With the release of Disney•Pixar's THE GOOD DINOSAUR into theaters last month, a milestone was celebrated - 20 years of Disney•Pixar animated feature films. It was November of 1995 when audiences first stepped inside of Andy's room to begin a decades-long series of adventures with Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Rex and an ever-expanding crew of toys - some familiar, some not. With TOY STORY as fresh as ever for new generations of audiences (fueled by cool shorts like the recent TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT), Disney Consumer Products has partnered with Mattel for a new collection of 20th Anniversary Toys - one of which (Andy's Room Buddies 7-Pack Figure Gift Set) arrived here at Rock Father HQ in a surprise box - packed alongside THE GOOD DINOSAUR Galloping Butch Figure by TOMY... Pixar's past and present in figure form.
Growing up as a kid in the 80s, I distinctly remember visiting the music lab at Beacon Hill Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois, learning basic notes on the Recorder, and hoping to one day enter a bigger realm of music. I was big into two artists at the time - Michael Jackson and Huey Lewis and the News - and, maybe it was the artists, maybe it was just the times, but I really wanted to learn the Saxophone. It was offered as an option for the school's band program, but citing the expense, I was not allowed to scratch my musical itch until much later. I was 15 when I bought my first Guitar - an NJ Series B.C. Rich Warlock... the same one that currently hangs here in my office, just feet from where I'm typing these words right now. It was that guitar, purchased with my own money from working at the local Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Davenport, Iowa, that truly opened the door to my life-long musical journey, accompanying me to many gigs throughout the 1990s and beyond. Now, as parents, my wife and I have been eager to support The Rock Daughters™ in their musical exploration starting practically at birth. In a time when arts programs are increasingly cut from school budgets, we're fortunate to have them in our schools, and the folks at Music & Arts exist to support that - offering families a place to buy instruments with confidence and world class service. With the Holiday Season upon us, it's the perfect time to look toward the Music & Arts Holiday Gift Guide (featuring HALESTORM's LZZY HALE and GREAT BIG WORLD) to pick a great gift for the budding player in your family. What would THE ROCK FATHER buy? Here's a few picks that I'm going to include in my own Holiday Wish Guide this year... we're making musical memories every day, perhaps it's time to make some of your own...
Over the past few years, Disney Junior's DOC McSTUFFINS has been a fixture here at Rock Father HQ. I've written about the series at length, and it continues to inspire The Rock Daughters - piquing their curiosity and building a true sense of compassion. Earlier this Fall, Doc took an animal-centric turn for a special collection of episodes released as DOC McSTUFFINS: PET VET. In these special episodes, Doc and her friends shifted from caring for stuffed animals and toys to straight-up animals. It was good chance to refresh the series, and for Just Play to offer a refreshed assortment of toys, ones that land here in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide. Additionally, one of the hottest toys of this Holiday season is the animatronic Take Care of Me Lambie - the exact kind of Lambie that kids have been waiting for ever since Doc opened her clinic a few years ago.
With the release of J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS approaching in just about two weeks, families will soon feel themselves overcome by The Force, and seeking new ways to experience a galaxy far, far away at home. From Wonder Forge comes a pair of new games that are rooted in the worlds explored in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - STAR WARS: GALAXY HUNT, and STAR WARS: STAR DESTROYER STRIKE! Both are featured picks in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.
The all-new fourth season of the EMMY-nominated and Parents’ Choice Recommended animated PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train, kicks off with the holiday adventure “Trains, Submarines, and Zeppelins” (in tribute to the classic holiday movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”). When Mr. Pteranodon and Larry go out to the Big Pond to find some red platanoids for the Winter Solstice Celebration, they accidentally miss the last train home. Will Larry and Mr. Pteranodon stop bickering long enough to figure out a way home, or will they be stranded in the middle of nowhere and miss the family Winter Solstice Celebration? Be sure to tune-in on December 7th to find out!
Since Isaiah Mustafa first graced television screens draped in a towel and delivering that now-iconic "Hello Ladies" back in 2010, I've been obsessed with his series of Old Spice commercials. Hundreds of millions of views (and parodies by MARVEL and SESAME STREET) later, I'm hardly alone - they're fantastic - so as a half-decade has since passed, I've looked forward to new commercials featuring Mustafa... and his nemesis, Terry Crews. As part of my own sometimes-bizarre life of adventure and things that are increasingly hard to explain at family gatherings, I was excited when Old Spice and Life of Dad asked me to partner with them to make a #Smellmitment to the brand. Sadly, they were not seeking to pit The Rock Father's mighty "keg" against the "six-pack" abs of Mustafa and Crews, but what they did get is something that few would've expected - that it would be one of The Rock Daughters™ that just might prove to be the undoing of both myself and the smooth-talking, horse-riding Isaiah. Timber, Swagger and Bearglove can help a gentleman improve their mansmells, with the choice being an important one - different scents for different gents.