Quantcast
tagline2016wide

Star Wars 40th AnniversaryMattel's ever-expanding line of Star Wars-inspired toys has been a big favorite here at Rock Father HQ, both with our family and readers of the site alike. Leading the charge has been the Star Wars Hot Wheels Character Cars (checklist here), and as promised last year, the 2017 Star Wars Celebration Orlando will be the place to get the exclusive Biggs Darklighter car - the winner of a fan's choice poll. As I'm not attending Celebration in-person, this one might be tough to get (I missed out on the previous Celebration-exclusive Boba Fett as well), but it's definitely something to see. Check out the image below, as debuted by Yahoo! this morning.

On June 23, the fifth film in Michael Bay's cinematic TRANSFORMERS franchise hits theaters, and it's going to be a Transformers tale unlike any we've seen before. In the latest trailer for TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, we see Optimus Prime called upon by his maker (if you recall, "the makers" wanted him back in the last film) and is seemingly reprogrammed to be an enemy of the human race. The Transformers have been here for years, and a call is out to "rethink history," as the Autobots and Decepticons have ties to The Knights of the Roundtable, the Nazi Empire, the Samurai warriors of Japan and more. Take a look...

The title pretty much says it all: With the release of his new video for "Last Time For Everything," Brad Paisley just unleashed the music video that I've wanted to make for myself since 1985. Indeed, the nostalgia factor is high, from the title sequence and bikes inspired by the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things, to the inclusion of walkie talkies, a boys-only clubhouse, a DeLorean, the Ghostbusters' Ecto-1, a SONY Walkman commercial, UFOs, dinosaurs, and appearance by my idol, David Hasselhoff and K.I.T.T. from the greatest television series of all-time, Knight Rider. Best of all, the action is all captured in beautiful VHS quality, dated October 26, 1985. But I have to ask... Brad, what's with the life preserver?

Wednesday, April 12 2017 10:27

#SWCO: Hasbro's Black Series Rey and Speeder

Written by

Star Wars Celebration Orlando is getting underway this week, and thus we're preparing for an onslaught of fresh news from around the Star Wars Galaxy to come rolling into Rock Father HQ... probably faster than I can keep up. One of the first reveals hit yesterday, with the debut of a new set from Hasbro - STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES REY’S SPEEDER (JAKKU) & REY (SCAVENGER) Figure. Set to hit retail this fall with a suggested price of $59.99, this gorgeous set features an all-new, highly-articulated figure of Daisy Ridley's Rey, alongside a detailed version of her speeder from JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

When it comes to the blockbuster films of 1977, if you're like me, the one that comes to mind is an out-of-nowhere film from a galaxy far, far away. Indeed, it was May 25, 1977 when STAR WARS first hit theater screens, but just two days later came the release of the year's second-biggest grosser - and another movie very near and dear to me: Hal Needham's SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. This May, TCM Big Screen Classics and Fathom Events will bring SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT back to theaters, as it races into cinemas for a special two-night 40th Anniversary Event, May 21 & May 24!

When the first two Skylanders games were released, I played them both (and reviewed the first, Spyro's Adventure, six years ago), but our girls were too young to get in on the action. When the sixth installment of the franchise, Skylanders Imaginators, was announced last year, I thought that the craze had passed us by, but then two things happened: The Netflix Original Series Skylanders Academy, and the release of the Nintendo Switch. The former introduced the kids to a world that they became enamored with, and the latter offered up a new platform to use - one where I was able to go hands-on thanks to some preview events. Then the folks at Activision hooked us up with a Starter Pack for Xbox One, and enthusiasm for Skylanders officially took hold, just in-time for the release of the latest expansion, the Cursed Tiki Temple Level Pack.

Star Wars 40th AnniversaryAnnounced today on ABC's Good Morning AmericaStar Wars: Force For Change has teamed up with Omaze to launch Star Wars “Past, Present and Future” — a new fundraising campaign to benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children’s Foundation — in honor of the saga’s 40th Anniversary celebration. The new initiative will give Star Wars fans a shot at winning three "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences, including an appearance in the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or an overnight stay at Skywalker Ranch. Each week, a new prize will be awarded to a randomly-selected winner, and at the end of the campaign, one randomly-selected grand prize winner will be awarded all three Force-filled experiences. Check out the announcement video featuring Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) below...

Despite being entertaining, the THOR films have always been sort of a sidenote to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for me. Good, yes - but I've just never anticipated them in the same way that I have Captain America, Iron Man, etc. That just changed with the first teaser for THOR: RAGNAROK, the third "solo" Thor outing, and one that looks like it certainly took a few cues from the "fun" factor of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Check it out below, and crank up your speakers - Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" provides the soundtrack!

Monday, April 10 2017 09:25

Film Review: Disneynature's BORN IN CHINA

Written by

It's been two years since Disneynature's last theatrical release hit screens, the fantastic Monkey Kingdom. Attached to that film was an early teaser for what would be the next film from the studio, Born in China. Due to taking a year off from the Earth Day schedule, another teaser followed in 2016, and now comes the anticipated release of a film that my daughters have been asking for since they saw that first teaser two Aprils ago. While in San Francisco for the #Cars3Event last month, I had a chance to check out an early screening of Born in China, a film that is about to take audiences to some of the world's most beautiful and remote locales. 

Just as the weekend was getting under way, Kabam and Hasbro officially launched TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight, a new high-definition, action-fighting RPG mobile game. For the first time ever, Transformers fans and mobile gamers everywhere are able to build their Transformers team and battle with the most iconic Autobots and Decepticons from nearly every era of the storied franchise’s 30-plus year history. TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight is now available on the iOS App Store and for Android on Google Play. Check out the launch trailer and "Showdown" videos below...

Sunday, April 09 2017 22:27

First Teaser - My Little Pony: The Movie

Written by

"A new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 (Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity) embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home" in My Little Pony: The Movie, coming to theaters on October 6, 2017 via Lionsgate. It's just a first-look teaser and one-sheet, but our girls, The Rock Daughters™ (particularly our youngest), are gonna flip when the see this. Check it out...

Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels just wrapped its third season, and with season four coming this fall, we haven't seen the last from the crew of the Ghost. The latest installment of Funko's Smuggler's Bounty Subscription box started arriving in mailboxes and on porches a few weeks back, and it's the perfect way to close out the season - perfectly-themed with Star Wars Rebels. Rather than just do a standard unboxing and review, this time we're mixing it up a bit... I put the camera and directorial duties in the hands of 7-year-old Adalyn, who helms the action as 4-year-old Finley does the honors in cracking the box and showing off the goods. Watch the video below!

Friday, April 07 2017 08:00

ABC & Mattel Prepare to Open THE TOY BOX...

Written by

This special look at #TheToyBox is presented in collaboration with ABC and The Rock Father™.

Despite the fact that most American homes have toys in them (even those that are sans-kids), the general public still seems to know fairly little about the toy industry and how it works. Each year, thousands of toys hit the market, and for every one that makes it from development to production, there's dozens more that have been pitched and failed. While most toymakers have in-house development teams, a good portion of new toys are developed by independent inventors or design studios who turn around and either sell or license their creations to one of the major companies. As a toy reviewer myself, I see a ton of toys come into The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™ each year, and I'm always on the lookout for current and upcoming trends in play (I'm also on the Parent Advisory Panel for The Toy Insider and have served as a Play Influencer for the Chicago Toy & Game Fair). That said, when ABC invited me to take an early look at their new competition series, THE TOY BOX (premiering TONIGHT, FRIDAY, APRIL 7 from 8:00–9:00 p.m. EDT on ABC), I was intrigued - especially since I was able to see it in the screening room at Pixar Animation Studios with Jen Tan, Creative Director of Consumer Products for Pixar - a mentor on the show. The premise: Toy inventors present their concepts to a group of mentors and a panel of judges (kids!) with an ultimate goal of making it to the finals, where the winning toy will be produced by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us immediately following the season finale. 

Sony Pictures' Smurfs: The Lost Village hits theaters this weekend, and just in-time for the latest cinematic release (a CGI reboot of sorts), Sony Pictures Television Games has release Smurfs Bubble Story. Available now for iOS and Android, the new mobile game was developed by Tic Toc Games in Burbank, and I've had a chance to go hands-on with it over the past week or so here at Rock Father HQ. A freemium title (free-to-play with in-app purchases), I made it up to around  level 15 or so (I'm currently on level 23) before it asked me to buy credits. Adding a story and "collectible" digital Smurfs to the mix, it's exactly the type of smooth, quick-play experience that you'd want from a bubble popper. Check out the launch trailer below...

Bad Lip Reading is one of YouTube's finest channels, and one permanently marked with "legendary" status here at Rock Father HQ thanks to their Star Wars parody, SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now) - A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back. Our four-year-old has the song and it's dialogue breaks completely memorized. Now comes a new trip into a galaxy far, far away with THE FORCE AWAKENS: A Bad Lip Reading (featuring Mark Hamill as Han Solo). It's almost overdue that they're just now getting to THE FORCE AWAKENS, but it's a good clip - one in which Han Solo (indeed, voiced by Luke Skywalker himself) has a language barrier issue with Admiral Ackbar (who's first name is "Bill"), in addition to some pretty exciting moments while looking for the gift shop at Starkiller Base alongside Rey, Finn and Chewbacca. Check it out below...