Holiday 2014For quite awhile now, Hasbro has been releasing versions of Mr. Potato Head that have been mashed with other pop culture licenses. While many of these are full-size Mr. Potato Heads (I have an Opti-mash Prime TRANSFORMERS edition from 2007-ish) or miniature (see the Playskool Mixable, Mashable Heroes I posted about recently), now comes something that's more of a medium-sized spud, and produced by PPW Toys under license from Hasbro. Mr. Potato Head Pop Taters are a starchy entry into a collectible realm that's currently being dominated by Funko's Pop! Vinyl - similar in size, but with that classic Potato Head action that kids and grownups tend to dig. With the latest assortment including characters from THE SIMPSONS, DOCTOR WHO, MARVEL and STAR WARS (along with some NHL and MLB-inspired pieces), we received a trio for review, and I've chosen to include them in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.

Holiday 2014I had a very "Christmas morning" type of moment here at Rock Father HQ not long ago, a priceless moment, yet one that comes with the unique position of running this website - I'm always afraid of messing up the timing with my little ones, if only because the stuff I write about can come seasonally ahead-of-schedule. Just a couple of weeks ago, I featured the Collector's Edition Hess Toy Truck (which is now sold out and going for insane prices on eBay) in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide, a special entry into the long-running series of Hess Toy Trucks that I'd written about in the past, but always had to admire from afar since they were previously an "East Coast" tradition. But that wasn't the only truck that the Hess Corporation released this year, but a companion to the 2014 50th Anniversary Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout a three-in-one toy that was just released for this Holiday season. Wouldn't you know, a rectangular box, neatly enveloped in Hess green wrapping paper arrived here at our home, and I gave it to Little Finley to open. Her reaction was beyond adorable.

Saturday, December 06 2014 16:53

Holiday Wish Guide: Ever After High Magic Mirror

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Holiday 2014It seemed like it was a slow-go at launch, but after being on the shelves for over a year now, Mattel's Monster High spin-off Ever After High has become a pretty big hit on it's own. With the dolls a hot item this Holiday season, role-play is catching on as well and the Ever After High Magic Mirror by Cartwheel Kids is the centerpiece item for any child's Ever After High collection. This talking mirror features lights and sounds, and comes packed with makeup tucked-away into "hidden" compartments for easy storage. Similar to the action of a Magic 8 Ball, kids can ask the mirror a question and then await a response. Royal or Rebel? That's for fate to decide, but fairytale dreams can certainly be enhanced by the destiny-revealing Ever After High Magic Mirror.

Holiday 2014"How many radio controlled cars do you need?" That's a question posited by my wife not long ago, and one I can only answer with "as many as possible!" After all, they're "for the kids," right? Well, what I enjoy is innovation, and from Jada Toys comes the new line of HyperChargers RC vehicles, and they're definitely work a look. See, these things are not only fun and fast, but attack the problem of mass battery consumption though a novel approach - USB charging. While the controller still needs standard batteries, the cars themselves will never succumb to being the battery hogs that we're all used to. Aside from single cars and trucks, Jada has released a pair of "Heat" Chase Twin Packs that put a pair of cars against each other for under $40. Having checked out the HyperChargers Ford Mustang Boss 308 Police Car vs. the Chevrolet Camaro SS here at Rock Father HQ, I can confidently include these in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide.

A Charlie Brown Christmas2014 marks 50 years of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS airing on television, first on CBS (boy, do I remember eagerly awaiting the start of it as a kid, when it would be prefaced by this groovy intro) and now on ABC. After making it's latest bow earlier this month, ABC will air A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS once more on Tuesday, December 16 at 8:00PM EST/PST (though it's always available on Blu-ray and DVD). To celebrate the big 5-0 ahead of next year's PEANUTS movie (see a trailer here), Kohl's, Target and Old Navy have rolled-out some exclusive Peanuts apparel for the holidays, and THE ROCK FATHER is proud to team-up with Santa Snoopy to help get your family outfitted! Check out the assortment below, and then enter for your chance to win!*

Saturday, December 06 2014 10:18

Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway: SOL Republic PUNK Speaker

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Holiday 2014A few times a year, I tend to check out some of the latest in audio-based gadgets, several of which I report on here at THE ROCK FATHER. A couple of the coolest this year came from SOL Republic. Their RELAYS In-Ear Headphones have become my go-to set for use at the gym (trumping some other brands I'd been using), and their PUNK Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a fine choice for being ultra-portable in that it fits in the palm of your hand and can be mounted onto a bike or backpack. I'm not only featuring both of these great items in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide, but giving all of you a shot at winning the PUNK Wireless Bluetooth Speaker!

Robot Chicken'Tis the season... to be mischievous! Or so says that annual visitor from the North Pole, the jovial chap in the red stocking cap, but not the man named 'Claus." I'm speaking, of course, about The Elf on the Shelf. While a family tradition for many, these "scout elves" are known to move around one's home acting as a sentry for Santa Claus himself, reporting on who's been naughty and nice in the weeks ahead of the big day, Christmas. These good elves are noble in their duties, but as sites like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post (who practically has an entire section of Elf-related snark) have shown us over and over again... there's some bad elves in the bunch. With that, THE ROCK FATHER has teamed-up with ROBOT CHICKEN and [adult swim] to give YOU a chance to say #EffTheElf! This is your chance to have some fun taking pictures of your own dolls and action figures out-elfing those effing elves, and in the process gain a chance to win an ultra-rare [adult swim] stocking packed with ROBOT CHICKEN goodies, including the new ROBOT CHICKEN CHRISTMAS SPECIALS DVD from Warner Home Video! Get out your camera and your toys... it's time to play and do a little toyography!

THE ROCK FATHER - Holiday 2014For some it's A CHRISTMAS STORY. For others, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or WHITE CHRISTMAS. For me, the undisputed greatest Holiday film of all-time is the 1996 Christmas classic, JINGLE ALL THE WAY - a film that I've mentioned in nearly 30 articles on this site alone.  The reasons behind my affection for the film are many (a "perfect storm" of elements), so when the news arrived that Twentieth Century Fox and WWE Studios were going into production on a belated sequel, I covered the announcement with cautious optimism. For me, the thought of a JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 was akin to messing with the legacy of what I'd argue to be the CITIZEN KANE of Christmas films, so when the out-of-nowhere opportunity to visit the Vancouver set came along, I couldn't pass it up. In March, I found myself standing alongside Larry the Cable Guy, WWE Superstar Santino Marella and director Alex Zamm (THE LITTLE RASCALS SAVE THE DAY) on the set of JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2. Thousands of miles from Rock Father HQ, I was back inside a world of movie magic that I'd been missing - a member of the FHE Insiders crew.

When I was little, Mickey Mouse was a great friend - something I've written about in the past. In fact, before I got into things like STAR WARS and G.I. JOE, Mickey and his friends were tops, and that makes it even sweeter when I see my girls enjoying the "Magical World of Disney," from DOC McSTUFFINS and SOFIA THE FIRST to MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE and MINNIE'S BOW-TIQUE. Of my two daughters, it's Little Finley that has a particular affection for Mickey and Minnie, and that helps plant the Minnie's Bow-Tique Hold My Hands Singing Minnie Mouse by Just Play on my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide. Recommended for Ages 3+, Minnie is a great toy that Finn has been enjoying hands-on, so much that I believe your little ones will love it, too.

You almost can't go wrong with MY LITTLE PONY, and that's something that my girls (and a massive following of kids and grownups alike) will be happy to back me up on. While viewers eagerly await the fifth season of MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC (coming to Discovery Family next year), the toy aisles have been serving up some new ways to have some adventures in Equestria. From Cartwheel Kids under license from Hasbro comes the Pinkie Pie Sweet Style Pony, a new twist on the classic styling heads that kids have been playing with for ages.

When it comes to the art of foam warfare, more "firepower" is always a good thing, and for the growing legion of kids and grownups alike that take to the battlefield, more power often comes at an increasingly high price. A new player in the foam aisle is Prime Time International, and at the top of their arsenal sits the Dart Zone: Covert Ops Scorpion Gatling Blaster. Available this season as a Walmart exclusive, this thing packs 20 foam darts into a flywheel magazine that's capable of shooting up to 70 feet - and at the bargain price of just $19.97 MSRP, it lands firmly in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide.

Though it just turned one last week, Walt Disney Animation Studios' FROZEN is here to stay, and now - for the first time in forever - audiences can enjoy the FROZEN Sing-along Edition on DVD, just in-time for the Holidays! To celebrate, Disney and THE ROCK FATHER have teamed-up for a Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway where readers can enter for a chance to score this new version of FROZEN to enjoy in their own home. Do you want to build a snowman... or let it go, again?

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