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It's a new year, and as I write this right now, we're having extreme sub-zero temperatures here in northern Illinois. Pair that with the residue from the snow and salt, and our rides aren't looking too hot, and there's no good way to clean them until it warms up. Dreaming of warmer weather, I'm always thinking about shining up the cars, and there's always that goal of making them as "new car" fresh as possible. With that in mind, the folks at Meguiar's (check out their full product line on Amazon) have sent over a list of six helpful tips that can aid in keeping your new car looking and feeling like new longer, but are also great for freshening up an older ride as well. I've got the full rundown below, along with a quick look at the team that makes Meguiar's...

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When I was a kid, I was aware of NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars. At the time, I had some assorted Hot Wheels versions of them and they were played with quite often. While I had the general idea of what they did (go fast in a straight line!), I had no idea what kind of mechanics were involved, and even as an adult that got into racing, that world sort of escaped me until recently. I've written about the transition from the track to the street before, but I'd not thought much about the drag racing side of things until I met up with the crew from Pennzoil Performance to attend the recent NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There are things that can apply to you, and I'm sharing that knowledge here, along with some facts about NHRA Top Fuel racing!

Over the past year, there have been a ton of PJ Masks toys released. While I love what Just Play has done with the line, I do think that there comes a point when "overkill" comes into play, and it happens to the best of toy lines. When there's duplication between characters and vehicles in different scales, it can become confusing for families - parents and kids alike. This has happened with PJ Masks, and earlier this year I shared a picture of four different scales of the Catcar, along with five variations of Catboy. Since that time, there's been four additional versions, and an equal collection of Owl Gliders and Gekko Mobiles. Now comes yet a different scale, but it's one that I don't mind at all. In fact, it's a whole new realm when it comes to PJ Masks, and these may be my personal favorites when it comes to this line... PJ Masks diecast. Launched as a Toys "R" Us exclusive to begin with, the first wave consists of five vehicles - the three heroes, alongside Romeo's Lab and the Night Ninja's Bus. I dig 'em.

This Rock Father™ Rides feature is brought to you by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Last week, we finally saw the first substantial snowfall of the season here in northern Illinois. The two things to note are 1) that it arrived about a month later than it used to, and 2) that it's already melted. Overall, there was around 3" in the heaviest spots, and it was cold enough that the ice fishermen were already placing their huts out on the lakes. Today it was 46°, but the forecast shows next Monday as being 15°. The long-running unfunny joke here has always been that in the Chicagoland area, "you can see all four seasons in a day" - and to an extent, that's been true. As a driver, that makes it challenging when reacting to a mix of dry pavement, heavy snow, ice or wetness. With that in mind, Goodyear has unleashed their latest tire - the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady, which they say is their best "for Mother Nature's worst." Rated for rain, snow, ice and sun, they're so confident in this tire, they're outright calling it "the best all-weather tire in company history." For the sake of perspective, Goodyear introduced their first all-weather tire back in 1908!

2018 Daytona 500 The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is just around the corner, and there's no race more iconic in that scene than the Daytona 500. For the 60th running of the mighty race, the sound of 40 stock cars tearing up the 2.5-mile tri-oval will be accompanied by the cheers of 500 fans who will be brought to Florida by the folks at Busch Beer, and you could be one of them. Check out the details below, which arrived here at Rock Father HQ this morning...

Since 1964, the Hess Toy Truck has been an annual tradition of collectible holiday toys. For years, families on the east coast would look forward to the reveal of the annual Hess Toy Truck - which hasn't always been "a truck," but a high-quality vehicle offered at a great price and wrapped-up in signature green giftwrap, ready to roll for the holidays. Because it was an east coast thing, we'd missed out on it since we didn't have Hess Express gas stations here in the Midwest, but we really started getting into these around five years ago - ironically, just a year or so before Hess sold-off their gas stations. While the stores may be gone, the tradition of the truck lives on, and every year on November 1, a new Hess Toy Truck becomes available exclusively on HessToyTruck.com. We recently got our hands on the 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader (sent to us for review), and after seeing the girls eagerly crack it open, it's easy to see why it's a top pick in my annual Holiday Wish Guide™!

Friday, November 03 2017 22:41

Preview - ToyMakerz Season 2 Comes to Velocity...

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They say that "big boys love their big toys," and that's something I know very well here at Rock Father HQ. Another fine representation of that is ToyMakerz, which returns to Velocity for a second season this month. Presented in eight one-hour parts, the action will begin on November 10, 2017  at 8pm and 11pm ET with re-airs on Saturdays at 10am. Driven by the life and creations of David Ankin, owner of ToyMakerz, the series follows his team as they bring unrivaled ingenuity and a unique skill set to motorized builds. Check out a season 2 preview below!

A Holiday tradition continues with the release of the 2017 Hess Toy Truck! Officially launched at 10am ET on November 1, the 2017 Hess Dump Truck and Loader is available exclusively via HessToyTruck.com, continuing the pattern of the last few years following the sale of the Hess Express stores.  With over 30 brilliant LED lights plus realistic sounds, the over-sized dump truck and 2-way motorized, track-driven loader are a versatile team, ready to tackle the toughest jobs! Check out all the details below!

It's been a few years since we've seen a real-world Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro available at dealers, but now it's happening again - and better than ever before. Chevrolet and Hot Wheels have announced the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, "celebrating 50 years of partnership, performance innovation and design." Announced ahead of SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas, the special package will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2018, while diecast versions of the vehicle will also be rolling out to retailers as well. Check out the specs below!

Test driving a vehicle can be a lot of fun, but I've long-held the belief that nothing beats the opportunity to really use a new ride to get the full experience. That said, I was able to put the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum AWD to good use during the midst of a long-awaited project here at Rock Father HQ - the tear-down and rebuild of our sizeable 27-year-old deck (more on  that project in a feature down the line). Now, we're not talking heavy hauling here, but for supply runs and tool rentals, the RAV4 was up to the task, in addition to being a really comfortable family ride. Let's take a look...

There have been a lot of strange petitions over the years, and per the guidelines, any petition toward The White House that garners 100,000 signatures or more will require an official response. It wasn't that long ago that the Obama Administration had to formally announce that they would not be building a full-scale functional Death Star based on the iconic battle station seen in Star Wars. Now comes something a little more realistic, but still potentially divisive... if the United States of America had an Official Vehicle, should it be the pickup truck?

It's been nearly 50 years since Mattel launched Hot Wheels back in 1968, and for the past five decades kids have been imagining their toy cars rolling out on exciting adventures that tap into unique heroic personalities. Despite so many years of play for kids of all ages, it's only been within the last few years that a cultural shift has been taking place in the way that toys are marketed, and for the first time ever on a Hot Wheels box, the description reads "For boys and girls…” That new product is Hot Wheels MindRacers, the latest addition to the "New Play Movement" from Osmo, who have worked together with Mattel to create an experience in which physical play with diecast cars seamlessly blends with digital gameplay. Check out a video preview and full details below for the debut of Hot Wheels MindRacers!

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