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Part of #TMNTweek 2016 on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine! Check out TheRockFather.com/TMNT for more.

Out of all the toys released for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, the Turtle Tactical Truck by Playmates Toys is by far my personal favorite. While I was a fan of the 2014 Turtle Assault Van (reviewed here) from the last film (a vehicle that The Rock Daughters™ still play with regularly), the 2016 Tactical Truck is just better on every possible level. In the last film, the Van showed up briefly at the end - almost an afterthought, while this year's Tactical Truck (a converted NYC Garbage Truck) is featured heavily. Over the years there have been many Turtle vehicles including Shellraisers and Party Vans, but perhaps none has been as real-world plausible, or functional as this one, even as a toy. The folks at Playmates sent us one for review, so we had to hit the streets with it...

Part of #TMNTweek 2016 on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine! Check out TheRockFather.com/TMNT for more.

When it comes to a great toy collection, it often seems like toymakers forget that the vehicles and playsets are a key part of the lasting appeal (something G.I. JOE and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE absolutely dominated when I was a kid). The folks at Playmates Toys' haven't lost sight of that, and over the years they've done a fine job of making sure that their Basic Action Figure Assortments are complimented with plenty of rides and environments to help kids keep those big adventures going. For TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, there's a new assortment of motorcycles hitting the streets, each paired with an exclusive action figure. Let's take a look...

I've written much about Toy State on this site over the years, but today's story is a little bit different - a chance to shine a little light on some really great things that they're doing... pledging support to helping children with mobility issues. This past week, Toy State, along with Tommy Baldwin Racing, hosted their 4th GoBabyGo! workshop of the last 12 months, and the second in the Charlotte area. The workshop took place in Mooresville, NC at the Tommy Baldwin Racing shop. Toy State provided ten area children with a ride-on car that was outfitted to model the No.7 Nikko RC/Toy State car driven by Regan Smith on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Smith along with fellow NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell and Ryan Preece were in attendance along with other members of the NASCAR community. Toy State is currently in the middle of a 14-race partnership with TBR as the primary sponsor of the No. 7 car. Check out some photos and details on the program below...

Back in the 90s, the folks at Hallmark offered a series of "Kiddie Car Classics" - diecast vehicles based on classic pedal cars, each with a Keepsake Ornament counterpart. Recently, the line returned, and now there's a new assortment racing into Hallmark Gold Crown stores (and online) featuring four new Kiddie Car vehicles - 1945 Gillham Fire Engine, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Tracy's Hot Rod and 1957 Ford Thunderbird - each as a detailed diecast replica (with collector card) priced at $49.95, and as a Keepsake Ornament priced at $19.95. They look pretty sweet... take a look...

The Hot Wheels Team is really firing on all cylinders this year! Seriously, the crew at Mattel has been on-fire with some fantastic new products and initiatives, and today, Hot Wheels rolled out something special to celebrate the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 - a custom take on the classic Indy 500 Championship Trophy, unveiled by Ryan Hunter-Reay at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. This hand-made trophy celebrates the past 99 epic Indy races with 99 Hot Wheels cars. 

The time has come... MARVEL's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is thrilling audiences worldwide as the MARVEL Cinematic Universe enters a new Phase and heads toward the inevitable coming of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. When it comes to the current battle, audiences are divided between #TeamCap and #TeamIronMan, and while generally I prefer Tony Stark as both a character and a hero, when it comes to the issue at hand in CIVIL WAR, I have to join Steve Rogers' crew... if I were a superhero, I'd want the Government to stay out of my business... much like real life. So with that in mind, THE ROCK FATHER Magazine is celebrating all-things Cap with this Hot Wheels Captain America 75th Anniversary Set - a special collection of eight vehicles released as a Walmart-exclusive. I've got one up for grabs, and they could be yours!

Brand unity is something that the folks at Kia Motors USA have really nailed over the past few years. Whether you're driving an entry-level model, or a fully-loaded luxury vehicle, the experience is distinctly Kia, and there's a comfort level in that feeling that's hard to surpass - no matter if you're in a car, crossover or minivan. When I last found myself behind the wheel of their best-selling nameplate, the Kia Optima, it was the 2014 Hybrid model. While we enjoyed that car, the 2016 Optima has been redesigned, and I recently had the opportunity to do a little roadtripping in Florida at the helm of the SX Turbo Edition - the perfect family ride for rockin' the road.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Columbia Bicycles, but all my opinions are that of THE ROCK FATHER. #pmedia #RideColumbia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

There is a rebirth taking place... With roots dating back to the 1877 opening of Boston's Pope Manufacturing company under the leadership of Colonel Albert Pope, America's first bicycles bore the name "Columbia," and were manufactured using pioneering techniques that would later win fans and adopters such as a cyclist by the name of Henry Ford. In fact, Columbia Bicycles once had a sister company in Pope Automobiles, a short-lived venture that while innovative at the time, would somewhat ironically be eclipsed by the Ford Motor Company, among others. While automotive aspirations didn't quite pan-out, the Columbia Bikes would amass a rich history, rolling on for well-over a century before slightly fading from the public eye, just waiting for the right time to re-emerge... now.

Over the past couple of years, there's been some pretty cool collaboration taking place between two of my favorite companies - Step2 and Mattel. It started with furniture and ride-ons based on Thomas and Friends, and eventually the Hot Wheels brand got into the mix, spawning one of the coolest race car beds to ever be released... the Hot Wheels Toddler-to-Twin Race Car Bed. Last year, we had the honor of collaborating with Step2 and Mattel ourselves, teaming-up for the "Rock Daughter Edition" of that very bed - with only two being produced, one for our youngest daughter here at Rock Father HQ, and the other given away to a lucky winner during a Holiday Wish Guide promotion. While you can't buy the purple/yellow/pink bed that we have here at our home, Step2 has a pair of color variations available, and now there's an accompanying Hot Wheels Race Car Dresser. The cool thing with this is that it doesn't have to be a "dresser," but can be used as a sweet storage cabinet for Hot Wheels vehicles and tracks, and that's exactly what The Rock Daughters™ are using ours for!

It was 100 years ago this year that Bayerische Motoren Werke (German for Bavarian Motor Works) began, first creating aircraft engines, later following that success with motorcycles and cars. In celebrating 100 years of BMW and the modern luxury cars that they make today, Mattel released the Hot Wheels BMW Series as a Walmart Exclusive this spring. Featuring eight classic designs, these cars have been speeding in-and-out of stores in a flash, so  I'm giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win a full set of eight! Ready to rock?

Have you seen these? Perhaps you haven't been looking hard enough, or perhaps their natural cloaking is just that good. Whatever the reason, The Hot Wheels Camouflage Series was in-and-out of Walmart stores last Fall, quite possibly hiding in plain sight, then speeding off into the realm of distant memory. I have a "thing" for camo as a whole... military fashion being part of it, my closet containing no less than six pairs of camo cargo shorts at any given time. Sometimes I get some grief for it, but I love camo - to the point in having a Washburn Dimebag Darrell Air Force Camo Guitar as part of my collection as well. That being said, I was pretty excited when the Hot Wheels Camo Series arrived - a set of six vehicles, each outfitted in a Camo paint scheme and matching card art. While you may not have seen these last Fall, I'm giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win a full set of six! Ready to rock?

Each year, the folks at Mattel release numerous special edition Hot Wheels collections, many of which land as retailer exclusives. A good majority of these limited-edition sets find their way into Walmart stores, and the availability tends to be sketchy - many times arriving in a one-and-done type of deal, usually a single shipment in a dump bin and they're done. This makes finding complete sets to be a daunting task at times, particularly for the collectors who keep these toys in their original packaging, unlike the routine here at Rock Father HQ where everything gets opened and played with. While I tend to lean toward the "open it!" mentality with most of our toys (there have been a few exceptions), there's one recent Hot Wheels collection that certainly does look mighty fine on-display in the retail packaging, and it's because they were intended to work together. In fact, I don't know that Hot Wheels has ever done this before - a set of ten individual vehicles that when displayed together form a glorious American Flag, complete with a pair of striking Bald Eagles. Take a look at the 2016 Hot Wheels Stars & Stripes Series...

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