Wednesday, November 22 2017 00:12

Stocking Stuffers: The Original Whiffer Sniffers

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It was in the fall of 2016 that Whiffer Sniffers first hit my radar - scented, collectible backpack clips in fun character shapes. Taking their design cues from the scratch-n-sniff craze of the 1980s (they even released some stickers to go along with that), Whiffer Sniffers are still going strong and their fanbase is growing. With their Series 5 in stores now for holiday 2017, families can be on the hunt for a fresh assortment of awesome characters that make perfect stocking stuffers!

I first highlighted World's Smallest as a Holiday Wish Guide™ pick last year, and after seeing them continue using their mysterious shrink ray to zap other classic toys into miniature size, I'm also calling them out for 2017. After tackling more "simple" items like Mattel's Hot Wheels, the Fisher-Price Little People School Bus, Polaroid Camera and Hasbro's legendary G.I. Joe, now they're cranking up the shrink ray for a more difficult project... electronic games. If you recall the old Mattel Electronics handheld games of the late 1970's, you're on the right track. While their full-size counterparts were reproduced by The Bridge Direct not long ago, now the classic Electronic Football, Electronic Baseball and Electronic Basketball have been brought down to palm-size by Super Impulse under their "World's Coolest" moniker.

This Holiday Wish Guide™ Giveaway is brought to you by GameStop & ThinkGeek in collaboration with The Rock Father™.

With the holiday season in full-swing, kids and families are making their wish lists, and crossing their fingers in hopes of snagging the perfect gift. For Pokémon fans, 2017 has been a big year, with plenty of new games like Pokkén Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch and this month's Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon for the 3DS family of systems. Beyond the games, there's always some cool Poké-merch to be had, and like the saying goes, fans just "gotta catch 'em all," and now there's a new place to do that. Pokémon Center has opened at GameStop and ThinkGeek, and it's the perfect place to find an awesome gift for the Pokémon fan on your list! Pokémon Center products come direct from The Pokémon Company, lovingly-designed in Japan and brought to the U.S. for the very first time, exclusively at GameStop and ThinkGeek. Your local store has a new Pokémon Center section—fully stocked with everything a budding Pokémon trainer could want! To celebrate the opening of Pokémon Center, GameStop and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to give you a shot at winning a Pokémon Center Trainer Pack that features a few brand-new items!

Sunday, November 19 2017 19:06

THE TOY BOX Crowns a Second Season Winner...

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The second season of THE TOY BOX has come to a close on ABC, and now we know which new toy the judges have crowned champion. For the past eight weeks, the kid judges have come face-to-face with hopeful toy inventors, each competing for a shot at having their creation mass-produced by Mattel and made available for sale exclusively at Toys "R" Us. The winner this time around? Hydroshield aka Water Dodger! But that's not all, as Toys "R" Us chose Eardorables as a runner-up, and host Eric Stonestreet's personal favorite,  Wobb-Ball (seen as Flexxball) s a reality as well. See the winning toys below...

In doing what I do, I've been fortunate to see a lot of great toys cross my path over the past few years. For 2017, there's certainly been some highlights, but one of the best new toys was a late entry, and one that had escaped me until its makers hit me up earlier this fall and sent over one for review. When it comes to playsets, I grew up in an era that had a bunch of them - iconic sets from Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe, to name a few. While there's no doubt that kids want the biggest and best, the grownup mentality is that there's a real problem with those awesome playsets... storage. Our girls have some incredible sets here, ranging from the Barbie Dream House to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Lair. They're massively fun, but also massive in size... big, bulky plastic sets that aren't easy to store in-between adventures. Now, the makers of ReadySetz have emerged with their first playset - one that both provides a fun environment for imaginative play and solves the space problem. It's one of 2017's coolest new toys, and one you've likely never heard of.

Saturday, November 18 2017 17:01

Toy Review: Mattel's WWE Fashion Superstars Dolls

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There's been a fantastic trend over the past couple of years where the doll aisle has been receiving some action-packed upgrades. The recent successes of Mattel's DC Super Hero Girls and Hasbro's Star Wars: Forces of Destiny have fueled that, and now we have the WWE Fashion Superstars line. Also from Mattel, we have the same two-pronged approach that they've taken with the DC line - a collection of articulated 11-12" action dolls, along with a collection of 6" action figures. An assortment of these dolls recently arrived at Rock Father HQ, where they became an easy choice for a top pick in my annual Holiday Wish Guide™. Check out the video and review below...

Monster High is in a little bit of a lull right now. If you've visited your favorite toy retailer this fall, you might've noticed that the shelf space dedicated to Mattel's ghoulish crew has shrunk a bit, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some great new toys to check out. As Monster High continues to evolve, there's an awesome new playset out this season (The Monster High Deluxe Bus), along with some new dolls including the Monster Family collection. Now, the parents and siblings are getting into the action (Dracula!), and our most recent addition came to us for review from the folks at Mattel. Here we have Clawdeen Wolf along with her brother, Barker Wolf and baby sister, Weredith - all in their pjs and ready for bedtime fun! Actually, let's just take a cue from Ozzy Osbourne and say that they're ready to "bark at the moon!" Check out the video below...

Funko POP! Vinyls have become an incredible phenomenon in recent years, allowing kids and collectors to amass huge collections of their favorite pop culture characters. For those who want something smaller, the Pocket Pops! have been a great option, and one that's recently spun off into the keychain realm. In reality, these collectible, tradeable miniatures are simply Pocket Pops! with a keychain screwed into the top, so you can easily unscrew the keychain to play with the figures by themselves. My friends at Entertainment Earth recently sent us an entire factory-fresh display case of the new Funko Disney Series 1 Pocket Pop! Keychains, so Finley and I entered The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ to tackle these blind bags head-on in an episode of UNBOXED! Check out our full unboxing video below for your first look at this awesome new assortment...

A little while back, Entertainment Earth sent us a full factory display case of Cartoon Network "Cartoon! Cartoon!" Vinyl Figure Blind Boxes from TITAN Merchandise. Digging the 3" vinyl figures and knowing how much my little ones do as well, we opted to do an unboxing as opposed to a straight-up review. Thing is, as we filmed our video, I figured a bunch of diehard Cartoon Network fans were probably gonna beat me up about this. With few exceptions (Over the Garden Wall, for one), I haven't seen any of the shows represented in this assortment. Still, the figures are cool, and there's some chase options available. What did we get? Watch the video to find out, and to get your own TITANS in either display cases or single packs, visit my friends at Entertainment Earth!

More than 20 years into the game, and Pokémon seems bigger than ever... but now they're getting small! Micro-collectibles are one of the hottest trends in play today, and now Pokémon is in on the action thanks to a new line of toys from TOMY. The Pokémon Petite Pals are an all-new collection of micro-figures, and kids can create a complete world filled with colorful playsets and accessories. We recently received the Pokémon Petite Pals Escape in the Forest Playset for review, and it's a lot of fun. Let's take a look...

This Special Feature brought to you by GameStop and Funko

Over the past few years, Funko Pop! Vinyl has become one of the hottest collectible lines out there. With each new collection announced, one tends to wonder A) How they haven't done this one before; and B) How many untouched licenses still exist? Funko truly has something for everyone, and the variety is incredible. One of the best places to fuel your Pop! addiction is at GameStop, who offer the Funko Insider Club brought to you by Power Up Rewards. Giveaways are a big part of that, and this month they're asking you to #ExpressYourShelfie for a chance to win a cool GameStop/Funko Prize Pack including a pair of limited edition CHASE Pops! But that's not all... GameStop & The Rock Father have another chance for you to win as well!

When it comes to the breakout toys of 2017, Fidget Spinners are serious business. What started as one thing expanded into an entire category of Fidgets - divisive as to whether they're toys, tools or just a fad that will eventually go the way of the Pog. For now, they're still hot, and the folks at Zuru Toys have some of the highest-quality offerings out there, and they recently sent us some for review. Bringing iconic superheroes into the mix, they've licensed characters from DC Comics and Marvel, bringing them together for a colorful collection of Fidget Spinners and Fidget Cubes - the original Fidget Cubes as developed by Antsy Labs! 

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