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Six Flags is going to Hell. When the annual Fright Fest opens for the 2018 season, three of the parks - Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ, and Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL (one of our local haunts*) - will feature new haunted attractions based on CBS Films' upcoming movie, HELL FEST, which hits theaters Friday, September 28, 2018.
The first-ever Hot Wheels Legends Tour is currently making its way across the U.S. in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels brand. After kicking-off at the Hot Wheels garage in El Segundo, California back in April, this traveling car show is popping up in Walmart parking lots from coast-to-coast, and by the time it wraps back in Los Angeles on October 20th, 15 real-life cars will have been chosen to head out to the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where one car will be crowned champion and immortalized in diecast form as an actual mainline Hot Wheels toy car! For the Chicago date, I was invited by Mattel to serve as a guest judge, checking out the field with The Rock Daughters™ (my little Hot Wheels enthusiasts) along for the ride. It was a hot and rainy morning in Bedford Park, and while the rain may have scared away some participants, a great time was still had by kids and grownups alike, celebrating that after 50 years, Hot Wheels are no longer just a toy - but a lifestyle. At the end of the day, I had the honor of rockin' the mic to say a few words to the hometown crowd, including the introduction of the winner of the day - Brian Bergeron and what began as a 1987 Porsche 944, now completely redesigned for racing as the Widerstandsfahig #001-15. Check out the video below from Donut Media to see highlights from Chicago, the winning car and to hear more of Brian's story...
On October 19, Chicago's DISTURBED will release their seventh studio album, Evolution via Reprise Records. Along with the album announcement, the band has unleashed the new single and music video, "Are You Ready?" as pre-orders have already gone live. Check out the new video and a statement from the band below!
With changing habits and interests, we've been hearing a lot about how retail is moving toward being "experiential." This is also leading many brands to get creative in how they connect with families, and that means creating the experiences themselves. For the folks at Whirlpool Corporation, that meant a fresh approach to their World of Whirlpool in Chicago, now open to the public as a new consumer experience center. At the media preview this week, I had the opportunity to experience it first-hand, and my immediate thought is that this is exactly what companies need to be doing because it's going to allow the general public to learn in ways that have in many cases been limited to media or expensive courses. Whirlpool is going well beyond the typical appliance showroom by teaching "life hacks" and culinary literacy that will help people save time, save money, and most importantly - improve the time spent with family.
If you've ever seen Back to the Future, played a game of Mouse Trap or watched a recent OK Go video (particularly "This Too Shall Pass"), then you've seen a Rube Goldberg Machine. These creations are elaborate, generally ridiculous machines that are crafted for the purpose of accomplishing a mundane task... like brewing a cup of coffee or feeding your dog. Rube Goldberg has been called "the grandfather of S.T.E.M." due to the enduring legacy of his iconic illustrations. Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning engineer and cartoonist, and his "invention cartoons" were the blueprint for countless contraptions that now bear his name. In 1988, things became official with the start of the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST®, originally as a college competition. Three decades later, the annual contest encourages student inventors from across the country to create the best machines that they can, and for the 30th Anniversary, the 2018 contest came to a conclusion in Chicago.
In 2019, Star Wars Celebration will return and it's celebrating its 20th Anniversary right here in my home town of Chicago! That's right, ReedPop (the folks behind the fantastic C2E2) and Lucasfilm will bring Star Wars Celebration to McCormick place April 11-15, 2019. The full website and details will be coming soon, with tickets going on-sale June 5, 2018 at noon CST. The announcement was made on this week's installment of The Star Wars Show, and you can bet I will be spending quite a bit of time in the City proper come next April. In the meantime, check this out...