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

Kia readies "A Day at the Races" for 2014 SEMA Show...

Fresh off the National Press Introduction for their 2015 Soul EV (see my review here) and 2015 Sedona (video), the crew over at Kia is gearing-up for next month's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, choosing "A Day at the Races" as their theme. With Kia Racing bringing home massive acclaim of late, the automaker has revealed one early tease of what's to come - a preview of a custom Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV, said to "embrace the fun and festive atmosphere" that fans of their "championship-winning race team experience while enjoying a day at the track."

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Slot Racing goes BIG with a $300K Track Set from Neiman-Marcus and Slot Mods USA...

When I was a kid, I had a couple of slot car sets along the way, and while I can't remember what the brands were, I sure remember the TYCO commercials that used to run each and every Christmas season, always teasing some new kind of fast-paced action, sometimes with added flair like glow-in-the-dark or up-the-wall action. At some point, slot racing seemed to die off, but it's never gone away - and in large part, I think it's a marketing thing: new generations would get into it, if only they knew it was something that exists. In fact, when I take my girls to Bass Pro Shops during the holiday season, they always want to play with the big slot car track they have set-up. So what if you're say, a bigger kid... one with a lot of money to spend? Neiman-Marcus is tapping into the wealthy slot enthusiasts in their 88th Annual Christmas Book, presenting a $300,000 slot track, hand-crafted by the folks at Michigan-based Slot Mods USA. Their tracks are so cool, I just had to show them here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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31 Days of Halloween: Monster 500 Vehicles and Playsets (Toys 'R' Us Exclusive)

There have been a lot of sinister rides over the years. THE MUNSTERS had The Munster Coach and DRAG-U-LA (both of which were built under the George Barris Kustom Shop), Stephen King's CHRISTINE comes to mind, as does the star of the 1977 film, THE CAR (another from the Barris shop). Then there's some of the more cartoony, spook-centric vehicles like that car the GROOVIE GHOULIES cruised around in, The Mystery Machine from SCOOBY-DOO, and of course, the Ecto-1 from GHOSTBUSTERS (and it's animated counterpart, THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS). And then there was the work of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who put creatures like his own "Rat Fink" into hot rods, and helped inspire a movement. That brings us to MONSTER 500, a Toys "R" Us exclusive line of vehicles and playsets that borrow a lot of inspiration from many of the above (especially Roth). Monster 500 races into my 31 Days of Halloween here on THE ROCK FATHER with a hands-on look at these wicked whips.

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First-Drive: The Rock Father goes hands-on with the 2015 Kia Soul EV

Electric vehicles are a fascinating thing, fueled by still-developing technology that the general population still has yet to embrace. While the adopters are growing in numbers, electric cars are still most prevalent in markets like California, not only due to a higher environmentally-friendly consciousness, but practicality as well. While makers like Tesla have their vehicles readily-available here in Northern Illinois where I live, there are issues pertaining to battery life and range that can hinder EVs in cold-weather climates (battery heaters are available), which is why Kia is smartly rolling out their first-ever zero-emmissions, all-electric vehicle in select markets before casting the net wider. Just launched on the West Coast, I had a chance to spend some time with the 2015 Kia Soul EV a couple of weeks back, taking to the road in Southern California to see just how this new ride handles and performs.

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31 Days of Halloween: Hot Wheels Monster Jam Halloween Grave Digger (at the Pumpkin Patch)

Now, perhaps you're thinking to yourself, "Hey Rock Father! Didn't you already feature Halloween Grave Digger?" - and you'd actually be right... but not like this.  Last month, I posted news that Mattel was producing a Hot Wheels Monster Jam Halloween Edition Grave Digger monster truck, limited to a run of "up to 5,000 pieces" to be sold exclusively through Feld Motorsports' website. And, if you were looking closely, you may have even seen Grave Digger make a cameo appearance here, but it's only fitting that this glorious monster truck get a proper feature in 31 Days of Halloween, and what better way to do that than to show him in-action at a pumpkin patch?

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