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It's been said that "life finds a way," and in 2019 it's going to be evolving... at least in terms of Universal Studios Hollywood and their famed Jurassic Park - The Ride. Announced today, the all-new Jurassic World Ride will be coming to the park next year, drawing from favorite elements of the original ride, but in a next-generation form - a thrill ride that will be "a fully reimagined iteration of the ground-breaking adventure, elevating every facet of the experience. With the introduction of never-before-seen dinosaurs, enhanced storytelling, lush scenic design, an entirely new color scheme and uncompromised state-of the art technology, the ride will capture elements never experienced within a theme park." Now, the "Countdown to Extinction" has begun as guests from around the world are invited to experience the ride before its transformation. Jurassic Park - The Ride will have its finale on September 3, 2018. Check out a teaser below!

Nostalgia is a serious thing right now, and when it's done right, the way to move forward into the future is by providing a link to the past. From 20th Century Fox, the PREDATOR franchise is being rebooted, and in this first trailer audiences are getting a look at a very different movie than the ones that have preceded it. THE PREDATOR finds a suburban boy unknowingly luring the intergalactic hunters back to earth in a scene that takes me right back to a simpler time - a realm of imagination and wonder much like that seen in films like the Goonies or Monster Squad. The latter was a 1987 collaboration between Shane Black and Fred Dekker, and for THE PREDATOR they're working together again, co-writing the screenplay and with Black (Lethal Weapon) at the helm. Take a look...

As the final wind-down of U.S. operations for Toys "R" Us continues, it should be crystal clear by now that saving the business and its 33,000+ workers was just not a real priority. If it was, the company and its lenders and ownership would've found some way to make it happen, but we knew as early as the beginning of February that Bain Capital was pushing for a full liquidation - and that's exactly what they got. The private equity industry is a scummy bunch, and when it comes to representation, that's even clear in their own lobbying organization, the American Investment Council, which softened its name over the years from the more ominous "Private Equity Growth Capital Council" and "Private Equity Council" to become the AIC. While these groups have powerful representation, it's the American worker that gets caught in the crossfire during leveraged buyouts and their eventual collapse, and in retail this is a group who is typically under-represented (I do not believe that Unions are the answer, but that's a lengthier story for another time). Retail workers - both hourly and salaried management included - are generally underpaid and lack any long-term benefits. In a situation like what's happened with Toys "R" Us, you have the people who've been doing the real work - the ones out there on the front lines - facing unemployment with no severance as they have to deal with the general public and the sad position of closing up shop. Meanwhile, you have Chairman, CEO and LinkedIn Enthusiast David A. Brandon still kicking around the increasingly ghostly halls of Toys "R" Us HQ in Wayne, NJ, having to ride things out until the very end as part of the terms of the $2.8M retention bonus he took in September of 2017, just days prior to the company filing bankruptcy. Today, a group of Toys "R" Us employees met with Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington D.C., later marching alongside representatives from The Center for Popular Democracy and Rise Up Retail as they took to the AIC in protest of private equity destruction at the hands of Bain Captial, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vornado Realty Trust. Watch the video below...

Hasbro is getting into the micro-collectible blind box realm with a new collection called LOST KITTIES. There will be over 100 to collect beginning this June, and each will have their own mischievous interests as part of eight Lost Kitties "squads" including the #Nomz, #Cattitude, #WorkinIt, #ifIfits, #Adorbs, #ScaredyCats, #Cathletic and #NotFelineIt. Ahead of the launch, Hasbro has unleashed the first-ever Lost Kitties music video, called "Who'z Hidin' Inside" - a parody of The Knack's "My Sharona."

It took all of about twelve hours to happen - the first round of Coleco Evolved Mini Arcades hit Kickstarter and became fully-funded. Back in 1981, Coleco first issued their classic tabletop arcade machines - versions of arcade favorites like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, shrunk into miniature form by a suspicious character known as "Mr. Arcade" (that's how it happened in the commercials, anyway). These machines have become iconic, and now they're coming back in a new form, ditching the primitive calculator screen for a full-color LCD display that's powered by a powerful new gaming chipset. They've also chucked the C-batteries in exchange for a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack, and the joystick and buttons have been revamped as well. The first two games available will be Rainbow Brite: Journey to Rainbow Land and Robotech The Macross Saga.

At The Toy Association's PlayCon in San Francisco, Ellia Kassoff, head of Strategic Marks, LLC, addressed toymakers and others about the plans for resurrecting the KB Toys brand in malls around the country. First announced back in March (with an update here), KB Toys will return as a new retailer rooted in nostalgia - and the plan is to do it starting with pop-up shops this coming holiday season. Prior to being destroyed by Bain Capital Partners (who also killed Toys "R" Us), KB operated under many variations of their name, including K•B Toys, K•B Toys Outlet, K•B Toy Works and Kay-Bee Toys between 1922 and 2009. With Toys "R" Us currently in the final processes of winding-down operations in the United States, the biggest question is how, exactly, will Strategic Marks be able to pull this off - and how it's going to be done in time for this year's holiday season. Today, Kassoff offered up answers - some of which came directly from members of the audience.

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