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Raising a pair of vehicularly-inclined daughters, I tend to find myself in a position to rekindle some of my own childhood interests. Toy cars, racing and yes, even Monster Trucks are a part of that, so when Feld Entertainment and Windy City Kids Guide asked us to check out MONSTER JAM, Addie and I couldn't pass it up. Little Finley sat this one out since she's still a tad too young for it, but Addie and I, along with her friend Richard and my friend, John, headed for Allstate Arena in Rosemont, a familiar location that we typically visit while ice-covered. But last night? It was all about dirt, metal and octane.

#FuelCASOn Friday, February 7, 2014, I'll be heading down to McCormick Place in Chicago to bring you my first-ever coverage of the CHICAGO AUTO SHOW. While this is my first "official" visit as "The Rock Father," I've been attending the CAS for years... first visiting as a small boy in the 1980s, and many times as an adult. While I have some new offerings that I'm really looking forward to checking out, I'm curious what YOU are interested in. Do you have something that you'd like me to bring back info on? Hit me up in the comments and I'll try to make it happen.

Wednesday, February 05 2014 15:14

Review: MEGA BLOKS Barbie Build 'N Play Luxe Camper

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In the year or so since MEGA BLOKS began issuing building sets based on licenses from fellow toymaker, MATTEL, we've seen a lot of great sets that have been centered around those brands, namely, HOT WHEELS and BARBIE. The building category is massive right now, and with kids of all ages spending more and more time assembling these sets, it's always interesting to see where they'll go next. One of the first Spring 2014 sets to emerge pre-Toy Fair combines two of my oldest daughter's greatest loves - dolls and vehicles. The MEGA BLOKS Barbie Build 'N Play Luxe Camper arrived at Rock Father HQ for review, and since it has wheels, it rolls into Rock Father Rides for an early look at this new set. Oddly, this build introduced me to a term that I wasn't familiar with: "Glamping."

I've played a few NEED FOR SPEED games over the years, so the prospect of a big-screen version has always been intriguing, yet puzzling as to how they'd pull it off. On March 14, audiences Nationwide will get the answer, when DreamWorks Pictures' NEED FOR SPEED hits theater screens in RealD, 3D and other large formats. Earlier tonight, a "Big Game" spot hit the airwaves, while an extended look hit the web. Check out both of them below, right here on The Rock Father...

This February, some "Monster" action is headed for Chicagoland when Feld Motorsports brings MONSTER JAM to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. These roaring, 10,000 pound Monster Trucks will be featured in multiple shows from February 7-9, and as a member of U.S. Family Guide and the Feld Family Ambassador program, I'm able to share with you a discount code worth 30% off tickets! Check out the full details below...

Friday, January 10 2014 10:02

HOT WHEELS: Introducing... THE HOMER

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Accelerate the fun at the Hot Wheels Headquarters at MattelShop.comIn our casual collecting of HOT WHEELS here at Rock Father HQ, we sort of have two ways that we go with it. The girls (Addie, in particular) like whatever they like... I mean, they're kids, so you never know what's gonna strike their fancy. I, on the other hand, like "star cars" - the toys based on vehicles from pop culture, movies, tv shows, etc. There's all different levels of this, from the $1 "mainline" cars to the $5 "Retro Entertainment" series that I dig, and beyond that there's some really expensive versions that are bigger, more detailed, and frankly, not for me. I want stuff that the girls and I can play with, and $1-$5 I can dig. While the world of real-life rides is stirring with announcements set to come from the forthcoming auto shows in Detroit and Chicago, this week, news surfaced out of Mattel that a new vehicle is on the way for the kids... Introducing, THE HOMER!

So here's an oddity: Two posts involving THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (here's the first one) here on The Rock Father... not only in the same week, but just about 24 hours apart. Yes, since CMT is airing the old DUKES episodes in HD for the first time this week, it seemed pretty appropriate to break this out for my Throwback Thursday post. I mentioned way back in March of 2012 that I once had the famed DUKES OF HAZZARD Power Cycle by Coleco - a "Big Wheel" of sorts that I received for my fifth birthday, back in 1981. Well, not only did I get the Power Cycle, but I also had a full-blown DUKES-themed Birthday Party that year, and now - for the first time ever - I'm getting to share pictures and video of both, all thanks to some newly-digitized Super 8mm home movies from my youth. Here we go... time for some #TBT action!

Thursday, January 02 2014 12:24

Rides: The KIA GT4 STINGER is Coming...

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An email just hit my inbox from KIA Motors America with a sneak-preview of their new KIA GT4 STINGER. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that provides 315 horsepower to the rear wheels, this new ride is set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show in a couple of weeks, and I hope to see it first-hand at the Chicago Auto Show next month. Take a look at the pitch, along with the full teaser image below...

Wednesday, November 13 2013 00:59

Review: Road Rippers Street Beatz by Toy State

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Toy StateJust in-time for the Holiday Season, my friends at Toy State hit us with a fresh batch of new rides to put to the test right here at Rock Father HQ. Among the new offerings to capture the interest of my car-obsessed little ones was one of the all-new Road Rippers Street Beatz vehicles. With lights, sound, music, and motorized action, the girls have been racing this new ride around the family room, having to opt out of our traditional "road test" on the sidewalk... since there's already snow on the ground.

I'm not quite sure how we missed this here at Rock Father HQ - this news item being penned by a guy that wears a CARS LAND Racing Jacket almost daily - but CARS 3D exists, and was just released today as the CARS 3D ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION Blu-ray... making me wish we had a player to support it. Check out some details and a preview below...

I didn't intend to have a dual-dose of GHOSTBUSTERS in this year's 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father, but sometimes things just happen. Athena Stamos, host of CraveOnline's STAR CARS series, got in touch earlier today with the latest episode of her award-winning webseries about some of the most famous rides on the road. The latest? A look at two Ectomobiles... a pair of classic Cadillacs, each re-tooled to carry on the legacy of the famous vehicle from the 1984 film. Check it out below, for Day 23...

We don't have HESS EXPRESS stores here in the Midwest, but my friends on the East Coast do, and today comes some pre-Holiday news regarding an annual tradition for those with a Hess nearby: The Hess Toy Truck. For nearly 50 years, families have been picking up and collecting the Hess Toy Trucks, which were introduced by Leon Hess in 1964 as "a fun, high quality and affordable toy for families during the holliday season." While the line has gone beyond just trucks to include vehicles such as a police car, fire engines, a space shuttle, jet, and race cars, this year they're back to trucks, with the 2013 Hess Toy Truck and Tractor. Check it out below... 

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