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Ready for a Chia PREDATOR? While we don't know if that will be a thing, a surprising announcement arrived just before the start of New York Toy Fair this weekend - National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) has acquired the company behind Chia Pet and The Clapper. NECA has taken control of both Joseph Enterprises, Inc. (JEI) and Joseph Pedott Advertising and Marketing, Inc. (JPAM), which join the NECA family of specialty entertainment companies. NECA promises that these are  "poised for cross-company collaboration."

Preschoolers will soon have some new rides to play with as Funrise and Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) are teaming-up for a new toy line called HERODRIVE. Making their debut at the 2018 edition of the North American International Toy Fair in New York City,  HERODRIVE is being touted as "an innovative, one-of-a-kind line that combines kids' favorite entertainment characters with fun and innovative play features to deliver the coolest vehicles for preschoolers." Racing from the starting line, the HERODRIVE DC Super Friends Collection will launch with vehicles inspired by iconic DC Comics characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, and more.

As I type these words, we're in the middle of the biggest snow of the season here in Northern Illinois - another 6" having fallen overnight. Prior to the proper winter season, the last thing we finished outside was the construction of a massive new deck here at Rock Father HQ... but we finished in November, no time to enjoy it last season. Now, looking ahead to warmer temperatures for 2018, it's window-shopping season, and the folks at Char-Broil have just launched a new collection that's caught my eye - a new outdoor modular kitchen, available at Lowes. Outdoor kitchens have been a growing trend these past few years, but they've also been cost-prohibitive for a lot of families. Now, Char-Broil has brought the concept into reach for a much wider audience. Available now, the Modular Outdoor Kitchen includes the 5-Burner TRU-Infrared™ Gas Grill, the Outdoor Stove Top, Refrigerator, and more. Check out a preview...

By now it should be no secret that I do love the Lexus brand, most recently piloting the GX460 here at Rock Father HQ.  The "F" performance brand has been a big part of that (I love the F Sport models), and since 2008, Lexus has made it a goal that "each vehicle with an "F" badge would set new standards for Lexus performance and help redefine the brand for a new generation of customers." Now comes word that the next chapter will begin in The Windy City, with the introduction of the 2018 Lexus GS F and 2018 RC F 10th anniversary special editions that will be displayed for the first time in the U.S. at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.

This article has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CheckYourPetFood #CollectiveBias

The Rock Father with his dog Harry

Before they opened a new store that's conveniently less than five minutes from Rock Father™ HQ, one thing that I really admired about Meijer was their pet department. In a lot of ways, it always felt more like a pet store than a pet department. Visiting Meijer at least once a week (and sometimes more), we're always in there purchasing food to feed our family, and that includes food for our dog as well. If it's been awhile since you've taken a good look at what you're feeding your pets, now is the perfect time to do it - and that means taking a real look at the total package from ingredients to price. Does your pet food contain real meat? Are you overpaying for what you're getting, or settling for lower-quality food to save on price? With Meijer (check out mPerks savings!) and Purina®, you can feed your dogs like family! 

It might be cold outside right now, but before we know it, spring will be here and the kids will be ready to rock the neighborhood once more. For little ones ages 18 months-5, The Simplay3 Company has something new this year - a fresh spin on the classic push/foot-to-floor vehicle. The My Buddy and Me SUV transforms from child's push car to kid's ride-on with patented 180° floor rotation. The best part is that this ride is designed for two children, solving a problem we had when our girls were smaller - no more fighting to get in since it's designed for two to ride! As we look forward to warmer temperatures, the folks at Simplay3 have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give you a chance to win a My Buddy and Me SUV for your kids!

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