In addition to my work here on The Rock Father™ Magazine, I veer off in many directions. As some of you may know, I am a member of The Toy Insider's extended family - contributing to their website as a member of their Parent Advisory Board, and a frequent participant in their excellent toy-based Twitter Parties. When it comes to the holiday season, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Holiday Gift Guide as expansive as the one that The Toy Insider puts together, one that exists in print (together with Family Circle) and online, with selections chosen by a team of experts and sorted by age and interest. Even I chip in with a "Rock Father Pick!" Now, despite the fact that we're often swimming in toys here at Rock Father HQ (much of which we donate), my girls do have a small "wish list," and with that The Toy Insider sent a surprise. In fact, all of the Toy Insider parents received a mystery box, and with ours we did a little early preview of Christmas morning here at home. With just four items, the response from all girls is all that a parent could hope for - and one that makes me really think about the "less is more" approach to Christmas. A few well-targeted gifts will beat the "piles of stuff" any day, and the video below shows just that. Take a look at the video, and then read on for some thoughts on these four Hot Holiday Picks!
In 1984, the world was first introduced to two teams of heroes, both based out of New York City, and each comprised of four members with a distinct set of talents. Operating in two different dimensions (and under different rights holders), the odds of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES working alongside the GHOSTBUSTERS seemed unlikely. Defying the odds, that's exactly what happened back in 2014, when IDW Publishing brought the whole crew together for an interdimensional adventure in comic book form, released as a 30th anniversary celebration for the two franchises. Now, in 2017, they've come back together for a comic book sequel, and for the first time ever... toys. From Playmates Toys comes NINJA GHOSTBUSTERS, a collection action figures that features the Turtles as their Ghostbusters counterparts! Sent to us for review, NINJA GHOSTBUSTERS land not only in my annual Halloween countdown, but also on the 2017 Holiday Wish Guide™!
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!
The title pretty much says it all: With the release of his new video for "Last Time For Everything," Brad Paisley just unleashed the music video that I've wanted to make for myself since 1985. Indeed, the nostalgia factor is high, from the title sequence and bikes inspired by the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things, to the inclusion of walkie talkies, a boys-only clubhouse, a DeLorean, the Ghostbusters' Ecto-1, a SONY Walkman commercial, UFOs, dinosaurs, and appearance by my idol, David Hasselhoff and K.I.T.T. from the greatest television series of all-time, Knight Rider. Best of all, the action is all captured in beautiful VHS quality, dated October 26, 1985. But I have to ask... Brad, what's with the life preserver?
Ever since they were first announced last year, the new line of PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters toys have been on our most-anticipated list here at Rock Father HQ. Not only do I personally view Playmobil as being one of the finest toy collections of all-time, but The Rock Daughters™ count them among their most-cherished toys. Even this past Christmas, the Playmobil Hospital was the "big" gift from Santa for our oldest - something she'd been asking for all year. Now, factor in that the first pop culture license from Playmobil happens to be another favorite, and Playmobil Ghostbusters is about to be huge! Check out the trailer below...
Last year, one big story out of New York Toy Fair was that for the very first time, Playmobil would be issuing toys based on famous pop culture licenses. Promised to debut in 2017, this was exciting news on its own, but another component of the launch was revealed to be a collaboration with Funko on some larger figures presented in 6" scale. Today, Funko x Playmobil is a reality, and the first wave of 6" collectible figures is available for pre-order through my ally, Entertainment Earth! The first twelve figures are spread over five pop culture licenses including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory... and one of them is an Entertainment Earth Exclusive TMNT Black and White Raphael!