wanted to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2025. This goal was reached last month when Ford revealed they have lowered CO2 emissions by 3.4 million metric tons.

Mattel's Hot Wheels Pop Culture Assortment is an ever-changing collection of vehicles that feature artwork inspired by many fandoms and interests. Unlike the Character Cars, which take design cues for body styles from actual characters, these are traditional, yet highly-detailed vehicles that are emblazoned with colorful art - think along the lines of those custom 70s vans that used their panels as a canvas. For the latest series, it's all about the Wonderful World of Disney, specifically some classic animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are all being paid tribute with the latest assortment. Check 'em out below!

The year was 1980. Charles Lazarus had been crowned "The Toy King," with his retail empire having grown from its modest beginnings as the Children's Bargain Town into a household name as Toys "R" Us. What started in 1948 as a place to buy baby furniture had evolved into a place that kids across the country would dream of - a rainbow-striped paradise of toys and games stacked floor-to-ceiling. His mascot had become an icon, and Geoffrey the Giraffe would soon start a family of his own, with wife Gigi, son Geoffrey Jr. and daughter Baby Gee entering the fold. Of course, a growing family will often prompt a search for a bigger ride, and for Geoffrey that search led a meeting between The Toy King of the East Coast and The King of the Kustomizers on the West Coast - legendary car builder, George Barris. It was time to build "The Geoffreymobile."

In 2015, there were an estimated 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes -- but when a car accident happens, the vehicle doesn't always catch fire. Of course, Tesla's electric vehicles are a bit different than your run-of-the-mill automobile, and they've come under scrutiny as late for their supposed fire risk. But are these vehicles actually more likely to burst into flames? Or is it merely that they're getting more attention for it?

The 1970s were a ridiculous time, and in the world of comics, things were known to go off the rails into new realms of crazy. Along with Spider-Man's Dune Buggy, the Mad Titan himself - Thanos - had a helicopter. Of course, it wasn't just enough that a 1979 comic gave the Infinity Stone-obsessed purple baddie a helicopter - no, it had to be bright yellow and actually say "THANOS" in bold black letters on the side. Where would Thanos go to have such a ride constructed? Was the place that 1966 Batman got his Batcopter taking orders? While it's a notoriously strange vehicle, my fingers are crossed that we see Josh Brolin piloting one of these when the sequel to Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters next year. In the meantime, Mattel is issuing a diecast version at Comic-Con International in San Diego this year, complete with comic-inspired packaging and the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary logo!

There's a lot of General Lees out there, but few can lay claim to have actually be a part of the original Dukes of Hazzard series that ran on CBS from 1979-1985. From the crew over at the Volo Auto Museum comes news that one of the original 17 cars that were released by Warner Bros. back in 1991 has come up for sale. It's located in California, and is the last remaining 1969 Dodge Charger 440 R/T that was used in the show and has had only minor restoration. Since it's use in the television series, it's been owned by own buyer for the past 28 years and is the car that was used in the recent AutoTrader commercial in addition to making appearances on Showtime's Weeds and in an episode of Hollywood Treasures - appropriately being used to demonstrate how to tell if a General Lee is "real" or not. This one has been autographed by John Schneider and Tom Wopat, and is fully documented.

There's something very American about the internal combustion engine. We equate it with many things, from going places and getting the job done to horsepower, octane and speed. During the summer months, there's adventure that goes with it as families embark on the Great American Roadtrip to see the country by car. As habits, tastes and technology have changed, gas-power has started to make way for electric, and while there's something to be said about the rumble under the hood, the case for electric is an increasingly appealing one, and the old limits of cost, range and lack of style are getting tossed aside. Adventure? Yes, you can have adventure in an electric car, and the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a prime example of just how far things have come.

Hot Wheels are something that I've written about regularly here on The Rock Father™ Magazine for the better part of a decade. This year, Mattel's iconic diecast vehicles are celebrating a milestone - their 50th Anniversary - and we were able to take part. Earlier this month, a crew from NBC News paid a visit to Rock Father HQ not to meet with me... but to interview our girls, The Rock Daughters™. Addie and Finley have a Hot Wheels collection that far eclipses what i had as a kid, and little Finley is the proud owner of one of the rarest Hot Wheels products ever made - The Rock Daughter™ Edition Hot Wheels Bed, created three years ago in collaboration between Mattel, yours truly and The Step2 Company. On June 5, 2018, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt aired the Hot Wheels special feature as the NBC Nightly Snapshot. If you missed it, here's the video in its entirety...

The Hess Toy Truck has been a holiday tradition since 1964, but in 1998 the vehicles spawned something... smaller. 2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hess Toy Truck Mini Collection, launched in 1998 as a way to pay tribute to the holiday Hess Toy Trucks from the past. Of course, the Hess Toy Truck isn't always a "truck," but sometimes a different type of vehicle or a hauler of some type. To celebrate two decades of the minis, the 2018 Mini Collection is a limited-production set of three highly detailed, small-scale versions of classic holiday Hess Toy Trucks – the 1970 Hess Toy Fire Truck, the 1977 Hess Fuel Oil Tanker, and the 1988 Hess Toy Truck and Racer. Thanks to the folks at the Hess Corporation, we got our hands on a set early to have some play time and a photo shoot here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...

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!

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