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Saturday, August 19 2017 20:57

Mark Wahlberg is Headed for HASCON...

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One of the highlights of the year for our family thus far was attending the red carpet premiere of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT in Chicago. Among the cast and crew in attendance was star Mark Wahlberg, who's played Cade Yeager in the past couple of installments, and now he's headed for Hasbro's HASCON - their first ever "FANmily" event. Happening September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, HASCON will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life, with experiences based around Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, MarvelPlay-Doh. Wahlberg will take part in a special panel devoted to the making of Michael Bay's latest TRANSFORMERS film, followed by a special dinner event. Check out the details below...

It's interesting timing given that Marvel's Daredevil just hit Netflix again yesterday in the first season of The Defenders... and on the same day, EVANESCENCE releases a new version of the song they contributed to the soundtrack of 2003's Daredevil feature film (the Ben Affleck one). Coincidence, I'm sure, but "Bring Me To Life" is the song most identifiable with the band, and for their fourth studio album, SYNTHESIS, the band is reworking their classics into orchestral versions, in addition to recording a pair of all-new tracks. Amy Lee has been covered here more recently for her foray into the world of Children's/Kindie music, but now comes time to fire up the band again...

This special feature is brought to you in collaboration between Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Home Entertainment & The Rock Father™.

Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has come home on Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack (out 8/22), and to celebrate the release, we're throwing some big focus onto the music of the Guardians. Filmmaker James Gunn stresses that "music is such an important part of this movie," and that's something carried over from the first film, and even into Disney XD's animated series. Awesome Mix Vol. 1, Awesome Mix Vol. 2 and Cosmic Mix Vol. 1 are all integral pieces of the Guardians experience, with the song selection for the live-action films being hand-picked and written into each screenplay by Gunn. With music in mind, my friends at Disney asked what an "Awesome Mix" would sound like if chosen by The Rock Father™ - a potential soundtrack to my four decades of life. The results of that challenge can be heard in Guardians of the Galaxy 2: The Rock Father's Awesome Mix Tape - an 81-song collection containing over five hours of music available to stream on Spotify. Now we're giving you a chance to add to it, but also a shot at winning a fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prize Pack!

P.O.D. is back with a new single and a tour about to begin.  “Soundboy Killa” made its debut this week via AltPress, and will be available for purchase beginning September 8, 2017. The track debut arrived with a new lyric video, viewable below. About the song, P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval says, “Rock & Roll has become entertainment that just says what the consumer wants to hear. There's no more edge or rebellion that sets it apart from the norm. 'Soundboy Killa' is classic P.O.D. guitar riff power, head banging groove with the lyrical attitude and edge missing in today's Rock & Roll.” Check it out below...

Marvel's THE DEFENDERS just made its long-awaited debut, streaming exclusively on Netflix. The combined adventures of Daredevil AKA Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) Iron Fist AKA Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and possibly, eventually The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) [Ed: I haven't had a chance to delve in yet, but I expect him to be there] find the heroes uniting to save New York City. Along with the series comes a soundtrack, and Marvel Music/Hollywood Records have delivered. 

You may have seen me post about Zuru Toys' Bunch O Balloons earlier this year - most likely on my social networks, or when I co-hosted a twitter party for them with The Toy Insider. Realizing I hadn't given them a proper feature here on the site from my hands-on experience, it's time to throw down a few words about the water balloons that have been famously touted for the ability to "fill and tie 100 balloons in 60 seconds." Quite simply: they absolutely work.

One of the highlights of this summer's 2017 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, was the opportunity to shop for exclusive merchandise from across the Disney spectrum. Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm were all represented in the Disney Dream Store, and for Star Wars fans, one of the most sought-after purchases was the latest from the Disney Parks Droid Factory Build-A-Droid action figure series: R5-D23. This 3.75" scale droid is a perfect companion for Star Wars action figures from the original Kenner vintage series (1977-1985) or the modern Hasbro collections. Having attended D23 Expo myself (as a guest of Disney), I had a chance to stop by the Dream Store, and I picked up an extra R5-D23 with the sole purpose of passing him along to one of you!

Warner Bros.' The LEGO Batman Movie has proven to be one of 2017's biggest hits - a follow-up to 2014's The LEGO Movie, but one with perhaps even more appeal to families that embrace the desire for adventure. Like it's predecessor, our kids have had a desire to take the film with them, and that's something we've seen from the start. When General Motors showed off the Chevrolet version of The LEGO Movie Batmobile at The Chicago Auto Show back in February, my oldest daughter was right there rockin' her LEGO Batman backpack. When a LEGO Batgirl costume popped up at Walmart - the girls had to have it. And by summer, the movie was available on Digital HD, and the girls insisted that it be added to the iPad for the road. In fact, on our June trip to the lake house in Wisconsin, we traveled with a LEGO Batman pack. 

Friday, August 18 2017 10:35

Wizard Magazine is Attempting a Comeback...

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They say that “Nothing stays dead in comics,” and that's exactly how the folks at Wizard World led off the announcement that they're getting back into the editorial fold with a "digital re-imagination, re-conception and re-launch of Wizard, as part of a new digital initiative which includes WizPop, a daily pop-culture news service reporting on the biggest stories of the day in pop-culture, entertainment, and fandom." Set to officially relaunch at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago (August 24-27, 2017), they say that "plans are in the works to return to publishing Wizard as a premium quarterly magazine." Magazines are a hard thing to relaunch in either print or digital, and that's something I have a little experience with myself.

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Marvel Studios

We moved through the dark and cavernous space behind Hall D23 quickly - catching glimpses of technicians whose faces were illuminated only by the cool glow of their computer screens. I likened it to the inner workings of the Imperial Death Star, a skilled crew making sure that the technical aspects of the presentations on the main stage at this summer's D23 Expo went off without a hitch. Like The Emperor's Royal Guards, they would also serve as silent protectors - Guardians preventing untimely leaks of footage from upcoming films that in some cases are more than two years out from their official release. As our group made its way through the backstage labyrinth of makeshift green rooms crafted of black pipe-and-drape, we arrived at our destination for a meeting with a mysterious figure known called "Josh Snow."

Thursday, August 17 2017 09:43

Country: Shania Twain Announces 2018 NOW Tour Dates...

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As first revealed last night on THE TONIGHT SHOW Starring Jimmy Fallon, five-time GRAMMY winner Shania Twain has announced that she will hit the road next year in support of her new album, NOW.  These dates mark Shania's first tour since "Rock This Country" back in 2015. Produced by Live Nation, the tour kicks off May 3rd in Tacoma, WA and will run through the rest of the summer, culminating in Las Vegas on August 4th at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Update - 8/17/17, 8:30am: Looks like someone at Hasbro goofed and perhaps jumped the gun. After being live on their official YouTube Channel for more than 12 hours, three of the four new commercials have been removed. I'll replace them in this article if/when they're restored.  

As we approach the next "Force Friday" event on September 1, the folks at Hasbro have updated their official YouTube Channel tonight with a look at some of the new STAR WARS toys set for release ahead of Rian Johnson's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI this December. The big one (literally) has already elicited a verbal "I want that!" from the youngest of The Rock Daughters™, along with a mental of "I want that..." from yours truly. Indeed, Hasbro is releasing a playset, and I honestly can't remember the last time that they did a proper 3.75" playset that wasn't just a fold-out vehicle. In this case, they're releasing a large BB-8 that opens up into a First Order Star Destroyer, complete with four levels of play and figures of Supreme Leader Snoke and an Elite Praetorian Guard. Take a look at the new commercial below!

Way back on February 2, I was the first to give you an early look at the Step2 McLaren 570S - the first toy created under a new partnership between McLaren Automotive and The Step2 Company. Now that ride has a street date, and the revolutionary 570S Step2 Push Sports Car will be rolling out to in September as an Amazon Exclusive before arriving at global retailers and Step2.com later this fall. 

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

I don't recall what I was doing on Friday, June 24, 1994, but chances are I was probably working my job as Assistant Dairy Manager of the local Hy-Vee grocery store in my then-home of Davenport, Iowa. I was a month or so past my high school graduation, and one of the summer's big movies was Walt Disney Animation Studios' THE LION KING. Aside from the buzz, I don't even remember what initially drew my attention to the film at the time, but I do remember taking a girl to see a matinee screening - not really a "date," but an afternoon adventure. It became one of my favorite films of that year, along with PULP FICTION, AIRHEADS, SPEED, NATURAL BORN KILLERS - and from the absolute opposite end of the cinematic spectrum, a tiny film called PCU, directed by the guy who played Ellis in DIE HARD. Now, with "The Circle of Life Edition" of THE LION KING being issued on Digital HD (out now for the first time) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (out 8/29) as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection, my appreciation and love of the film burns brighter than ever after attending this summer's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, where I was in the room for a special panel in celebration of this classic slice of Disney perfection.

The following dispatch was received to Rock Father HQ this morning from the mighty GWAR:

On October 20th, GWAR will release a new studio album entitled "The Blood of Gods" via Metal Blade Records.  In support of the new album, your Lords and Masters will leave their arctic slumber and return to the road to cause aural devastation across North America.  Joining in the chaos will be Ghoul, Doyle (10/20-11/5), He Is Legend (11/7-12/10) and U.S. Bastards.  The tour kicks off in Richmond, VA on October 20th and runs through December 10th in Detroit, MI.  The tour includes a stop in New York City on Halloween as well!  A complete list of dates can be found below.

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