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The biggest event in pop culture happens this week, and for the first time ever, I will be making the trip to Comic-Con International in San Diego. After "covering from home" for the better part of a decade across several sites, I'll be appearing as a program participant for a special panel on Saturday, July 21, 2018. I'm a late addition to the lineup for Living in a Post-Toys 'R' Us World: Navigating the Future of Toy Retail. Having written at length about the collapse of Toys 'R' Us, this will be an exciting chance to take part in a discussion about what the future might hold! Details below...

The retail life of Hasbro's Star Wars Forces of Destiny collection has been a strange one. Launched about a year and a half ago, Forces of Destiny hit the scene as a multi-faceted movement consisting of animated shorts on Disney Channel, a full range of "adventure figures" along with books, clothing and more. I've been told from some "folks who asked not to be named" that everything did very well... except for the toys. Very disappointing, since The Rock Daughters love the collection, but on the retail front it may have been too much too soon, with the wrong mix of characters, multiple styles right off the bat (Rey, Leia) and some that kids might not have been familiar enough with (sorry, Jyn Erso). Still, these dolls adventure figures are fantastic, and there is an audience that's been craving more, and that goes for kids and collectors alike. One figure we never found was Chewbacca, but he's back for Comic-Con this year, packed alongside some adorable Porgs for an SDCC exclusive inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take a look!

Back in February, one of the most buzzed-about new products at the 115th North American International Toy Fair was being shown behind closed doors in a private viewing room. Wow! Stuff had created the most realistic Golden Snitch that anyone had ever seen, and a few folks were lucky enough to see it in-action, and some, like my colleagues at The Toy Insider, were able to catch some video. Today, The Rock Father™ can exclusively announce that the Mystery Flying Snitch will make its debut first from Entertainment Earth at Comic-Con this month where it will be offered alongside a few incredible Harry Potter products from Wow! Stuff. Available now for pre-order, check out all the details below... but stay tuned! I'll be catching up with the crew from Wow! Stuff at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite 2018 in New York City later this week and will be sharing more. This new collection of must-have Harry Pottter items is going to be hot, and you can get them first from Entertainment Earth!

The spirit of true American metal is coming to Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer. In collaboration with AXE HEAVEN, makers of cool, miniature replica guitars, War Machine Marketing will bring an officially-licensed limited-edition set of PANTERA guitars to SDCC. Based on the titles of PANTERA albums and inspired by Dimebag Darrell's iconic "Dean from Hell," these will be extremely limited with just 30 sets of all 5 guitars available and 36 each of the 3 main guitars available each day.  Due to the extremely limited nature of these guitars, a raffle will be held each day to determine the order of who can purchase them.

Published in Music News

For a series than began as a Frankenstein'd story crafted by combining several Japanese series' from Toei Animation, Voltron has certainly come a long way in the past 34 years. Already popular in Japan, Beast King GoLion is what most Americans would come to recognize as Voltron: Defender of the Universe, while the Armored Fleet Dairugger XV  became the second iteration of Voltron to hit the 'States, though a vehicular version that's oft-forgotten in favor of the lion-based counterparts. Since the launch of the Netflix Original Series, DreamWorks' Voltron: Legendary Defender in 2016, renewed interest in the character and it's past (fueled largely by the reissued Voltron '84) has led to it becoming a staple of Comic-Con. For this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, there's a huge amount of Voltron goodness coming into play - you could even say that it's an unusually large amount this year, packed with reveals and SDCC exclusives. It started with Playmates Toys' Voltron: Legendary Defender Hyperphase Voltron that Entertainment Earth will be selling, but now there's so much more...

The 1970s were a ridiculous time, and in the world of comics, things were known to go off the rails into new realms of crazy. Along with Spider-Man's Dune Buggy, the Mad Titan himself - Thanos - had a helicopter. Of course, it wasn't just enough that a 1979 comic gave the Infinity Stone-obsessed purple baddie a helicopter - no, it had to be bright yellow and actually say "THANOS" in bold black letters on the side. Where would Thanos go to have such a ride constructed? Was the place that 1966 Batman got his Batcopter taking orders? While it's a notoriously strange vehicle, my fingers are crossed that we see Josh Brolin piloting one of these when the sequel to Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters next year. In the meantime, Mattel is issuing a diecast version at Comic-Con International in San Diego this year, complete with comic-inspired packaging and the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary logo!

Published in Rock Father Rides
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