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UPDATE: 11/24 10:40pm - I changed the title of this developing story after a representative for The Beastie Boys made a statement to the Huffington Post confirming what some (myself included) were assuming: "There was no complaint filed, no demand letter (no demand, for that matter) when [GoldieBlox] sued Beastie Boys." 

11/25 9:53am: THR updated with statements from an open letter by Beastie Boys mentioning that while they were “impressed by the creativity and the message” of the Goldieblox video, “make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads... When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US."

Original story continues below...

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Note: An updated version of this post was published on The Good Men Project on 3/6/2013. This blog has been amended to reflect those slight changes.

On Monday, I found myself front-and-center in a Huffington Post story about an "offensive" (their word - not mine) tweet that came from the Playskool twitter account last Friday. While the tweet in question certainly didn't "offend" me, I found it to be curious and out-of-character coming from a public mouthpiece of a brand beloved by children and parents alike for generations. The public lashing that has followed deserves a little clarity to prevent it from becoming more overblown than it's already become.

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uverseFINAL UPDATE: As of August 2013, I have switched to Xfinity by Comcast.

MORE UPDATES FOLLOW ORIGINAL POST: If you're an AT&T U-Verse Subscriber that happens to enjoy watching videos on YouTube, you might've noticed something irritating over the past few days: The two services don't seem to like each other anymore. Thousands of users (myself included) began experiencing service issues at roughly the same time on Saturday, February 15. I'm all for a good nostalgia trip, but a reminder of it was like trying to stream video to RealPlayer via a dial-up AOL connection is not my idea of a good time.

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Originally posted on February 10, 2013... interestingly enough, a year later (2/16/2014) and Crayola has a different company handling PR for Toy Fair 2014 (it's Edelman now) and it's all back to "Mom." Pretty safe to assume that Crayola is steering the ship on this and not the PR folks.

UPDATED: On 2/19/2013, a rep from Coyne PR on behalf of Crayola sent me a nice message that included the following:

"Your post was very poignant and makes some great points. Dads do play an important role in raising their kids and our products are the tools to help Moms and Dads, along with Grandparents, care givers, etc. foster creativity and inspire imagination in children. As we move forward, we will look at how we present our information to be sure we are inclusive of all individuals who care about kids and support raising creatively inspired children."

ORIGINAL POST: It's Sunday night, and as most folks are watching the GRAMMYS (my wife included), I'm sitting here skimming through hundreds of press releases and product sheets rolling into Rock Father HQ from the American International Toy Fair in New York City. While I wish I'd gone this year, getting the news via email and the wires is the next best thing, though I have to be a little picky about what I cover here on The Rock Father as time is something I could use more of. One thing striking me as I check out the media materials from a lot of toy makers is how archaic their views of playtime, parenting, and family structure still are. Yes, despite all the strides made in the last year about "gender neutrality" (a huge media push, too) and the change in family structure, the old stereotypes are back this weekend in New York, and the charge is being led by some disappointing offenders.

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THE ROCK FATHERUpdate: I've received an apology from Hot Topic in an email dated 2/8/13

I don't often go on this type of rant here on my personal blog (it has nothing to do with parenting), but something has to be said. I believe that HOT TOPIC (Trade Symbol: HOTT) has just burned me for the last time.

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The colossal failure in children's retailing known as WONDER! just made headlines again. The should've-been-awesome but totally mismanaged and underfunded superstore in Deerfield, Illinois was the subject of a lengthy feature here on The Rock Father, but abruptly closed without warning just eight days later. Now, after sitting dormant for the past three months, the store is holding a 'Final Liquidation' starting tomorrow, May 29th and ending June 2nd. Sadly, even the liquidation sounds shifty.

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