If you follow me on Instagram (and I sure hope you do), you might've caught a glimpse of Flynn's Rescue Ship back on October 22 when we did our build. Part of MEGA Bloks' SKYLANDERS collection of building sets (recommended for kids 5+), Flynn and the gang come from Activision's recently-released video game SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE, which follows last year's SKYLANDERS GIANTS. While the game series has become a pop culture staple, the building category continues to grow alongside it, and the folks at MEGA Bloks have some incredible sets inspired by that world. Having already reviewed the SKYLANDERS GIANTS Arkeyan Robot King earlier this Fall, we were excited when MEGA Brands hit us with some fresh stock to review. After detailed evaluation here at Rock Father HQ, this collection lands firmly in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.
There is little more that I can say that I haven't already said to solidify the fact that I am a lifelong fan of the TRANSFORMERS. I'm 37, and next year, the TRANSFORMERS will celebrate their 30th Anniversary with a new TRANSFORMERS: THRILLING 30 Collection. Quite simply, I was 7 when the TRANSFORMERS hit the scene, and it was just right to make sure that three decades later, I'd still be playing along. As a father... as "The Rock Father," I share things like the world of Cybertron with my children - my girls - and when the opportunity to review the new CONSTRUCT-BOTS came along, my four-year-old clarified just how right I'm doing things. "Would you like to build your own TRANSFORMER?" I asked. She looked at me, and with the most serious tone replied, "That's a silly question. Of course, I would like to build my own TRANSFORMER." And build it, she did.
When I arrived back here at Rock Father HQ late Saturday night, I was beat-tired from a day that started at 5:30am, and found my family in Chicago by 8, out in the Western 'Burbs in the afternoon, and back up North just in-time for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (which underwhelmed). After getting things started at the playCHIC Fashion Show on Thursday night, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair - the largest event of it's kind in the U.S. that's open to the public - welcomed families this weekend, and despite my fatigue, I was tempted to share some thoughts right away when we got home. The one thing that actually made me decide to do the sensible thing and go to bed before midnight (probably the first time that's happened in nearly a year) was the fact that a lot of folks who might want to read those thoughts were probably still at the ChiTagFair, and I'd already been all over the social nets with live posts. That said, it was a great event this year - my second (read about last year) - and unlike last, I actually had my little ones with me this time around.
There's a ton of lighted bedtime friends on the market these days, and one of our favorites first arrived here at Rock Father HQ back in May. BROBO is a line of super-cuddly nightlights that make up the "Shine Force" - a collection of five fun characters, each with their own Shine Force light. Placed on their chest, the light recalls a bit of Tony Stark technology - like Iron Man's Arc Reactor. Swipe the hand or tail of your favorite character over their chest, and the light illuminates (and vibrates). Swipe again to dim it, or once more to turn it off. We have "Pep" and "Dog" here, and the girls love them, thus securing them a place here in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide on The Rock Father.
Just in-time for the Holiday Season, my friends at Toy State hit us with a fresh batch of new rides to put to the test right here at Rock Father HQ. Among the new offerings to capture the interest of my car-obsessed little ones was one of the all-new Road Rippers Street Beatz vehicles. With lights, sound, music, and motorized action, the girls have been racing this new ride around the family room, having to opt out of our traditional "road test" on the sidewalk... since there's already snow on the ground.
We still have yet to see the movie, MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS (available on Blu-ray & DVD from Shout! Factory), but that didn't stop my oldest daughter from being incredibly excited when she first encountered Hasbro's line of Equestria Girls dolls when they showed up at retail over the summer. Despite never seeing the movie, she was able to name every Equestria Girl on the box, simply by being familiar with their counterparts on MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC, which airs regularly on The Hub. Recommended for Ages 5+, these students from Canterlot High make an appearance here in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide on The Rock Father.