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Ready for a Chia PREDATOR? While we don't know if that will be a thing, a surprising announcement arrived just before the start of New York Toy Fair this weekend - National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) has acquired the company behind Chia Pet and The Clapper. NECA has taken control of both Joseph Enterprises, Inc. (JEI) and Joseph Pedott Advertising and Marketing, Inc. (JPAM), which join the NECA family of specialty entertainment companies. NECA promises that these are  "poised for cross-company collaboration."

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As of this writing, the 115th North American International Toy Fair hasn't even opened its doors yet, but toymakers are getting out in front of things with a ton of pre-show reveals. One of the latest is from IAmElemental, dropping the curtain on their newest female action figure: the Series 2/Wisdom Warrior Core Power Figure, inspired by Alexandrian STEM pioneer Hypatia.  Announced earlier this month, the latest offering joins IAmElemental's groundbreaking line of female action figures designed specifically for children.  The strong, healthy female figures invite girls and boys to develop their character by playing with “The Elements of Power.”  The company’s Series 1/Courage figures, modeled on Joan of Arc, were launched on Kickstarter to worldwide acclaim in 2014.  Series 2/Wisdom followed in 2016, with ancient Alexandrian STEM pioneer Hypatia as the muse. 

Winning Moves Games USA is rolling into the North American International Toy Fair with some new games that will be introduced February 17-20, 2018 in New York City. Among the latest offerings is the RUBIK'S TOWER puzzle.  Like the original RUBIK'S CUBE, the RUBIK'S TOWER is an intriguing mechanical puzzle. Imagine two 2x2 Rubik's Cubes on top of one another that are able to rotate around a central axis and you've got the RUBIK'S TOWER.

Based on the famed series of books, Disney Junior's  Fancy Nancy follows the adventures of a girl who brings the fancy to everything from her advanced vocabulary to her creative, elaborate attire, and so much more. The stories, geared towards kids ages 2-5, have an underlying theme of self-expression, originality, and love of family, and today there's some big news! Not only have Alyson Hannigan and Rob Riggle signed-on to voice Nancy's parents, Claire and Doug Clancy alongside Mia Sinclair Jenness in the title role, now JAKKS Pacific shares a preview of their new line of toys, set to debut at the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York this weekend.

The pre-Toy Fair news keeps rolling into Rock Father HQ as I countdown the hours to hopping on a plane bound for NYC to get in on the action myself. The 115th North American International Toy Fair runs February 17-21, 2018, and Moose Toys is about to break out their much-anticipated 2018 line. Having just announced the U.S. debut of Fur Babies World, they've got a few more pre-Toy Fair teasers, including the debut of Season Two and Three of Shopkins Cutie Cars and Happy Places, plus Shopkins Season 10 with what they're calling an "all-new exciting twist." They've also got a brand new never-before-seen line developed with a global partner... but that's not all.

After making a massive splash in the UK back in 2017 as "Brush Baby World," Moose Toys (the folks behind Shopkins) are bringing Fur Babies World to the U.S. Already  being touted as one of the hottest toys at this year's North American International Toy Fair in New York, the quirky plush characters have been selling out in Europe, and are expected to do the same when the hit the the U.S. and Canada. Personally, I think they look sorta like Popples, particularly in their animated form (shown in a series of YouTube webisodes).

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