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Saturday, October 08 2016 23:19

Review: Wonder Crew Toys (Dolls Inspired by Boys, Meant for All)

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One of the most exciting and most important toys to arrive here at Rock Father HQ this year is one that I first covered here on the site over a year and a half ago... WONDER CREW. Initially launched via a successful Kickstarter Campaign, these 15-inch soft-bodied dolls were created by a mom who noticed a lack of toys that encouraged friendship and empathy being marketed to boys - essentially the reverse of what my wife and I (along with many others) see as the parents of two girls. Gender roles in play has been a hotly-debated issue in recent years, but spinning it back to my own childhood, the answer has always been a simple one - to let kids be kids and play with what they'd like. Thing is, it's mostly the grownups that are responsible for forcing a "this" and "that" mentality to kids, and even if you strip away all the debate, one thing is quite certain: it's very difficult to find a male doll in any toy store or department. Back in the 80s we had "My Buddy" and a host of Cabbage Patch Kids, but now lately it's been nearly impossible to find a doll that represents a boy - and even our girls have noticed. Wonder Crew takes a step in the right direction, and they're really great toys.

Wonder Crew Review

"Will" was the first "Crewmate" to be released, a huggable, 15" soft-bodied doll with a styled, vinyl head. His outfit represents a "Superhero Adventure" a bright red jumpsuit, cape and mask, packaged alongside a kid-sized mask and cape so they can join in the adventure. There's further "Adventure" (outfit) sets that are currently up for pre-order, including a Builder, Dream (pajamas and sleeping bag) and Dino Adventure.

Wonder Crew Review

The Rock Daughters™ have had Will as a part of their "family" for months now, and he's truly special. He stands out and represents something that even other families notice. When he joins us on adventures outside of home, kids and grownups alike ask about him, and then I give them the short version of the Wonder Crew story, hoping that they'll seek one out for their own kids.

Wonder Crew Review

Right now, Wonder Crew dolls are available online, or at select, boutique toy stores across the country. They're a featured pick in my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide, and are highly recommended.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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