Julius' Gift Guide II: BATTLE WHEELS!
December 24, 2007

Here’s a great idea made better.  We all remember the old Rock’em Sock’em Robots (by Marx!) and spent many an afternoon pummeling our opponent.  But what if you could open that "arena" up and REALLY get to some robot bashing?!?!

 That’s the idea behind Johnny Lightnings new BATTLE WHEELS. These are collectible remote controlled,fighting robots and as you’ll see from the video below they are a ton of fun and really draw a crowd. 




After trying these out I think my new rule in 2008 at the AFI offices and at work that ALL disputes will be settled by Battle Wheels!  May the best ‘bot win!! 


The press kit on these is an amazing idea and more companies should take note.   Getting one of these was fun, but to really get the full flavor of them you need at least two of them so they can FIGHT! 


Here’s some more info on Battle Wheels: 

·       Each Battle Wheel warrior comes with five removable pieces of armor, two weapons, a controller, and a cardboard training dummy

·       The fully articulated warriors can be strategically positioned for attack or defense depending on the style of combat chosen

·       Five removable pieces of armor (2 shoulder pads, 2 wheel blades and a shield), as well as the individual character’s battle weapons, accompany each warrior  into battle

·       Fallen armor wreckage is left strewn around the battlefield at the end of a match

·       Body armor and weapons can be interchanged between Battle Wheel warriors to outfit the ultimate champion

·       Play one-on-one, or as a team with the multiband feature allowing up to six warriors to battle at the same time.



Wave I

VUL “The Savage Protector of Venus”

Born of fire and untamed like the flames of Venus, he decimates his opponents with his lightning sword and chain mace



TYR “The Cold arm of Pluto’s Justice”

Cold and calculated, Tyr is heavily armored with a shield that staves off any opponent and a relentlessness that will stop nothing short of victory



BASHAMON “The silent enforcer of Saturn’s law”

Lurking in the misty shadows of Saturn’s ring, Bashamon is ready to deliver a quick end to his unsuspecting foes wielding a sneaky cat-o-nines and powerful mallet



KAGU-TSUCHI “The fury of Mercury’s fire”

Explosive rage like the molten springs of Mercury, Kagu-Tsuchi’s combat skills are a testament to his furious battle rage and crushing blow at intense speeds




Excitement Grows for Johnny Lightning’sInnovativeBattleWheels

Radio Control Warriors


OAK BROOK,ILLINOIS (August 8, 2007) Retailers at leading toy shows on three continents have burned through inventory of Johnny Lightning’s (www.johnnylightning.com)new Battle Wheels (www.thebattlewheels.com)radio controlled warriors, and have placed their orders to stock hundreds of thousands of units for the 2007 holiday season.

Battle Wheels are high-speed radio controlled combat warriors that combine the speed and excitement of modern electronic gaming with the smashing action of physical combat. The warriors launch into battle crashing and spinning into their opponents, then bounce back into action for more excitement and fun time and time again.  Kids can plan their strategy and position their warrior’s weapons and armor for attack or defense, then launch their attack trying to hit the “sweet spot” and blast off their opponent’s head.   Plus, kids can create the ultimate tournament with up to six Battle Wheels warriors competing against each other at one time!  Battle Wheel combat concludes in a wild play area (or battle arena) strewn with shoulder pads, knocked-off hub caps, weapons, and the losers’ heads. 

Research with6-to-11-year-old boys revealed that they would enthusiastically ask mom to buy this fast-action, fighting product for them, and find the uniqueness of these radio controlled warriors to be an innovative new way to challenge their friends.   

Also new is the Battle Wheels website, www.thebattlewheels.com.This new website showcases product detail on the warriors as well as an interactive online game where kids can experience thrilling realistic combat.The online Battle Wheels game is also featured on the world’s largest online gaming website, MiniClip.com (www.miniclip.com).  MiniClip.com is showcasing the Battle Wheels game to over 34 million game players.   

Battle Wheels will be available at retailers in the fall of 2007.

About Learning Curve Brands, Inc.

LearningCurve Brands, Inc. (www.learningcurve.com)is a wholly owned subsidiary of RC2 Corporation (NASDAQ: RCRC, www.rc2.com) and is a leading designer, producer and marketer of innovative, high-quality toys, collectibles,and infant care products that are targeted to consumers of all ages. LearningCurve Brands, Inc. markets its infant, toddler and preschool products under its Learning Curve® family of brands which includes The First Years® by Learning Curve and Lamaze brands as well as popular and classic licensed properties such as Thomas& Friends, Bob the Builder, Winnie the Pooh, John Deere, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street.The Company’s youth and adult products are marketed under the Johnny Lightning®(www.johnnylightning.com) and Ertl®, (www.ertl.com) brands.Learning Curve Brands, Inc. reaches its target consumers through multiple channels of distribution supporting more than 25,000 retail outlets throughout North America, Europe,Australia,and Asia Pacific.



Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




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