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When it comes to music, one thing that's pretty stale is the habit of making fun of Nickelback. In fact, I only cite Possible Oscar's "How We Recycle" as an acceptable parody, but even that is old - originally from 2007. Nickelback has a new album out, and FEED THE MACHINE is doing pretty well in bringing the rock to the mainstream masses. With their new video, "The Betrayal Act III," they show off what they do so well - mixing the heavy and the poppy, essentially setting the bar for radio rock, but with some real punch. It's heavy but hooky at the same time. Check it out... it's completely acceptable to do so.

It's been a long-running controversy... why Kinder Surprise Eggs are available just about anywhere but the U.S. Officially, it's been a safety issue, one even referenced in a recent gun control ad that points out the candy is banned, while certain assault rifles are not. These chocolate eggs, each packed with a toy surprise inside, have been confiscated by customs for years, but now the Kinder brand is finally coming to the U.S. in a legal manner. Ferrero U.S.A, Inc., the company known for famous brands such as Ferrero Rocher®, Nutella® and Tic Tac®, is now launching Kinder Joy® – touted as "a unique treat made especially for kids with parents in mind." Differing from their overseas counterparts, Kinder Joy is a plastic egg-shaped package that is comprised of two separately sealed halves. One half contains candy, the other a toy.

It's no secret that my favorite band of all-time is FAITH NO MORE. Founded in 1982, the band had a few different people on the mic before locking in with Chuck Mosley, who would be the voice of the band for their first two albums - 1985's WE CARE A LOT and 1987's INTRODUCE YOURSELF. While the band would find greater success after replacing Mosley with Mike Patton in 1989, the first two albums set the stage for what would become - genre-bending pieces of art that had a sound all their own. Mosley's vocals are unmistakably indicative of that early era of FNM, and several of the songs he sung have become timeless, remaining in the band's set list for decades beyond his work. Today, Chuck Mosley has died, and unfortunately his death is tied to the very thing that's long-been cited as a principal cause for his removal from his most famous band: addiction. A statement from his family is as follows...

Thursday, November 09 2017 23:30

A New STAR WARS Trilogy is Taking Shape...

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It's late as I sit here in the Pacific Northwest - reporting in from a hotel room near Seattle tonight as I catch up on a few things that I can't miss talking about. The big news of the day comes from Disney, who have announced a NEW Star Wars Trilogy from Lucasfilm, and it's coming from the filmmaker behind the latest installment, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. "Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man, now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi." tweeted writer/director Rian Johnson earlier tonight, responding to the news that he will return to a galaxy far, far away to oversee a new Trilogy set outside the timeline of the Skywalker Saga. 

2017 Holiday Wish GuideI've been keeping track of the latest in holiday music and movies for years - each year delivering an ultimate guide to what's hot in all-new releases and reissues. On the music front, the last couple of years have been light, but for 2017 there's a ton of new holiday music to enjoy, and as part of the ongoing rollout of The Rock Father™ Magazine's annual Holiday Wish Guide comes the 2017 Holiday Music & Movies Ultimate Guide!

Get ready for your little ones' heads to explode! In 2018, the high-energy "Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour" will hit the road to perform 50 shows across the country. Inspired by favorite Disney Junior series, the interactive concert tour includes songs from Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Sofia the First, Elena of Avalor, Doc McStuffins, The Lion Guard, as well as newest hit series Vampirina and Puppy Dog Pals. The live concert will also include a brand-new interactive experience featuring Disney Junior's highly-anticipated series, Muppet Babies, launching in early 2018.

Wednesday, November 08 2017 09:06

Taking Care of Others? Take Care of Yourself First...

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THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd

Over the past few years, I've written at length about attempting to stay well, especially when juggling multiple plates. My wife and I are always on-the-go, and we, like millions of other parents, are constantly trying to balance our work commitments with our family schedules. My wife works in an office that's 40 miles from home. That means time on the road each day, and that in itself can add to getting run-down, especially as colder months arrive. I work from home, but travel a few times a month means early mornings, late nights (which can become early mornings) and interacting with a ton of people that we can call "variables" (who knows what germs they harbor!). Put everything together with getting our girls to-and-from school, along with Girl Scouts (Daisies and Brownies), karate, sometimes gymnastics, ballet/tap plus all of their off-shoot playdates, and there's a lot of people we're crossing paths with. Being sick puts a damper on all of that, and making connections with others can be a tricky thing when a cold comes on. It's uncomfortable on so many levels, but a reminder that as we spend most of our lives looking out for the care of others, you can't do that when you're not taking care of yourself. It's no secret that I reach for the Zicam® at the first sign of a cold, but now there's a new tool in my arsenal: Zicam® Cold Remedy Medicated Fruit Drops.

Tuesday, November 07 2017 17:49

Holiday Wish Guide: The Emoji Movie Blu-ray Combo Pack

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When The Emoji Movie arrived in theaters this past summer, most mainstream critics weren't exactly kind to it. In fact, there was already some negative buzz swirling around it since it was first announced - and even I questioned just how, exactly, Sony Pictures was planning to execute a feature film based on the characters than live within our phones. Thing is, that's exactly what they did - with filmmaker Tony Leondis crafting a tale of a world that literally exists inside of our devices, connecting everyone. Emojis have been everywhere these past few years, and The Emoji Movie gives them purpose, because even those who openly detest the creatures who evolved from emoticons, now harbor them within their purses or pockets every single day. Thing is, this isn't a movie for grownups, but very much a tale for tech-obsessed kids, which is always something of a double-edged sword here in our house.

The Jim Henson Company, who has recently and quite disappointingly been attempting to recruit writers and bloggers* into an unpaid promotional program called "The Jim Henson Family Hub" aka "The Hubbub," is following-up their rights-grab "contest" to design a new creature for their forthcoming Labyrinth series (the "winner" receives a measly pittance of just $500 in exchange for the rights to their creation) with the announcement of a new series based on the popular female action figures by IAmElemental.  Henson's recent shortcomings aside, IAmElemental is a fantastic toy line - one of our favorites here at Rock Father HQ, and the announcement of a series is great news. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they'll do with this, and very happy to see the work of IAmElemental's Julie Kerwin and crew being recognized!

Monday, November 06 2017 10:27

OZZY OSBOURNE Has Announced His "Farewell" Tour...

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The numbers are beyond impressive... Five decades.  18,262 days.  More than 2,500 shows. That's been OZZY OSBOURNE's life on the road, and today he's announced his "farewell" tour, on which the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy® winning singer and songwriter will celebrate more than five decades as a performer (both as a solo artist and as lead singer of Black Sabbath which formed in 1968).  This tour, expected to take OZZY around the world with dates into 2020, will mark the end of global touring for the legendary artist, though he will continue to perform select live shows.

This Special Feature brought to you by GameStop and Funko

Over the past few years, Funko Pop! Vinyl has become one of the hottest collectible lines out there. With each new collection announced, one tends to wonder A) How they haven't done this one before; and B) How many untouched licenses still exist? Funko truly has something for everyone, and the variety is incredible. One of the best places to fuel your Pop! addiction is at GameStop, who offer the Funko Insider Club brought to you by Power Up Rewards. Giveaways are a big part of that, and this month they're asking you to #ExpressYourShelfie for a chance to win a cool GameStop/Funko Prize Pack including a pair of limited edition CHASE Pops! But that's not all... GameStop & The Rock Father have another chance for you to win as well!

When it comes to the breakout toys of 2017, Fidget Spinners are serious business. What started as one thing expanded into an entire category of Fidgets - divisive as to whether they're toys, tools or just a fad that will eventually go the way of the Pog. For now, they're still hot, and the folks at Zuru Toys have some of the highest-quality offerings out there, and they recently sent us some for review. Bringing iconic superheroes into the mix, they've licensed characters from DC Comics and Marvel, bringing them together for a colorful collection of Fidget Spinners and Fidget Cubes - the original Fidget Cubes as developed by Antsy Labs! 

2017 Holiday Wish GuideAs expected, Marvel Studios' THOR: RAGNAROK lit up the box office during the early days of November, ushering in a heroic start to the holiday movie season. Like the films that have preceded it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the latest installment is joined by a full line of toys from Hasbro, and among them are a fresh assortment of role-play items and interactive figures. To celebrate the release of the film, Hasbro sent over an assortment for review, and The Rock Daughters™ were more than happy to crack them open for some new adventures. Check out the review and unboxing video below!

ASTRA Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2017

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is Saturday, November 11, 2017, and for the second year, The Rock Father™ has teamed-up with ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailer Association) to help spread the word as we officially kick-off the holiday shopping season!

I've said it before, but in the age of the online retail and the big box, toy stores are more important than ever, and your independent neighborhood toy store is a place where families can get personalized customer service and go hands-on with many of the season's hottest holiday toys. Many store owners have even earned the ASTRA Certified Play Expert (CPE) designation after completing a rigorous training program that teaches the science behind the power of play in relation to a child's development stages and learning styles. Additionally, the Play Experts at ASTRA have named their picks for the 2017 Best Toys for Kids - and these are toys that might be a little off-the-radar of the mainstream, but absolutely worth checking out at a participating retailer near you! 

They call it "the Oscars of the toy industry," and today the finalists have been revealed for the 2018 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, presented by The Toy Association. Announced at Play Fair in NYC, the 122 finalists can be voted on by consumers between now and January 5 as their favorite picks in each of the 17 categories will compete for the top slot. As someone who writes about toys regularly both here at The Rock Father™ Magazine and at The Toy Insider, I have some pretty strong opinions about these toys... and it's gonna be a tough race - there's some fantastic toys going up against each other! Check out all the finalists below, along with my "Rock Father Pick" for select categories, along with some "Rock Father Approved" items that we just like a lot...

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