If you follow me on Instagram (and I sure hope you do), you might've caught a glimpse of Flynn's Rescue Ship back on October 22 when we did our build. Part of MEGA Bloks' SKYLANDERS collection of building sets (recommended for kids 5+), Flynn and the gang come from Activision's recently-released video game SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE, which follows last year's SKYLANDERS GIANTS. While the game series has become a pop culture staple, the building category continues to grow alongside it, and the folks at MEGA Bloks have some incredible sets inspired by that world. Having already reviewed the SKYLANDERS GIANTS Arkeyan Robot King earlier this Fall, we were excited when MEGA Brands hit us with some fresh stock to review. After detailed evaluation here at Rock Father HQ, this collection lands firmly in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. Every time I think about the 80s, I think about Eternia. Then I get pissed off when I think about the fact that most of my childhood possessions were sold off in the wake of my parents' divorce. My large, and exceptionally well-kept collections of STAR WARS, G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, and yes, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE toys all entered the secondary market around 1988, and have no doubt put money in the hands of numerous toy dealers over the past two decades. Sorry to start this post on a "downer" note, but even though I was about 12 and had begun to "grow out of" certain things, I was never afforded the luxury of having my stuff boxed up and stashed in an attic for me to rediscover as an adult. I'll never get over that, but I have the memories to share with my daughters, and the DVD collections to relive a little of that magic. During the holiday season HE-MAN AND SHE-RA: A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is a part of that.

After being inspired by my recent trip to The J.M. Smucker Company in Orrville, Ohio, I decided to try my hand at baking not only some of the tasty treats we sampled in their Culinary College, but also some of the recipes that they include with their products - you know, the ones you always see on packages and think "I should try that," but usually don't. This week, the little ones and I made a batch (3 dozen) of the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies that are featured on the new Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint Flavored Spread. They turned out pretty well...

Published in Food and Drink

125litaIt's been over 30 years since LITA FORD and CHERIE CURRIE last performed together as members of the iconic group, THE RUNAWAYS. In fact, the last time these two recorded new music together, the original STAR WARS was still in theaters - 1977. Fast-forward to 2013, and Ford thought that "the world could use a new Christmas song," and that song just so happened to become a duet with her old friend and former bandmate. Released today, "Rock This Christmas Down" is potentially the first in a series of collaborations between these former RUNAWAYS, and one that lands as Day 3 in my annual 25 Days of Xmas here on The Rock Father. 

The Norfolk Island Pine isn't really a pine at all... it's tropical tree that comes from the tiny Norfolk Island in the South Pacific - somewhere near New Zealand and Australia. It can't survive the winter here in Illinois, but it's pine-esque looks have turned it into a popular indoor plant, and one that looks pretty nice decked-out for the holidays. That makes it a great gift idea, and you can find them at places like the Home Depot for less that $15, complete with some starter decorations perfect for immediate gifting. The folks at Costa Farms sent one to Rock Father HQ last week, and we customized it using lightweight, paper ornaments from A REINDEER'S FIRST CHRISTMAS, a book from the PBS KIDS THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! series from Random House. Take a look...

TRANSFORMERSThere is little more that I can say that I haven't already said to solidify the fact that I am a lifelong fan of the TRANSFORMERS. I'm 37, and next year, the TRANSFORMERS will celebrate their 30th Anniversary with a new TRANSFORMERS: THRILLING 30 Collection. Quite simply, I was 7 when the TRANSFORMERS hit the scene, and it was just right to make sure that three decades later, I'd still be playing along. As a father... as "The Rock Father," I share things like the world of Cybertron with my children - my girls - and when the opportunity to review the new CONSTRUCT-BOTS came along, my four-year-old clarified just how right I'm doing things. "Would you like to build your own TRANSFORMER?" I asked. She looked at me, and with the most serious tone replied, "That's a silly question. Of course, I would like to build my own TRANSFORMER." And build it, she did.

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