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When you pair my favorite vocalist of all-time, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) with one of my favorite drummers of all-time, Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Fantomas) I'm interested, and thus DEAD CROSS has been firmly on my radar. Today, the band which also features Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer) have announced their first North American tour dates.

Monday, May 22 2017 10:43

Getting DIYZ: Replacing Rotten Deck Boards

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The Rock Father™ has collaborated with the DIYZ® app and Life of Dad for this Home Improvement feature. All tools and materials have been chosen by The Rock Father. Opinions are that of James Zahn. #GetWise

As I am writing this, my wife and I have now owned our house for seven years. In fact, after twelve moves in my life, the home that has become known as “Rock Father HQ” will soon become the one that I’ve lived in the longest. With homeownership comes some challenges, and while we’ve tackled many with the #RockFatherRemodel project (the goal is that the house will get nicer as it gets older), others have been more daunting. Often they’re projects that don’t need to be.

The Fidget Spinner craze is something I imagine will start to slow pretty quickly. It seemingly came out of nowhere, with dozens of different Fidget Spinners, Fidget Cubes, and Fidget Dies hitting the market almost simultaneously, and the variance in quality is astounding. We were a little late to the party, but after a special trip to Learning Resources a few weeks back, we returned home with a metal, light-up Fidget Spinner, and a 12-Sided Fidget Die. My wallet was $50 lighter, annoying as we're starting to see these pop-up much cheaper everywhere, but the big bonus is the fantastic set of instructions that came with the 12-Sided Fidget Die. Labeled as the "Holy Crystal Decompression Magic Cube" (what does that even mean?), this thing came packed with detailed descriptions for each of the 12 sides, presented in classic, poorly-translated English. This is "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" territory, so I decided to pay a visit to The Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ™ to read the instructions on video, just for you. Check it out!

The Toy InsiderIt's time for another great Twitter Party with The Toy Insider, and I'll be there as a Panelist during the #MyLilButter Twitter Party, sponsored by Snaptoys, on Thursday, May 25 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EST. We'll be talking toys for a full hour full of fun, trivia, and giveaways, all in celebration of Lil' Butters - a new collection of 4" "Social Butterflies" - awesome collectible figures, each with a unique personality and look. I'll have a review up here on The Rock Father Magazine shortly, but in the meantime, check out what Marissa at The Toy Insider had to say about Lil' Butters Series 1 and Series 2, and be sure to RSVP and join us this Thursday!

Starting with a preview post in which I took an early look at the series alongside Mentor and Pixar Consumer Products Creative Director Jen Tan (read it here), each week for the past two months, I've been following ABC's THE TOY BOX. Last night, the eight-episode competition series wrapped it's first season, with hopeful toy inventors vying to have their creations produced by Mattel, and the winning toy to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. If you pay attention to details like episode production numbering, you may have noticed that THE TOY BOX aired out of order, which is something easy to do with series' that don't carry a narrative. In this case, THE TOY BOX played with audience anticipation by introducing two important entries in episode 106 - which actually aired as episode 7, the final episode before the grand finale. Now, the judges - Sophia Grace Brownlee (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”), Aalyrah Caldwell (“Uncle Buck”), Toby Grey (“The Unexpected John Cena Prank”) and Noah Ritter (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”) - have spoken, and a winner has been crowned. As of today, the winner is available at Toys "R" Us, but that's not the only toy from THE TOY BOX that's hitting shelves this year. In fact, one popular finalist has a link to the past... specifically, Mattel's past, and now it's coming back. 

Even though Disney XD's DuckTales hasn't even made it's season one debut, the series already has a season two pick-up, and now it's getting bigger. Multi-hyphenate entertainment badass Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Moana, Mary Poppins Returns) has joined the series as Gizmoduck, "a Duckburg hero whose true identity is Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, a brilliant young intern working for Scrooge McDuck's personal mad scientist, Gyro Gearloose." 

Presented in collaboration with Little, Brown & Co

How long should it take to change a tire? In truth, that’s not an easy question to answer, as there’s variables to the equation. From type of vehicle to the tools available, the speed of changing a tire can have vast differences. One prime example is changing the tire of your daily driver. If you had a flat, you could probably change the tire in 20-30 minutes (or less), provided you had a spare, a jack, and the right wrench to remove the lugnuts. On the race track, a pit crew could change all four tires in a matter of seconds. Those are all human applications, so what about penguins? How would the PENGUINS OF AMERICA handle a tire change - particularly one on the track? In theory, the same way we would “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty."

For the past two months, I've been following ABC's THE TOY BOX, an eight-episode competition series in which independent toy inventors battle it out for a chance to have their creations produced by Mattel, with the winning toy to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. Starting with a preview post in which I took an early look at the series alongside mentor and Pixar Consumer Products Creative Director Jen Tan (read it here), each week I've been sharing previews of what's to come on Friday night. As someone who writes about and reviews toys often (both here at The Rock Father™ Magazine and also over at The Toy Insider), I see a lot of new stuff, and that's why THE TOY BOX has held such a personal appeal. In fact, over the course of the series, a few products pitched to me in early development (as far back as January of 2014) have popped up on the show. Now comes the final Friday - a double-dose of THE TOY BOX, starting with the seventh episode and ending with the final round. On Saturday morning, Toys "R" Us will become the destination to pick up the winning toy. Here's a preview...

I still can't believe that we're a decade into Paramount Pictures' TRANSFORMERS franchise. For me, it started in an era pre-kids, and because of the first TRANSFORMERS movie, I ended up becoming a part of that history by voicing several characters in a short that aired on the late G4 Attack of the Show (check this IMDb listing for Starscream and scroll down - you'll find me). Now, I'm raising a pair of TRANSFORMERS fans, and judging from the new International Trailer for TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, the latest film from Michael Bay just might be the best in the series - a chapter that completely changes things. Check it out...

It's that time of year again - the time when all the toymakers start rolling out the news on their SDCC Exclusives - the sought-after collectibles that will only be offered at San Diego Comic-Con International this July. Since I don't attend SDCC (I've long-said that I'll avoid it until I have a creative project to promote again... like one of my own comic or film endeavors), I sorta look at these as a bit of "window shopping" from afar. The first reveal here at Rock Father HQ comes from my friends at Hasbro, with a 12" Daredevil Figure from their MARVEL Legends collection. The SDCC Exclusive features impressive detailing, 30 points of articulation, premium packaging with original artwork by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada. Check it out...

Sony Pictures' THE EMOJI MOVIE has lost its initial tagline (it was announced as The Emoji Movie: Express Yourself), and that's just fine since it's probably best to keep things simple. Today the full trailer for the new film has arrived, and it's our first real look at what to expect when THE EMOJI MOVIE hits theaters on July 28. So what does a feature film based on the icons that live within your phone look like? Sorta like a kid-friendly Sausage Party. Check it out...

On May 19, the fourth film based on Jeff Kinney's smash hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid series arrives in theaters with the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. To celebrate the release, 20th Century Fox and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to give you a shot at winning a $50 Gift Card to see the film in theaters, along with a hardcover copy of the original book! Before we get started, how about you go Wimp Yourself?

I've owned a lot of NERF blasters over the years, and right now we have an arsenal of decent size here at Rock Father HQ. Still, I can't think of a time when I've specifically looked at a NERF blaster and thought: "that is beautiful." That changed today, when my friends at Hasbro sent over details on their NERF Rival Star Wars Battlefront Apollo XV-700 Blaster and Face Mask Set. The special edition Mandalorian set will be available exclusively at Gamestop this spring, and comes decked-out in a full Boba Fett color scheme, ripped straight from EA's STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT!

PJ MasksBack in March, there was a ton of excitement when it was announced that PJ Masks Live Tour was in the works. Now comes the official reveal that Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents will bring PJ Masks Live! Time to Be a Hero to cities across North America starting in September 2017. The "brand-new, fully-immersive musical stage production" is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior. Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, and all of the Baddies will face-off in live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics, and immersive interactivity. Exclusive pre-sales begin Tuesday, May 16, at 10am EST, with the general public on-sale starting Friday, May 19, at 10am EST.

This inside look at Cars 3 is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father and Disney•Pixar...

"Sequels are increasingly challenging. There has to be a meaningful story, or there's just no reason to tell it." - Scott Morse, Story Supervisor, Cars 3

When the first teaser for Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 hit the scene, audiences immediately knew that the third chapter in Lightning McQueen's story would be very different than anything we'd seen before. It's been eleven years since the world of Radiator Springs first came speeding into theaters, and in the decade-plus since, McQueen and the crew have never gone away - though with several short films and one theatrical sequel in 2011's Cars 2 (the film I credit for starting The Rock Daughters' love of cars in general), it was always a grey area as to whether or not another cinematic adventure would be in the cards. For Cars 3, the spirit lies in the groundwork provided in that very first film - largely by inverting it. When we first met McQueen, he was on top - a brash newcomer with an unstoppable spirit... but as history has shown us, you're never on top forever.

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