In my adventures over the years, I've had the opportunity to drive a lot of different vehicles. What I've come to realize is that I'm definitely a "car guy" - meaning that I have little interest in motorcycles, and a limited knowledge of trucks. That doesn't mean that I haven't driven them, as I've been behind the wheel of many, but surprisingly it's full-size pickup trucks that have largely eluded me. That's just one reason why I was so intrigued by the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2017 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab - a full-size pickup, and a ride that feels just gigantic compared to what I'm used to. The quick take? I loved it.
As we approach the June 16 release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, there's quite a bit of fantastic toys and merchandise that I plan to feature here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. With shipments having already arrived here at Rock Father HQ from licensing partners like Mattel and Just Play, I have plenty to keep me busy - and then this news shows up... that Sphero, the same company that blew people's minds with their App-controlled BB-8 back in 2015, has an "Ultimate Lightning McQueen." I could tell you that the $300 app-controlled RC car looks fantastic, but you really need to just watch the video...
As the June 16 release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 approaches, various partners are getting in on the action, and today it's Subway, along with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suárez. The NASCAR driver, who voices "next generation racer" Daniel Swervez in Cars 3, rolled into the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte for a special after school event. Suárez fired-up his specially branded Subway/Cars 3 stock car for the children in attendance, after speaking with them about the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Presented in collaboration with Little, Brown & Co
How long should it take to change a tire? In truth, that’s not an easy question to answer, as there’s variables to the equation. From type of vehicle to the tools available, the speed of changing a tire can have vast differences. One prime example is changing the tire of your daily driver. If you had a flat, you could probably change the tire in 20-30 minutes (or less), provided you had a spare, a jack, and the right wrench to remove the lugnuts. On the race track, a pit crew could change all four tires in a matter of seconds. Those are all human applications, so what about penguins? How would the PENGUINS OF AMERICA handle a tire change - particularly one on the track? In theory, the same way we would “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty."
As many of you are probably aware, we're big fans of Disney●Pixar’s Cars franchise here at Rock Father HQ, hence I was pretty excited to have a chance to take an early look at Cars 3 while working with the folks at Disney to support its launch. As we approach the June 16th release, new promotional partners are rolling out, and the latest is Autotrader. This week, they've got a new commercial racing onto screens co-branded with Disney●Pixar’s Cars 3. Why does it make sense? Because "every car has a personality." and Autotrader can help match the personality of a car with the personality of its driver. Check it out:
As a kid, I grew up around racing. My dad was a track announcer, traveling on occasion with World of Outlaw/UARA Midgets - an era in which I got to see a lot of the short tracks across the Midwest. For awhile, he was also a regular announcer at the famed Santa Fe Speedway near Chicago, so I had plenty of chances to get up close to some high-octane fun. As an adult, I've seen my girls become enthusiastic about racing, and it all goes back to when our oldest daughter first saw Disney•Pixar's Cars. That was the start of the fascination here, and that makes it even more special that I've had the opportunity to work with Disney in promotion of Cars 3 - in theaters on June 16, 2017. During the early press days for the film, I found myself on the track at Sonoma Raceway - the road course formerly known as Sears Point - for a ride-along, along with some time spent doing a "Pit Stop Challenge" and witnessing a presentation on the history of NASCAR racing, presented by Cars franchise Creative Director Jay Ward and former Hendrick Motorsports Crew Chief, Ray Evernham. If you love racing, Cars 3 is going to mean a lot to you... but even if racing isn't your thing, you just might learn a lot, and find something new to love.
If you're into Mattel's Hot Wheels, you may have seen the recent Forza Motorsport assortment of the Replica Entertainment Series that's been hitting stores, and now you could say that was just a little bit of foreshadowing. Hot Wheels has partnered with Microsoft’s popular racing game to create one of the coolest expansion packs – Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels – arriving on May 9 exclusively on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs (Xbox Play Anywhere) as part of the Forza Horizon 3 Expansion Pass or as a standalone purchase for $19.99. A trailer just hit my inbox, and I'm sharing it below. Check it out, along with all the details on the new expansion. Something tells me that the recent addition of an Xbox One to my office is going to be commanding some more attention...
For my annual Holiday Wish Guide last year, one of the hottest items featured came from Dynacraft in collaboration with The Toy Insider. Months later, the Dynacraft 24V Disney Princess Carriage (featured here) is still a hot item - and it's a head-turning ride whenever The Rock Daughters™ take it out for a spin. Available now as a Walmart exclusive (order here), the folks at Dynacraft are now asking kids - "What Does it Mean to Be a Princess?" In honor of National Princess Week 2017, kids (with the help of their parents) can create a 15-second video answering that question to be entered for a chance to win a Disney Princess Carriage of their own! Check this out...
As some of you might know, I recently visited Pixar Animation Studios for an early look at Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, after which I got to hit the track at Sonoma Raceway. As the June 16 release of the latest Cars film fast-approaches, back here in Illinois, families will be able to "meet" life-size, character look-alikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightning McQueen, tech-savvy Cruz Ramirez and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm THIS WEEKEND. The crew will be rolling into town to celebrate Cars 3 with local fans as the Cars 3: Road to the Races Tour hits the Chicagoland area for a stop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, April 21-23, 2017.
I've written a lot about the Hess Toy Truck over the years, and while that remains a Christmas tradition, I don't think I've ever said much about their summer tradition - the Hess Mini Truck. For 17 years, Hess released a mini version of their iconic holiday toy truck - most recently offered for sale in 2014. Funny enough, that's the only Mini we have in our collection here at Rock Father HQ, as we picked one up at a Hess Express in Pennsylvania while in the midst of an epic road trip. In the three years since, fans have been demanding a relaunch of the Mini Hess Toy Truck, and today the Hess Corporation answered the call. Not only is Hess bringing back the Mini Hess Toy Truck, but they’re doing it as a special release on an exclusive basis in a way they never have before.
Mattel's ever-expanding line of Star Wars-inspired toys has been a big favorite here at Rock Father HQ, both with our family and readers of the site alike. Leading the charge has been the Star Wars Hot Wheels Character Cars (checklist here), and as promised last year, the 2017 Star Wars Celebration Orlando will be the place to get the exclusive Biggs Darklighter car - the winner of a fan's choice poll. As I'm not attending Celebration in-person, this one might be tough to get (I missed out on the previous Celebration-exclusive Boba Fett as well), but it's definitely something to see. Check out the image below, as debuted by Yahoo! this morning.
When it comes to the blockbuster films of 1977, if you're like me, the one that comes to mind is an out-of-nowhere film from a galaxy far, far away. Indeed, it was May 25, 1977 when STAR WARS first hit theater screens, but just two days later came the release of the year's second-biggest grosser - and another movie very near and dear to me: Hal Needham's SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. This May, TCM Big Screen Classics and Fathom Events will bring SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT back to theaters, as it races into cinemas for a special two-night 40th Anniversary Event, May 21 & May 24!