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Tuesday, June 27 2017 10:51

Disney's VAMPIRINA Gets a Voice Cast...

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One of our most-anticipated new animated series' makes its debut this fall, and that's VAMPIRINA - from Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee. Today Disney hit The Rock Father™ with news that James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek," What Would Diplo Do?") and Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls") will voice the roles of Vampirina's parents, Boris and Oxana Hauntley. Twelve-year-old Isabella Crovetti ("Colony") stars as the voice of Vampirina (aka Vee), a lovable young vampire girl, who is facing the joys and trials of being the new kid in town when her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. The series will debut on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and the Disney NOW App.

I'm a big fan of Greenlight Collectibles, particularly their Greenlight Hollywood Series (see my hands-on features here). They've been busy this summer, securing new licenses, and that means there's some new rides in the pipeline, including some that you wouldn't immediately think of - which makes these even more fun. After the recent announcement that they've teamed with Stephen J. Cannell Productions to produce diecast toys based on The Greatest American HeroHunter, Riptide and fan-favorite, The A-Team, today brings a double-dose of news involving new deals with Lionsgate and SONY Pictures Television.

Last year, I lucked out as my oldest daughter and I happened to be at Nintendo of America HQ outside of Seattle on the very day that the much-anticipated NES Classic was released. We were technically there for a project related to the 3DS system, but the folks at Nintendo were kind enough to set aside a stack of Classics for folks in our group to purchase. Fortunately, I did grab the Mini edition of the famed 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, as the $59.99 item was quickly hard-to-come-by, and resellers were charging hundreds. When news came that the system was discontinued this spring (after failing to meet demand), rumors swirled that something new was in the pipeline... a Mini Edition of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Yesterday, the SNES Classic Edition was officially announced, and it's hitting the streets on September 29, 2017 with an MSRP of just $79.99.

I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

Sponsored Content: This special feature is presented in partnership with Teletubbies...

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Teletubbies - Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. As I first wrote about earlier this year, the legend of the Teletubbies continues to grow as the series and characters have been updated for a new generation of tech-savvy tots, with new episodes airing weekdays at 9:47am on Nick Jr. There's the new toys from Spin Master, and from DHX Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the new "Big Hugs" DVD. With summer road trip season upon us, now is the perfect time to bring the Teletubbies along for the ride, ad we're gonna give you a shot at winning some new DVDs to take with you!

It wasn't long ago that we got our first-listen to the modern version of the classic DuckTales theme song, re-imagined for the 2017 series that's coming to Disney XD this summer. What a lot of DuckTales fans might not realize is that there was an extended version of the theme for the original series, one that added a full second verse that was seldom-heard back in the day. Keeping tradition alive, singer/songwriter Felicia Barton (Dancing with the Stars) has recorded an update of that as well, and it's now available as a digital single on iTunes, Amazon and more. Written by Mark C. Mueller, the new DuckTales theme song was produced by Emmy Award-winning Michael 'Smidi' Smith (Coldplay, Sia, Britney Spears) and composer Dominic Lewis ("Rough Night," "Fist Fight"). Check it out below!

It was 1991 when THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST arrived, the third game in the Zelda series, and first for the recently-launched Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). I came into THE LEGEND OF ZELDA a tad late, our family getting the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) a few years after it came out, but just at the right time (probably 1988 or so) to be really into the Zelda series by the time that THE SUPER MARIO BROS. SUPER SHOW! started airing in syndication the following year, presenting animated episodes of The Legend of Zelda in place of the Mario Bros. each Friday. The reason I cite the third game in the series as a benchmark is because it was a massive game for Nintendo at the time, helping to usher in the era of a new system, and it has a title that perfectly relates to being a parent: As my kids grow to love THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, it is in fact "a link to the past" - my past.

In Short: After five films, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT closes the book on a decade on cinematic adventures from Michael Bay and Co., but blasts a door wide open for more Autobots & Decepticons yet to come...

It's been ten years since Michael Bay launched TRANSFORMERS into the live-action realm, his Steven Spielberg-produced 2007 epic arriving in theaters more than two decades after the animated classic, TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE hit theater screens back in 1986. As a kid who grew up on the original series and Hasbro toys that started with 1984's "Generation One," my excitement for Bay's film series was a given - and for the past decade I've been there, capping it off by attending the U.S. premiere of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, the fifth film in the series, and what's being touted as "The Final Chapter" for Bay's run on the franchise.

Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Folgers® Perfect MeasuresTM

While there's certain other cities that might be associated with coffee on a more immediate basis thanks to crafty marketing and perception, Chicago is definitively a coffee town, and now there's some stats to prove that. Having lived in the Chicagoland area for most of my life, but also having visited much of our country, I really don't need data to back up what I already know - but still, it's cool to have it. Coffee is in my blood, and that's something I've mentioned many times here on this very site, and I famously trace that back to my great grandfather, who worked as a coffee taster in Chicago nearly a century ago. Just like him, people here are always on a quest for the perfect cup, and when you drink a lot of coffee that also means a perfect pot.

Tuesday, June 20 2017 13:01

Mattel Gives Ken a Much-Needed Makeover...

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While I'm still waiting for Mattel to finally create a "Rock Father - Friend of Barbie" doll (and keep in mind, Mattel & Step2 did make "The Rock Daughter Edition Hot Wheels Bed" for our youngest), Ken has finally gotten a bit of a makeover. Expanding upon last year's update to the Barbie Fashionistas line, 15 new and diverse Ken dolls, featuring three body types – slim, broad and original – and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and modern fashion looks. One of them has my camo shorts (Yes! Take that wife who hates them!) which I totally approve of, but can we all agree that the "man bun" is a bad thing unless you're a wrestler?

"Remember that 'break' we were taking? Well... we lied." That's what Dave Grohl had to say this morning as news broke that FOO FIGHTERS will release a new album entitled Concrete and Gold on September 15th. In a letter posted on the band's official site, Grohl calls it a "gigantic rock record," and if the recent "surprise" single "Run" is an indicator, it will be. In fact, I think "Run" is one of the best songs of 2017, and it's the one that has officially turned The Rock Daughters™ (5 & 8) into full-fledged Foo Fighters fans.

Tuesday, June 20 2017 09:59

The Legend of the Lucky Charms

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Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and General Mills #LuckyCharms

When it comes to the world of breakfast cereal, the halls of General Mills are legendary. Within the sacred confines of this breakfast behemoth lies secrets that children and families have been trying to unlock for decades (like where Sir Grapefellow and Yummy Mummy are hiding). Behind each door, a pathway opens to incredible new worlds inhabited by mythical creatures,iconic monsters and colorful characters each of whom have played a vital part in creating memorable breakfast experiences for generations.

This Disney Movies Under the Stars Backyard Theater feature is presented in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Signature Collection has been bringing movie fans all-new editions of some of the biggest classics from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Launching with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio have also received the Signature treatment, and the latest to appear is the 1942 classic, Bambi. We have a strange relationship with that film here in our house... quite simply, my wife won't watch it. Still, that didn't stop us from making that our second film in our latest run of Disney Movies Under the Stars in our backyard theater here at Rock Father HQ with the Bambi Anniversary Edition.

Brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Grand Central Publishing

From the page to the screen, JASON BOURNE is one of the most popular and compelling characters in contemporary fiction. Originally created by bestselling author Robert Ludlum, the Jason Bourne series continues with stories by New York Times bestselling writer Eric Van Lustbader, and this month ROBERT LUDLUM’S THE BOURNE INITIATIVE, the 14th book in the Jason Bourne series hit bookstores. To celebrate its release, The Rock Father™ is giving you a shot at winning a hardcover copy of THE BOURNE INITIATIVE along with a $50 VISA Gift Card good toward an "initiative" of your choosing. Are you ready for action?

If you're looking for something on the noisier side of the spectrum to kick off the week, check out "Seizure and Desist" - the new music video for the second single from the forthcoming self-titled debut from DEAD CROSS, which premiered via Loudwire. Along with the video comes the announcement that the band featuring Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer/Suicidal Tendencies), Justin Pearson (Retox/The Locust), Mike Patton (Faith No More/Tomahawk) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer) will be joined on tour this summer by SECRET CHIEFS 3, featuring Patton's former Mr. Bungle guitarist, Trey Spruance.

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