Brand unity is something that the folks at Kia Motors USA have really nailed over the past few years. Whether you're driving an entry-level model, or a fully-loaded luxury vehicle, the experience is distinctly Kia, and there's a comfort level in that feeling that's hard to surpass - no matter if you're in a car, crossover or minivan. When I last found myself behind the wheel of their best-selling nameplate, the Kia Optima, it was the 2014 Hybrid model. While we enjoyed that car, the 2016 Optima has been redesigned, and I recently had the opportunity to do a little roadtripping in Florida at the helm of the SX Turbo Edition - the perfect family ride for rockin' the road.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Columbia Bicycles, but all my opinions are that of THE ROCK FATHER. #pmedia #RideColumbia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
There is a rebirth taking place... With roots dating back to the 1877 opening of Boston's Pope Manufacturing company under the leadership of Colonel Albert Pope, America's first bicycles bore the name "Columbia," and were manufactured using pioneering techniques that would later win fans and adopters such as a cyclist by the name of Henry Ford. In fact, Columbia Bicycles once had a sister company in Pope Automobiles, a short-lived venture that while innovative at the time, would somewhat ironically be eclipsed by the Ford Motor Company, among others. While automotive aspirations didn't quite pan-out, the Columbia Bikes would amass a rich history, rolling on for well-over a century before slightly fading from the public eye, just waiting for the right time to re-emerge... now.
Over the past couple of years, there's been some pretty cool collaboration taking place between two of my favorite companies - Step2 and Mattel. It started with furniture and ride-ons based on Thomas and Friends, and eventually the Hot Wheels brand got into the mix, spawning one of the coolest race car beds to ever be released... the Hot Wheels Toddler-to-Twin Race Car Bed. Last year, we had the honor of collaborating with Step2 and Mattel ourselves, teaming-up for the "Rock Daughter Edition" of that very bed - with only two being produced, one for our youngest daughter here at Rock Father HQ, and the other given away to a lucky winner during a Holiday Wish Guide promotion. While you can't buy the purple/yellow/pink bed that we have here at our home, Step2 has a pair of color variations available, and now there's an accompanying Hot Wheels Race Car Dresser. The cool thing with this is that it doesn't have to be a "dresser," but can be used as a sweet storage cabinet for Hot Wheels vehicles and tracks, and that's exactly what The Rock Daughters™ are using ours for!
It was 100 years ago this year that Bayerische Motoren Werke (German for Bavarian Motor Works) began, first creating aircraft engines, later following that success with motorcycles and cars. In celebrating 100 years of BMW and the modern luxury cars that they make today, Mattel released the Hot Wheels BMW Series as a Walmart Exclusive this spring. Featuring eight classic designs, these cars have been speeding in-and-out of stores in a flash, so I'm giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win a full set of eight! Ready to rock?
Have you seen these? Perhaps you haven't been looking hard enough, or perhaps their natural cloaking is just that good. Whatever the reason, The Hot Wheels Camouflage Series was in-and-out of Walmart stores last Fall, quite possibly hiding in plain sight, then speeding off into the realm of distant memory. I have a "thing" for camo as a whole... military fashion being part of it, my closet containing no less than six pairs of camo cargo shorts at any given time. Sometimes I get some grief for it, but I love camo - to the point in having a Washburn Dimebag Darrell Air Force Camo Guitar as part of my collection as well. That being said, I was pretty excited when the Hot Wheels Camo Series arrived - a set of six vehicles, each outfitted in a Camo paint scheme and matching card art. While you may not have seen these last Fall, I'm giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win a full set of six! Ready to rock?
Each year, the folks at Mattel release numerous special edition Hot Wheels collections, many of which land as retailer exclusives. A good majority of these limited-edition sets find their way into Walmart stores, and the availability tends to be sketchy - many times arriving in a one-and-done type of deal, usually a single shipment in a dump bin and they're done. This makes finding complete sets to be a daunting task at times, particularly for the collectors who keep these toys in their original packaging, unlike the routine here at Rock Father HQ where everything gets opened and played with. While I tend to lean toward the "open it!" mentality with most of our toys (there have been a few exceptions), there's one recent Hot Wheels collection that certainly does look mighty fine on-display in the retail packaging, and it's because they were intended to work together. In fact, I don't know that Hot Wheels has ever done this before - a set of ten individual vehicles that when displayed together form a glorious American Flag, complete with a pair of striking Bald Eagles. Take a look at the 2016 Hot Wheels Stars & Stripes Series...
With the in-home release of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS fast-approaching, the inaugural flights of ANA's BB-8 Boeing 777-300 took place this week. After unveiling the aircraft in a ceremony on March 27 at Osaka Japan's Itami Airport, the aircraft made a one-off domestic flight as ANA22 from Itami to Haneda before departing the airport as flight ANA106 to Los Angeles, marking the start of the aircraft's international service.
This edition of Rock Father Rides is brought to you by Collective Bias and #Pennzoil...
When you're a daily driver like me, chances are you're not giving a ton of thought to the motor oil in your engine. After all, as parents, the bulk of our driving is spent running kids to-and-from school and activities. Thing is, that stop-and-go can put a lot of stress on a car, and when you factor in my wife's 80-mile round-trip to-and-from work every day, then you've got a high-mileage vehicle in the mix as well. So what does that daily driving have to do with NASCAR? Well, if you use Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology (a full synthetic motor oil forged from Natural Gas), you're helping infuse your car with the same total protection that helps keep Team Penske, and Joey Logano's #22 Pennzoil-sponsored Ford racing in top shape every Sunday. I spent some time with Team Penske at the recent Kobalt 400 in Las Vegas to get the full details on the relationship between their team and the folks at Pennzoil and Shell, along with how that translates into knowledge we can all use in our everyday rides. Check out the latest video episode of Rock Father Rides below to learn more!
We have a sizable fleet of radio-controlled vehicles here at Rock Father HQ, and over the past few weeks it's become quite apparent that I just might have a new favorite. My love of Batman (yes, I do have a full bat-suit in my closet) and the Batmobile in general (I have many Hot Wheels versions) is fairly well-known, but having not seen BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE upon the arrival of our new Air Hogs Official Movie Replica from the folks at Spin Master (sent for review), there was no built-in affection for the ride driven by Ben Affleck in Zack Snyder's superhero showdown. That changed as soon as The Rock Daughters and I took to the streets (sidewalk, mostly) with this new ride, strapping a GoPro to the top for a full in-action video!
With BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE bringing forth an epic battle between "Son of Krypton" and "Bat of Gotham," we know that the streets of both Gotham and Metropolis will never be the same. While Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) will be throwing down, there's also Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in the mix, better-known as Wonder Woman. To celebrate this "trinity" of heroes and the inevitable dawn of THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, Mattel has released the limited-edition Hot Wheels Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Series, exclusively at Walmart. This 8-car series features 7 numbered vehicles, and an 8th "Chase Car." Now, THE ROCK FATHER Magazine is giving readers a shot at winning a complete set of eight cars, all as part of #BatmanvSupermanWeek!
It's BATMAN v SUPERMAN Week here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, and with Sunday being a day for NASCAR Racing, it's only appropriate that we get things started with what's going down at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California this afternoon. At today's AUTO CLUB 400, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson will go head-to-head in cars decorated with paint schemes based on Warner Bros. Pictures' BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Dale Jr. will be piloting his #88 Chevrolet as BATMAN, while Johnson will be taking on "Big Blue" as SUPERMAN. If you'd like to bring home what they're billing as the #HeroFaceOff, you can do just that with a line of toys and collectibles from companies like Lionel Racing, the official diecast of NASCAR. When it comes to our own interests here at Rock Father HQ, classic 1:64 scale diecast is where it's at, so I'm featuring those versions of Johnson and Jr's heroic rides...
If you like motorcycles, toys and building things, then take a look at what Spin Master has just released as part of their Meccano line... the Ducati Monster 1200 S Build and Play Set. The Canadian toymaker and the Italian motorcycle maker have teamed-up for a series of building sets based on the popular bikes, bringing two icons together for the very first time.