As a big kid that plays with a lot of toys, I tend to see a lot of radio controlled vehicles here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™. For the most part, it's always the cars and trucks that score the biggest points, with the more unique ones (motorcycles, for example) tending not to live up to expectations, or coming with a learning curve so big that kids lose interest. Sure, they look cool, but I've seen so many R/C vehicles fail to perform as advertised that when the prospect of an R/C skateboard came up, even my wife scoffed at the notion. Now, I'm here to tell you that when it comes to the new XPV Xtreme Performance Skateboard from JAKKS Pacific, there's finally a unique R/C ride that not only works as-promised, but completely blows the expectations right out of the water. Simply put: this thing is badass!
When it comes to the rides of a galaxy far, far away, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more legendary vehicle than the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Indeed, the Millennium Falcon is the most famous example of the Corellian Engineering Company's YT-1300 Light Freighters - albeit a heavily-modified ship that managed to consistently defy the odds under Captain Han Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca, along with Lando Calrissian and most recently, Rey. To celebrate the legacy of this ship during the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, the folks at Mattel have issued the Hot Wheels Collectors Millennium Falcon Special Edition - a highly detailed Metal/Metal fully-diecast version of the ship as it appeared in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) play is hot right now, and looking ahead it's a category that will only continue to grow. For some toys placed in that category of hands-on learning, not all are necessarily "new," but sometimes new spins on some old classics. Marble play is pretty timeless, and I even had a Marbleworks set some 30-40 years ago, one that I believe my mom might still have. Likewise, my wife and I have played with some similar things with our own kids, and one recent offering is the Techno Gears Marble Mania Catapult set, sent to us for review by The Learning Journey, along with their new Techno Gears Bionic Bug.
I never realized it until I was an adult, but if I were to create my own "Rock Father Toy Hall of Fame," PLAYMOBIL would be guaranteed a spot as one of the greatest toy lines of all time. Providing countless hours of imaginative play for kids since 1974, PLAYMOBIL has surprisingly steered clear of the licensing market (with few exceptions, like sports), but for 2017 they've jumped into that realm with Ghostbusters and How to Train Your Dragon - a couple of lines that are both unexpected, and ripe for some fantastic toys. For the former, PLAYMOBIL has created a new collection with cross-generational appeal, bringing Ghostbusters back into toy departments where kids of all ages can strap on their Proton Packs for some serious supernatural fun. PLAYMOBIL recently had their new Ecto-1 action vehicle sent to us for review in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™, and it's everything we'd hoped it would be... and more. Check out the timelapse build and hands-on action in the video below!
May 25, 2017 marked the official 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, and the folks at Funko marked the occasion by making their latest Smuggler's Bounty Box a themed affair to celebrate the big birthday. Since launching alongside The Force Awakens, each box (shipped on alternating months) has borrowed a theme based on a particular film (like the recent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), location (Jabba's Palace) or show (Star Wars Rebels). Over the past year and a half, the contents of the boxes has been a bit of a mixed bag, with certain months being fantastic, and others feeling sorta empty. It's unfortunate, but the 40th Anniversary Box hits on the latter note for us, which I will explain. First, check out our unboxing video...
There's some mischief afoot over at Super Impulse. While numerous super villains have tried and failed repeatedly to craft a "Shrink Ray" as part of their nefarious plans, someone over at Super Impulse has created one, and yes - it works. I first featured their line of World's Smallest toys here on the site as part of my annual Holiday Wish Guide in 2016, but apparently the evil geniuses weren't satisfied at simply shrinking the likes of Fisher-Price classics, Rubik's Cubes and Polaroid Instamatic Cameras. Nope, now they've managed to shrink Hasbro's G.I. Joe (the 60's style 12" "Man of Action") and Mattel's Hot Wheels. Now these classics are small enough to be toys for your toys. They were so proud of their shrinking technology that they had to send me one of each just to brag about how awesome they are. I dig it.