This past Friday night, I was invited to be one of a select group of Bloggers to take part in a first-of-its-kind event at American Girl Place in Chicago. It was a celebration - a baby shower of sorts - to announce American Girl's new arrival: The Brand-New World of Bitty Baby. On August 27, 2013, the newly-enhanced Bitty Baby line of 15-inch dolls, clothing, and accessories for girls ages 3+ will make it's public debut at American Girl stores, and online at AmericanGirl.com.

UPDATE #2 - Three+ Years Later: As of 2016, a new line of Sofia the First Toys are being created and sold by Just Play Toys, thus negating this original article... unless, of course, you happen to come across old stock that could still be floating around from 2013. And, in fairness, we did eventually buy some of the later Mattel releases and they were just fine. In fact, the Royal Prep playset is still played with regularly... years later.

UPDATE: Since posting this entry, Rachel Cooper, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Mattel, got in touch. After speaking with her on the phone this evening, I can tell you that Mattel is well-aware of the problems, and that the line has gone through a "complete overhaul." This means that new shipments of merchandise should start arriving in August as part of an inline change. Families that have purchased defective or sub-standard product can contact Mattel Customer Service for a free replacement from the new batches as they arrive. Rachel made it very clear that Mattel is sorry for any issues or disappointment.

There is trouble in Enchancia. Royally-bad trouble, I'm afraid... and as a parent - and a writer - this is one of those times where I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but more than happy to raise the flag to spread the word and hold accountable those who are responsible. Parents and Children across the country are discovering that there's BIG problems with the new line of toys based on Disney Junior's SOFIA THE FIRST. Specifically, the collection of 3-inch scale Dolls (action figures?) by Mattel, and all related accessories, including the "Magical Talking Castle."

AMERICAN GIRL's 2013 Girl of the Year was released this past January to much fanfare as SAIGE COPELAND was presented alongside a movement to support Arts Programs in schools (something that The Rock Father can 100% get behind) with 13 Grants awarded through the Elevate the Arts Contest. Now, Saige is coming to life as a live-action movie, AN AMERICAN GIRL: SAIGE PAINTS THE SKY (pre-order from Walmart). The folks at AMERICAN GIRL sent over the full details on the new movie, along with some new photos, all of which can be seen below...

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Back in October, I told you about the relaunch of the popular KENYA Doll line of the early 90's, and how the line was taking on a live-action counterpart with THE ROCKSTAR MADNESS BAND. Now, just in time for the holidays, KENYA dolls are hitting stores with an assortment available at Toys "R" Us and Family Dollar. To kick off the launch, a KENYA Dolls Gifting Suite was set up at the recent Soul Train Music Awards, and the folks behind the project sent some photos that landed here at Rock Father HQ this evening. Check 'em out below...

gg dollhouseMy First Dollhouse by Fisher-Price
This isn't a "new" item, as it's been on the market for several years. But, it's such a great item that I've been recommending it ever since my oldest daughter received one for Christmas two years ago. Truly the perfect "first" dollhouse, this playset is sturdy, easy-to-clean, and provides lasting fun. Two years-running and this is still played with DAILY here at Rock Father HQ. Available in both Caucasian or African-American editions, a variety of add-on sets including characters and furniture are available. We have them all.

Back in 1992, the line of KENYA Dolls was released to massive success, delighting African American girls and quickly selling more than 4.8 million dolls. While the line had been dormant since 1996, Kenya is back, and like the original dolls, will be available in three skin tones - light, brown, and dark - allowing girls to find a doll they can say "looks just like me." When the dolls officially relaunch next month, they'll be available in three lines including "My First" (Newborns), "Kenya Classic" (3 years and older) and "Fashion Madness" (Tweens). The latter will have a live-action counterpart called THE ROCKSTAR MADNESS BAND.

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