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

Holiday Wish Guide: Collector’s Edition Hess Toy Truck

Holiday 2014I've written about the Hess Toy Truck several times here on THE ROCK FATHER, but since it's been an East Coast tradition, we never owned one until earlier this year when we were out in Pennsylvania and managed to score a Hess Miniature Truck at a Hess Express location. The Hess Toy Trucks have always been fascinating to me since they're a true American classic - launched in 1964 as an affordable, high-quality toy - and one that's become a phenomenon loved by families and collectors alike. This year, they've taken the trucks online, and in honor of the Hess Toy Truck’s 50th anniversary, Hess Corporation has released the first-ever Collector’s Edition Hess Toy Truck, an individually numbered tanker truck with a replica of the original 1964 tanker trailer inside. Thanks to the folks at Hess, we now have one - and I'm including this as a must-have in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide. Just look at how beautiful this is... packed with play features and more than 100 working LED lights...

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Listen: AC/DC Streams New Album, ROCK OR BUST on iTunes, New Video Released...

It looks like AC/DC may have been playing a goof when the released the ultra-low budget video for "Play Ball" earlier this month, drawing the ire of fans around the Globe. The iconic rockers have just unleashed the proper video for "Rock or Bust," the title track from their forthcoming new album, and the video - like the song itself - is pure, vintage AC/DC. While I've got that embedded here on THE ROCK FATHER for your viewing pleasure, you can stream the entire album right now for free on iTunes First Play

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[CLOSED] Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway: Win JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 on Blu-ray Combo Pack!

WWEAs the Holiday Season officially kicks-off this week, it's only right to start spreading some holiday cheer tied into my most-anticipated holiday film of the year - WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox's JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 (I was on-set in Vancouver for the filming of it earlier this year). Larry the Cable Guy stars alongside WWE's Santino Marella in the sequel to the 1996 Holiday classic (my favorite Christmas movie of all-time), and we're gonna give all of you a chance to win a copy on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack!

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[CLOSED] Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway: NYPD Motorbike Battery Powered Ride-On Toy from GiGGo Toys!

With the Holiday Season officially upon us. it's time to start thinking of those "big" gifts - the ones that kids will remember and talk about for the rest of their lives. One cool item is a ride-on toy, and Long Island, New York-based GiGGo Toys is producing some new rides that will have the kids rockin' the road (sidewalk) in style. Hot off the release of their Little Indian Vintage Motorcycles comes a new ride-on for kids ages 2-4: The NYPD Motorbike! To help roll it out, my friends Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy have partnered with THE ROCK FATHER and a few other friends to get one lucky reader hooked-up with one of these for their own little ones. If I were a kid, I'd want one of these to play CHiPs (but then Ponch and Jon would probably be pursuing me). Ready for a shot at glory?

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THE ROCK FATHER's Thanksgiving Netflix Feast featuring FREE BIRDS, FAMILY GUY, OITNB & more #StreamTeam

Netflix Stream teamWhen it comes to Thanksgiving, it's one of the Holidays that I put on my B-list - a sort of inconveniently-placed day that falls in-between the two greatest Holidays of the year - Halloween and Christmas. It's become easier for us in recent years, but Thanksgiving has traditionally been the gateway into the massive headaches of the "when do we have to be where?" season, where getting together with family turns into arguments about why you can't physically be in several locations at once, and why work schedules largely dictate the can and cannots. But, there is still plenty of good to be had, ushering in the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and settling in for some prime viewing on Netflix. While I'm generally more inclined to skip right into the Christmas specials (our tree has been up for over a week already), here's some fun (and off-the-wall) turkey-tinged treats to check out this week!

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Report: The 12th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair Brings Old Friends & New Favorites Out to Play! #ChiTAGFair

This weekend, the Chicago Toy & Game Group brought the 12th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair to Navy Pier, and for the third year in a row, THE ROCK FATHER was there to cover it. The only show of it's kind that's open to the public in addition to members of the toy and game trade, #ChiTAGFair or simply #ChiTAG serves as an unofficial kick-off to the Holiday season here in Chicago - a tradition that offers families a first-hand chance to check out a wide array of new offerings hands-on, from some of the season's hottest toys, to some of the newest and most "out there" games. While my first two experiences at ChiTAG had been good, and the show had impressed, I left last year thinking that the show was skewing too "game" for my liking, ignoring that "toy" is the first part of it's name. Knowing that many of the organizers have deep roots in the gaming community, that wasn't really a surprise, but for my own interests (big on toys, light on games) I was hoping to see a little more balance this year... and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair crew did a fantastic job in bringing together some old friends and new favorites to delight families for two days of pre-Holiday fun. Check out my picks for this year's #ChiTAGFair all-stars below!

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[CLOSED] Giveaway: Win a hiku Shopping List Scanner & $50 Visa Gift Card!

Ready for something interesting? We've all forgotten our shopping lists (I'm especially guilty of leaving the paper on the counter), and sometimes we even forget to add items to it. Now comes the hiku - a new scanning device that makes creating a shopping list a breeze. It's magnetic and attaches right to your fridge so it's always handy and ready when you are. Simply scan an item or speak the name of a product that you need into the hiku and it's automatically added to the hiku app shopping list. Each item is separated by the product type so you don't have to deal with the frustration of returning to a previous aisle because you forgot an item. How would you like to WIN a hiku of your own, and get a $50 Visa Gift Card to give your shopping trip a jump start? My friends at Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro have teamed up with hiku to help make that happen for one lucky reader!

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Rides Report: MÖTLEY CRÜE and DODGE Rock the Monkey in Dallas

The band that spawned such iconic songs as “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Kickstart My Heart,” along with the arena anthem “Home Sweet Home” and a dozen or more 80’s and 90’s smashes made a very rare appearance at a small venue earlier this month in Dallas. Mötley Crüe played a sold-out/climb-the-walls-to-get-in venue on Saturday November 1st at Richard Rawlings' (he of Discovery Channel’s Fast-n-Loud reality show fame), Gas Monkey Live concert club. It was billed as “Dodge Rocks Gas Monkey” sponsored by the car manufacturer - who is sponsoring this leg of the Crue's North American farewell tour which ends this weekend.

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Getting the Car Organized & Ready to Rock the Holiday Road with Rubbermaid & #WalmartAuto

This adventure is brought to you by Walmart. THE ROCK FATHER is a Socialstars 2014 #WalmartAuto Ambassador. The Rubbermaid products featured in this story are all available in the Automotive Department of your local store or at Walmart.com.

Well, here we are again - just a week out from Thanksgiving (or X-mas rehearsal), Black Friday and all of the Holiday fun that will follow. It's that time of year to hit the road for those gatherings - the ones where you reconnect with beloved friends and family... and the occasional oddballs that you only see once or twice a year - the ones with personality traits straight out of a movie or sitcom. While the destination may vary, getting there should always be comfortable, and one way to do that is with car organization products from Walmart, like the Rubbermaid Mobile Backseat Organizer. I've got two of them here at Rock Father HQ, and they're perfect for keeping my girls' goodies organized for wherever we may roam.

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#CommandTheForce with Imagination and STAR WARS COMMAND #ad

THE ROCK FATHER is a paid STAR WARS #CommandTheForce Ambassador and has partnered with Hasbro and Life of Dad for this adventure. May The Force Be With You, Always.

I've been trying to Command The Force since about 1977, inspired by a galaxy far, far away...

As part of the first generation to be inspired by the vast universe that George Lucas created, STAR WARS, like The Force itself, surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds people together. As a parent, STAR WARS has also become a bond between father and child, as my wife and I raise two girls as part of the next generation. Like their father before them, these little ones are both creating and recreating some of the galaxy's most epic battles as they Command The Force with the power of their own imaginations. Play is important, and sometimes to find new ways to play, one must look to the past.

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Holiday Wish Guide: Girlmazing Radio Controlled Vehicles from Jada Toys

Holiday 2014Having two car-obsessed girls here at home, I've written at length in the past about girls being underserved when it comes to toy cars. Back in November of 2012 (can't believe it's been two years already), I did a guest post for TTPM entitled "Time to Play: An Octane-Obsessed Little Girl," then writing about Addie since Little Finn was just four months old at the time. Our journey into the world of toy cars had just begun, rekindling a passion of my own youth in the process. In the time that's passed, we've both bought and received countless toy cars, trucks and vehicles, many of which have been reviewed here at Rock Father HQ and shared with all of you. Now comes what is perhaps the first instance of a company addressing girls directly, with Jada Toys' introduction of their Girlmazing line of R/C vehicles.

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Preview: VH1 Goes Back to 1995 with HINDSIGHT

Now this is interesting... VH1 has HINDSIGHT, a new (thankfully) scripted series making it's debut on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT. What piqued my interest? Time travel and the 1990s. That was a great decade (met my wife in '97), so the prospect of seeing a new series set in that period is appealing to me, if only for a nostalgia trip. The extended first-look (embedded below) features music from the SPIN DOCTORS, ACE OF BASE, HADDAWAY and EMF, while containing nods to THE BLACK CROWES, SNOOP DOGGY DOGG and FRIENDS. Check it out...

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