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Disney's live-action reimagining of the 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, is a huge hit, and with most big movies comes a line of great toys. As part of my gig with The Toy Insider, I recently took part in a Beauty and the Beast twitter party, and the folks at JAKKS Pacific sent us a couple of their new toys to play with here at Rock Father HQ. Ballroom Belle and the Enchanted Objects Tea Set are two of the most popular toys based on the new film, and ones right up The Rock Daughters' alley! Check out the video and details below...

The Rock Father™ has collaborated with Life of Dad and Marvel for the #WhoIsYourHero initiative.

If you're into Twitter Parties, by now I certainly hope that you know that there aren't many that are as vibrant and fun as a Life of Dad Twitter Party. Our next one is coming up, and this one is pretty exciting - brought to you by MARVEL! We'll be talking not only about the vast legion of legendary characters from Marvel, but also about the real-life heroes that inspire others each and every day. Of course, we will have some prizes to dish out within our chat as well! One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $175 Marvel Toy Pack, while five (5) runners-up will each receive a $50 Visa Gift Card.

THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Ah yes, the wonders of Spring. The clocks have been set ahead... the grass is starting to green... the tulips and daffodils have begun to poke their fingers through the soil as the birds have returned and started to sing. But there's a bit of an issue here this year. As I mentioned last month, that dirty groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his evil lair with news that he was planning to punish us this year. "A long winter," he declared, sentencing us to an additional six weeks of cold. Given that our winter was relatively mild this year, the Chicago-area famously snow-less in January/February (we hit 70°!) - something that hadn't happened in over a century, it was easy to write Phil off as giving a "typical cartoon villain speech." And then the snow came in March. As the rodent put forth a jubilant "victory laugh" from within his underground bunker, the humans above were faced with mountains of fresh powder. It was an act of revenge by a vermin, one who's been mocked for his weather predictions allegedly being right less than 50% of the time. No one knew that he'd built a Weather Machine in his basement. His vile actions would now result in travel disruptions, and new battles against an old foe: The Common Cold.

"In a world run by machines, humans are an endangered species..."

In what sounds like the thematic inspiration for the latest FEAR FACTORY album, author James Patterson returns for a new novel, Humans, Bow Down - a tale of a robot uprising that doesn't end well for the flesh-and-blood crowd. Now, in collaboration with Little, Brown and Co., The Rock Father™ is helping to celebrate the new book, with an epic giveaway. One (1) lucky reader will receive a hardcover edition of Humans, Bow Down, plus a $100 Visa Gift Card that can no doubt be used to buy survival supplies that will assist with living in a world run by robots!

Wednesday, March 15 2017 20:09

Disney•Pixar Cars 3: Easter Cars are on the Way!

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We have a tradition here at Rock Father HQ that every Spring, the Easter Bunny leaves the girls the new collection of Easter Hot Wheels - a set available in super-limited quantities at Walmart every year. While the Bunny has yet to find the 2017 set (I've spoken to him, and he's actively hunting), this year there's something else that Mattel has for the season, and it comes from the ever-growing world of Disney•Pixar's Cars. Available for a limited time, the Easter Cars assortment features vehicles and coordinating baskets that are based on the 2012 book, Mater and the Easter Buggy. Easter Lightning McQueen, Easter Mater, Easter Ramone, and yes, The Easter Buggy are all hopping into town... but the real trick is gonna be finding them.

Back in the days when we only had one daughter, Target had a line of clothing from Gwen Stefani called "Harajuku Mini." I gobbled it up, dressing the little one in some really cute things, and one item that was handed-down for a short time was what we dubbed the "rocker hoodie." Alas, the clothing is long gone, but there's more Harajuku to enjoy, including Stefani’s animated series KUU KUU HARAJUKU. The 2D-animated series currently airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and on Family Channel in Canada, and on June 13, 2017, Shout! Factory in collaboration with DHX Media will release KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC, BABY!, - the series' first-ever DVD. Containing 14 episodes from Season One, initial shipments of the DVD contain a code to download the KUU KUU HARAJUKU theme song (while supplies last). KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC, BABY! is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com and ShoutFactory.com

PJ MasksIf your little ones are into PJ Masks, get ready for a big jump from the small screen to the stage! Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents have announced that PJ MASKS LIVE!, a brand-new, fully-immersive musical production, will take to the stage, touring across North America. Kicking off in September 2017, the live show is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior. Catboy, Owlette, Gekko and the Baddies will delight fans of all ages with live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics, and immersive interactivity.

It's gonna be a big summer at the box office, and on June 30, 2017, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures will bring Despicable Me 3 to theaters. With two films and a spinoff (Minions) having won audiences and acclaim (especially Despicable Me 2), it's time to go bigger, and it appears that the third installment will do so on a grand scale. Check out the latest trailer below, and say hello to Gru's twin brother... Dru.

With my recent acquisition of both a Nintendo Switch and an Xbox One S, I have finally re-entered the world of video gaming on a regular basis, and it's something that I'd definitely been missing. While my gaming interests have always gone in waves, the late 90s/early 00s were notable thanks to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. As my wife can attest, those games were a huge deal for me back then - a series that I followed for quite awhile, often spending many late-night hours busting out the kind of tricks that I always wished I could do in real-life, but sadly lacked the skill to pull-off. As my life changed, I missed out on some of the later entries, but with talk of the series soon finding a rebirth, it was pretty exciting to learn that a comprehensive documentary about the games and the cultural phenomenon around them is now in-production. Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Game Story is currently seeking funding via Indiegogo, and the pitch trailer is a good one. Check this out...

If you watch the news, it's easy to feel down about a lot of things, and that's why I like to highlight some good news - like the occasions when an organization that I respect is making waves by doing good. The folks at Mattel are in the business of making children happy, and that extends well beyond simply making toys. One such initiative has been the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and this week, Mattel announced a $50 million gift to UCLA Health that will fund an expansion of the facility, and "help establish a world-class pediatric care center and research hub focused on improving children's health."

Five years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a journal entry about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (indeed, cigarettes are a drug), followed by another post in 2014 documenting year three, and how I couldn't get Philip Morris/Altria to leave me alone (they since have, but only after I threatened legal action). In 2015, I posted again, noting that little bits had changed, like Cracker Barrel restaurants playing into the hands of Big Tobacco (presumably) not knowing it, and the rise of the e-cig and vape crowd, followed in 2016 by an update. Today I am posting once again, as it's the six-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Philip Morris/Altria and R.J Reynolds: As I've warned before, with each passing year, the targets on the backs of your companies and leadership continue to grow...

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, it's pretty appropriate that Chicago's The Tossers have unleashed their latest music video, "Erin Go Bragh." The new single comes from Smash the Windows, their most recent album for Victory Records, just-released last week. Check it out below...

On March 24, Lionsgate will bring SABAN'S POWER RANGERS into theaters, and at the same time, Varèse Sarabande will unleash the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally (CD available April 21, 2017). The soundtrack features the original music by composer Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7) and the exclusive track “Give It All” performed by With You, featuring Santigold and Vince Staples.

This summer, two heroes of the Southern California music scene will hit the road together, as Sublime With Rome and The Offspring join forces in July for dates across Canada, then connecting again in September for a US amphitheater tour.

This Friday, Walt Disney Studios will bring "a tale as old as time" back to life as their live-action telling of Beauty and the Beast waltzes into theaters. Along with the beautiful new film comes a wide selection of new toys and collectibles, and JAKKS Pacific is among those leading the charge, with some fantastic new dolls and roleplay items. To celebrate, The Toy Insider and JAKKS Pacific are throwing the #BeJAKKSGuest Twitter Party from 11am-12pm ET on March 17, the very day that the film makes its cinematic debut! RSVP now to take part!

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