While Spin Master gears up for a potential repeat of their 2016 success with the debut of Hatchimals Surprise this October, the Canadian toymaker has another interactive toy that just might take the crown for 2017's Hottest Holiday Toy. Luvabella™ and Luvabeau™ are designed to be "the most interactive and lifelike baby dolls ever," packed "with so many real baby surprises to discover, kids will be continuously amazed." An official selection of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine's 2017 Holiday Wish Guide™ (launching soon), we've been going hands-on with these dolls for a little while now, and today this official announcement has been revealed. I will say this: If you want to buy a Luvabella or Luvabeau for your child, don't pass them up when you see them in stores. I've seen the magic first-hand...
This morning, MGA Entertainment (MGAE) announced that they're launching the world's first-ever unboxing video booth as they celebrate the official release of L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise on September 29 in Hollywood, CA. They've also announced that on the same date they will launch "Unboxed," which they tout as "a new digital content series that gives fans a behind the scenes look at its most popular brands." Coincidentally, UNBOXED is also the name of a digital content series here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine, one that's been running since 2015 (see 55 episodes of UNBOXED on YouTube), featuring toys from a variety of makers, including MGA Entertainment. We'll talk more about that in a minute.
As a guy whose earliest years were well-documents on his parents' Super 8mm camera (which I'd later use for "filmmaking" purposes), I will forever hold a place in my heart for Kodak, and as the film company continues to reinvent itself in both film and digital worlds, today comes news of a partnership that will see some vibrant Kodak imagery come back into the toy department this fall. Cra-Z-Art has entered into a strategic brand licensing agreement with Eastman Kodak Company to produce and distribute puzzles in the U.S. The puzzles will feature beautiful photo imagery and be available in various size piece counts from 100 to 2000. Those puzzles will be Made in the USA.
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.
Over the past few weeks, the ramp-up to the holiday season has kicked-in, and with that comes speculation on what will be the hottest toys for 2017. Each fall, retailers, experts and speculators alike weigh-in with their hot toy lists, but the two best are ones I'm very partial to: The Toy Insider's Holiday Gift Guide and THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine's Holiday Wish Guide™ (coming soon). As a member of The Toy Insider Parent Panel, for the second year I've contributed a "Rock Father Pick" to their guide, joining my colleagues in highlighting a favorite from the 42 toys featured in the Hot 20, STEM 10 and Tech 12 lists. But that's just the start of things! Beyond those 42 toys, this year's print guide features more than 230 toys from nearly 100 different manufacturers, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 130 toy companies in total (you won't find a more comprehensive list). Look for the print guide in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on October 10th. Preview the 42 top picks below!
We all knew it was coming, and as I pointed out earlier this month, we know who's largely to blame: Iconic toy retailer Toys "R" Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, and will soon take similar steps (CCAA) in Canada. In the later hours of September 18, 2017, Toys "R" Us made it official, voluntarily filing for relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, and sharing the news via press release. It's important to note that while this news is serious, companies restructure and emerge from Chapter 11 all the time, though the companies with ownership stake in Toys "R" Us - particularly Bain Capital - leave much to be desired.
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.”
It's taken a few months of of fan deliberation, but now the decision is official - Crayola announced "Bluetiful" as the name of its new blue crayon. Bluetiful will be the nineteenth active blue color, replacing the previously retired Dandelion in the 24-count box and across the entire Crayola portfolio. Bluetiful received over 40% of fan votes to score the win and was officially unveiled this week at a blue-themed event in NYC. Additionally, there's a brand-new version of "Big Blue" - the world's largest crayon, which we previously visited when we road-tripped to the Crayola Experience back in 2014.
Last year, I was very fortunate to be visiting Nintendo of America at their HQ in Redmond, Washington on the very day that the famed NES Classic was released. My oldest daughter and I were able to purchase the sought-after miniature system from the employee store for MSRP - $59.99. As time would soon show us, it was much more difficult (nearly impossible) for members of the general public to get their hands on a system without paying vastly inflated prices thanks to the secondary market. Adding insult to injury, it was announced earlier this year that the system was done, and that it's being followed-up by the SNES Classic, prompting many to believe that a repeat of last year was shaping up - especially after pre-orders for the SNES sold-out in minutes. Today comes news that Nintendo is planning to make things right.
The Rock Father™ is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam
I was just thinking about how it's been over two years since The Rock Daughters™ and I filmed a video doing some in-home science experiments timed with the debut of Project Mc2 - an Emmy-nominated Netflix Original Series from MGA Entertainment. Time certainly does fly, and that's made clear by what hit my inbox this evening - news that Project Mc2 Part 5 is coming to Netflix on September 15, and that the cast and crew recently threw-down at The London Hotel in West Hollywood, California to unveil the new season alongside some of this fall's new additions to the growing toy line.
Ready to go into the night so you can save the day once more? Well, even if you aren't, I bet your kids are! Here at Rock Father HQ, we're always ready for some fun with PJ Masks, and with that I'm excited to tell you that I will once again be joining The Toy Insider for another #PJMasks Twitter Party! On Friday, September 15, 2017 from 11am-12pm EST we'll be talking about the latest PJ Masks toys from Just Play, many of which are rolling into stores right now - just in-time for Holiday 2017! It's important to note that you must RSVP to be eligible for prizes!
"How deep into the darkness will you let Bruce Wayne descend?" That's just one of the questions posited in BATMAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN, the latest chapter from the award-winning studio behind Batman - The Telltale Series. It's a new story in which both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be forced into precarious new roles. The Riddler has returned to terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an even greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce Wayne undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Now, The Rock Father™ andd EMG have teamed-up to hail this new game with a sweepstakes in which you could win big with a tricked-out new Alienware PC, or STEAM Codes for BATMAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN. Will you take a chance?