Editor’s Note: Welcome to the debut of Frontstretch‘s newest feature! In this new semi-regular column, Frontstretch Senior Staff Writer Becca Gladden covers an eclectic mix of news and features from across the NASCAR landscape. Check back often and see what you may have missed!
Remember the TV commercial last season for the NASCAR.com Superstore — the one where all the gifts at a young bride’s wedding shower were NASCAR items?
If the Madison Avenue types decide to follow up this season with a baby shower ad, I have discovered the perfect gift for the expectant mother to unwrap: Team Baby Entertainment’s “NASCAR BABY” DVD.
NASCAR BABY is one in a series of officially licensed DVDs aimed at infants and toddlers and their sports-minded parents. According to the back cover of the video, “You love your kids, you love your family and you love your NASCAR! Now you can combine them all with this exciting new Team Baby Entertainment DVD. NASCAR BABY features Officially Licensed footage of your favorite drivers, cars, teams and crews along with all of the sights, sounds, traditions and colors of the most thrilling sport on four wheels.”
I found NASCAR BABY to be a lighthearted 30-minute DVD offering an enticing mixture of action scenes from actual races and cute NASCAR-garbed kids playing with racing toys and accessories.
The video is narrated by comedian and motorsports enthusiast Jay Leno and includes music by award-winning children’s musician Joe McDermott, with a basic storyline by children’s author Jim Buckley that emphasizes kid-friendly themes like safety and teamwork.
Along with the race footage – including shots of drivers like Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne – the DVD provides a healthy dose of basic toddler-level educational concepts such as counting, spelling, shape and color recognition.
After viewing the DVD myself, I decided it was time to get an opinion that really mattered – that of an actual child.
3-year-old Tatum, though not a NASCAR fan herself, seemed to enjoy NASCAR BABY, reporting that her favorite part was “the cars going around and around.” She interacted with the DVD several times, such as getting out her paper and crayons to write the letters and numbers that were being shown on the screen, and playing with a toy car that was similar to one shown in the video.
Of course, kids whose parents are diehard race fans will probably pick up plenty of NASCAR information just by seeing the races on TV and listening to their parents talk. But they might not learn to spell H-E-L-M-E-T, or that the shape of a racetrack is an O-V-A-L, or that they can count to four by way of the number of wheels on a stock car, unless they also spend time watching the DVD.
For race fan parents who’ve sat through one too many typical toddler videos, NASCAR BABY may provide a welcome respite and, according to Team Baby Entertainmment, will help parents “share their love, loyalty and passion for NASCAR with their children.”
After all, would you rather spend the next 30 minutes with Stewart, or a big purple dinosaur?