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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - Han and Rey Giveaway!

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has been in theaters for just about two months now, and it's astonishing just how big a film it's become. Everyone knew it would be big, but just how big the record-shattering success has been, is something that would've been hard to predict. I was in Los Angeles for the launch - one of a group of 25 writers and bloggers chosen to attend the Global Press Event for the film as a guest of Disney and Lucasfilm. As my coverage rolled-out here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, there was a common thread that toys were involved - as I brought some "props" to the junket, used in conversation about one of my favorite elements of STAR WARS fandom - the toys and collectibles. Daisy Ridley played with a Rey action figure - the same one my daughters play with on a daily basis - while Harrison Ford jokingly attempted to pocket my 1980 Kenner Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) figure, all while telling us how the toys are cool, "but are meant for other people." People like me. People like YOU. With new action figures hitting stores, it's no secret that certain characters have been hard to come by, and two of the hardest have by Han Solo himself, and the Rey (Resistance Outfit) figure - the one that comes with [SPOILER ALERT!] a lightsaber... specifically, the saber once owned by both Anakin Skywalker, and his son, Luke. Just as Rey happened upon that saber in the depths of Maz' castle, I happened upon a couple of these sought-after figures, and now I'm hoping to pass them on to one of you!


Toy Fair: TEDDY RUXPIN is Ready for a Comeback!

One of my favorite toys of the 1980s was TEDDY RUXPIN - a toy I've often cited as a benchmark example of what a truly timeless tech toy could be. Now comes news that Wicked Cool Toys as teamed up with Alchemy II, Inc. to relaunch the Teddy Ruxpin brand and franchise globally "with toys, content and comprehensive licensed merchandising program." Set for release in 2017, this will be the fifth iteration of Teddy Ruxpin, and I personally hope that it recaptures the magic of the original Worlds of Wonder release back in 1985. While other companies have held the license and have tried their hands at bringing Ruxpin back, any push has been short-lived. Now, a decade since the last version, I have a feeling that Wicked Cool (who currently has Cabbage Patch Kids as well) could do good things with it.


LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Coming...

There's been another awakening... and this time it's comin' at ya in LEGO form! On June 28, 2016, LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit retail, bringing the signature humor of the LEGO Star Wars franchise to new heights as players navigate the new worlds discovered in J.J. Abrams' THE FORCE AWAKENS. Check out the announcement trailer, and pre-order yours today!


Review: THE PEANUTS MOVIE Flying Ace Snoopy Lite Brix

THE PEANUTS MOVIE was one of the highlights of 2015, in our household ranking in the Top Five of the year, right alongside STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS,  INSIDE OUT and JURASSIC WORLD. With the film coming home on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD  (pre-order) this March, families will no doubt be taking another look at some of the tie-in merchandise that started hitting retailers during the theatrical run. Among THE PEANUTS MOVIE toys that were released is a full line of PEANUTS Lite Brix by Cra-Z-Art, including the Flying Ace Snoopy set, which we received for review. This 89-piece building set includes mini figures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy & Woodstock, and allows kids to build a light-up replica of Snoopy's famous doghouse, complete with a miniature backyard setting.


Big News for Barbie as "The Doll Evolves"

I'm a big fan of the icons, but sometimes even the most established brand comes to a point where evolution is an absolute necessity. For Mattel's BARBIE line, evolution is something perhaps long-overdue - a result of changing times and ideals, and even Mattel admits (in a video on TIME) that today's announcement comes partially-rooted in what's most important to shareholders - sales have been slumping, and something had to be done. For the past two years, in a time when Barbie has gone through much scrutiny, behind-the-scenes a team of around 20 people at Mattel were hard at work on a secret initiative called "Project: Dawn." The result is the biggest change in Barbie ever - a new line of Fashonistas that feature 4 body types (three new: Curvy, Tall and Petite), 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories. Take a look at the introductory video...

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