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Earlier this summer, I was supposed to take the family out for a week in a 2013 KIA Soul. For some reason that didn't happen, and it might be due to the fact that the 2014 KIA Soul is almost here. During the MTV VMAs the other night, a new commercial made it's debut that features the newly-enhanced vehicle getting redesigned while the KIA Hamsters engage in an 80s-style personal makeover... all set to the new LADY GAGA single, "Applause" (from her forthcoming album, ARTPOP). I've got that new commercial for you right here on The Rock Father, so pay attention: KIA and I are giving YOU a chance to score a $25 iTunes Gift Card!

Tuesday, August 27 2013 23:03

Review: MEGA BLOKS First Builders - Firetruck Finn

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Little Finley is just 14-months-old as of this writing, and like her big sister, she's already displaying a serious affection for all-things wheeled. I officially have two little ones that love their cars and trucks, and as such, both girls were pretty excited when the folks from MEGA BLOKS sent over Firetruck Finn, a new addition to their First Builders line.  Aimed at ages 1-5, Firetruck Finn is a sizable, durable fire truck, that comes complete with fourteen building blocks and a Block Buddies Firefighter. How did it fare in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house and neighborhood)? Let's find out...

Now this is cool. I've featured some other wooden cars here on The Rock Father in the past, but MO-TO: Modern Vintage Toy Cars by Candylab Toys are really appealing for a lot of reasons. Currently running as a Kickstarter* to launch the line into production, MO-TO are heirloom-quality wood toys "inspired by mid-century American design and car culture."  Created by Vlad and Florin, collectively known as Candylab, MO-TO is ready to begin production following a couple of years worth of design, safety testing, and packaging. Check out their full story and pitch video below...

Marauders Motor ClubEach summer, Chicago's Marauders Motor Club throws the Barnyard Boogie - "A Motor and Music event to raise money and awareness for the fight against Juvenile Diabetes." It's a day of octane-fueled fun, filled with pre-1975 rides, live rockabilly music, vendors, food, camping, a bonfire, and more. Held in Monee, Illinois (where I spent a large part of my youth), the whole event has been taking place on a property known to many as "The Barnyard Boogie Grounds." To me, it's my Uncle Larry's House, as the Marauders Motor Club is run by my cousin, Loren. For a time in the mid-1990s, he and I spent many nights jamming in that Barn as part of a short-lived band called Epileptic Caesar. Now, our kids dance in front of it during the Barnyard Boogie, though it's been said that this is the last year it will be held at Uncle Larry's place, as it may move for 2014. With Monee over 100 miles from Rock Father HQ, getting there means a road trip, and this year it's been fueled by my friends at Contigo.

This is a mean-looking ride. From Toy State's DUB Garage Collection (created with the crew from DUB Magazine) comes the BEAT MAKERZ Dub Edition l331 Muscle Car. One of these free-wheeling toy cars recently arrived for testing in in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, yard, sidewalk), and now it's time to share some thoughts on it.  

"I buried him. I buried the little boy, Daddy. Now his truck has to come rescue him." That's what my daughter, Addie said to me last week as she played with her GEAR HEADS ADVENTURE Desert Digger in the sandbox here at Rock Father HQ. The "little boy" she was mentioning was actually the very Playmobil-esque action figure that comes with this set, a sort of archaeologist that drives a machine outfitted for expeditions in harsh terrain. Sent by Toy State to undergo a series of performance tests in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, yard, sandbox), this is our first encounter with the GEAR HEADS line.

We know a thing or two about James Bond. Sure, my name sounds a bit like the famous spy of the Ian Fleming novels and twenty-plus films, but that's not it. I've just watched the movies a bit (though I still need to see SKYFALL), and I recently introduced my little ones to the vehicular side of Bond through a visit to the Volo Auto Museum. Addie took a liking to the Aston Martin Vanquish that was featured in DIE ANOTHER DAY, and not long ago, the folks from Toy State sent us one of their Aston Martin DBS QUANTUM OF SOLACE Editions to test drive here in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, yard, sidewalk). Truth be told, I'm sort of an Aston Martin fan in general, so this was a fun ride to check out.

Recently, the crew over at Toy State had an assortment of their vehicles delivered to HQ in hopes that we'd give them a spin in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, backyard and neighborhood). Being big fans of all things with wheels (and treads), the girls and I have been having quite a bit of fun over the past month, making adventures and exploring new worlds through imaginative play. Toy State makes a diverse array of vehicles for all-ages, and today we're discussing two selections from their ever-growing CAT collection - based on the iconic, yellow Caterpillar Construction Vehicles of the real world.

Addie reminded me of something the other day: "Daddy, you need to watch KNIGHT RIDER again soon." She's right, and when your almost-four-year-old points out that you haven't been watching your favorite, 31-year-old TV series in awhile, you tend to pat yourself on the back because you know you're doing parenting right. I mean, that's what I did. But, little Addie is one smart cookie - ever since G4 (is it The Esquire Network yet?) stopped airing KNIGHT RIDER in the morning, we haven't watched it. Now I'm about to break out the DVDs, because that SUPER PURSUIT MODE K.I.T.T. that I first posted about on Christmas Eve of last year is finally coming out.

Last month, the crew over at Toy State dispatched a special assortment of vehicles to Rock Father HQ, with each to be subjected to a rigorous series of performance studies in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house, backyard and neighborhood). Strapping on our lab coats and racing suits, the octane-obsessed Addie and I carefully inspected the collection before deciding which would be the first our first subject. Her choice: The ROAD RIPPERS Hatchbacks and Come-Back Racers. We know that they roll (that's a given), but do they rock as well?

Fisher PriceI'm thinking that Addie's Power Wheels selection needs an upgrade. Just as she's starting to outgrow her Power Wheels Barbie Volkswagen Beetle (little Finley will soon grow into it), Fisher-Price has announced the fastest Power Wheels vehicle in their line... a replica of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - the Seventh Generation version of the iconic ride from General Motors. With speeds clocking in at a whopping 6mph forward, I could see my speed-obsessed little one rocking the neighborhood in style when this car hits the streets. My Dad used to have a Corvette... and my Step-Dad still does, but I think I dig the Power Wheels version more than the real thing. Check out full specs below, right here on The Rock Father...

Back Seats. My #1 pet peeve when it comes to cars. Let's face it, what most vehicles consider to be a legitimate "back seat" is barely suitable for any human being to fit in comfortably... but regardless of size, they can be a place of adventure for kids. They can also be a place for little ones to rock and roll. The folks at Subaru kept "Life in the Backseat" in mind when designing the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester®, and they even hit The Rock Father with a video to prove it...

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