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In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the crew over at GiGGo Toys wants to help raise awareness and funds to help find a cure! That's why a portion of sales from the Little Vintage Indian Motorcycle in PINK will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Little Indian? Oh yes, Indian Motorcycles is an iconic American brand, and the Little Vintage Indian Motorcycle takes it styling cues from the 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, complete with skirted fenders and an exposed engine block. This sweet ride-on features stabilizer wheels to ensure safe forward and reverse travel, while working front and rear lights paired with awesome engine sounds make it just like the real thing. Recommended for ages 2-4 (weight limit: 55 lbs), this 6-volt beast has a top speed of 2 mph and also features a safety shutoff that prevents the battery from overcharging. So how would YOU like to win one? Along with my friends, Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy, THE ROCK FATHER and GiGGo Toys getting one lucky family hooked-up with a Little Vintage Indian Motorcycle in the winner's choice of color!

Thursday, October 16 2014 09:59

Kia readies "A Day at the Races" for 2014 SEMA Show...

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Fresh off the National Press Introduction for their 2015 Soul EV (see my review here) and 2015 Sedona (video), the crew over at Kia is gearing-up for next month's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, choosing "A Day at the Races" as their theme. With Kia Racing bringing home massive acclaim of late, the automaker has revealed one early tease of what's to come - a preview of a custom Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV, said to "embrace the fun and festive atmosphere" that fans of their "championship-winning race team experience while enjoying a day at the track."

When I was a kid, I had a couple of slot car sets along the way, and while I can't remember what the brands were, I sure remember the TYCO commercials that used to run each and every Christmas season, always teasing some new kind of fast-paced action, sometimes with added flair like glow-in-the-dark or up-the-wall action. At some point, slot racing seemed to die off, but it's never gone away - and in large part, I think it's a marketing thing: new generations would get into it, if only they knew it was something that exists. In fact, when I take my girls to Bass Pro Shops during the holiday season, they always want to play with the big slot car track they have set-up. So what if you're say, a bigger kid... one with a lot of money to spend? Neiman-Marcus is tapping into the wealthy slot enthusiasts in their 88th Annual Christmas Book, presenting a $300,000 slot track, hand-crafted by the folks at Michigan-based Slot Mods USA. Their tracks are so cool, I just had to show them here on THE ROCK FATHER...

There have been a lot of sinister rides over the years. THE MUNSTERS had The Munster Coach and DRAG-U-LA (both of which were built under the George Barris Kustom Shop), Stephen King's CHRISTINE comes to mind, as does the star of the 1977 film, THE CAR (another from the Barris shop). Then there's some of the more cartoony, spook-centric vehicles like that car the GROOVIE GHOULIES cruised around in, The Mystery Machine from SCOOBY-DOO, and of course, the Ecto-1 from GHOSTBUSTERS (and it's animated counterpart, THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS). And then there was the work of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who put creatures like his own "Rat Fink" into hot rods, and helped inspire a movement. That brings us to MONSTER 500, a Toys "R" Us exclusive line of vehicles and playsets that borrow a lot of inspiration from many of the above (especially Roth). Monster 500 races into my 31 Days of Halloween here on THE ROCK FATHER with a hands-on look at these wicked whips.

Electric vehicles are a fascinating thing, fueled by still-developing technology that the general population still has yet to embrace. While the adopters are growing in numbers, electric cars are still most prevalent in markets like California, not only due to a higher environmentally-friendly consciousness, but practicality as well. While makers like Tesla have their vehicles readily-available here in Northern Illinois where I live, there are issues pertaining to battery life and range that can hinder EVs in cold-weather climates (battery heaters are available), which is why Kia is smartly rolling out their first-ever zero-emmissions, all-electric vehicle in select markets before casting the net wider. Just launched on the West Coast, I had a chance to spend some time with the 2015 Kia Soul EV a couple of weeks back, taking to the road in Southern California to see just how this new ride handles and performs.

Now, perhaps you're thinking to yourself, "Hey Rock Father! Didn't you already feature Halloween Grave Digger?" - and you'd actually be right... but not like this.  Last month, I posted news that Mattel was producing a Hot Wheels Monster Jam Halloween Edition Grave Digger monster truck, limited to a run of "up to 5,000 pieces" to be sold exclusively through Feld Motorsports' website. And, if you were looking closely, you may have even seen Grave Digger make a cameo appearance here, but it's only fitting that this glorious monster truck get a proper feature in 31 Days of Halloween, and what better way to do that than to show him in-action at a pumpkin patch?

Tuesday, October 07 2014 19:35

The HOT WHEELS STAR WARS Series is coming...

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As previously reported, there's a few different collections of STAR WARS HOT WHEELS headed for retail in the near future, and while the interestingly-shaped "character cars" may be the big draw, Walmart stores across the country will soon see STAR WARS-themed rides hitting the pegs (likely a dump bin, actually) sometime between now and Christmas. Following the tradition of exclusive, licensed sets (this past week saw a BATMAN 75th Anniversary collection, along with one based on THE FAST & THE FURIOUS movies hit stores), the HOT WHEELS STAR WARS Series will feature eight cars in deco and packaging representing The Original Trilogy, The Prequel Trilogy, The Clone Wars and the just-launched STAR WARS REBELS. Check out the packages below, as revealed on the HWC site...

I recently spent a year working with Toy State on a limited-time "Test Driver" initiative, and while that program has come to a close, I'm still happy to spread the word about some of their new offerings - many of which become some of the hottest rides in the toy aisles. Today a little bit of news hit the wires as a tease of what's to come from the company as they begin rolling out new vehicles under their ROAD RIPPERS and NIKKO brands - new logos for each. Personally, I'm really interested in where they take NIKKO as they recently acquired it, and my first-ever R/C car was a NIKKO Ferrari back in the 80s.

Now this is cool. On October 13 at 12pm ET/PT, Nickelodeon will introduce children viewers to the exciting world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with the hour-long premiere of the brand-new, interactive animated series, BLAZE AND THE MONSTER MACHINES. Touted as "the first preschool show on TV to comprehensively cover all areas of STEM in every episode," BLAZE AND THE MONSTER MACHINES follows a monster truck named Blaze and his eight-year-old driver AJ. Figure in a nine-year-old little girl named Gabby that serves as head mechanic, and you can count me in for my little monster truck-loving girls as the series explores the physics of how things move - tackling problems through scientific inquiry and mathematics, while discovering the parts needed to make everyday technologies work. Check out a few preview clips below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

The Rock Father is a 2014 Step2 Brand AmbassadorIf the past month has taught me anything, it's that most of you LOVE the Step2 2-in-1 Ford® F-150 SVT Raptor and want one for the special little one(s) in your life. As a Step2 Brand Ambassador, I recently gave readers a chance to win one, and the response was so overwhelming that Step2 has teamed-up with my fellow Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro (check out her review of the Raptor) to give away one more, and once again, THE ROCK FATHER is in on that action! We're getting one lucky reader (or, their kids) ready to roll in one of the coolest rides you'll ever see, and one of the most in-demand toys for this Fall season!

"When your friends ask you how fast you went, tell them 'I went as fast as I could.'" That was the final bit of advice given by Xtreme Xperience Chief Instructor Brad Pines at the close of an instructional session held in a classroom overlooking the pit area of the North Course of the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday. It was there that I, along with a handful of other early morning drivers received some brief, but important lessons prior to taking to the track in some of the World's finest vehicles - Supercars. For me, it would be the Ferrari F430 - a 483 horsepower hand-crafted vehicle with a top speed of 196 mph... but it wouldn't be the first time that I'd take to the track in Joliet. For that, we have to spin things back to 1978...

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

When we last checked-in from the garage here at Rock Father HQ, my oldest daughter and I were getting our cars clean after some summer travel that delivered thousands of miles worth of road grime. Now comes prep for Fall (and dare I say it, winter), and now is the prime time to take a look at some basic maintenance - especially for those with older cars, like the 2005 Scion xB that I still rock daily, about 160,000 miles into it's life. One of the most important systems to keep an eye on is the fuel system, and using Gumout All-In-One® Complete Fuel System Cleaner Ethanol Treatment and Friction Modifier is one inexpensive and easy way to improve your car's performance, while cutting down on some of the nasty stuff that can build up in the engine.

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