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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...

The 50th Anniversary of the "Great Race" from Trinidad to Tobago will get underway early on Saturday morning, August 18. 43 entries, including "#77 Lucas Oil SilverHook" running in the top A-Class Division, will challenge the 100+ mile course between the two islands.

The last time a USA entry competed in the "Great Race" was in 1989 when "Dollar Marine Special" took the victory in a time of 1:48. Last year, "Mr Solo Too" took top honors with an elapsed time of 1:12:35.

29 years later, Lucas Oil #77 SilverHook will have its work cut out to claim victory for the USA in the A-Class. Top contenders include "Mr Solo Too," "Jumbie," "Paramount," "Ironman," "Monster," and "Cat Killer."

Friday, August 10 2018 18:30

4 Easy Auto Repairs You Can Do Yourself

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A vehicle is considered one of the biggest financial commitments you'll make in your lifetime. While there are only half as many cars in the world as there are bicycles (more than one billion bikes), your car is still a costly commodity. Not only are vehicles expensive to initially purchase but they have recurring expenses that will add up significantly throughout the life of the vehicle. Repair bills, insurance, gas, and anything else that it takes to keep your car on the road can amount to a shocking total. That's why so many people try to save money where they can. They refinance their auto loans, subscribe to a gas station membership for three cents off the gallon, and learn how to do a few simple repairs on their own. While the first two are really one time things you'll end up learning on your own, here are a few tips to making simple auto repairs at home.

Let's talk about cars. Do you remember your first car? A lot of people's first cars are by no means glamorous, but at that age, we're just thankful to have something to call our own that gets from point A to point B. On average, passenger cars on the road are 11.6 years old. In the car world, that's a long time, especially when new models come out every year.

I have a little confession. Despite all the awesome that comes out of Funko, there has never been a Pop! Vinyl figure that I took one look at and said, "I absolutely must have that!" And believe me, I own hundreds of them and there's many more that I'd like to own. But until today, there has never been a single figure that I've absolutely just thrown money at the screen for... until today. The undisputed Greatest Television Series of All-Time™* is finally getting the Pop! Vinyl treatment, and it's coming through the Pop! Rides line. The KNIGHT RIDER  Michael Knight with K.I.T.T. figure pays tribute to the excellent 1982-1986 NBC television series that brought audiences along for "a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist." It also let kids like me know that "one man can make a difference," while inspiring much of the automotive and AI technology that exists in the world today. Available for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate) for an August/September delivery, this is sure to become a sought-after addition to any Pop! Collection, and one desired by all with good taste.

The Nintendo Labo continues to be one of 2018's biggest surprises, and today comes news that there's yet another kit on the way. Starting September 14, kids can buckle up for a new adventure while sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, a submarine and a plane with the Nintendo Labo: Vehicle Kit. It's officially bringing Rides into the Labo experience, designed to work with the Nintendo Switch system (sold separately). The Toy-Con 03 kit contains materials to build a variety of customizable cardboard creations called Toy-Con, including a Car, a Submarine, a Plane, a Pedal, two Keys and more. By inserting one of the assembled Keys into any of the vehicles, players can enjoy a variety of fun games and activities. Changing between vehicles while adventuring is a cinch – simply pull the Key out of one and slot it into another to transform from an airplane pilot to a submarine captain! Check out the trailer below...

Wednesday, July 18 2018 14:26

Rides: Summer Safety and Your Vehicle

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Summer is in full-effect! Are you ready fun in the sun at the beach and lakes, family vacation, and serious off-road recreation? Nothing puts a damper on your summer enjoyment more than an accident or other unforeseen incidents. Being summer safe means more than slathering on the sunscreen to protect your skin. Protect you and your family from hot-weather disaster by keeping your vehicle(s) summer-ready, too. Give them a good wash and wax as their sunscreen, and then follow these additional tips.

For those heading to San Diego for Comic-Con International (SDCC) this week, Moose Toys will be rolling into the convention center with their Shopkins Cutie Cars Golden Collection. Glittering in gold, these Cutie Cars will add weight to your collection with a premium die-cast finish. There will only be 500 of this pack available during the show, which includes premium Carrot Cake and Donut Deluxe cars. These will be available at the UCC Distributing booth #5610.

It's been a big summer for Ford: not only did the company reach its emissions goal eight years early in June, it also partnered with Baidu, a Chinese internet company, in order to make your smart car even smarter.

In Ford Motor Company's annual sustainability report, the company revealed that it has hit its lowered emissions goal eight years earlier than expected. Set in 2010, the automotive supplier wanted to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2025. This goal was reached last month when Ford revealed they have lowered CO2 emissions by 3.4 million metric tons.

Mattel's Hot Wheels Pop Culture Assortment is an ever-changing collection of vehicles that feature artwork inspired by many fandoms and interests. Unlike the Character Cars, which take design cues for body styles from actual characters, these are traditional, yet highly-detailed vehicles that are emblazoned with colorful art - think along the lines of those custom 70s vans that used their panels as a canvas. For the latest series, it's all about the Wonderful World of Disney, specifically some classic animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are all being paid tribute with the latest assortment. Check 'em out below!

The year was 1980. Charles Lazarus had been crowned "The Toy King," with his retail empire having grown from its modest beginnings as the Children's Bargain Town into a household name as Toys "R" Us. What started in 1948 as a place to buy baby furniture had evolved into a place that kids across the country would dream of - a rainbow-striped paradise of toys and games stacked floor-to-ceiling. His mascot had become an icon, and Geoffrey the Giraffe would soon start a family of his own, with wife Gigi, son Geoffrey Jr. and daughter Baby Gee entering the fold. Of course, a growing family will often prompt a search for a bigger ride, and for Geoffrey that search led a meeting between The Toy King of the East Coast and The King of the Kustomizers on the West Coast - legendary car builder, George Barris. It was time to build "The Geoffreymobile."

In 2015, there were an estimated 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes -- but when a car accident happens, the vehicle doesn't always catch fire. Of course, Tesla's electric vehicles are a bit different than your run-of-the-mill automobile, and they've come under scrutiny as late for their supposed fire risk. But are these vehicles actually more likely to burst into flames? Or is it merely that they're getting more attention for it?

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