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One of the hottest new toys of 2017 here at Rock Father HQ is the latest American Girl - Girl of the Year (GOTY), Gabriella McBride. For the first time ever, the folks at Mattel revealed that their GOTY would remain available for the foreseeable future, and that change in routine was just the first move in what's shaping up to be a very big year. Ahead of Toy Fair getting started in New York this weekend, news has come down that American Girl will be introducing "a new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to even more girls' interests, backgrounds, and experiences." It begins very soon - February 16 with the release of Tenney Grant, "a rising star in the Nashville music scene," and her drummer - American Girl's first-ever boy character, Logan Everett.

Tuesday, February 14 2017 08:05

Hot Wheels 2017 Holiday Racers - Valentine's Day

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If you happen to take a peek at the selection in your local retailer's aisle of toy cars, there just might be a holiday surprise hidden within the mainline Hot Wheels (the ones that are priced around $1). One sub-collection this year is the 2017 Holiday Racers - a series of five cars, four of which have been revealed. There's Halloween (Poppa Wheelie), Christmas (16 Angels), New Year's (Poppa Wheelie) and the one that I'm sharing since it's Valentine's Day: Rodger Dodger. This classic Hot Wheels ride was originally issued back in 1974 and has been done in many variations since, but for 2017 it's presented in candy apple red with gold accents to celebrate Cupid's favorite day.

Monday, February 13 2017 23:33

Metallica Announces WorldWired 2017 North American Tour

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Metallica today announced their WorldWired 2017 North American tour in support of their new album Hardwired...To Self-Destruct. The WorldWired 2017 tour is produced by Live Nation and  kicks off on May 10th in Baltimore, MD at M&T Bank Stadium. The tour will crisscross its way across North America into the summer, marking the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Grammy® Award winning band's first proper North American tour since 2009. Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat will be the main support acts for the tour run. See below for a list of all confirmed dates.  

Mega ConstruxIt was probably 1983 or '84, and at some point my parents bought me a set of Fisher-Price Construx. The cool new building set used grey beams with colorful accent pieces, connectors and plates that allowed kids like myself to create some interesting structures and vehicles. I distinctly remember creating "Doozer" towers at one point. While the line didn't really last long, the name has been used off-and-on, but not for awhile. Now, Mattel has resurrected the name as a new sub-brand to help better distinguish between the two main divisions of the MEGA Brands umbrella - now known as Mega Bloks and Mega Construx. The launch is in-progress, and I'm digging the new campaign - particularly, "The Beyonders." 

On Friday, February 17, my friends at The Toy Insider are serving-up a #CupcakeSurprise... Twitter Party! Sponsored by Sunny Days Entertainment, the crew will be talking toys, and giving followers a shot at winning some fun new dolls. During the party, four winners will win a set of three Cupcake Surprise dolls, and one lucky grand prize winner will win a set of SIX Cupcake Surprise dolls! RSVP here, and be sure to join from 11am-12pm ET!

2017 CAS LogoAs The LEGO Batman Movie soars into theaters this weekend, it's pretty appropriate that The Batmobile is in the Windy City. After all, Chicago doubled for Gotham City back when Christopher Nolan was crafting his Dark Knight Trilogy. Thing is, this Batmobile is a much different beast. The 2017 LEGO Batmobile from Chevrolet made its official debut in Detroit last month, a life-sized replica of "The Speedwagon" driven by LEGO Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) in the new film. Now, that ride, crafted from a total of 344,187 LEGO bricks supported by a square-tube aluminum frame, is sitting in McCormick Place, the result of 222 hours of design time, and 1,833 hours of construction by LEGO Master Builders. For it's appearance at The Chicago Auto Show, the LEGO Batmobile sits in front of a brick wall illuminated by moving Bat (and Chevy) signals, each zeroing in on LEGO Batman himself! As a bonus, kids can take part in their very own LEGO Batmobile mini-build, available for free to take home! We had a chance to check out the full display during the Media Preview - take a look...

2017 CAS LogoIn putting together my annual preview coverage of the Chicago Auto Show this year, I decided it was time to mix things up a bit and get even more of the family involved. After all, the Chicago Auto Show touts itself as a family-friendly event, and as someone who grew up attending the show and now takes his own kids, handing over coverage to a pair of younger eyes seemed like an obvious thing to do. It's no secret that The Rock Daughters™ are well-versed in four-wheeled, fun - a pair of girls with more Hot Wheels than I ever had as a kid, semi-skilled drivers (of Power Wheels and the like) themselves, and a fixture in my coverage of "grownup" rides. In fact, whenever a press fleet vehicle arrives here at Rock Father HQ, if the girls are home, they'll go outside with me to greet the driver. So, for 2017, a plan came together for our oldest daughter, Addie, to attend one of the pre-show "Media Preview" days with me, armed with a camera to capture the show through the eyes of a child. In an age where what and "who" constitutes "media" is evolving, websites and YouTube Channels are helping drive the age of reporters to a much younger level, as a new generation of auto lovers prepares to take the torch and run with it into the future - a concept that might even be threatening for some.* Here's a look at Addie's photos, along with some Rock Father Picks for family activities at this year's Chicago Auto Show!

I don't know that most people expected DreamWorks' Trolls to be as big as it's been, particularly on the spin-off front. With its colorful characters, vibrant world, sing-along soundtrack and positive message, kids have been inspired to create their own Trolls-inspired projects that keep the spirit of "happy" going long after the end credits have rolled. Now, with the film having come home on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD, my friends at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have partnered with a variety of writers and creative types (including yours truly) to come up with some fun projects to do at home. Armed with a box of supplies graciously delivered by the folks at Fox, The Rock Daughters™ and I set out to craft something awesome. Thing is, I realized after we were well underway that I'm just not very good at the whole "crafting" thing, and that there's others out there who have some really impressive project ideas. But, that's actually not what's important - the real importance is in having fun and fostering creativity, no matter how things turn out.

By now, you probably know that my affection for the 1980s runs deep, hence the return of MADBALLS was a welcome one. I reviewed the Series 1 batch of Just Play's 2017 Madballs here on the site, and now there's a chance for YOU to share in the gross-out fun! Join The Toy Insider this Friday, February 10, 2017 from 11am-12pm ET for the #Madballs Twitter Party! Click here to RSVP!

2017 CAS LogoThe best quote I've seen from an auto exec this year? "A 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car." Tim Kuniskis of Dodge on the 2018 Durango SRT

The 2017 Chicago Auto Show is about to kick into high-gear, and the Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT  (the fastest SUV in its class). Debuting in Chicago this week, the Durango will make its way into dealerships later this year. Now, check out this burnout!

For most families, when it comes to raising kids, you don't get many chances to do things right the first time. Those "firsts" are typically a per-child affair, and in our case, we've experienced certain milestones twice because we have two girls, and hopefully we've done better with our youngest than our oldest. There's a learning curve, and it's always fascinating to see how quickly the tools to help parents evolve. Bonding and separation anxiety are things that I certainly didn't consider in our pre-parent days, and while I think that bonding was a non-issue, anxiety is a thing. For new parents, now there's the CuddleBright™ Experience - the first and only routine-based experience aimed to connect, comfort and calm both parent and child during times of separation. This four-component system is geared toward children ages 0-5 and their parents, and to celebrate it's launch, the development experts at the Simms/Mann Institute have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a chance to win the complete set. Check out the details and enter below!

Tuesday, February 07 2017 22:57

Em Rossi debuts "Empty Space" via HuffPo...

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Following the worldwide success of her breakthrough music videos, “Earthquake,’ and “Young Hearts,” which both topped the YouTube charts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, and Italy, 18-year-old singer/songwriter Em Rossi premiered her latest single, “Empty Space,” on February 7 via Huffington Post.

Tuesday, February 07 2017 22:55

Giveaway - Let's Go PJ Masks on DVD!

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PJ Masks AmbassadorIf you have little ones in the house, there's a solid chance that you've got some  PJ Masks fans on your hands.  This month, Entertainment One’s hit preschool superhero show PJ Masks, has come to DVD for the very first time, and in celebration of the release, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a chance to win Let's Go PJ Masks! Join Catboy, Owlette and Gekko on their heroic missions as they go into the night to save the day!

Tuesday, February 07 2017 22:44

Giveaway: Shaun the Sheep - Seasons 3 & 4 on DVD!

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Shaun the Sheep is back with more farm-tastic misadventures in Seasons 3 & 4, available now on DVD.  To celebrate the release, Lionsgate has teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a shot at winning the new 4-disc DVD set. Get all the details and enter below!

The time has come - all the dino-charged adventures of the world-renowned heroes, Saban’s Power Rangers, are coming home in one collection. Nickelodeon’s hit TV series Power Rangers Dino Charge: The Complete Season is out now on DVD and Digital HD! To celebrate the release, Lionsgate has teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a shot at winning the 5-disc DVD collection, jam-packed with action as the Rangers battle an evil intergalactic villain once more! Ready for your shot at glory?