Cuddle Barn Musical Plush (Pop Star-Inspired)
With their musical connection, this trio of animated plush from Cuddle Barn caught The Rock Father's eye. MOOS LIKE JAGGER dances and sings to his own version of the Maroon 5 hit, "Moves Like Jagger"; HEARTTHROB HENRY grooves to his version of the One Direction hit "What Makes You Beautiful"; SASSY SALLY is inspired by Selena Gomez, singing “Love You Like a Love Song”. Though Gomez recently split from boyfriend Justin Bieber (or are they back on now?), the latter plush makes a fine companion for Cuddle Barn's (Justin) BEAVER that was released last year and sings "Baby."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (XBOX 360, PS3, Wii)
There's a reason I post those "Daddy Shooting Pixels" posts here on The Rock Father - sometimes Dad needs to fire up the XBOX 360 and blow off a little steam. My battlefield of choice tends to be Activision's CALL OF DUTY series, and while I was a little underhelmed by last years entry (Modern Warfare 3), this year brings CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2 - a step into the future (literally), as the action takes place largely in 2025. NOT FOR THE KIDS, this one is for grownups only!
The Land of Nod Baby Gift Bag
Many times I've found that it's fun to assemble a basket or gift bag full of fun items for someone with a new arrival. Unfortunately, time is sometimes a factor, and for the busy gifter, The Land of Nod offers a pair of baby gift bags available in Large ($99) or Jumbo ($149, pictured left) sizes. Each offers an assortment of cute items (books, blocks, rings, flash cards, and more) all packaged in a handy canvas tote bag.
Skylanders Giants (XBOX 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U)
In 2011, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was a surprise hit that became a massive phenomenon. Now, the Skylanders are back for another cross-platform adventure in SKYLANDERS GIANTS. With a new story, a ton of new characters, and yes, loads of new toys. Genius marketing to tie the video game into physical toys, but also a fantastic play experience.
My First Dollhouse by Fisher-Price
This isn't a "new" item, as it's been on the market for several years. But, it's such a great item that I've been recommending it ever since my oldest daughter received one for Christmas two years ago. Truly the perfect "first" dollhouse, this playset is sturdy, easy-to-clean, and provides lasting fun. Two years-running and this is still played with DAILY here at Rock Father HQ. Available in both Caucasian or African-American editions, a variety of add-on sets including characters and furniture are available. We have them all.
Daisy Rock specifically makes "Girl Guitars," and for those of you with a daughter on-track to become a rock star, a starter guitar makes a great Holiday Gift. The Daisy Rock Debutante Junior Miss Acoustic Guitar Pack contains a Junior-sized guitar, picks, a strap, and an electronic tuner - all the basic supplies for a girl to get rocking right out of the box - all for under $100 through Guitar Center.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star Lullaby Collections
While there's several companies that offer lullaby versions of popular music, one of my favorites is Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star. Released by the Roma Music Group, TTLRS offers the largest library in the lullaby game, with over 90 titles as of this writing. Their "lullabies for all ages" transform famous songs into "lush instrumental versions" perfect for rocking your babies' nursery. True "rock" lullabies are available from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Slayer, Green Day, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and more. Oh, and perfect for the Holiday Season, they have two volumes (1, 2) of Christmas lullabies as well.
Sophie the Giraffe Teether by Vulli
It was my France-obsessed wife who first alerted me to the existence of Sophie the Giraffe at some point in-between daughters. Born on May 25, 1961 in Paris France, the original Sophie toy hasn't changed in 51 years. Now popular here in the 'States, I bought the original Sophie the Giraffe for our newest daughter right before she was born this summer. Although Sophie is made for babies, our three-year-old loves her, too. In fact, we now have at least three variations of Sophie here at Rock Father HQ.
Little Tikes Campin' Adventures Campsite
One of the best purchases I made this year was the Little Tikes Campin' Adventures Campsite. While there's a whole line of Campin' Adventures products and bundles available, I bought Addie the Campsite, Little Explorers Set, and Slumberin' Critters Bunny - all for her birthday. The whole thing has been used on a regular basis since then, making for a great deal of fun indoors and out.
Barbie - The Princess & The Popstar by Mattel
This Fall, my oldest daughter finally started getting into the world of Barbie. Growing up in a musical household, it's not surprising that she gravitated toward the recent PRINCESS & THE POPSTAR line of toys, along with the companion film (now on DVD). While she only has two Barbie dolls right now (both from this line), her collection will be expanding come Christmas morning. We've got some plans to jump-start her Barbie horizons with more items from this series and beyond.
Do you have a budding little drummer at home that's ready to move beyond the plastic toy drums and into something a little more real? If so, than the PDP Player 5-Piece Junior Drum Set With Cymbals and Throne might be exactly what you're looking for.
It's a set designed for children ages 3-7.
Barbeque Party by Asmodee
Geared toward ages 4+, Barbeque Party is suitable for the whole family and can be adapted for younger players. Here's what it's all about:
"Veggies to grill, and some chicken and hot dogs too! But to win you need 3 of each... Pick a card, it will tell you what you need to grill next... When you pick that card again, it means that it is ready and you need to remove it… BUT… you better be careful, because this friendly barbeque doesn't like to be tickled… One false move and BOOOMMM and your meal will be late!"