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Tuesday, April 24 2018 17:23

First-Look at NEW Hot Wheels Star Wars Character Cars from SOLO: A Star Wars Story...

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I've been out in Los Angeles for the past few days, working with The Walt Disney Company on a few things, but most importantly to attend the World Premiere of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (film reviewed here). Today, however, I had an unexpected detour - a brief meeting with the folks at Disney Consumer Products & Interactive, specifically to check out the latest offerings from Marvel and Lucasfilm ahead of Avengers and Solo: A Star Wars Story. While many of the items have been seen before, there's some additional product in the pipeline, and I'm pleased to reveal a couple of new cars from Mattel's Hot Wheels Star Wars Character Cars Collection. I've been writing about that line for four years (see my checklist here), and with Solo there's new offerings, including Qi'Ra and the Imperial Range Trooper. These were photographed with permission in a private showroom this morning...

Star Wars Hot Wheels Qi'Ra

Played by Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones),  Qi'Ra is a mysterious new character who has a backstory with Han that should unfold for audiences when the film hits theaters in a few weeks. As always, the Hot Wheels team has used elements from the character to inspire the vehicle, with her jacket informing much of the body and the lower panel on the passenger side taking cues from her weapon holster and ammunition.

rangetrooperWithout being seen much aside from some quick shots in the trailers and tv spots, one of the most popular characters from Solo thus far looks to be the Imperial Range Troopers. This new class of Stormtrooper has a striking uniform that includes heavy armor accented with fur shoulder and leg adornments for cold weather combat. Already available are a couple of different Hasbro action figures plus an array of apparel items (Disney Store will have a kid's costume later this year). There will also be a character car, and while the product samples for that one hadn't yet arrived, some artwork could be seen on the cardbacks of some other new vehicles. This will be a nice companion vehicle for another cold-weather Star Wars ride - the recently-released Empire Strikes Back-inspired Wampa, which I just photographed and featured on my Instagram earlier this month...

The initial wave of Solo Hot Wheels is in stores now, including vehicles inspired by Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca. More waves of new Star Wars product will be hitting around May the 4th (Star Wars Day) and the May 25, 2018 release date for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Check local retailers for availability.

SOLO stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the character originated by Harrison Ford, with Donald Glover stepping in for Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke also star.

For more STAR WARS news, reviews and features, including the latest on Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: EPISODE IX, Jon Favreau's live-action television series and the new films from Rian Johnson, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, check out TheRockFather.com/StarWars

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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