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I'm a huge fan of Kia's excellent new 2016 Sorento, which I reviewed here on THE ROCK FATHER a few weeks back. I'm also a huge fan or Pierce Brosnan - perhaps my favorite Bond - and spent much of the mid-90s pretending to be him while playing GOLDENEYE on N64. What's happened here is that Kia Motors America recently tapped Brosnan for their annual Super Bowl commercial, and with the "Big Game" taking place this weekend, an extended version of the spot has arrived. With the 2016 Kia Sorento being touted as "The Perfect Getaway Vehicle," it's only right that Brosnan looked back to his "action-adventure" days as James Bond when he got pitched the gig, right?

Every so often, beyond the normal realm of traditional vehicles, Mattel releases a fresh batch of Hot Wheels "Character Cars" - concept vehicles inspired by a pop culture franchise. In the past, the Character Cars series has seen MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, TOY STORY 3, THE MUPPETS, and even SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS get the Hot Wheels treatment - but right now the two big lines are based on STAR WARS (two of which I showcased here) and MARVEL Comics. From the MARVEL assortment comes the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Rocket Raccoon car, featured in a #Toyography post on my social networks last week, and one that I've decided to share here on the site with a little more detail. First, the original photo...

It's a rare thing to have a vehicle from a press fleet for more than a week, but that's exactly what happened when a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review over the holidays. The extra time was beneficial both to the vehicle and our family for some real-world testing hauling people and stuff from Northern Illinois to Michigan and back. Marketed as a great value and exceptionally safe Crossover SUV for families looking for a lot of people capacity for a lower price, Mitsubishi has wisely focused on the Outlander's strong points, drawing attention away from some curiously-unexciting features on the design front. While my thoughts are split on this one, I can tell you this before we move any further: my kids love it.

I just had to disappoint my girls. Feld Motorsports is bringing MONSTER JAM back to the Chicago area, and we can't go this time. Since I took Addie to her first MONSTER JAM last year, those Monster Trucks have become a huge deal here at Rock Father HQ, with both of my girls amassing a pretty solid collection of the 1:64-scale replicas that Mattel produces as part of the Hot Wheels line. In fact, the Hot Wheels Team even used one of my personal photos on their Facebook page to usher in the fall season last year - the Halloween Grave Digger! While we can't make it to this run of shows, Feld Motorsports and THE ROCK FATHER are teaming up to give one (1) lucky family a chance at attending with a Family Pack of four (4) tickets to see #MoreMonsterJam on either February 5 or 6, 2015. And if you'd like to buy tickets at a discount? We've got your hook-up on that as well. This year, #MoreMonsterJam brings more of what fans have been asking for, read on for details!

Danica PatrickI've long held that girls and racing are two things that are underserved when it comes to toys and playthings. With few exceptions, there haven't been a ton of racing products aimed firmly at young girls - surprising since there's profile drivers out there such as Leilani Münter and Milka Duno, youngsters like Johanna Long, and then the thousands of girls honing their skills in various youth programs and small track circuits around the globe. No doubt the most well-known right now is Danica Patrick, and she's been involved with most of the few merchandising exceptions, having made an appearance in a recent SONIC THE HEDGEHOG video game, for which Mattel produced a limited-edition Hot Wheels "Danicar" that was offered as a Gamestop Exclusive (one that my oldest daughter Addie proudly owns), and even getting her own halloween/role-play costume. Now, the folks at Madame Alexander are stepping-up to go a little bit bigger, teaming with NASCAR and driver Patrick for some new collections of play dolls featuring the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. While my experience as a parent and observer has shown that girls love racing, Madame Alexander has some solid numbers to back it up...

Saturday, January 10 2015 12:47

Test Drive: Rockin' the Road - 2016 Kia Sorento Review

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When putting a new vehicle to the test, there's nothing better than experiencing it through a diverse array of conditions to get a true grasp on how it functions under real-world conditions. Attending the National Press Introduction of the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento last month in California, I had a chance to take two models of the new Sorento (AWD Turbocharged 4-cylinder, AWD V6) through multiple climates and altitudes through the legendary Sierra Nevada mountain range, out through the plains and into the Nevada desert. What the Sorento delivered was an impressive and powerful combination of style, performance and comfort that rivals all other competitors in the increasingly crowded crossover class, warranting a serious look for families that are ready to rock the road.

This adventure is brought to you by Walmart. THE ROCK FATHER is a Socialstars #WalmartAuto Ambassador. The Rubbermaid products featured in this story are all available in the Automotive Department of your local store or at Walmart.com.

In the summer we think of it as “coolant,” but with the snowy season upon us in much of the country, it’s time to be thinking “antifreeze” as below-normal deep-freeze conditions can wreak havoc on your car. While my hope is that most drivers would've tackled the coolant prior to the holiday travel season, a Hoth-like January serves as a bitter reminder for those who didn't.

Note: An earlier version of this story originally appeared on General Motors' Fastlane site.

For centuries, the Legend of Santa Claus has evolved. From Saint Nicholas to Kris Kringle, Father Christmas to simply, Santa - this mysterious giver has taken many forms, appearing throughout the world under countless names to delight and inspire families by doing for others each and every holiday season.

The band that spawned such iconic songs as “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Kickstart My Heart,” along with the arena anthem “Home Sweet Home” and a dozen or more 80’s and 90’s smashes made a very rare appearance at a small venue earlier this month in Dallas. Mötley Crüe played a sold-out/climb-the-walls-to-get-in venue on Saturday November 1st at Richard Rawlings' (he of Discovery Channel’s Fast-n-Loud reality show fame), Gas Monkey Live concert club. It was billed as “Dodge Rocks Gas Monkey” sponsored by the car manufacturer - who is sponsoring this leg of the Crue's North American farewell tour which ends this weekend.

This adventure is brought to you by Walmart. THE ROCK FATHER is a Socialstars 2014 #WalmartAuto Ambassador. The Rubbermaid products featured in this story are all available in the Automotive Department of your local store or at Walmart.com.

Well, here we are again - just a week out from Thanksgiving (or X-mas rehearsal), Black Friday and all of the Holiday fun that will follow. It's that time of year to hit the road for those gatherings - the ones where you reconnect with beloved friends and family... and the occasional oddballs that you only see once or twice a year - the ones with personality traits straight out of a movie or sitcom. While the destination may vary, getting there should always be comfortable, and one way to do that is with car organization products from Walmart, like the Rubbermaid Mobile Backseat Organizer. I've got two of them here at Rock Father HQ, and they're perfect for keeping my girls' goodies organized for wherever we may roam.

While it's not uncommon for multiple companies to hold a license for products at the same time, it's less common for multiple companies in the same industry to hold the rights to make what is essentially the same product. One of those rare occasions is on the pegs right now as the Dodge news van from the Will Ferrell classic ANCHORMAN has been produced by both Mattel (as part of their Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line) and Greenlight Collectibles (as part of Greenlight Hollywood). While both have their merits, it's interesting to see how vastly different two design teams can take the same thing. So which one wins in this diecast battle? Take a look...

Hot Wheels logoOver the past few weeks, some vehicles inspired by a galaxy far, far away have been landing in the diecast aisles of retailers everywhere, with Walmart and Target being particularly infested by Imperial and Rebel forces. The first-ever partnership between Mattel and STAR WARS has given birth to the HOT WHEELS STAR WARS Collection, one component of which is the new line of "character cars" - vehicles that could be considered as being from an alternate reality - custom rides that take their design cues from the characters that generations have come to know and love. While the first wave has been out for a bit (and I will cover in-depth shortly), the two newest cars to hit the pegs come from the "B" assortment - the TUSKEN RAIDER and 501st CLONE TROOPER. Both of these vehicles have rolled into Rock Father HQ this past week, so let's take a look...

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