THE ROCK FATHER Magazine is a #ShellCrowd #FuelRewards Brand Ambassador, taking part in a special content series with SocialStars and Shell.

The Great American Road Trip. It's a time-honored tradition to load up the family and hit the highways in search of fun and adventure. We've done a few of them in recent years, highlighting them right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine. In 2014 we hit the road and headed east toward Philadelphia, visiting the birthplace of America before hitting some other locales. In 2015 we headed northwest toward Minneapolis, visiting the Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe, making some fun stops along the way as we chronicled the whole thing across my social networks. For 2016, I'm not entirely sure where the road will take us, but a few different smaller runs look likely, with Wisconsin Dells in the mix, and perhaps a jaunt across Florida. No matter where you happen to go, it's always best to be prepared, and that's why I'm serving up Five Essentials to Rock the Road!

As a kid growing up as part of the first MTV generation, one of my first elements of exposure to the world of hot rods came courtesy of ZZ TOP's ELIMINATOR and it's sorta-sequel, AFTERBURNER (Hot Rod Space Shuttle!). Both albums and their accompanying videos featured an iconic red 1933 Ford Coupe that would become instantly identifiable with the band. That car was owned by Billy Gibbons, the band's vocalist and guitarist, and this Monday, his love of hot rods is taking center stage when Discovery airs a new pilot called ROCKIN' ROADSTERS at 10pm ET/PT. Check out a couple of preview clips below...

THE ROCK FATHER Magazine is a #ShellCrowd #FuelRewards Brand Ambassador, taking part in a special content series with SocialStars and Shell.

There's certain things you occasionally come across that are just worth sharing (regardless of whether you're getting paid for it, #RockFatherStyle). Fuel Rewards is one such thing, and when I first shared some information on it, I focused on how easy it is to sign-up (for free!), and to start earning rewards that convert into legit savings at the pump. Easy steps like linking a credit card to your account (MasterCard preferred) earn bonuses, and new members get a 25¢ per gallon bonus on their 2nd fill-up. You use that same card for daily purchases and dining, and the points add up. Prime example - I took the Equniox to Shell the other night for a fill-up, and saved 30¢ per gallon. Check out the picture below... if you can see it, the pump says $1.39, while the sign at the road says $1.69. Fuel Rewards turned into real savings. But what do you do with the money that you save?

There are few car brands that I love as much as I do Aston Martin. While they're currently out of my price range, there was a strange time about a decade ago when it looked like I was very close to owning one (100% true), and perhaps one day that might still happen, but for now I'll have to admire them from afar, such as the recent DB10 appearance in SPECTRE, the latest James Bond adventure. Oddly enough, I still have not seen SPECTRE, but it's available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and today comes news of a little VR fun with Google Cardboard - a feature where you can go 360° inside of Q's Workshop° inside of Q's Workshop, and check out some of Mr. Bond's rides...

Sunday, February 21 2016 18:21

Review: Road Rippers Dancing Car by Toy State

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When it comes to toy cars and trucks with motorized lights and sounds, the folks at Toy State lead the pack, hands-down. While they've got several different lines to play with, their house-brand Road Rippers are usually the showcase for the more unique or off-the-wall functions - officially-licensed replicas with some interesting surprises packed under the hood, so to speak. One nameplate that's received the Road Rippers treatment on more than a few occasions is the Mini Cooper S., and one of the latest models to rock the road comes from the Road Rippers Dancing Car assortment.

It wouldn't be out-of-place if one where to arrive at 68 E. Wacker Place in a DeLorean. In fact, if I had access to one, that's just how I would've liked to roll-up to the Hampton Inn Chicago - one of the Windy City's newest downtown hotels, and one that fits perfectly with the high-octane spirit of adventure that I like to maintain. When you think of a Hampton Inn, you're probably not thinking of a boutique hotel - nor one steeped in history, but that's just what we have here - a property located just off of Michigan Ave., where classic-meets-modern in an impressive salute to Chicago's long history of motoring tradition.

Toy FairIf you've been following this site and our adventures for a little while, you may have already seen that The Rock Daughters are little speed demons. It's hard to believe that they'll be 4 & 7 this year, but if these past few years of parenting adventures have taught us anything, it's that "faster!" is something of a mantra. It started with Addie, inspiration seemingly coming from Hot Wheels and Disney•Pixar's CARS, and then Finley came along and she took things to a whole new level. These kids love to drive, and they love to go fast - and that shows in our garage (which has some interesting vehicles). The 2.5mph 6-Volt rides don't cut it, and the 5mph 12-volt have an expiration date that's not too far off. And, while both girls have done gas-powered rides, for home use, electric is the way to go. So now comes Actev Motors and their ARROW SMART-KART, "the first smart electric go-kart for kids" ages 5-9. Check this out..

Toy FairIt's no secret that our garage here at Rock Father HQ is loaded with interesting rides for kids of all-ages. Among them are some Fisher-Price Power Wheels (The FROZEN Ford Mustang is the pinnacle right now), so I'm always curious what the folks over at Mattel are gonna be unleashing for each new year. Straight outta the 113th North American International Toy Fair in New York comes news that there's at least three new members of the Power Wheels Fleet, and they appear to be pretty sweet. Take a look...

Toy FairWe do love our trains around here, but one thing that's important is the parental supervision when it comes to the electric models. With that in mind, my interest was piqued by the first-ever battery-operated train sets to be release by the folks at Bachmann Trains - the HO scale passenger United Railways Express and freight Fast Rail Flyer. Both are debuting this week at the New York Toy Fair, and you can see some specs and images below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine...

As of this writing, the 2016 NBA All-Star Game is mere hours away, and among the players taking the court on behalf of the Eastern Conference is Cleveland Cavaliers' powerhouse, LeBron James. Kia Motors USA is an NBA partner, with the Kia Optima deemed the "Official Vehicle of the NBA." The NBA goodness doesn't end there, with Kia sponsoring numerous elements from the Tip-Off to the Rookie Ladder and beyond, and of course you have "King James" (also my nickname prior to "The Rock Father," funny enough) as Kia's Luxury Ambassador, rockin' the road in the K900. Last week, as part of the festivities surrounding the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, my wife and I joined our friends from Kia in a suite at the United Center to see our hometown Chicago Bulls get trounced by the Atlanta Hawks. But there, Kia gave us a pair of jerseys - specifically, the NBA Eastern Conference LeBron James adidas White 2016 All-Star Game Swingman Jersey, the same one sold at the NBA Store for $109.99 each. That got me thinking... that some of you would really like to own these.

Technically, this one isn't from New York Toy Fair, but was debuted a few weeks ago at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany. From Hauk Toys comes the NERF Battle Racer, produced under license from Hasbro. This is a pedal go-kart that comes complete with a wide array of places to hold all of your favorite NERF blasters and ammo (not included). The official Worldwide Launch for the NERF Battle Racer is tomorrow (February 15, 2016), with an official retail price of just $249.99. Beware that Amazon third-party sellers charging over $600 bucks for something that's in-stock now from Toys "R" Us. Check out the recently-released commercial and specs below...

Saturday, February 13 2016 02:04

Seven+ Things to Look for at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

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The 2016 Chicago Auto Show is underway at McCormick Place, and with a million square feet of automotive goodness, there's a lot for enthusiasts and families to enjoy. While I'll be rolling out #CAS16 features here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine throughout the week, today I'm highlighting seven things (with a few add-ons) to look for at the auto show - from debut vehicles, to concepts, music, tech and more.

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