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The Rock Daughters™ are Nintendo Kid Reviewers. Product provided for review by Nintendo of America.

When I first played Splatoon 2 at a Nintendo Switch launch event earlier this year, I immediately pegged it as a game that my girls were gonna love. I jumped-in to a test run of local multiplayer against a full field of players, the interesting aspect being that I was the one player in the mix who hadn't played the original Splatoon. On the surface, I thought it was a simple paintball game - a shooter in which kids could splatter their digital world and have a fine time doing it. Thing is, it's actually so much more, with a world of "Inkling" shapeshifters who move between humanoid and squid forms, swimming in ink to refill their weapons as they navigate a well-thought world with real missions. After receiving a copy of the game for review from our friends at Nintendo this summer, I've had a chance to play it myself, but I've also had the opportunity to see just how much the kids like it - but also how the digital world of Inkopolis has come to life in the real world via new toys from JAKKS Pacific.

The Toy InsiderWe've all been there - a smiling child looking up at you, basking in the pride that comes with a job well-done as they show off their latest masterpiece. Then you see how much of the paint has made it not onto the paper, but onto the table, the floor, the wall, their clothes... and perhaps the family pet. It's adorable, yet maddening, and in the past the reaction has been to just shake it off while heading for the Magic Eraser and whatever spray cleaner might be nearby. Crayola Color Wonder has been tackling some of that mess for a bit, particularly with their markers and travel kits, which we've used often. Now there's the Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush & Drawing Pad - a painting set that refreshes an idea that painting doesn't have to be a huge mess. My colleagues at The Toy Insider sent us a set for review here at Rock Father HQ, and this is one of those things that I had to break into and try out before the girls even got a chance. 

Doctor Dreadful has been kicking around for the better part of a quarter century at this point - encouraging kids to experiment with all things gross & gooey. When he first hit the scene in the early 90s, he looked and sounded suspiciously like actor John Kassir (Tales From The Crypt) as he touted his line of terrifying toys produced by the late TYCO. After changing hands a few times over the years, Doctor Dreadful's wares eventually made their way to Spin Master, who's been producing them for a few years now, most recently revamping them with some disgustingly-delightful new packaging and branding - perfect for capturing the imagination of children. Released just in-time for Halloween, the refreshed assortment of Doctor Dreadful ZOMBIES toys have just hit shelves, and the folks at Spin Master sent us the Zombie Lab, Snot Shots and Parasite Lab kits to go hands-on with my budding "Mad Scientists" here at Rock Father HQ! What kind of eerie edibles could we create?

When I first heard that Funko would be tackling the 1966 Batman license with a new set of 3.75" action figures, I'd imagined an approach on-par with the Reaction line that they'd worked on with Super7 for awhile. Having only glanced at the pictures in passing, the packaging artwork registered, and again I was thinking that these were going to be in the vintage Kenner style - "5POA" as some call it, with toys designed as they would've been in decades past. I would've dug that on its own, but shame on me for not noticing how detailed the line really is, with super-articulated figures that you have to see for yourself (like me) to truly appreciate. We have a few of these, and I can tell you that this is one cool line.

The Rock Father™ is a MEGA™Ambassador and Beyonder

MEGA Bloks® have been a part of our family since day one. In fact, I think it was at the baby shower for the first of The Rock Daughters™ when we received our first set - a Big Building Bag filled with those classic blocks that preschoolers have been building with for decades. Fast-forward a few years, and just as our kids have grown up, so has MEGA™ - recently making a nod to the past as they look toward the future with their ever-expanding line of MEGA Construx™ building sets for the entire family. From developing builders to kids ages 4+, from tweens to adult collectors, MEGA™ has something for everyone, and there’s no better time than the present to spend some time with the family, getting together to “Build Beyond.”

Note: Video on this has been added to The Rock Father™ YouTube Channel!

Since the 2015 relaunch of the Star Wars franchise with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we've entered a new era of fandom in which families have regular access to perhaps the widest assortment of merchandise from a galaxy far, far away than ever before. Under Disney's leadership, Lucasfilm no longer has the lull of a "non-movie year," since there's going to be a new Star Wars film each year for the foreseeable future. For consumers, that means steady access to new toys and gear, but as recent years have shown us, there's just too much stuff out there, and it's not always what the people want. For our family, the true core of Star Wars imaginative play lies solely with Hasbro's 3.75" action figure line - the one whose lineage dates back to the original Kenner Star Wars Collection of figures, vehicles and playsets. For the current generation of kids and collectors, there's been a huge omission on the playset front, and with the Force Friday II launch of toys for Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hasbro aims to fill that gap with the BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset. This impressive set* looks like a near life-sized BB-8 Astromech Droid while closed, but opens up into a First Order Star Destroyer packed with play features!

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