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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Toyography: The Hot Wheels Scooby-Doo '70 Chevelle Delivery

I've really been getting into the art of "Toyography" lately - a love of toys and photography coming together for fun results. Many of my photos involve toy vehicles, and they're usually posted on Instagram and Facebook for immediate viewing. It's no secret that we have a big love of Mattel's Hot Wheels line here at Rock Father HQ, and one recent photo I snapped even snagged the attention of the Hot Wheels team themselves, getting reposted on all of their official social networks. Since people seem to enjoy viewing these just as much as I enjoy taking them, I think it's only proper to share them here on THE ROCK FATHER on occasion, and today I'm starting with this - The Hot Wheels Pop Culture Series Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo '70 Chevelle Delivery. This photo was taken this morning, with the full Mystery Inc. Gang present to stand guard...

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A Floating Festival for Kids and Grownups? MACARONI AND CRUISE will Set Sail in 2015...

Music cruises or "floating festivals" are all the rage these days, with 70,000 TONS OF METAL, SHIPROCKED, THE WEEZER CRUISE, THE COUNTRY MUSIC CRUISE, BLUES ALIVE AT SEA, and several more genre and artist-specific cruises having hit the open waters over the past few years. Now comes one for the family music crowd with the just-announced MACARONI AND CRUISE, setting sail August 3-7, 2015. 

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Cool Mashup: PINK FLOYD + LEGO = Another Brick in the Wall

TeeFuryPop culture mashups are always a lot of fun, and TeeFury has been one of the leaders when it comes to putting those mashups on your chest in the form of a t-shirt.

Known for their limited-time offerings of just 24 hours a pop, once in awhile a shirt comes back by popular demand, and that's just what happened with "Another Brick in the Wall," a design mashing the iconic multi-colored bricks of LEGO with the title of the 1979 album and 1982 film by PINK FLOYD.

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#OrangeTuesday Arrives: The 2014 Halloween Season is Here!

THE ROCK FATHER is a paid 2014 BuyCostumes Halloween Brand Ambassador

And like that, Labor Day is finally behind us and #OrangeTuesday has arrived! What is Orange Tuesday, you ask? It's the new Black Friday - the official start to the Halloween Season, and that day is today. It's true, I'm an unapologetic fan of Fall and Halloween (I was an October baby), and my little ones are turning out to be as well (that picture up top is Addie at just 14 months back in 2010). In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Halloween is the #1 Holiday of the year with Christmas it's only A-list partner (my wife said I couldn't mark the boxes with Easter & Valentine's stuff as "B-List Holiday Decor"). 2014 is particularly special, as the folks at BuyCostumes have invited me to join their crew for the next ten weeks - bringing you more frightfully-good seasonal content than ever before, with spook-tacular goodies from BuyCostumes peppered on top of my already fang-tastic treats for the year. Yeah, I'm a bit punny - but it's Orange Tuesday, so let's celebrate with a jump on the Halloween Shopping Season. Are you ready?

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Lullaby Album of the Year? Lullaby Versions of FAITH NO MORE is Coming!

Over the past few years, I've covered a lot of lullaby tributes to popular artists here on THE ROCK FATHER, but tonight is really special as I'm getting to break the news on what is undoubtedly the lullaby album of the year - Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star: LULLABY VERSIONS OF FAITH NO MORE. Set for release on September 16th (pre-order on iTunes), the crew over at Roma Music Group have reworked a dozen FNM classics into nursery-friendly instrumental jams for baby.  This is an exceptionally exciting release for me, as it's my favorite band of all-time getting the lullaby treatment. Check out the lullaby version of "Falling to Pieces" below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Beyond DUPLO: Building New Worlds with LEGO JUNIORS #LEGOJuniorMakers

When it comes to toys, the name LEGO easily stands as one of the most iconic - a name that most would include in a count-on-one-hand list of the must-have toys that every kid should own. LEGO transcends generations, making those perfect little bricks not just great for kids, but for grownups, too (or "kids" of all ages) - capturing the imagination at a young age, fostering creativity and inspiring Makers for countless builds to come. Now comes LEGO JUNIORS, a new line of building sets that help bridge the gap between the DUPLO (for kids 1½-5) and the traditional LEGO realm by presenting kids ages 4-7 with easy-to-build models and simple instructions that can be created with minimal (or no!) help from parents, letting little Makers build something else: confidence.

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Cleveland Rocks: A Visit to The Step2 Company (and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)! #RockFatherTour

THE ROCK FATHER is a 2014 Step2 Brand AmbassadorI didn't realize it until recently, but in 2014, I have already logged more travel miles and visited more cool locales than in any other year in the 37-ish that I've been roaming the planet Earth. Thing is, I'm not done yet - and as I type these virtual words to appear on your computer/device screen, there's other adventures already on the books for the four months ahead. The most recent journey on my 2014 #RockFatherTour was a special one, and a trip that was a little bit different than most - an adventure back to Northeastern Ohio, staying in Cleveland and spending some time in the neighboring town of Streetsboro - home of The Step2 Company, who I've been working with for nearly two years - first as a "Test Driver," and most recently, as one of 10 paid Brand Ambassadors. Along with five fellow Ambassadors (a few couldn't make it this time around), this was our first time working with Step2 in-person, taking meetings and going hands-on with some of the latest products (for kids and grownups!) that are hitting the market now, and all the way into Fall of 2015. If you've ever wondered "Where the Toys Come From," I have your answer...

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Contigo West Loop: How Do You Improve on Perfection? #BestGotBetter

For over a year, I've been singing the praises of Contigo and their crazy-good line of travel mugs and water bottles. As an on-the-go Dad with two little girls, there's a pretty good chance that we're rockin' some Contigo products whenever we're out and about. I'm a big coffee guy (I tend to mention that), and one of my personal favorites has been the AUTOSEAL West Loop (yes, named after a geographic region of Chicago) Stainless Travel Mug. It's always been the best spill-proof mug out there, but how can you improve on perfection? Well, the best got better, and Contigo just proved that. The secret is in the lid.

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The Hot Wheels Monster Jam Halloween Grave Digger is Coming!

Halloween 2014Yes, it's still technically summer, but as you may have heard me mention a time or two in the past, when it comes to Fall and/or Halloween, you can never be too early in talking about it - only too late.  With just a hair over two months until the big day, the Halloween news has begun flowing, and tonight I've got details on a cool little item from the Mattel Hot Wheels Monster Jam collection. For the first time ever, there is a Halloween Edition 1:64-scale diecast version of Grave Digger being offered, but it's exclusively available through Feld Motorsports' official Monster Jam Superstore. Check it out below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Kindie Scene 6: Lori Henriques, The Twigs, Zee Avi, Stacey Peasley, Bari Koral and Joanie Leeds

Rock Father-Approved!A few times a year, I pull back and look at just how much new family music is coming across my desk here at Rock Father HQ - not only physical CDs (which still prevail in the kids and family realm), but also digital albums. The pile is never-ending, and that's one of the reasons why I've started the Kindie Scene 6 column - a quick look at six albums that are available for your enjoyment right now. This week, I'm highlighting four recent releases along with two that technically came out last year - all of which are worth your time. It's sort of a "Women Who Rock Edition," so let's take that theme and roll with it. Also, this time around, all six albums are Rock Father-approved!

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Local: WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour returns to Gurnee Mills with MISS LORI and ARTHUR...

Gurnee MillsFor my local friends in Lake County, Illinois - mark your calendars, because the WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour is returning to Gurnee Mills. On Saturday, September 6, kids and grownups alike can spend the morning singing, dancing and enjoying story time with a live performance from Miss Lori's CAMPUS and a special appearance by ARTHUR. This FREE event starts at 10:30am at the Lake County Food Court in the Macy's full-priced wing. The first 200 children in attendance will receive a free children’s book.

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Giveaway: Win a WILD KRATTS Toys Prize Pack!

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)Animal and adventure-loving kids that are fans of WILD KRATTS on PBS KIDS can now bring the fun home like never before with an all-new line of toys from Wicked Cool. Available online from the Wild Kratts Shop and in-stores at Toys "R" Us, the Wild Kratts collection features action figures, plush and more, and to kick things off, the Kratt Brothers, Wicked Cool Toys and THE ROCK FATHER are going to get one lucky reader set up with a WILD KRATTS PRIZE PACK including a Wild Kratts 4PK Figure Set, one Wild Kratts Wildlife Plush and the Wild Kratts book, “Wild Sea Creatures: Sharks, Whales and Dolphins!” from Random House. Check out the details and enter for your chance below!

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Giveaway: Win the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine Toddler Bed!

THE ROCK FATHER is a Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs part of my gig as Step2 Brand Ambassador, I recently took a trip to Step2 HQ in Ohio to take a peek at some of the latest toys and accessories that are at or headed to retail very soon (more on that shortly). In fact, my kids and I get to check out a lot of great new toys from Step2 (here's the latest) and while we won't be bringing this one home, I know a lot of families our there with a little conductor that would just love to ride the rails of the Isle of Sodor in their dreams with a Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ . My friends and fellow Step2 Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro have teamed-up to host a giveaway for the Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™, and now THE ROCK FATHER is in on the action, sharing your chance to win one of these cool beds below! 

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THE ROCK FATHER is proud to work with the following Companies, Allies and Organizations:

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent) Blogger The Rock Father is a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew The Rock Father is a 2014 Step2 Ambassador! Toy State Test Driver The Rock Father is a Weave Made Media Influencer2014 Fox Home Entertainment Insider - Blogger of the Month NETFLIX Stream Team - 2014 member Life of Dad Social Fabric USFGmemberbadge

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