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

Video: Mattel Launches BARBIE IN PRINCESS POWER with a Live-Action Stunt, Announcement of BE SUPER Initiative...

Earlier this month, I shared a preview of BARBIE IN PRINCESS POWER, the 30th animated film to feature Barbie and her friends. For the first time in Mattel's 56-year history, Barbie is donning the cape and mask to become a real superhero (unlike the times she's dressed-up as licensed characters), and at the world's largest Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Barbie appeared as a live-action, high-flying character to launch the toy line associated with the coming film, and it's digital empowerment mission, Be Super. Check out some video from the launch...

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Watch: Pierce Brosnan looks back to JAMES BOND Days in KIA's Explosive Super Bowl Commercial...

I'm a huge fan of Kia's excellent new 2016 Sorento, which I reviewed here on THE ROCK FATHER a few weeks back. I'm also a huge fan or Pierce Brosnan - perhaps my favorite Bond - and spent much of the mid-90s pretending to be him while playing GOLDENEYE on N64. What's happened here is that Kia Motors America recently tapped Brosnan for their annual Super Bowl commercial, and with the "Big Game" taking place this weekend, an extended version of the spot has arrived. With the 2016 Kia Sorento being touted as "The Perfect Getaway Vehicle," it's only right that Brosnan looked back to his "action-adventure" days as James Bond when he got pitched the gig, right?

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Watch: First Trailer for Fox's Reimagining of MARVEL's FANTASTIC FOUR Arrives...

In a perfect world, cinematic rights to all MARVEL Characters and Properties would be pulled under the current ownership of Disney so that the fans could be given what they want - a unified MARVEL Cinematic Universe. While that is unlikely to happen for quite some time due to pre-existing agreements with other studios, some heavy hitters are spread out and can't currently mingle on the big screen with their MARVEL cousins. Spider-man is over at Sony, while 20th Century Fox has the X-Men franchise and FANTASTIC FOUR. Taking some cues from what MARVEL Studios has been doing, Fox has done well with recent films such as X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and now they're going back to the "4," throwing away the ok-to-mediocre movies of the mid-2000's for "a contemporary re-imagining of MARVEL's original and longest-running superhero team." The first trailer has arrived, and I'm curious what all of you think of it...

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TRANSFORMERS Fans: Hasbro Wants YOU to Help Make the New Combiner!

TRANSFORMERSLast year, Hasbro celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS brand by hosting the "Fan Built Bot" poll, in which fans assisted in the creation of the now-popular AUTOBOT female, WINDBLADE. We were pretty pleased with the outcome, as many design features we'd voted for made it into the final character, a figure of which we have here at Rock Father HQ (one I just may feature on the site in the near future). For 2015, Hasbro is following-up with something a little bit bigger,  launching the new “Fan Built Combiner” poll. This crowdsourcing project seeks fan input to create a new team of TRANSFORMERS robots that combine into one giant new character in celebration of the theme of the 2015 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS line: COMBINER WARS!

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Review: LEGO Disney Princess FROZEN Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle (41062)

Since it's launch last year, the Disney Princess line of building sets from LEGO has slowly, but steadily been gaining a foothold here at Rock Father HQ. We've built a variety, from the now-retired Ariel's Amazing Treasures, to Rapunzel's Creativity Tower (reviewed here) and Cinderella's Romantic Castle. Our most recent build from this world comes from the Kingdom of Arendelle, with the first-ever LEGO set based on Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award-winning FROZEN. Officially released on January 1st, we managed to score Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle (#41062) a few days early on a post-Christmas visit to Toys "R" Us, and after teasing our build on the socials (here & here), it's time for a proper review right here on the site.

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Tour of the Year: FAITH NO MORE Announce First North American Tour in over 17 Years!

This is the news I've been waiting for since FAITH NO MORE first reunited for their "Second Coming" shows that began in 2009...

FAITH NO MORE have announced their first North American Tour since 1997, and it's happening this April/May. At long last, the band will return to Chicago for a date at Concord Music Hall (5/7), and one way or another, I will be there. For those of you unfamiliar, not only is FNM my favorite band of all-time, but had it not been for them, my life could've taken an entirely different path. The reason? FAITH NO MORE were the first band to ever grant me an interview, and it happened back in 1992 when I was just 15 years old. In addition to the tour, the next single from their forthcoming new album has been revealed, with "Superhero" due out as a limited-edition 7" single on March 17, followed by a digital release on March 31...

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Toyography: Here's Rocket Raccoon's Hot Wheels GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Character Car...

Every so often, beyond the normal realm of traditional vehicles, Mattel releases a fresh batch of Hot Wheels "Character Cars" - concept vehicles inspired by a pop culture franchise. In the past, the Character Cars series has seen MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, TOY STORY 3, THE MUPPETS, and even SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS get the Hot Wheels treatment - but right now the two big lines are based on STAR WARS (two of which I showcased here) and MARVEL Comics. From the MARVEL assortment comes the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Rocket Raccoon car, featured in a #Toyography post on my social networks last week, and one that I've decided to share here on the site with a little more detail. First, the original photo...

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Don't Believe Me Just Watch: James Brown vs Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars - AMERICAN UPTOWN FUNK (Mashup)

When it comes to mashups, Austria's DJ SCHMOLLI is one of the best in the game, and as such I've written about his work on a few sites over the years (here's one of my favorites). This week, Schmolli places JAMES BROWN vs. MARK RONSON and BRUNO MARS for "American Uptown Funk," a mashup of the recent hit "Uptown Funk" and the 1985 classic, "Living in America" (ROCKY IV!). While the video was quickly up-and-down over at YouTube, Vimeo has a fresh version that you need to watch...

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LEGO SCOOBY-DOO is Bringing "those meddling kids" to Brick Form!

Confirmed: I need a LEGO Mystery Machine to go along with my LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1. This August, that just may happen as  Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma and the Mystery Machine, as well as all the ghosts, goblins and other villains that make SCOOBY-DOO adventures complete come to LEGO form for the very first time in a series of five new building sets. Announced today by The LEGO Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the sets will be accompanied by a 22-minute LEGO SCOOBY-DOO special, and made-for-video movie titles by Warner Bros. Animation that will feature the Mystery Inc. gang animated in LEGO form, much like BATMAN and STAR WARS before them. 

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Test Drive: Rockin' the Road - 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Review

It's a rare thing to have a vehicle from a press fleet for more than a week, but that's exactly what happened when a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review over the holidays. The extra time was beneficial both to the vehicle and our family for some real-world testing hauling people and stuff from Northern Illinois to Michigan and back. Marketed as a great value and exceptionally safe Crossover SUV for families looking for a lot of people capacity for a lower price, Mitsubishi has wisely focused on the Outlander's strong points, drawing attention away from some curiously-unexciting features on the design front. While my thoughts are split on this one, I can tell you this before we move any further: my kids love it.

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JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES - BATTLE FOR THE BOOK (An Adventure-Packed Review)

Growing up, I don't remember there being much love for pirates. In fact, as an 80s kid, the only real "pirate" memory that sticks in my head is One Eyed Willy and his fantastic ship in THE GOONIES (which turns 30 this year), and one of the major reasons why is that most pirates were sorta a-holes, and Captain James Hook was the poster boy. Weird thing is, back then the "talk" of Hook was bigger than the character, as we'd only seen PETER PAN during a theatrical re-release in 1982. Fast-forward a few decades and pirates are everywhere, and as new generations have had instant access to older films, there's a really cool vibe that surrounds JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES as an educational, yet fun series that manages to seamlessly bridge the classic and the modern. While Captain Hook might be a little toned-down from his earlier, more sinister days, he's still an a-hole, and that's the driving force behind the recent BATTLE FOR THE BOOK, which premiered last Fall on Disney Junior and is now out on DVD.

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Is ROCK BAND 4 Coming in 2015? Do YOU Want it? Here's Your Chance to Be Heard...

Could Harmonix really be releasing the "next-gen" version of ROCK BAND this year? Rumors have been swirling since last fall that ROCK BAND 4 (though that may not be the title) is in-the-works, and last week it appeared that the waters were being tested when the ROCK BAND Music Store on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 "sprung to life" after nearly two years of dormancy following the final DLC release back in April of 2013 (which I wrote about here). New tracks from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and ARCTIC MONKEYS arrived for ROCK BAND alongside FOO FIGHTERS' "Something From Nothing" (aka the "Chicago" song from SONIC HIGHWAYS), presented in the classic vocals/guitar/bass/drums format of earlier releases. So the question is... do YOU want a new ROCK BAND game? And if so, would you make your voice heard? 

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Win Tickets to MONSTER JAM! Returning to the Allstate Arena with #MoreMonsterJam!

I just had to disappoint my girls. Feld Motorsports is bringing MONSTER JAM back to the Chicago area, and we can't go this time. Since I took Addie to her first MONSTER JAM last year, those Monster Trucks have become a huge deal here at Rock Father HQ, with both of my girls amassing a pretty solid collection of the 1:64-scale replicas that Mattel produces as part of the Hot Wheels line. In fact, the Hot Wheels Team even used one of my personal photos on their Facebook page to usher in the fall season last year - the Halloween Grave Digger! While we can't make it to this run of shows, Feld Motorsports and THE ROCK FATHER are teaming up to give one (1) lucky family a chance at attending with a Family Pack of four (4) tickets to see #MoreMonsterJam on either February 5 or 6, 2015. And if you'd like to buy tickets at a discount? We've got your hook-up on that as well. This year, #MoreMonsterJam brings more of what fans have been asking for, read on for details!

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