It has begun... FORCE FRIDAY II officially kicked off at 12:01am this morning, with STAR WARS fans on the East Coast being among the first to purchase new merchandise from Rian Johnson's upcoming film, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. The Disney Store in NYC was first to welcome a line hundreds long, starting a wave that's moved coast-to-coast this morning with midnight openings and events at retailers such as Toys "R" Us, Walmart, Target, Meijer and more. This year's Force Friday is actually a weekend event running September 1-3, 2017 with events planned at many locations. Check out StarWars.com/FindTheForce for full details.
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!
One of our most-anticipated series' of the year finally has a premiere date. Based on the children's book series Vampirina Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham Disney Junior's VAMPIRINA was developed for television by Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, and will premiere SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 (11:00 a.m. EDT), with two back-to-back episodes simulcast on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. The episodes will also be available on Disney Junior VOD, Disney Junior YouTube and in the new DisneyNOW app, which will also debut two additional episodes same day. New episodes will be presented every Monday and Friday in October on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Check out the title sequence and theme song below, along with more details on this seasonally-appropriate new series!
It was this summer that my love for THE LION KING was reignited during my visit to the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. It wasn't that I hadn't been enjoying it on occasion with my girls over the past few years - quite the contrary, especially given that Disney Junior's THE LION GUARD has been in the regular viewing mix for quite awhile. I think what I'd forgotten was how magical it was at the time of its first release - the summer after I graduated high school, and a film that was really one of those "lightning in a bottle" moments. The combination of attending a celebration of the film along with being in the room for the debut of test footage from Jon Favreau's 2019 live-action version of THE LION KING just brought goosebumps. Now, with film having been reissued as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection as "The Circle of Life Edition" (available on Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack), it's prime time for audiences to experience the film again, or to introduce it to their children for the very first time.
Lucasfilm's Star Wars Rebels is a unique thing for our family when it comes to the grand scheme of Star Wars storytelling. Despite countless spin-offs in every possible medium, Rebels stands right alongside the cinematic feature films in terms of both importance and enjoyment, and for our children I expect it will remain just as memorable for them as the Original Trilogy has been for all of us. With Season Four set to debut on Disney XD this fall, the just-released Star Wars Rebels - Complete Season Three Blu-ray set is the perfect way to re-live the latest run before the series returns for its final season.
Is it normal for a human being to have a cartoon nemesis? If so, SpongeBob SquarePants is mine. I can't stand anything about him or his namesake series, to the point of it becoming a running joke. In fact, when my wife and I took The Rock Daughters to Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, I had to stay off to the side and pretend I was cool with Mr. SquarePants hanging with my kids. Alas, it's my duty to inform you and my pleasure to warn you that the undersea dweller who once tricked me into watching his big-screen debut if only to see David Hasselhoff (who was but a cameo) is back with a new DVD set, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Ninth Season. Details below...