If you missed the big reveal the other day, then it's time to catch up - as one of this season's hottest toys has arrived: The Step2 Spin & Go Xtreme Cruiser! Available exclusively from Walmart.com, this rockin' ride for kids 4-8 is one of my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide Items this year, reviewed here on THE ROCK FATHER as part of my gig as a Step2 Brand Ambassador. Now, in the spirit of giving and to kick things off with style, my friends and fellow Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro have teamed-up for a giveaway in which one of you will score one of these awesome new vehicles for your little one(s)!
I've been promising some new gifts from WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox's JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 (I was on-set in Vancouver for the filming of it earlier this year), and while they're coming to THE ROCK FATHER very soon, tonight I'm helping to spread a little early cheer. Next Monday, November 24 at 8/7c on the USA Network, Larry the Cable Guy will Guest Star on WWE's Monday Night Raw to get the season kicked-off right. Larry stars alongside WWE's Santino Marella in the upcoming sequel to the 1996 Holiday classic (my favorite Christmas movie of all-time).
If you're reading this, then it's probably no surprise to you that I'm a little bit more than a casual fan of these festive weeks of the year. Instead of getting mad and putting on the Grumpy Cat face when the Holiday Music starts rolling out in October each year, I tend to get mad at the people who get mad about the music. After all, despite what those stock articles that sites like HuffPo seemingly break out each year like clockwork say, "Christmas Creep" as they call it is not a new thing (ELVIS' first Christmas album was released on October 15, 1957), and I say "bring it on!" Even as I write this, it's mid-November and not only is our tree up, but all of Rock Father HQ has been decorated inside and out, right down to my girls' Step2 playhouse. It almost goes without saying that my #Griswolding has been soundtracked, and this year it's gotten a big boost with the JBL Charge 2 Bluetooth Speaker - one of the finest portable speakers that I've ever had the pleasure of owning (and I've had a few). But, this is the Season of Giving, and #GiftingAudio is a can't-lose affair for those special people on your list. Not only does JBL have a great Gift Guide of their own, they've teamed-up with THE ROCK FATHER and some other great sites for a Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway in which thirty (yes, 30!) winners will receive some fantastic speakers just-in time for the Holiday Season.
Ready to let your little ones rock the block in a ride unlike any other? One of my top picks in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide is something that I'm excited to be helping launch as a Step2 Brand Ambassador - a ride that I've had the rare chance to have seen evolve over the past year, the all-new Step2 Spin & Go Xtreme Cruiser. Available now Exclusively through Walmart.com, the Spin & Go Xtreme Cruiser is a unique, six-wheeled, two-speed, 12-volt vehicle recommended for ages 4-8. The initial reaction on my block? Everybody wants one. Take a look...
Now, it's a not-so-secret piece of information around here that I don't like Spongebob Squarepants... at all. I've never been fan of the Nickelodeon series, and I don't let the girls watch it. Despite being such a big "thing" over the years, the world of these characters is lost on me, and it probably all goes back to the time I rented THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE for one reason only: An appearance by David Hasselhoff. Even Michael Knight himself wasn't enough to win me over when it comes to Spongebob, so I have little knowledge of what the little yellow guy is up to... aside from the fact that MEGA Bloks has turned out some pretty cool building sets as part of a new line based on the hit series. That said, the MEGA Bloks Krusty Krab Attack Building Set arrived here for consideration for my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, and you know what? It makes it - because Spongebob or not, it's a cool building set and a lot of fun!
It could be said that the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES have never been more popular. While they were huge the first time around (I practically wore out a TMNT movie t-shirt I had back in '90) the TMNT crew is attacking all fronts these days, with a hit movie in theaters, a fantastic line of figures from Playmates Toys, and the hit animated series on Nickelodeon. Now comes something a bit different - Blueprints Paper Craft TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES sets from the folks at Jazwares. Based on the animated TMNT adventures, these craft sets present kids and grownups alike with the opportunity to build detailed figures, vehicles and environments from pre-scored, high-quality paper. While these are just getting out there to retail right now, I'm including them in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide as a great gift idea that blends much-needed screen-free craft project time with action play.
Is it safe to say that girls love mermaids? I know it's a generalization, but with my own two daughters and their friends, mermaids seem to be a can't-miss mythical creature - and there certainly seems to be a trend of adding mermaids into the mix with plenty of popular shows and toy lines. In fact, mermaids have shown up on SOFIA THE FIRST (and not just The Little Mermaid, Ariel), Barbie has become one (on many occasions), and I've spotted half-fish versions of Lalaloopsy, Monster High, Dora the Explorer, Mooshka and more over the past year. The big question for me has become, "At what age do I show the girls SPLASH?" - the 1984 classic that for me, shaped how I'd forever view mermaids (sans that "Murmaider" song from METALOCALYPSE/DETHKLOK). Bottom line is, when it comes to kids and mermaids, they're a pretty good combo, and thus I'm adding Zuru Toys' MY MAGICAL MERMAID to my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER. There's a good chance you've seen it on television or in-stores, but I'm gonna show you real video of it in-action here at Rock Father HQ.
The folks at Wicked Cool Toys have served-up a couple of oddities this year (see: CAT PAW), and today comes a Holiday Wish Guide feature on a toy line that I didn't even expect to like... much less see land a spot in the annual rundown of cool Holiday Gifts. CRASHLINGS (Meteor Mutants from Outer Space) are a collection of micro figures, vehicles and playsets that come with "poppable" meteors - the idea being that these little creatures from another world crashed into earth inside of said meteors. The poppable action sends these things flying, and in our experience has become dangerously-addictive - for the entire family. If you have father, mother and two daughters popping little meteors around the house... you get the picture.
A new entry into the world of larger-scale dolls, Global Girl is unique for a variety of reasons - starting with the 21" size, but that's just the surface. The dolls were inspired by children's curiosity about different cultures around the world, and rather than make the doll look similar to the child, each doll has it's own mold and traits indicative of the land from which it represents. Accompanying stories are meant to be "inspirational and empowering," with hope that "the ongoing collection of dolls and books will pique girls' interest and excitement about other cultures at a young age and help prepare them for the future." That's something I can get behind, and Global Girl secures a spot in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.
When it hits November, you know it's CALL OF DUTY season, and this year's launch of CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE has ushered-in a new era for the long-running franchise. For older kids (17+) and grownups, I'm including the latest COD game in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER - and as in years past, I'm gonna give you a chance to win one - but this year, this game is a little bit different: Five (5) lucky readers will score CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE on their choice of system - Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.
The countdown is on! Lalaloopsy's World's Largest PJ Party will be taking place on Saturday, November 15th from 7-10pm ET as an attempt will be made to break the Guinness World Record for "Most Slumber Party Participants in Multiple Locations" - a record that currently stands at 34,000. With home base set for the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, kids around the world can take part (with grownup assistance) by joining the fun with hashtag #LalaPJParty on Twitter and Facebook, where the Lala crew will be live tweeting and posting from the event. We'll be taking part from here at Rock Father HQ, but in the meantime - I'm launching another Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway, partnered with my friends at MGA Entertainment to give all of you a shot at winning one of 2014's most-wished-for gifts, the LALALOOPSY BAKING OVEN!
When I was a kid, I had a playmat for my toy cars. It was a thin sheet of plastic that rolled out to display a cool scene involving roads, towns, cities, and countryside. It got a ton of use, and each time it would be put away, the more tattered it would become. Three decades later, playmats have evolved into a market of their own, with many options available from printed area rugs to textured rubber tiles. The big problem tends to be that they're not portable, and that's something that Prince Lionheart has addressed with their new Everywhere playMAT - a 6.5ft x 4.9ft reversible foam mat that folds into smaller configurations and then slips neatly into it's included carrying case for travel and storage. Reversible, with a city scene on one side and a zoo on the other, it's a perfect backdrop for adventure for Ages 0+, with plenty of fun for babies, toddlers and younger kids. It's a unique addition to my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.