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NYC Friends: Find the Hasbro MARVEL Heroes Bus... TODAY!

It's extremely short notice, but for those of you in New York City, you need to be on the lookout for something awesome today (4/28/16)... the Hasbro Heroes Bus! To get ready for the release of MARVEL's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (in theaters May 6) Hasbro is hitting the streets of NYC and inviting fans to visit the #Hasbro Heroes Bus. There's fun #TeamCap and #TeamIronMan photo opps, and you can climb on board to play with the latest Marvel toys and games from Hasbro, and leave with tons of awesome, branded swag. Check out the schedule below, and know that THE ROCK FATHER will be with you in spirit...


Mermaids and Mantacorn Horns - It's National Princess Week

There's a lot of different ways we could go with this, the royally regal National Princess Week being officially upon us. With two girls, my wife and I are well-versed in the ways and needs of young Royals in 2016. As a King of sorts myself, I can throw-down plenty of knowledge when it comes to the trade partners of Arendelle or the allies of Enchancia. Having just visited Walt Disney World as a family for the first time this month, The Rock Daughters met many a Princess first-hand, and while the traditional likes of Cinderella and Rapunzel are certainly prevalent both there and at home, it's a much younger Princess - one whose mother married into Royalty - that maintains the top spot here at Rock Father HQ: Sofia the First. Indeed, the title character from the Disney Junior hit his held in high regard  - a highlight of our visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and a character that both of our girls played in a Broadway Beginners production of SOFIA & JAKE: A PRINCESS & PIRATE ADVENTURE. All that said, for National Princess Week I'm featuring the new Sofia the First Mermaid Magic Princess Doll by Just Play Products.


They Pick Their Noses, But Will the Kids Dig Their Booger Balls?

Many times over the years, I've used the phrase "as a kid that grew up in the 80s," or some variation thereof. While born in the 70s, the 1980s are my reference point for play, and sometimes that play got messy and weird. It was a decade that brought forth the gross-out humor of the Garbage Pail Kids (I still have the movie on DVD), Madballs, and even the famous SLIME that still remains a part of Nickelodeon's DNA 30+ years after YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION. The "gross" toy movement of the 80s also brought with it one big disappointment for me - the HE-MAN and the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Evil Horde Slime Pit. I wanted that thing so bad, and after receiving it for my birthday, my parents took it back to the store after reading that the green slime "may stain furniture and clothing." Didn't even get to open it. But now, in 2016, my wife and I are parents, and we know full-well that kids just love boogers. Not just the fantastic kindie punk rock band, THE BOOGERS, but the genuine article - pick 'em, flick 'em, eat 'em. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I never recall ever eating a booger, but The Rock Daughters have both been known to dine from the nostril, from time to time. So do they dig BOOGER BALLS, the new outdoor concoction from Funrise Toys (makers of the excellent TONKA and Gazillion Bubbles)? Well, yes... very much. In fact, this past Saturday was "National Pick Your Nose Day," but do kids really need a "day" for that? 


Coachella = Festival Season: A Look at the BRATZ Music Festival Vibes Collection

When it comes to music festivals, my "Old Crankypants" alter-ego tends to come out. The April arrival of the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is essentially the start of festival season here in the U.S., and for the most part, the most high-profile fest in the country holds little interest for me. Sure, they score a few sweet headliners like GUNS 'N ROSES this year, and the mighty FAITH NO MORE a few years back, but the running joke of the dozens of bands slapped on the poster in an increasingly smaller font is just that - a joke. Then we have Lollapalooza here in Chicago, a fest I still haven't attended since it planted its flag on Illinois soil for a permanent run - preferring to remember it as a traveling carnival of awesome from the 90s. In fact, the only fest locally that I've been known to support 100% is RIOT FEST, but I will say that the upcoming Chicago Open Air has my attention (needs some Product of Hate, though). Cranky business in lineups aside, the amount of press releases that I receive each year about the culture surrounding Coachella is fascinating. There's usually two things being pitched - "VIP" packages that would be unaffordable for most ($25K-$50K), and fashion. A lot of fashion. On the latter note, I really have no gripes, which is why it's actually sort of cool to see that MGA Entertainment has issued a new series of "Music Festival Vibes" BRATZ dolls... though "Old Crankypants" does come back when it comes to BRATZ.


Diamond Select's GHOSTBUSTERS Collection Grows...

As audiences gear-up for a new version of GHOSTBUSTERS this summer, the folks over at Diamond Select Toys are continuing to release some fantastic action figures based on the classic, 1984 film. At the center of their collection are the highly-articulated 7" action figures, each released in waves of three, the second of which hits stores this week. In all, there will be 15 figures released, and those who purchase the "Select" versions (in the larger, specialty market-exclusive packaging, with spine artwork) will be able to complete a full rooftop diorama that represents the climax of the original film. Check out a preview of what's out now, along with a checklist of the five series' of figures headed your way in the year ahead. And if you're looking forward to the new GHOSTBUSTERS, Diamond Select will be issuing minimates, vehicles, and kitchenware based on that film later this summer.

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New Metal:

Product of Hate - Buried in Violence