I feel bad for the small crew that's stayed on at Toys "R" Us (though not as bad as I do for the folks who weren't as fortunate) through the course of their spectacular collapse and extraordinarily unusual bankruptcy proceedings this past year. While the last of their stores closed on June 29th in the U.S., on June 20th the company registered a new trademark for Geoffrey's Toy Box - news that I broke right here on The Rock Father™ Magazine last week. All this time, there has been a crew working on what would emerge as Geoffrey, LLC, and before I go any further, I think it should be made clear that no one should be made to feel at fault for holding onto a job during times of crisis. Though the former Global Resource Center for Toys "R" Us in Wayne, NJ has been stripped-down and largely liquidated itself, there's been a small crew at work, and those folks were placed into a really hard spot - supporting their families while friends and colleagues were let go, and also tasked with trying to reimagine and perhaps revive a brand that they loved. That said, the news of Geoffrey, LLC living on as Geoffrey's Toy Box (branded merch, licensing, perhaps new stores... eventually) has been met with polarizing reaction from those within the toy industry, but tonight it became apparent that whoever decided to pull the trigger on re-activating the Toys "R" Us social networks wasn't counting on public backlash.
Disney's Hocus Pocus is one of those films that's become bigger with age. Originally released in 1993, the tale of the Sanderson sisters - a trio of witches transported from 1693 to 1993 - wasn't a huge hit at the time. Over the past 25 years, however, the film has taken on legendary status, largely due to its October airings on Disney Channel where it's connected with new generations of fans each year. Directed by Kenny Ortega, the appeal to modern audiences is quite apparent - with Hocus Pocus containing much of the same charm that's pushed his Descendants trilogy (the third chapter arrives next year) into massive success. The song and dance combined with the magical, but not quite realistic scenery gives it a theatrical feel, drawing audiences into the story penned for the screen by Neil Cuthbert (Return of Swamp Thing) and "Master of Horror" Mick Garris.
After years of mixed reactions and conflicting opinions between fans and critics, Warner Bros. finds themselves in an interesting spot with their DC Extended Universe of films. Now, as it appears that we're in for a potential switch in cast and tone from our most recent big-screen Batman and Superman, other members of the Justice League are still on-deck with solo films of their own, and Aquaman is next in line. From director James Wan (SAW), AQUAMAN is shaping up to be a very different film from others in its universe - an epic that's bigger than many would've expected from a character that's often been the brunt of jokes across the decades. Yes, he can talk to fish... but Aquaman is looking quite badass, and Warner. Bros is counting on audiences to get behind the character, today issuing an extended, five-minute preview of the film. Check it out below!
It's been a massive week for the toy industry as the annual Fall Toy Preview has come to a close in Dallas. While the big news has been with Toys "R" Us lenders restructuring assets under Geoffrey, LLC and prepping to launch their Geoffrey's Toy Box initiative, a new opponent has entered the battlefield as retailers position themselves to grab market share left up for grabs following the closure of Toys "R" Us in the U.S. as we head into the holiday season. Go! Retail Group has announced a nationwide expansion of their toy business, and as part of that they're opening a new concept: TOYS EXPRESS. The new stores will open in 13 locations previously occupied by Toys "R" Us Express stores.
The PAW Patrol is back for spooktacular adventures in the brand new DVD collection, PAW Patrol: Halloween Heroes. Available now, PAW Patrol fans can get into the Halloween spirit with the pups as they bravely board a ghostly pirate ship, explore cabins, caves and mazes, try to solve the haunting of the Lookout Tower and more. It'll be a scary good time watching all seven PAW Patrol adventures including a really ghoul double-length special! As part of our annual 31 Days of Halloween here at The Rock Father™ Magazine, Nickelodeon DVD and I have teamed-up to get a few readers hooked-up with copies of the DVD just in time for the spooky season!
While you won't find me at New York Comic-Con (NYCC) this weekend, you can certainly find some awesome toys and collectibles being offered by my friends at Funko and Entertainment Earth. One very much-anticipated item is the Funko / Entertainment Earth Convention Exclusive Classic Spider-Woman Pop! Vinyl Figure. First announced on the official Funko blog last month, Spider-Woman joins the Funko family TODAY and is available in super-limited quantities only at Funko's booth at New York Comic-Con or online through Entertainment Earth! These are in the EE warehouse and ready to ship next week, and although I'm not at NYCC, somehow Spider-Woman made her way to me. Check out this first hands-on look!