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Note: Video on this has been added to The Rock Father™ YouTube Channel!

Since the 2015 relaunch of the Star Wars franchise with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we've entered a new era of fandom in which families have regular access to perhaps the widest assortment of merchandise from a galaxy far, far away than ever before. Under Disney's leadership, Lucasfilm no longer has the lull of a "non-movie year," since there's going to be a new Star Wars film each year for the foreseeable future. For consumers, that means steady access to new toys and gear, but as recent years have shown us, there's just too much stuff out there, and it's not always what the people want. For our family, the true core of Star Wars imaginative play lies solely with Hasbro's 3.75" action figure line - the one whose lineage dates back to the original Kenner Star Wars Collection of figures, vehicles and playsets. For the current generation of kids and collectors, there's been a huge omission on the playset front, and with the Force Friday II launch of toys for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hasbro aims to fill that gap with the BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset. This impressive set* looks like a near life-sized BB-8 Astromech Droid while closed, but opens up into a First Order Star Destroyer packed with play features!

For the past few years, Mattel has been doing some very creative things with their license to make Hot Wheels vehicles that are inspired or based upon the characters, locations and machinery of a galaxy far, far away. While their Starships line makes diecast scale models of the actual ships of Star Wars, their Carships and Character Cars bend the rules quite a bit. For us, the character cars have been the big hit - so popular that I eventually added a running checklist to this very website, a page that has become increasingly popular. Now, with the Force Friday II debut of merchandise centered around Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Hot Wheels design team has cranked things up and raised the suspension for something new - Hot Wheels Star Wars All-Terrain Character Cars.

One of our most-anticipated series' of the year finally has a premiere date. Based on the children's book series Vampirina Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham Disney Junior's VAMPIRINA was developed for television by Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, and will premiere SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 (11:00 a.m. EDT), with two back-to-back episodes simulcast on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. The episodes will also be available on Disney Junior VOD, Disney Junior YouTube and in the new DisneyNOW app, which will also debut two additional episodes same day. New episodes will be presented every Monday and Friday in October on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Check out the title sequence and theme song below, along with more details on this seasonally-appropriate new series!

It was this summer that my love for THE LION KING was reignited during my visit to the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. It wasn't that I hadn't been enjoying it on occasion with my girls over the past few years - quite the contrary, especially given that Disney Junior's THE LION GUARD has been in the regular viewing mix for quite awhile. I think what I'd forgotten was how magical it was at the time of its first release - the summer after I graduated high school, and a film that was really one of those "lightning in a bottle" moments. The combination of attending a celebration of the film along with being in the room for the debut of test footage from Jon Favreau's 2019 live-action version of THE LION KING just brought goosebumps. Now, with film having been reissued as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection as "The Circle of Life Edition" (available on Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack), it's prime time for audiences to experience the film again, or to introduce it to their children for the very first time.

Lucasfilm's Star Wars Rebels is a unique thing for our family when it comes to the grand scheme of Star Wars storytelling. Despite countless spin-offs in every possible medium, Rebels stands right alongside the cinematic feature films in terms of both importance and enjoyment, and for our children I expect it will remain just as memorable for them as the Original Trilogy has been for all of us. With Season Four set to debut on Disney XD this fall, the just-released Star Wars Rebels - Complete Season Three Blu-ray set is the perfect way to re-live the latest run before the series returns for its final season.

Is it normal for a human being to have a cartoon nemesis? If so, SpongeBob SquarePants is mine. I can't stand anything about him or his namesake series, to the point of it becoming a running joke.  In fact, when my wife and I took The Rock Daughters to Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, I had to stay off to the side and pretend I was cool with Mr. SquarePants hanging with my kids. Alas, it's my duty to inform you and my pleasure to warn you that the undersea dweller who once tricked me into watching his big-screen debut if only to see David Hasselhoff (who was but a cameo) is back with a new DVD set, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Ninth Season. Details below...

You might know him as the bassist for Seattle's GRAMMY-nominated Recess Monkey, or perhaps as the host of "Live From the Monkey House" on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live. Now, Jack Forman is stepping out on his own with "Songs from the Monkey House," his first-ever solo album, available as an Amazon Original on September 29, 2017. Featuring a dozen songs that families will love (there's one that Star Wars fans are really gonna dig), today THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine is hosting the world premiere of the lead-off track, "Dog Park" - a song written and performed from the perspective of a canine. Crank it up!

There's a new group of heroes hitting the scene this week in an urban fantasy that's been described as "Manhattan meets Middle Earth." Mysticons follows the tale of four girls - each from a different walk of life - as they're transformed into legendary warriors. Together, Arkayna, Zarya, Em and Piper take an oath to battle evil and protect a magical realm in a new hero brand that the creators hope will "showcase every girl's strength, confidence and character." The animated series debuts today on Nickelodeon (4pm EST) and I've got a sneak-preview for you below!

When it comes to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the one I know best is the one from 1992. In fact, despite my own writing once being compared to that of Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon (and in the official BUFFY magazine, no less), I never watched the tv series, but I'd seen the movie. With Kristy Swanson forever being the Buffy for me, it's cool to see that just in-time for Halloween, the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 25th Anniversary Edition is coming to DVD and Blu-ray, with the film hitting Digital HD for the very first time. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment sent over the specs this morning...

According to The Rock Daughters™, the characters from Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom are friends of Peppa Pig and her family. Not sure how that works in their fictional worlds (or if they ever truly collide), but the kids are onto something - both come from the folks at eOne, both originate from the UK, both have become big hits Stateside, and now they both have toys from Jazwares. This Friday (9/1/17), I'll be joining The Toy Insider as we talk about the new Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom toys, available now exclusively at Target! Of course, we'll also have some to give away, but you must RSVP and participate in the #benandhollyparty to be eligible! 

I can't say that I was "a Taylor Swift fan" before - not that I had any issue with her or her music... I just didn't pay much attention to either. That changed last week when the single "Look What You Made Me Do" hit the scene, complete with a lyric video that captured a film noir vibe that was somewhat Hitchcockian in nature. The simplistic, yet dark pop jam created in collaboration with producer Jack Antonoff (who also had a hand in Lorde's recent "Green Light" - another off-center track I loved) now has an official music video - one that looks like it cost a couple of bucks - was directed by Joseph Hahn and made its debut at last night's MTV Video Music Awards. Quite simply, it's her "Thriller," with a zombified Taylor joining the ghosts of her past... and I love it. Over 17 million views in 12 hours, but if you haven't seen it or just want to check it out again, do so below - right here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine.

Continuing an initiative to encourage young girls to explore the superpower of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) first launched during the ramp-up to Captain America: Civil War, Disney, Marvel Studios, Dolby Laboratories, Synchrony Bank, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Broadcom MASTERS and the Society for Science & the Public have announced the nationwide MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK SUPERPOWER OF STEM CHALLENGE.

This new event launches in conjunction with the November 3, 2017 theatrical release of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Friday, August 25 2017 09:36

Watch FOO FIGHTERS' "The Sky Is A Neighborhood"

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This has been in my queue to post since Wednesday, but since it's still fresh to many (and just plain rules), I'm giving it some belated love. The latest music video from the FOO FIGHTERS' forthcoming album, Concrete and Gold (out September 15) is "The Sky is a Neighborhood." Once again directed by fellow "Rock Father" Dave Grohl, this time he features his daughters in the clip as they play beneath the stars. Check it out below...

Last year, Moose Toys' Shopkins came to live in their first-ever animated film, Shopkins: Chef Club. Given the massive popularity of the micro-collectibles brand, it was no surprise that the film was a success, and now they're back for another round. The cute collectibles return with Shopkins: World Vacation, available in the U.S. on digital on October 3, 2017 and on DVD and on On Demand October 17, via Universal Home Entertainment. The DVD comes with a free exclusive Biscuit Bandit toy and the DVD and digital versions come packed with special bonus features including new sing-a-long songs and a never-before-seen webisode.. Check out the trailer and synopsis below!

News just arrived that on October 6, Lisa Loeb will release Lullaby Girl, her latest family music album. The record will be available as an new Amazon Original available for streaming exclusively through Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music, as well as for digital download or physical purchase through Amazon Music. Check out the first single, "Be My Baby" (The Ronettes) along with full details below.

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