If you thought you'd have to wait until Disney•Pixar releases CARS 3 for a new adventure with Lightning McQueen, think again! An all-new Disney•Pixar short has arrived, and it's the first in a new series called TALES FROM RADIATOR SPRINGS. Below the jump, you can get your first-look at the new adventure in a clip from THE RADIATOR SPRINGS 500 ½. The full six-minute short is available right now, for free, exclusively at Disney Movies Anywhere.

I'm not used to driving something as beefy as a full-size SUV on a regular basis, which ahead of the delivery of a 2015 GMC Yukon 4WD - SLT here at Rock Father HQ, was a bit of a concern in that there might be an element of "challenge" involved. In truth, the 2015 Yukon is packed with so many driver (and family) friendly features, that driving it is hardly a challenge, but an experience both enjoyable and exhilarating, despite it's size. What follows are my thoughts on this new ride after spending a full week with it and assimilating it into my daily routine as "The Rock Father."

Back in March, DreamWorks released NEED FOR SPEED, their big-screen adaptation of the popular video game series from Electronic Arts. I was able to catch an advance screening on my trip to Los Angeles earlier in the year, and eventually threw down some virtual ink about the film here on THE ROCK FATHER. While I was a little mixed on the film as a whole, it was fun, and I called it "exhilarating, yet at times, unsettling." In the few months since, I'd wanted to see it again, if only to re-live the impressive stunt work... and on August 5, I'll get that chance when NEED FOR SPEED arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, DVD and On-Demand. I've got the specs on the home release below, but did you know that Mattel has also released some Hot Wheels based on cars featured in the NEED FOR SPEED film? Read on, friends...

My friends and readers in the UK have hopefully been able to check out some of CARS THAT ROCK with BRIAN JOHNSON as it's been airing Thursdays at 9pm on Quest (Freeview 38, Sky 167, Virgin Media 172), in which the AC/DC frontman gets hands-on with some of the world's finest rides. Being in the 'States, I haven't been able to see a full episode yet, but the folks connected to the series hit me with an "After Hours" clip today, one that focuses on Bugatti - the car line featured in last night's episode. Take a look...

I've always had a thing for licensed die-cast when they're done well, and the folks at Mattel are usually right there with some cool models based on hot trends. While MATCHBOX gets some on occasion (some BATMAN and DISNEY vehicles they've done come to mind), HOT WHEELS are always at the front of the pack. This week, a new assortment started hitting the streets as a Walmart Exclusive - The Hot Wheels Spider-Man Series - done in timing with the release of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2.

1994... what a great year that was. I graduated High School that year, checked out more than my fair share of great music, and saw quite a few memorable movies - one of which involved Ted "Theodore" Logan trying to protect the passengers of a bus that was tearing through the streets of Los Angeles at over 50 miles per hour. Indeed, SPEED was a surprise hit, and one that warrants the 20th Anniversary Blu-ray treatment... and that's just what my friends at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have put together. In fact, we've teamed-up to give all of YOU the chance to win one of two (2) SPEED DUAL ACTION PACK Box Sets, each with SPEED and it's 1997 sequel, SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL on Blu-ray. And yes, normally I'd put this in my "For Grownups" section, but this is SPEED - a movie about a fast bus! So in Rock Father Rides it shall go!

Toy State Test DriverThe folks at Toy State have been producing licensed toys based on CAT (that's CATERPILLAR) for quite some time now, and in that time, they've made enough scale replicas of big machines to tackle any job site your little one could possibly imagine. The line-up is impressive, and we've got a few of them here, including some that I reviewed before I officially began working with Toy State as a "Test Driver" (like these), and some since (like this one). A recent entry is their new line of "Truck and Trailer" vehicles, which comes with a CAT Dump Truck, a Trailer, and either a Wheel Loader or Bulldozer. We received the Wheel Loader set.

I've covered and reviewed a ton of vehicles here in the "Rides" section of THE ROCK FATHER, but until today, I have never thrown down any virtual ink devoted to a helicopter. Truth is, until a few weeks ago, we'd never owned an R/C helicopter, though I've been tempted on occasion by those displays that tend to pop-up at the wholesale clubs and mall kiosks on occasion. The the folks at Silverlit Toys sent use their Nano Falcon - the world's smallest I/R model helicopter - a fact certified by Guinness World Records. Straight out of the box, this thing is fascinating.

AC/DC has certainly been the soundtrack for more than a few high-speed rides taken by yours truly, so when news hit my inbox that car enthusiast and sometimes racer BRIAN JOHNSON - the voice of AC/DC - would be hosting a new series called CARS THAT ROCK, my interest was piqued. Now, the problem is, it's only airing in the UK thus far, premiering on Discovery's Quest Channel on May 8. While I suspect it will eventually get imported Stateside (one would hope), the preview can be found below, alongside some newly-released images. Thus far, it appears that Mini, Bugatti, Rolls Royce and Lamborghini will be featured on the show, while Ferrari features in the trailer.

Toy StateAfter checking out their new "Extreme Action" line last week (review here), this week, Toy State hit us with a new entry from their "Hyper Racer" line of Hot Wheels vehicles, created as part of an agreement with Mattel. Recommended for Ages 3 and Up, the Hyper Racer assortment serves up a pair of large-scale vehicles based on Yur So Fast and Spin King, both originally offered as 1:64 scale diecast cars from the Hot Wheels mainline starting in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Toy State's specialty is ACTION, and the Hyper Racers are infused with lights, sound, music and motorized play. Yur So Fast rolled into the toy testing facility here at Rock Father HQ, and my girls had no problem taking it for a spin...

Saturday, April 12 2014 17:23

Review: The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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After making the 2014 Chicago Auto Show an early stop as a part of my ongoing "Rock Father Tour" this year, I'd been hoping to test drive some new rides here at HQ, and the first company to answer the call was Mitsubishi, who had a 2014 Outlander Sport delivered for review. Arriving in the midst of a snowstorm (the last big one, in theory), the 4-door AWD crossover was about to get the rigorous testing that comes with daily life as a work-at-home Dad with two little sidekicks and a whole lot of running to do.

Toy State Test DriverAs Aerosmith once said, we're "Back in the Saddle" again when it comes to new rides from Toy State (I'm one of their "Test Drivers"). With Spring here, the new models are hitting the streets, and this month brings the first vehicles that Toy State has created in partnership with Mattel under the Hot Wheels brand. One of the most exciting lines to be featured is the "Extreme Action" collection, a subset of three unique Hot Wheels that have been given a larger size, and infused with light, sound, music, and motorized functions. Included in the first wave are SCORPEDO, the SHARK CRUISER, and the iconic STREET CREEPER. The latter just arrived here for review in our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house and neighborhood), and here's the lowdown...

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