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At San Diego Comic-Con this summer, I had the honor of speaking on a panel - Living in a Post-Toys "R" Us World: Navigating the Future of Toy Retail. In that panel and the subsequent recap that I published at The Toy Book, I pointed out that one of the most exciting developments in the toy world is what the folks at Target have been gearing-up for... an expanded assortment of toys in fantastic new toy departments as part of their beautifully-redesigned stores. As the holiday season is about to unfold, you'll see what I was talking about as Target (an affiliate) has unveiled Bullseye's Top Toys of 2018 - this year's guide to the most-coveted toys includes something for every age and budget – from an even bigger L.O.L. Surprise! and a plush take on the Fingerling craze to the latest tech gear and more. Will a few items from Bullseye's list also appear on The Rock Father™'s Annual Holiday Wish Guide™ as well? Perhaps, but in the meantime, check it out below!

Growing up in the 80s, kids like me were practically raised with the idea that a cool new cartoon would have an equally (if not more) awesome toy line to accompany it... and the most awesome toy lines had an equally (if not more) awesome cartoon or movie to support them. In a lot of ways it was a "chicken and the egg" scenario where we didn't know which came first, and that really didn't matter. Years later, those little kids grew into big kids, and we now know that many of those cartoons (G.I. Joe, He-Man and The Masters of The Universe, etc.) were designed specifically to get kids excited for the toys. Now we've entered the era where YouTube has taken the place of television for a whole bunch of kids, and that means that toymakers are crafting new worlds from the ground-up that take all those screens into account - placing awesome content wherever the audience may be. One of the latest and most exciting new launches for Fall 2018 is Little Tikes' Kingdom Builders, and they've hit the ground running with an original series of cartoon webisodes ahead of launching a full range of toys, exclusively at Target! It's a little bit like Game of Thrones with a dash of Clash of Clans but in a totally kid-friendly way. Check out a preview...

August is the month that famously ushers in "the dog days of summer," so what better time to release the new ensemble comedy, DOG DAYS? From Actor/Director Ken Marino (How to Be a Latin Lover, MTV's The State) comes a hilarious and heartfelt ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals.  When these human and canine’s paths start to intertwine, their lives begin changing in ways they never expected. In theaters on Wednesday, August 8 (look for my formal review soon), it's a surprisingly cute movie with a fantastic cast and a ton of heart! Now, to celebrate DOG DAYS release (get tickets via my affiliate, Fandango), The Rock Father™ and LD Entertainment have teamed-up to help you pamper your pup (or pups!) with a $50 Petco Gift Card!

Published in Movies, TV and More

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom has been delighting kids on Nick Jr. for quite some time now, becoming a favorite here at our house to the point where little Finley asked for a set of figures for her birthday this month. Now comes a chance for you to score some fun new toys as well, and it all happens this Friday, June 22, 2018 from 11am-12pm ET! You're invited to join The Toy Insider, eOne and The Rock Father™ for a fun-filled Twitter Party in which we'll be showing off all of the fun new Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom toys from Jazwares while giving YOU a chance to win! You must RSVP to play along! Check out the video below to learn more...

This Incredibles 2 special feature is presented in collaboration between Clorox and The Rock Father™ #CloroxIncrediblyClean

Last summer, I found myself in Anaheim, California during one of the incredible adventures that I sometimes get to have as part of my work. Since our first daughter was born in 2009, I have largely been an “at-home dad,” shifting many of my powers toward domestic duties while my wife maintains a career outside the home. There are occasions, however, where I spring into action for a special mission, usually hopping on a plane and leaving our Third Coast home en route to the East or West Coast (mostly West). For the D23 Expo in Anaheim, I was working with Disney and wound up there in the room when a select audience got to see the very first footage from Disney•Pixar’s The Incredibles 2. Later, I called my wife in Illinois and told her that what I saw was like watching our lives unfold on-screen… maybe sans the laser vision, but definitely the messes. Oh yes, those incredible messes!

Published in Gardening

Funko just continues to surprise, constantly rolling out new scales and series that you didn't expect to want or need. This week comes news that they've got an all-new line called HeroWorld, and that it's launching exclusively at Target and Target.com this month. These 4" vinyl figurines are available in five-packs and two-packs, and the initial wave features five distinct series' - DC Comics, Five Nights at Freddy's, Teen Titans GO!, Power Rangers and Scooby-Doo! Check out a preview below...

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