Friday, February 22 2013 01:32

Cool Toys: HOT WHEELS' Retro Entertainment Assortment hits the streets (and my wallet)

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The Hot Wheels situation here at Rock Father HQ just got serious. What started as some simple fun with cars between my octane-obsessed daughter and I has gone well beyond rekindled childhood fun for me, and is now hitting my retro-radar at full speed. While the little one and I have a ton of fun with Hot Wheels, nothing really triggered my own "have to have it!" reaction until now. Thanks to Mattel, the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Assortment has hit the streets.

I knew it was coming after I signed up for HWC (Hot Wheels Collectors) website last year, but details were scarce until the cars first started surfacing at Pep Boys (of all places) a month or so ago. Since then, they've slowly started showing up at mass retail, and for a kid of the 80s, these cannot be overlooked. Tonight at Walmart, I finally came across them... picking up The Electric Mayhem School Bus from THE MUPPETS, the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am from SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, the custom GMC van from THE A-TEAM, and the sinister prototype of the car of the future - K.A.R.R. from KNIGHT RIDER (as previously noted, I will buy nearly any KNIGHT RIDER product). Also on the pegs was an Edsel from AMERICAN GRAFFITI, but I left that behind.



Officially, this is considered the "B" assortment. I've never seen the "A" assortment, but I'm hoping I can track down K.I.T.T. from KNIGHT RIDER and the GHOSTBUSTERS' Ecto-1 from that batch. Also included were another car from American Graffiti, a version of the 1966 Batmobile, and the SCOOBY-DOO Mystery Machine. 

These say they're "For the Adult Collector" on the package, but I can guarantee that Addie will be playing with these in the morning. Upgraded from the typical $1 "mainline" cars, these $4.97 vehicles feature metal bases, "Real Rider" rubber tires, more accurate rims, and far more detailed paint applications. Quite simply, you get what you pay for here.

I don't know how many cars are being planned for this line, but I do know that there's at least two more batches in the pipeline, with familiar vehicles like the BACK TO THE FUTURE DeLorean planned. My next object of desire? A stock car from STROKER ACE. I don't know how big the market for that will be, but I can't tell you how many times I watched that movie as a kid. If they added a stocker from the Kenny Rogers movie SIX-PACK, my head would probably explode.

The Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Assortment is elusively being stocked at select Walmart, Toys "R" Us, Meijer, and Pep Boys locations. Entertainment Earth is also taking pre-orders for sealed factory cases here, here, and here

Will you be picking these up? 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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