I've said it before, but "space" is hot right now, and for a kid that grew up in the Shuttle-era with movies like SPACE CAMP and countless other sci-fi adventures in regular rotation, it's been fantastic to see The Rock Daughters be so inquisitive and excited for outer-space adventures. Fueled by the likes of STAR WARS, MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND, THE FLOOGALS and READY, JET, GO!, the kids have become enthralled with space, and it's obvious that they're not alone as even the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES recently went into orbit, and now BARBIE is getting into the action. Mattel has launched an entire line of toys based on BARBIE: STAR LIGHT ADVENTURE (I already bought the girls a few of the dolls), the latest CGI animated feature created in partnership with Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Coming to Blu-ray and DVD on September 13th, Fathom Events, Mattel and Women's Forum will bring BARBIE: STAR LIGHT ADVENTURE to the big screen for one day only, Saturday, July 30th, 2016, complete with an exclusive introduction from Barbie PLUS deleted scenes and bonus content, a special interview with a NASA astronaut, and the “Firefly” and “Shooting Star” music videos with lyrics so you can sing along! Check out the trailer and details below, then click here to get tickets via Fandango!

Netflix Stream TeamThe MARVEL Gods were shining upon San Diego Comic-Con last night, bringing forth so much goodness it could barely be contained. From the new Hasbro action figures featuring DOCTOR STRANGE and SPIDER-MAN to the first trailer for the Netflix Original Series, MARVEL's LUKE CAGE, it looked like a big night... but then it became a HUGE night. Also released were the first trailers for MARVEL's IRON FIST and MARVEL's THE DEFENDERS - a New York superhero team-up that features characters from all of the Netflix/MARVEL collaborations coming together as a team. Let's look at that one first - a teaser set to NIRVANA's "Come As You Are."

Netflix Stream TeamI've been singing the praises of the Netflix Original Series, VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER ever since I went behind the scenes at DreamWorks Animation back in early May.  While it was pretty obvious from the get-go (Playmates Toys' new action figures won't be out until 2017), it's now 100% official that the second season of VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER will be hitting Netflix later this fall. At San Diego Comic-Con International this afternoon, executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery and writer Tim Hedrick made it official, while joined by surprise guest Steven Yeun (THE WALKING DEAD), who voices Keith the pilot of the red lion.

The first highly-anticipated chapter in the Transformers Generations Prime Wars Trilogy, TRANSFORMERS: COMBINER WARS launches August 2 as an eight-part digital series on GO90 here in the U.S. From Hasbro Studios and Machinima, the new series takes place 40 years after the great war on Earth, with new and iconic characters appearing together in what looks to be a continuation of sorts to the cherished "G1" Transformers that kids like me (who has a COMBINER WARS Devastator not 10 feet away as I type this) grew up with in the 1980s. Check out the trailer below...

Netflix Stream TeamI'm completely digging this. With a soundtrack of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" setting the tone, the trailer for the Netflix Original Series, MARVEL's LUKE CAGE is here, and Mike Colter is busting bad guys (and abusing cars) in the process. Spun-off of MARVEL's JESSICA JONES and eventually followed by MARVEL's IRON FIST (he's in this trailer), the small-screen connection to the MARVEL Cinematic Universe continues to build. Check out the trailer below (not kid-friendly!), and look for all episodes to begin streaming exclusively on Netflix, September 30, 2016.

One of these days I will get to SDCC (likely when I have a personal project to promote again), but in the meantime my friends that are there keep sending me the latest news and official pictures to share with those of you, who like myself, are thousands of miles away. One of the most-anticipated reveals of today comes from the folks at Hasbro, who continue to expand their fantastic line of MARVEL Legends figures. While I've got fresh pics of the latest SPIDER-MAN assortment, of particular interest today is the upcoming DOCTOR STRANGE assortment, which pairs both comic and movie-style figures into one collection. Here's your official look at the first-ever figures of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Karl Mordo!

When you think of Hot Wheels, you might not automatically think about the real-world physics and planning that goes into each car. Things get even more complicated when the project is a collaboration between icons, and that's been the case when it comes to Mattel and Lucasfilm working together on several lines of diecast vehicles with roots in a galaxy far, far away. After a massive success with the Hot Wheels STAR WARS Character Cars (see my checklist here) and Starships, now comes the launch of CARSHIPS (just-launched checklist here!) at Comic-Con International (SDCC). With a stellar Trench Run Exclusive being offered at SDCC, the Hot Wheels team is back in force, with a full-size, drivaeble 1:1 X-Wing Fighter Carship on display. This ride is inspired by the X-Wing Fighters of the classic STAR WARS Saga, but paired with a dragster to form a functional race car that can actually perform in real-life, while the Hot Wheels 1:64-scale version is one of the fastest Hot Wheels cars to date, able to "fly" down the Orange Track! Check out the new vehicle in action below, along with a behind-the-scenes video and gallery showcasing the build.

Wednesday, July 20 2016 21:59

Covered: GRAVEL KINGS x NIRVANA "Come As You Are"

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I've certainly been responsible for playing more than a few NIRVANA covers over the years, albeit ones that no one has heard in a public setting since probably the late 1990s. That said, I'm always interested in hearing others put their stamp on one of my favorite bands, and I've come across plenty - many good, many bad. Today comes a pretty good one courtesy of the GRAVEL KINGS, a Florida band with a new EP in the pipeline. Check out "Come As You Are" below, and look for LURE to hit the streets on September 9, 2016.

Want to experience the awesomeness of space? Join the Adler Planetarium this summer as they bring their award-winning ‘Space is Freaking Awesome’ campaign to life all around Chicagoland. From July 23-31, keep your eye out for the lime green ‘Space is Freaking Awesome’ truck as it pops up in various locations around the city handing out astronaut ice cream and inviting the masses to experience some of the mind-blowing facts about our Universe. Activities are designed to appeal to the senses and give visitors a taste of what the Adler Planetarium has to offer.

Are you ready to meet the "diverse range of interesting dudes" that Entertainment Earth and Hasbro teased last night? If you guessed that the strange statement was code for DROIDS, you were correct! Coming this November, the STAR WARS: The Black Series Astromech Droids 3 3/4-Inch Action Figures – Entertainment Earth Exclusive is up for pre-order now, a celebration of the entire STAR WARS Saga, and the 10th Anniversary of Entertainment Earth's super-popular, sold-out 2006 Astromech Droid Sets. This sextet of Astromech Droids comes to you in a specially designed R2-D2-shaped box with 3 3/4-inch scale action figures. Each droid sports multiple points of articulation, similar to the collector-favorite figures of The Vintage Collection, with featured Droids being sourced from 1977's STAR WARS, 1983's RETURN OF THE JEDI and the recent animated series, THE CLONE WARS. Each figure includes rolling wheels on their feet, plus jointed domes, ankles, shoulders, and maybe even a few other surprises. Check out the details below, and pre-order now (while supplies last)!

Back in high school, the "Seattle Sound" was a huge part of my soundtrack (some of my friends and I thought that the Quad Cities - where I lived at the time - was "the next Seattle"), and one of the bands that was at the center of that was one of the most mysterious... Temple of the Dog. A supergroup featuring Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron (who plays drums with both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam), Temple of the Dog released one album in 1991 and never toured, though both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam exploded. Now, 25 years later, the band has reunited and will tour for the first time ever since forming in 1990. Upon receiving the news, I immediately visited my archives here at Rock Father HQ and found that my Temple of the Dog CD has gone missing... so it may have to be replaced.

With Comic-Con International (SDCC) getting underway in San Diego this week, families need a proper soundtrack filled with fresh jams. Just-released is INFINITY PLUS ONE, the latest album from Kindie superstar SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO - a record that brims with geektastic glory, covering subjects like Multiverses and Monsters. One song posits the question of whether the listener is a superhero or a supervillain? Personally, I'm probably a bit of both, but my victory laugh does indicate some nefarious tendencies. Want to explore your own super-aspirations? Skidoo just released the music video for "Secret Superhero," and it's Rock Father-approved! Check it out...

Wednesday, July 20 2016 10:00

VTech's Go! Go! Smart Line gets Bigger...

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From the "Why didn't these exist when our kids were younger?" department at Rock Father HQ...

Last week at Sweet Suite in New York City, the team from VTech were there in force, showing off a variety of their new toys for the 2016 Holiday season and beyond. For kids ages 1-5½, the Go! Go! Smart collection is expanding with the release of several new items from the award-winning Go! Go! Smart Friends®Go! Go! Smart Wheels® and Go! Go! Smart Animals® product lines, featuring innovative MagicPoint® and SmartPoint® technologies that "bring the toys to life" while teaching first words, letters and more as children explore cause and effect relationships. The Go! Go! Smart Friends line has evolved with an enchanting new theme around princesses and kingdoms, and offers a luxurious palace that expands to four feet wide. Go! Go! Smart Wheels features its first motorized train that can climb hills on its own and, for the first time, Go! Go! Smart Animals includes domestic animals and a sprawling three story pet playland.

Tuesday, July 19 2016 23:07

Listen: THE PRETTY RECKLESS - "Take Me Down"

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I've been writing about Taylor Momsen and THE PRETTY RECKLESS for over five years already, going back to their debut album back in 2011. This week, in what seems to thematically follow 2014's GOING TO HELL, comes the first single from the band's third album (due this fall), "Take Me Down." It's a true rocker, and the cover art speaks volumes... we've all been there, those times when you make a deal with a "Devil" of sorts. Give it a listen...

Tuesday, July 19 2016 22:25

Mattel is entering JURASSIC WORLD...

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After a massive success last year, Universal is taking another trip back to JURASSIC WORLD in 2018, but just because the next chapter in the film series is two years off, kids (and grownups) won't have to wait for more ways to live the adventure at home. News just hit Rock Father HQ that Mattel has been granted the master license for the JURASSIC WORLD franchise starting in July 2017, with the toymaker partnering with NBCUniversal to begin designing and developing new lines immediately, with the first products set to hit in early 2018. Mattel's license rights include a wide variety of products, including (but not limited to) action figures, play-sets, vehicles, games, plush, role-play, preschool, and activity toys. While it was main competitor Hasbro that handled most of those for last year's film, Mattel first dipped into JURASSIC WORLD with a collection of diecast vehicles under their iconic Matchbox line.

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