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Two months after revealing their resurrection and reformation, DIRGE WITHIN are ready to make new “Memories” with the release of their comeback single, available today on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital outlets. Originally featured on their 2012 album, "There Will Be Blood," the re-recorded single positions the band to pick up right where they left off prior to their five-year hiatus.

I never realized it until I was an adult, but if I were to create my own "Rock Father Toy Hall of Fame," PLAYMOBIL would be guaranteed a spot as one of the greatest toy lines of all time. Providing countless hours of imaginative play for kids since 1974, PLAYMOBIL has surprisingly steered clear of the licensing market (with few exceptions, like sports), but for 2017 they've jumped into that realm with Ghostbusters and How to Train Your Dragon - a couple of lines that are both unexpected, and ripe for some fantastic toys. For the former, PLAYMOBIL has created a new collection with cross-generational appeal, bringing Ghostbusters back into toy departments where kids of all ages can strap on their Proton Packs for some serious supernatural fun. PLAYMOBIL recently had their new Ecto-1 action vehicle sent to us for review in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™, and it's everything we'd hoped it would be... and more. Check out the timelapse build and hands-on action in the video below!

Wednesday, June 07 2017 21:55

Watch the New Trailer for Disney•Pixar's Coco!

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When I was visiting Pixar Animation Studios earlier this spring, I couldn't avoid being curious about a hallway that led to what is currently the "Coco Wing" - where work has been continuing on the next feature to bear the Disney•Pixar mark. It's rare to have two Pixar films in one year, but it has happened - and this year it's Cars 3 and Coco, and tonight comes a new trailer for the latter - hitting theaters just in time for the holidays. Check it out below!

It's generally no secret around these parts that I'm not a football fan, but I am a Hank Jr. fan. That said, even though the event wasn't my bag, I was bummed to hear that his iconic theme song was nixed from Monday Night Football some years back. Now, confirming some rumors that were swirling, news just hit Rock Father HQ that ESPN’s Monday Night Football will feature the return of its iconic anthem this fall when Hank Williams Jr. kicks off the weekly Monday primetime game by asking NFL fans: “Are You Ready for Some Football?” Every Monday night during the 2017 NFL season, Williams will perform his hit song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night” with Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo.

It's become a yearly tradition, and this week the time has once again arrived to share the annual Summer Road Trip Playlist from my friends at Sugar Mountain PR. This 11-track collection is available as a free download for a limited time (through 6/11/17), but remains streaming on Soundcloud for the rest of the season. Artists featured on this year's playlist includ Dana's Music Playground,Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Jazzy Ash, Tim Kubart, Little Miss Ann and Amy D, Lisa Loeb, Red Yarn, Justin Roberts and the Danny Weinkauf Red Pants Band. Check it out in the player below!

This Cars 3 feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father and Disney•Pixar. Interviews edited for clarity.

"I have two daughters, and one day my daughters told me rather abruptly that certain things were for boys and certain things were for girls," recalls Cars 3 Director Brian Fee. "And if something was, quote 'for boys,' they automatically didn’t have an interest in it or didn’t feel like they could have an interest in it. That was a red flag and it just kind of killed me that society puts those kind of labels on things, and that they, at such a young age, were already feeling those labels." Sitting in on a press conference at Sonoma Raceway ahead of the release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, I couldn't help but flash back to something that I'd written on this very site back in 2011, and how much things have changed in just six years. It was then that I asked, "Is Cars 2 Forgetting that Little Girls Like Cars TOO?" In the years since, I've echoed that sentiment, as the father of two daughters myself. While it wasn't necessarily the film at the time, the merchandising of Cars 2 was aimed firmly at one segment of the audience. With Cars 3, Pixar crashes the gate on all levels, delivering a movie that's truly for everyone.

Last week, The Star Wars Show gave the world its first-look at the upcoming 40th Anniversary Star Wars Pinball Machines from Stern Pinball. Today, the folks at Stern (based right here in Illinois!) hit Rock Father HQ with the full details on what they've got coming. Star Wars pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models, each immersing players in a dynamic and challenging Star Wars pinball environment as they battle to restore justice to the Galaxy.

The Pokémon world just continues to grow, and during the latest Pokémon Direct presentation this morning, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company was joined by Junichi Masuda, Director of GAME FREAK, to announce multiple upcoming Pokémon titles for Nintendo consoles. Pokkén Tournament DX is the one we're most interested in here at Rock Father HQ, as it brings the franchise to the Nintendo Switch, while Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon will be hitting the 3DS. Those looking for some classic Pokémon action on current platforms will also have something to check out. Details and trailer below! 

I'll fully admit to being a Craver - a loyal follower of the delicious sliders served-up at White Castle. Apparently there's some folks who are a lot more hardcore than I - and for more than a decade, there have been more than 75 "Craver weddings" held at various locations across the country. Now, White Castle is making it a bit more official, and they're launching their first national wedding contest to award one happy couple the ultimate Royal Wedding in Las Vegas and a luxurious five-night honeymoon in Belgium. Want to get married at White Castle in Las Vegas? If you're craving marriage, then this one is for you...

The  following message was just-received into the news department at Rock Father HQ: "International Day of Slayer," the annual heavy metal holiday that celebrates the uncompromising, loud and defiant music of the iconic thrash/punk/metal band Slayer, is celebrating its 12th year today, 6/6/17.  IDoS is the day where you stage a "Slay-out, Slay-in, Slay-on, Slay-off - don't go to school, don't go to work - but spend the day listening to Slayer at nuclear blast level in your car, your home, or in the public place of your choice.  True Slayer devotees do NOT use headphones but crank the sound up as loud as possible so that EVERYONE within earshot can hear Slayer.

If you've seen the trailers for Disney-Pixar's Cars 3, then you've no doubt seen the down-and-dirty world of demolition derby on display. But this isn't any demo - it's "Crazy 8's," and like many things in Pixar films, face value isn't always what it seems. "Have you ever been at a crossroads in life where you feel really out of place?" asks Supervising Animator Bobby Podesta during a presentation on Pixar's Production Pipeline, held during a media event at California's Sonoma Raceway.  "That’s the point of this scene," he says. "The audience ends up feeling out of their element, just like McQueen does." Much of Cars 3 is focused on that those crossroads, and how to move beyond them. For the production, that was mirrored by how intertwined the technical team was on bringing this new story to the screen, moving well beyond everything that they'd pulled off in the past.

This weekend, Warner Bros. will finally bring DC Comics' Wonder Woman to the big screen for her first feature-length solo film. To celebrate this momentous occasion, my friends at Sideshow Collectibles are giving readers a shot at winning their Wonder Woman Premium Format Figure. This incredible piece retails for $449.99, and is limited to just 6,000 pieces. Click here to enter, but hurry - this ends at 12:00pm PDT on June 8, 2017!

Being as into Star Wars as we are around here, Wednesday afternoons are always sort of a treat when the folks at StarWars.com release new episodes of The Star Wars Show. This week, the crew takes a look at some of the interesting memorabilia on display throughout the Lucasfilm offices at Skywalker Ranch, in addition to welcoming Mayim Bialik, who I'll always remember fondly as Blossom, just because I'm one of the five people who doesn't like Big Bang Theory. But that's not all! The show also serves-up a first-look at the new Star Wars 40th Anniversary Pinball Machine from the wizards at Stern Pinball (based right here in Illinois). Take a look...

Wednesday, May 31 2017 17:54

Bring Home SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE this Summer!

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It's kind of a weird thing, but it wasn't until just a few weeks before the debut of SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE this spring that I realized it wasn't a continuation of the live-action films from the last few years. Instead, the latest take on the Smurfs is fully-animated in CGI, and I've heard good things about it. Now, Sony Pictures Animation's SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE is coming home, arriving on digital June 20 and on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray + Digital, Blu-ray + Digital and DVD July 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.  Check out all the details from the official announcement below!

When it comes to Star Trek, I've always been partial to Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of that series, but you don't have to travel to the 24th century to get your own Galaxy-class, fifth Federation starship! Thanks to Bif Bang Pow!, you can own the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, available at San Diego Comic-Con International as an all-new Monitor Mate™ - and I've got your first-look courtesy of Entertainment Earth!

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