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Modern film marketing has really ruined the element of surprise for the audience. It's important to remember that back in the 80s, you could just show a paw sticking out of gift box and that was the poster for GREMLINS - they didn't have to reveal the awesomeness of the creatures before audiences were in theater seats. Now, audiences are pretty much handed everything, and in the case of BETTER WATCH OUT, the film has a twist that is straight-up presented right there in all of the marketing. In fact, it's built around it, and as a moviegoer, it would've been much cooler to see the change unfold for the first time on-screen. Alas, a new trailer recently arrived for the new holiday film BETTER WATCH OUT (a holiday-comedy horror-hybrid) that's not only probably NSFW (unless you work somewhere cool), and definitely not for kids. It does look fun, though - almost a "Home Alone" for the days we live in. Check this out!

Friday, September 22 2017 10:07

Toy Review: Funko DC Heroes Batman 1966 Action Figures

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When I first heard that Funko would be tackling the 1966 Batman license with a new set of 3.75" action figures, I'd imagined an approach on-par with the Reaction line that they'd worked on with Super7 for awhile. Having only glanced at the pictures in passing, the packaging artwork registered, and again I was thinking that these were going to be in the vintage Kenner style - "5POA" as some call it, with toys designed as they would've been in decades past. I would've dug that on its own, but shame on me for not noticing how detailed the line really is, with super-articulated figures that you have to see for yourself (like me) to truly appreciate. We have a few of these, and I can tell you that this is one cool line.

Friday, September 22 2017 08:20

The Toy Insider's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

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Over the past few weeks, the ramp-up to the holiday season has kicked-in, and with that comes speculation on what will be the hottest toys for 2017. Each fall, retailers, experts and speculators alike weigh-in with their hot toy lists, but the two best are ones I'm very partial to: The Toy Insider's Holiday Gift Guide and THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine's Holiday Wish Guide™ (coming soon). As a member of The Toy Insider Parent Panel, for the second year I've contributed a "Rock Father Pick" to their guide, joining my colleagues in highlighting a favorite from the 42 toys featured in the Hot 20, STEM 10 and Tech 12 lists. But that's just the start of things! Beyond those 42 toys, this year's print guide features more than 230 toys from nearly 100 different manufacturers, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 130 toy companies in total (you won't find a more comprehensive list). Look for the print guide in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on October 10th. Preview the 42 top picks below!

Each year, it seems that there's a "new" collection of Frank Sinatra holiday music, and for 2017 that tradition continues with ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS, a new compilation from Frank Sinatra Enterprises and Capitol/UMe. Ultimate Christmas features 20 festive and warm holiday classics from Sinatra's Capitol and Reprise catalogs. The new collection also honors the Sinatra Family's holiday traditions with Frank joined by his children, Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr., on three songs. Ultimate Christmas is available now for preorder in CD, digital, and 180-gram 2LP black vinyl editions, as well as a limited 2LP white vinyl edition exclusively offered for preorder on the Sinatra Store and UDiscover Music. The album arrives on October 6.

Wednesday, September 20 2017 23:59

Buyer's Remorse: Samsung Activewash Washer & Dryer

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Writing about consumer products is a large part of what I do here at THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. My opinions are always 100% honest and straightforward, and when something isn't right - I let people know about it. Whether I receive free product for review or pay for it myself, the standards are the same because bad products hurt consumers. I don't like seeing people being taken advantage of, and I'm certainly not going to put up with that myself. American families work hard for their money, and my wife and I are a prime example of that. What's very concerning is how short a lifespan many of our high-dollar purchases have, and frankly, I'm tired of being fleeced. Today I'm going to tell you about the worst purchase I've made in the last year or so - a heavily-advertised (remember those commercials with Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell?) Samsung Activewash Washer and Dryer Pair from Best Buy. Our "new" washer and dryer are essentially junk - products whose performance has defeated the reason they were purchased in the first place. It started with that infamous Samsung recall...

Tuesday, September 19 2017 23:49

Get Ready to Play with ABC's THE TOY BOX Season Two!

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This past spring, I had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of ABC's latest competition series, THE TOY BOX. Now, the series is back for a second season in which a new crop of inventors will present their toy concepts to a panel of judges in hopes of making it to the end, in which the grand prize winner will see their toy manufactured by Mattel, to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. For Season Two, THE TOY BOX has been retooled - gone are the "industry mentors," and instead of facing just one panel of kid judges, contestants will face a rotating panel of five kids. The only returning judge from Season One is apparently, Noah Ritter. Like the first season, the episodes will be airing out of numeric order as they work toward the endgame, but for the purpose of my previews, I'll be labeling them by week. Curious what's on-deck for the first two episodes? Here's a preview...

On September 22, RCA will release the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, and today we've got the official music video for Sia's new track, "Rainbow." Sung by Sia’s character, Songbird Serenade, in the upcoming film (in theaters October 6), the official video for the song was directed by Daniel Askill, featuring Maddie Ziegler, with choreography by Ryan Heffington. Check it out below...

RICK AND MORTY is one of those shows (like GAME OF THRONES, BREAKING BAD, etc.) that people keep telling me that I have to see, yet I just haven't caught an episode of. I know it's big, and I've seen the toys start making their way out to stores, but I'd never seen any of it - not even a preview - until this hit my inbox. I've written much about metal covers of popular themes in the past, but they're generally not officially-sanctioned. This one is. Check out the metal version of the RICK AND MORTY theme song below, created by Jason Suecof from Time + Space and Alex Rudinger. I dig it...

We all knew it was coming, and as I pointed out earlier this month, we know who's largely to blame: Iconic toy retailer Toys "R" Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, and will soon take similar steps (CCAA) in Canada. In the later hours of September 18, 2017, Toys "R" Us made it official, voluntarily filing for relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, and sharing the news via press release. It's important to note that while this news is serious, companies restructure and emerge from Chapter 11 all the time, though the companies with ownership stake in Toys "R" Us - particularly Bain Capital - leave much to be desired.

The Rock Father™ is a MEGA™Ambassador and Beyonder

MEGA Bloks® have been a part of our family since day one. In fact, I think it was at the baby shower for the first of The Rock Daughters™ when we received our first set - a Big Building Bag filled with those classic blocks that preschoolers have been building with for decades. Fast-forward a few years, and just as our kids have grown up, so has MEGA™ - recently making a nod to the past as they look toward the future with their ever-expanding line of MEGA Construx™ building sets for the entire family. From developing builders to kids ages 4+, from tweens to adult collectors, MEGA™ has something for everyone, and there’s no better time than the present to spend some time with the family, getting together to “Build Beyond.”

As I do every year, I just mentioned the 1957 release of Elvis Presley's Elvis' Christmas Album in an article in which I discuss how "Christmas Creep" is not a new thing, and thus isn't really a thing at all. That album was released 60 years ago - on October 15, 2017, and now, after countless collections and reissues, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will celebrate the 2017 holiday season with the release of Elvis Presley - Christmas with Elvis and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, October 6.

A few days ago, the girls and I were over at The Home Depot - picking up our first round of fall flowers, and scoping out the new assortment of Halloween decor that THD has to offer. They've upped their game this year, and I could do some serious damage if set loose in there. Truth be told, Home Depot can be a dangerously-tempting place, and I'm still paying off our last project loan from when we gutted the bathrooms here at Rock Father HQ and rebuilt them from the bare studs. When it comes to the "Big Two" on the holiday front - Halloween & Christmas - I'm all over the decor, so it was a nice coincidence when The Home Depot sent us their new WindowFX Plus Projector for review.

I've mentioned it before - the first big concert I ever attended was The Oak Ridge Boys at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merriville, Indiana way back when it was still the Holiday Star Theatre. That said, I've continued enjoying their music for the past 40 years, and now comes news that the Country Music Hall of Fame members and five-time GRAMMY winners have recorded a new album with producer Dave Cobb (Shooter Jennings, Zac Brown Band), set for release in the first quarter of 2018. The as-yet-untitled album is the second that the group has worked on with Cobb, who also produced The Boys Are Back in 2009.

Thursday, September 14 2017 22:02

Want to Explore the Origin of Scary Clowns? Sure You Do!

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Who was "the Kanye West of clowning?" That's just one of the questions answered in the first episode of PBS Digital Studios' Origin of Everything - The True Origin of Killer Clowns. With a modern reimagining of Stephen King's IT scaring up big box office, Yale Doctoral Candidate, Danielle Bainbridge looks beyond Pennywise and back through a rich history of clowning that's served up legendary scares from Killer Clowns from Outer Space to American Horror Story and Bozo's Circus. Okay, maybe not Bozo, but Cookie and Wizzo always seemed "off" to me. 

Thursday, September 14 2017 21:45

Crayola has a "Bluetiful" New Crayon...

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It's taken a few months of of fan deliberation, but now the decision is official - Crayola announced "Bluetiful" as the name of its new blue crayon. Bluetiful will be the nineteenth active blue color, replacing the previously retired Dandelion in the 24-count box and across the entire Crayola portfolio. Bluetiful received over 40% of fan votes to score the win and was officially unveiled this week at a blue-themed event in NYC. Additionally, there's a brand-new version of "Big Blue" - the world's largest crayon, which we previously visited when we road-tripped to the Crayola Experience back in 2014.

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