If you don't want to terrify your children, don't mention the prospect of recycling toys. Not long ago, I happened to be watching a video about a company that recycles broken plastic toys into children's furniture. My girls came into the office while I was watching it, and within minutes they'd created an entire story about "the toy stealers who come at night," subsequently starting to hide their own toys for fear of recycling. In reality, it's not a bad idea, and while I don't really know the data on it, I can only imagine the massive amount of toys and games that wind up in landfills each year. Now, ahead of Earth Day, Hasbro announced earlier this week that they're launching a toy and game recycling pilot program with TerraCycle. During the pilot program, consumers can collect and send their well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, who will recycle them into materials that can be used in the construction of play spaces, flower pots, park benches, and other innovative uses. In 2018, Hasbro is piloting the program in the contiguous U.S.
As modern Star Wars fans, we're pretty spoiled in that since 2015 we've been getting new films every year. We've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and this year we've got Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). And, as J.J. Abrams preps to shoot the Untitled Episode IX (2019), there's a new series of films from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, a new Trilogy from Rian Johnson and a live-action television series from Jon Favreau all starting to take shape on the horizon. With each new film comes a new range of toys and collectibles, and in recent years we've seen that skew largely toward grownups - the "big kids" who were once little kids when the Original Trilogy (1977-1983) was released, or even stranger to me - the kids who grew up on the Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005). Along the way, I think that sometimes what gets lost is the fact that while many Star Wars toys are being purchased by collectors, there's always new generations who are just experiencing the Saga for the very first time. With that in mind, Hasbro is peppering the release of their new toys from Solo: A Star Wars Story with some new offerings from their Galactic Heroes line geared toward the youngest fans - ages 3-7. And like all the new product launches, there's not only characters from the latest film, but also those from the the past... or "a long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away." My friends at Entertainment Earth sent over one of those new toys - the Star Wars Galactic Heroes 2-in-1 Millennium Falcon, and we're going hands-on in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father™ HQ!
Last year, Sesame Street broke new ground with the addition of Julia, a new Muppet with Autism. An old friend of Elmo's, Julia made her debut during World Autism Month/National Autism Awareness Month bringing with her a message - that we can "see amazing in all children." Now, as Julia celebrates one year on Sesame Street, the folks at Hasbro are bringing her into the toy aisle as a new neighbor in their Playskool mini plush line. Available now from Hasbro Toy Shop (an affiliate) and major retailers nationwide, Julia is a cuddly friend for children ages 12 months and up! See her below...
Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters on May 25, 2018 - 41 years to the date that the original Star Wars first arrived in 1977. As usual, a new collection of STAR WARS toys based on the film will hit retail, and while countless licensees will be in on the action, here at THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine we're presenting a series of STAR WARS Checklists, this one focusing primarily on Hasbro's classic 3¾" action figures, vehicles and playsets (carrying on the tradition that Kenner started 40 years ago)- along with the ever-popular "Black Series" of collector-focused 6" figures and accessories. If you'd like to keep track of what's available or coming soon from these lines, this is the place to be!
In the wake of the Toys "R" Us implosion, both toymakers and collectors have been worried about the fate of toys that were intended to be Toys "R" Us Exclusive. With many items still in warehouses, on trucks and even worse - on boats - companies are scrambling to find new homes for millions of dollars worth of product. For fans of Hasbro's Marvel Legends line, the folks at Entertainment Earth have stepped in to take over distribution of the former Toys "R" Us Exclusive Avengers: Infinity War Scarlet Witch and Vision 2-pack. Unfortunately, some of these did get shipped to TRU which means they're in liquidation limbo. While some have been lucky to have found them on store shelves in recent days, EE (and affiliate of this site) has them up for pre-order right now.
At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York City, I was in the room for the February unveiling of Hasbro's first-ever HasLab project - a crowdfunding effort meant to bring to life one of the most-requested Star Wars toys of all-time: Jabba's Sail Barge (The Khetanna). While I support the idea of this project and the methods behind it, I have questioned whether this particular toy is being produced 30 years too late, as the $500 price tag put it firmly in the collector realm. Additionally, it needs a minimum of 5,000 backers by April 3 to become a reality, and as of this writing they're still 2,000 away from that mark with 13 days to go. I've been saying that this is something special that needs to get in front of a different audience - not necessarily those who collect Star Wars toys regularly, but those who might be looking for one high-end piece to display, possibly for an office or theater room. With a photo debut on EW this morning, that may have finally happened, but my friends at Hasbro just sweetened the deal. They just provided me with a timelapse video showing the prototype being painted, along with a full gallery of photos (see them on The Rock Father™ Facebook page). Check out the video below, and if you want this to become a reality, hit up the HasLab website and #BackTheBarge!