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One of my favorite toys of 2018 thus far is one that's perfect largely because of just how simple it is. The Simplay3 Carry & Go Track Table is a one-piece, 2-in-1 play space for cars, trucks and trains. The first side is an off-road race course that's filled with hills, valleys, curves, ramps and straightaways. Flip it over and you have a train table with built-in universal tracks, a figure-8 layout and a lake and quarry in the middle. With its lightweight plastic construction and molded-in handle, kids can easily carry this themselves, and because it's only 4" tall, the design is truly space-saving - easily stored underneath a bed or in a closet. I caught this on-display at the 115th North American International Toy Fair in NYC back in February, after which we received one for review in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ. Check out the video below to see this in-action!

Published in Rock Father Rides

Last year, PLAYMOBIL surprised audiences by getting into the realm of pop culture licenses for the first time. Now in their 44th year, PLAYMOBIL is entering their second year of licensed product by expanding upon the first to launch - PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters. That line was a huge hit right out of the gate, and we were lucky enough to have received the Ecto-1 for review last year, along with the iconic Firehouse Playset as a gift from The Toy Insider. My girls and I were so into it that we eventually purchased all of the other sets. So with a collection based largely on 1984's Ghostbusters, it's only logical that the next step would be 1989's Ghostbusters II and the folks at PLAYMOBIL have done just that... but they're also looking for inspiration in a more unexpected place: The Real Ghostbusters.

With two little girls here at Rock Father™ HQ, my wife and I have purchased more than a few pairs of "kid-safe" headphones over the past few years, and frankly, most of them are garbage. From expensive ones that the kids find uncomfortable to the cool-looking, yet terrible-sounding licensed variety sold for cheap at retailers like Five Below, I've checked out a bunch and had never found any that I could really be excited about until now. At New York Toy Fair, I came across something unexpected while browsing the latest offerings from the crew over at Wicked Cool Toys. They've recently partnered with Halo Acoustic to help bring CozyPhones to a wider audience, and after bringing a couple of pairs back to Illinois, they're an immediate hit. CozyPhones are a 3-in-1 combo of headphones, sleep mask and a stylish headband.

Published in Tech

MGA Entertainment entered 2018 on a massive high, riding a wave of success fueled by their hit L.O.L. Surprise! line. As much as I champion gender-free play (let kids play with what they want!), the "surprise" toy market has largely skewed toward girls, and this is something that I've seen first-hand. Having already jumped into the action-aisle with their Awesome Little Green Men, MGA now has a "surprise" for that crowd as well with the release of Crate Creatures Surprise! I was initially contacted about checking these out just before Christmas but didn't have time to take a look until after the holiday rush - which is fine since the availability is better now. This new collection of interactive figures brings the "unboxing" experience to life in a way that can be repeated again and again. Check out the video below, along with some detailed thoughts on this new line...

Netflix #StreamTeamDreamWorks Trollhunters Part 2 is now streaming on Netflix, and not long ago I was out at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, California to get an early look at the new season, along with a sneak-preview of what's on the horizon as the Tales of Arcadia expands. Fans of the series have been looking for more ways to enjoy it, and that brings us to the merchandise, which the folks at Funko (an affiliate) have been rolling out over the past few months. In addition to some fantastic 3.75" action figures, characters from Trollhunters have made their way into Funko's signature POP! Vinyl line under POP! Television. Available now through Funko Shop, Target and coming soon to Entertainment Earth, the team at DreamWorks sent over an assortment for review here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...

Over the past year, there have been a ton of PJ Masks toys released. While I love what Just Play has done with the line, I do think that there comes a point when "overkill" comes into play, and it happens to the best of toy lines. When there's duplication between characters and vehicles in different scales, it can become confusing for families - parents and kids alike. This has happened with PJ Masks, and earlier this year I shared a picture of four different scales of the Catcar, along with five variations of Catboy. Since that time, there's been four additional versions, and an equal collection of Owl Gliders and Gekko Mobiles. Now comes yet a different scale, but it's one that I don't mind at all. In fact, it's a whole new realm when it comes to PJ Masks, and these may be my personal favorites when it comes to this line... PJ Masks diecast. Launched as a Toys "R" Us exclusive to begin with, the first wave consists of five vehicles - the three heroes, alongside Romeo's Lab and the Night Ninja's Bus. I dig 'em.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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