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Following Lucasfilm's official announcement of their Global Force Friday II, now the retailers are chiming in with their plans for the launch of new toys and merchandise from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Toys "R" Us hit Rock Father HQ with details on what's happening at the house of Geoffrey, and it's looking good. The main concern (as always) will be availability of enough product, particularly on the action figure & vehicle front at launch, but Toys "R" Us tends to have a pretty big set-up. See the announcement from TRU below...

Update: The video has been taken offline. Odd given the age of the footage, and how fan footage of everyone exists these days, but YouTube shows a copyright claim by Warner Music Group.

Its existence has been discussed for years, but now, a full two decades later, footage of Corey Taylor's first live performance with Slipknot has surfaced. Recorded on VHS at the Safari Club in Des Moines, Iowa on August 24, 1997, the team at MFKR1 (a website devoted to Slipknot's pre-Roadrunner release Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.) has unleashed the entire 45-minute set via YouTube. It certainly takes me back to a completely different era of raw, unhinged live performances in the Midwest. Check this out...

Back in 2015, the first "Force Friday" was a pretty big deal - a one-day global event to celebrate the release of new toys and merchandise from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, Disney and Lucasfilm are following it up with Force Friday II (September 1, 2017), and today they've officially announced Find the Force, a global augmented reality (AR) event rolling out to commemorate the worldwide launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It's a "pop-up AR treasure hunt" that aims to unite fans around the world in the battle against the dark side in a unique three-day event at over 20,000 retail locations (click here for a list) across 30 countries. As fans turn up to take home new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, they will have the opportunity to activate a unique augmented reality experience featuring Star Wars characters, including fan-favorites and new surprise additions from the film. Check out the video and details below to see how it all works, and you can even get started by scanning the Rey graphic to collect your first character - the Porgs!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Snyder’s-Lance. All my opinions are that of James Zahn, The Rock Father™. #pmedia #Pop4Captain http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Are you ready for adventure? This summer, Captain Underpants took a flying leap from the printed page of the best-selling book series, landing on cinema screens to the delight of families everywhere. Now, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is coming home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD September 12, and now is the perfect time to pre-order the movie from Walmart and make plans for an epic early fall movie night. I've got a few tips to help you make the most of it, with snacks from Pop Secret and Lance, along with some free printables that the kids will love!

This past Spring, a new ride arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review - one that's already become known as "one of Europe's best-selling transit devices." The Space Scooter has been available in the U.S. now for a little while, and after having ours for a few months, and teasing it on my Instagram, it's time to throw down a few thoughts about this new spin on an old classic. Check out the video below for what the Space Scooter rides like, hands-on...

Saturday, August 19 2017 20:57

Mark Wahlberg is Headed for HASCON...

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One of the highlights of the year for our family thus far was attending the red carpet premiere of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT in Chicago. Among the cast and crew in attendance was star Mark Wahlberg, who's played Cade Yeager in the past couple of installments, and now he's headed for Hasbro's HASCON - their first ever "FANmily" event. Happening September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, HASCON will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life, with experiences based around Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, MarvelPlay-Doh. Wahlberg will take part in a special panel devoted to the making of Michael Bay's latest TRANSFORMERS film, followed by a special dinner event. Check out the details below...

It's interesting timing given that Marvel's Daredevil just hit Netflix again yesterday in the first season of The Defenders... and on the same day, EVANESCENCE releases a new version of the song they contributed to the soundtrack of 2003's Daredevil feature film (the Ben Affleck one). Coincidence, I'm sure, but "Bring Me To Life" is the song most identifiable with the band, and for their fourth studio album, SYNTHESIS, the band is reworking their classics into orchestral versions, in addition to recording a pair of all-new tracks. Amy Lee has been covered here more recently for her foray into the world of Children's/Kindie music, but now comes time to fire up the band again...

This special feature is brought to you in collaboration between Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Home Entertainment & The Rock Father™.

Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has come home on Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack (out 8/22), and to celebrate the release, we're throwing some big focus onto the music of the Guardians. Filmmaker James Gunn stresses that "music is such an important part of this movie," and that's something carried over from the first film, and even into Disney XD's animated series. Awesome Mix Vol. 1, Awesome Mix Vol. 2 and Cosmic Mix Vol. 1 are all integral pieces of the Guardians experience, with the song selection for the live-action films being hand-picked and written into each screenplay by Gunn. With music in mind, my friends at Disney asked what an "Awesome Mix" would sound like if chosen by The Rock Father™ - a potential soundtrack to my four decades of life. The results of that challenge can be heard in Guardians of the Galaxy 2: The Rock Father's Awesome Mix Tape - an 81-song collection containing over five hours of music available to stream on Spotify. Now we're giving you a chance to add to it, but also a shot at winning a fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prize Pack!

P.O.D. is back with a new single and a tour about to begin.  “Soundboy Killa” made its debut this week via AltPress, and will be available for purchase beginning September 8, 2017. The track debut arrived with a new lyric video, viewable below. About the song, P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval says, “Rock & Roll has become entertainment that just says what the consumer wants to hear. There's no more edge or rebellion that sets it apart from the norm. 'Soundboy Killa' is classic P.O.D. guitar riff power, head banging groove with the lyrical attitude and edge missing in today's Rock & Roll.” Check it out below...

Marvel's THE DEFENDERS just made its long-awaited debut, streaming exclusively on Netflix. The combined adventures of Daredevil AKA Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) Iron Fist AKA Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and possibly, eventually The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) [Ed: I haven't had a chance to delve in yet, but I expect him to be there] find the heroes uniting to save New York City. Along with the series comes a soundtrack, and Marvel Music/Hollywood Records have delivered. 

You may have seen me post about Zuru Toys' Bunch O Balloons earlier this year - most likely on my social networks, or when I co-hosted a twitter party for them with The Toy Insider. Realizing I hadn't given them a proper feature here on the site from my hands-on experience, it's time to throw down a few words about the water balloons that have been famously touted for the ability to "fill and tie 100 balloons in 60 seconds." Quite simply: they absolutely work.

One of the highlights of this summer's 2017 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, was the opportunity to shop for exclusive merchandise from across the Disney spectrum. Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm were all represented in the Disney Dream Store, and for Star Wars fans, one of the most sought-after purchases was the latest from the Disney Parks Droid Factory Build-A-Droid action figure series: R5-D23. This 3.75" scale droid is a perfect companion for Star Wars action figures from the original Kenner vintage series (1977-1985) or the modern Hasbro collections. Having attended D23 Expo myself (as a guest of Disney), I had a chance to stop by the Dream Store, and I picked up an extra R5-D23 with the sole purpose of passing him along to one of you!

Warner Bros.' The LEGO Batman Movie has proven to be one of 2017's biggest hits - a follow-up to 2014's The LEGO Movie, but one with perhaps even more appeal to families that embrace the desire for adventure. Like it's predecessor, our kids have had a desire to take the film with them, and that's something we've seen from the start. When General Motors showed off the Chevrolet version of The LEGO Movie Batmobile at The Chicago Auto Show back in February, my oldest daughter was right there rockin' her LEGO Batman backpack. When a LEGO Batgirl costume popped up at Walmart - the girls had to have it. And by summer, the movie was available on Digital HD, and the girls insisted that it be added to the iPad for the road. In fact, on our June trip to the lake house in Wisconsin, we traveled with a LEGO Batman pack. 

Friday, August 18 2017 10:35

Wizard Magazine is Attempting a Comeback...

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They say that “Nothing stays dead in comics,” and that's exactly how the folks at Wizard World led off the announcement that they're getting back into the editorial fold with a "digital re-imagination, re-conception and re-launch of Wizard, as part of a new digital initiative which includes WizPop, a daily pop-culture news service reporting on the biggest stories of the day in pop-culture, entertainment, and fandom." Set to officially relaunch at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago (August 24-27, 2017), they say that "plans are in the works to return to publishing Wizard as a premium quarterly magazine." Magazines are a hard thing to relaunch in either print or digital, and that's something I have a little experience with myself.

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Marvel Studios

We moved through the dark and cavernous space behind Hall D23 quickly - catching glimpses of technicians whose faces were illuminated only by the cool glow of their computer screens. I likened it to the inner workings of the Imperial Death Star, a skilled crew making sure that the technical aspects of the presentations on the main stage at this summer's D23 Expo went off without a hitch. Like The Emperor's Royal Guards, they would also serve as silent protectors - Guardians preventing untimely leaks of footage from upcoming films that in some cases are more than two years out from their official release. As our group made its way through the backstage labyrinth of makeshift green rooms crafted of black pipe-and-drape, we arrived at our destination for a meeting with a mysterious figure known called "Josh Snow."

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