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May 25, 2017 marked the official 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, and the folks at Funko marked the occasion by making their latest Smuggler's Bounty Box a themed affair to celebrate the big birthday. Since launching alongside The Force Awakens, each box (shipped on alternating months) has borrowed a theme based on a particular film (like the recent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), location (Jabba's Palace) or show (Star Wars Rebels). Over the past year and a half, the contents of the boxes has been a bit of a mixed bag, with certain months being fantastic, and others feeling sorta empty. It's unfortunate, but the 40th Anniversary Box hits on the latter note for us, which I will explain. First, check out our unboxing video...

Baseball season is in full-effect, and here in the Chicago area, there's some rumbling coming out of the South Side. Guaranteed Rate, the eighth largest retail mortgage lender in the nation, and the Chicago White Sox recently announced the Guaranteed Impact contest, which will honor kids and teens who are making a positive difference in their communities or schools.  The Guaranteed Impact winners will be recognized at a home White Sox game with a shout-out from announcers with their photo on the videoboard and provided a suite including food and beverages to enjoy the game at Guaranteed Rate Field with up to 15 friends and family members. There will be 10 winners throughout the 2017 season, all celebrated at different home games.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Lexus in general, so I was excited to drive the 2017 CT 200h F SPORT when it arrived here at Rock Father HQ some weeks back. Packing Lexus style and F SPORT performance into a small, hatchback package, the immediate draw of the CT 200h is that it's a hybrid - a fuel-efficient, gas-powered luxury vehicle that carries a combined fuel economy of 42mpg. 

There's some mischief afoot over at Super Impulse. While numerous super villains have tried and failed repeatedly to craft a "Shrink Ray" as part of their nefarious plans, someone over at Super Impulse has created one, and yes - it works. I first featured their line of World's Smallest toys here on the site as part of my annual Holiday Wish Guide in 2016, but apparently the evil geniuses weren't satisfied at simply shrinking the likes of Fisher-Price classics, Rubik's Cubes and Polaroid Instamatic Cameras. Nope, now they've managed to shrink Hasbro's G.I. Joe (the 60's style 12" "Man of Action") and Mattel's Hot Wheels. Now these classics are small enough to be toys for your toys. They were so proud of their shrinking technology that they had to send me one of each just to brag about how awesome they are. I dig it.

As of this writing, Paramount Pictures' big-screen BAYWATCH has just hit theaters for Memorial Day weekend, ushering in summer with a new spin on the syndicated TV favorite. With Dwayne Johnson stepping into David Hasselhoff's iconic trunks as lifeguard Mitch Buchannon, a new generation is getting a taste of slow-mo beach running as Mitch and the crew (which includes Jon Bass as Ronnie, Alexandra Daddario as Summer, Zac Efron as Matt Brody, Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker, and Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden) take down some baddies that threaten the bay. For the new BAYWATCH, the coast is flipped - with Los Angeles County out, and Florida's Broward County in. While you might not think that an R-rated BAYWATCH screams "toys!," the folks at Greenlight Collectibles are here with a 1:64-scale offering as part of their Greenlight Hollywood series.

Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father, BOSEbuild and Life of Dad

Perhaps you’ve heard of the “summer slump” - that mid-year break between the end of one school year and the beginning of another. While I’ve long-said that kids don’t have enough of a summer break, even a matter of weeks is enough to break the cycle of learning, and that can be troubling. As parents, it’s up to us to make sure that those curious young minds are still learning during the summer months, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities are a great tool to have. For those with kids curious in how things work, BOSEbuild has just the project - and it’s so much more than simply “building a speaker.”

Saturday, May 27 2017 09:05

Review: Hot Wheels Super Rigs "Pencil Pusher"

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With the amount of options available for kids in the diecast aisles, it's often easy to overlook some of the most creative ones in the mix. From Mattel's Hot Wheels Super Rigs Collection comes the Pencil Pusher, a removable cab semi-truck that's inspired by the creativity of a child. This isn't just a toy truck, though - it comes packed with a gold chrome edition of the famed "Hot Wheels High School" bus, and the truck itself is sized right to haul crayons. But that's not all...

As the Fidget Spinner craze continues to grow, it's pretty incredible to see just how fast a host of products have hit the market, many of which have dubious levels of safety and quality. With so many options appearing everywhere from major retailers to gas stations and street corners, the folks at The Toy Association have served-up some tips, as they urge caution and stress safety when it comes to the polarizing little gadgets. Considering a Fidget Spinner or already have one in your home? Here's some things to think about... 

In my adventures over the years, I've had the opportunity to drive a lot of different vehicles. What I've come to realize is that I'm definitely a "car guy" - meaning that I have little interest in motorcycles, and a limited knowledge of trucks. That doesn't mean that I haven't driven them, as I've been behind the wheel of many, but surprisingly it's full-size pickup trucks that have largely eluded me. That's just one reason why I was so intrigued by the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2017 Toyota Tundra Limited Double Cab - a full-size pickup, and a ride that feels just gigantic compared to what I'm used to. The quick take? I loved it.

Netflix Stream TeamNintendo is going through a renaissance right now. The Nintendo Switch is an excellent game system and an even better experience, continuing to win fans as The Legend of Zelda and Mario are once again bringing generations together. Last Fall, the NES Mini Classic Edition arrived, fast-becoming a sought-after collectible that was hard to get, yet great to play - a perfect way for kids of my generation to introduce 30 classic games to kids of our own. Though it was quickly discontinued ("never meant to be a long-term item" is the reason), rumors persist that an SNES Classic Edition is lurking down the road. Beyond gaming itself, I've previously written about the deep gaming content available on Netflix, and on July 7, that world expands with the debut of the Netflix Original Series CASTLEVANIA. Thanks to the NES Classic, I've introduced the game to my girls... but now it's time to go bigger into the legend of the Belmont clan, and even the first teaser involves blowing into a classic NES cartridge. Check this out...

It is officially 5-25-17, and that means that STAR WARS is officially 40 years old! To celebrate, the cast of HAMILTON stopped by the Lucasfilm campus at Skywalker Ranch this week to sing "Happy Birthday" to the iconic film franchise. But that's not all! For the 50th episode of The Star Wars Show, the crew over at StarWars.com have thrown down some new details about Rian Johnson's upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in addition to sitting down with Timothy Zahn (no relation), the creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Check it out below...

It's been a pretty nostalgic week for a lot of reasons, and today has brought with it a few pieces of news that all seem to point firmly back to the mid 1990s. 311 provided a lot of soundtrack for those years, and on June 23rd, they'll release their latest album, MOSAIC, via BMG. Today comes a new music video, "Too Much To Think," which can be viewed below...

Like the PAW Patrol, the folks at Nickelodeon are on a roll! The network sent over details on new seasons for four of their most popular series, each renewed for another year - and all four of which have scored big right here at Rock Father HQ. A fifth season of PAW Patrol, a fourth season of Shimmer and Shine and second seasons of Rusty Rivets and Nella the Princess Knight are all part of the network’s largest preschool content pipeline ever of returning hit shows and new series for the 2017-2018 season. Check out all the details below!

It's been nearly a decade since Goldfinger released a new album, but now singer-songwriter/producer John Feldmann has resurrected the name for a new album with a brand-new lineup. Goldfinger's The Knife will be released July 21 through Rise Records. The revamped lineup features Feldmann on guitar/vocals, with MXPX’s Mike Herrera on bass and Story of the Year’s Phil Sneed on guitar (both doing backup vocals as well). Blink-182's Travis Barker is on the throne behind the drum kit for this one, and there's a ton of guest stars as well.

As we approach the June 16 release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, there's quite a bit of fantastic toys and merchandise that I plan to feature here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. With shipments having already arrived here at Rock Father HQ from licensing partners like Mattel and Just Play, I have plenty to keep me busy - and then this news shows up... that Sphero, the same company that blew people's minds with their App-controlled BB-8 back in 2015, has an "Ultimate Lightning McQueen." I could tell you that the $300 app-controlled RC car looks fantastic, but you really need to just watch the video...

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