As we sit here on the edge of one year, and on the cusp of another, it's come time to reflect on all that 2015 has brought us, and everything that 2016 may have in-store. Our social feeds are filled with tales of triumph and sorrow, as our friends and colleagues both celebrate their victories, and mourn their losses. It's always this time of year, among the melancholy post-Christmas days when the "holiday high" wears off, that everyone either can't turn the calendar quick enough, or they wish to bask in a year of successes that they hope will never end. For our family, this was a great year - and professionally, it was likely my best year, maybe not from a financial standpoint, but one of adventure and accomplishment in all of the areas in which I'm hoping to achieve. Time for a little horn-tooting, because it's all downhill from here...
MARVEL's ANT-MAN was not only one of my favorite movies of the year (review here), but a film I was fortunate to be able to cover first-hand as a guest of Disney/Marvel earlier this summer. While interviews with the cast and filmmakers was certainly a huge highlight, back at home the wide array of cool toys and collectibles spawned from the 12th entry into the MARVEL Cinematic Universe made sure to keep our whole family busy with a ton of unique adventures. During my ANT-MAN journey, I'd taken pictures with my MARVEL Infinite Legends ANT-MAN figure by Hasbro, doing a little "Toyography" here and there to have some fun. Little did I know that my ant-sized toys would eventually have their own to-scale copy of this week's Blu-ray release to call their own. Check out the Exclusive MARVEL's ANT-MAN Blu-ray Shrinky Set Toy by Janky Toys!
MARVEL's ANT-MAN scored big this summer by becoming the first true "family film" in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. I covered the film extensively, interviewing the entire principle cast (including Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Douglas, T.I., Michael Pena and David Dastmalchian), Director Peyton Reed, and MARVEL Studios Chief Kevin Feige. In speaking with all of those folks, I had to talk toys - and the one thing that really stood out is how excited Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll and Michael Douglas were about getting the LEGO treatment. Out of all the toys and collectibles that hit stores this summer, it was becoming a LEGO Minifigure that truly made some eyes light up. Released as part of the LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes line, the ANT-MAN FINAL BATTLE is a terrific, 183-piece set recommended for ages 6+, and one that lands as a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.
Back in June, I took some of the then-just-released ANT-MAN toys from my personal collection to the press junket for MARVEL's ANT-MAN in Los Angeles. It was there that many of the cast members (including Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Douglas, T.I., Michael Pena and David Dastmalchian) got their first look at they toys from their debut entry into the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. One of the biggest hits was my Funko Pop! Vinyl Yellowjacket, which put a huge smile on Corey Stoll's face before the interviews got started. What I didn't find until after the junket was a Pop! Vinyl Ant-Man, and now the little guy is back with one of the film's most unexpectedly-popular co-stars... ANT-THONY. This December, Funko will release an ANT-MAN and ANT-THONY Pop! RIDES 2-Pack, available for pre-order now via my friends at Entertainment Earth.
One of my favorite movies of the year is coming home for the Holidays! MARVEL's ANT-MAN arrives on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on November 17, with 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand December 8! Check out the all-new Blu-ray trailer (narrated by Michael Pena of the #Antourage) below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!
When the folks at Hasbro asked if The Rock Daughters™ and I would like to take part in their #SummerOfMarvel promotion, I was up for the challenge. Receiving a trio of mystery boxes that would be featured in episodes of UNBOXED on Rock Father TV, neither the girls nor myself would know exactly what was coming. For our second installment, Hasbro delivered their new Infinite Series 3¾" Ant-Man and Flying Ant¾" Ant-Man and Flying Ant set to us (appropriate since I've covered the film extensively) along with a note and a motion picture slate. Indeed, the girls were being called-upon to make their directorial debut, and that brings us to this - a first-look at MARVEL's ANT-MAN 2: ANT HARDER as directed by The Rock Daughters and shot on-location in our front yard and my office.