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Tuesday, July 25 2017 23:29

An Early Look at BIG HERO 6: THE SERIES...

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While I was traveling earlier this month, one bit of news that I'd missed in the shuffle was an early look at the opening title sequence for Big Hero 6: The Series, which will be coming to Disney XD later this Fall. I'm a huge fan of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award-winning film, so seeing the adventures continue on the small screen is something I'm very much looking forward to since the series is set to pick up immediately following the events of the feature. Big Hero 6: The Series continues the adventures and friendship of Hiro, the fourteen-year-old orphaned tech genius and Baymax, his very special plus-sized inflatable healthcare companion. Check out a sneak-peek below...

Universal's Fast & Furious franchise roared back into theaters this year with THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, the eighth feature film in the series. While there have been several different toy lines released based on the individual films, aside from the occasional Hot Wheels release, there hasn't been a really kid-focused collection of toys until now. Mattel's Fast & Furious collection includes several sub-lines of vehicles and playsets in different scales, one of which is the Stunt Stars assortment - 1:32-scale plastic vehicles, each paired with a small action figure and packed with special "stunt" features inspired by scenes from across the various films in the saga. Kids can now recreate their favorite Fast & Furious scenes, or create completely new adventures in small-scale.

As a big kid that plays with a lot of toys, I tend to see a lot of radio controlled vehicles here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™. For the most part, it's always the cars and trucks that score the biggest points, with the more unique ones (motorcycles, for example) tending not to live up to expectations, or coming with a learning curve so big that kids lose interest. Sure, they look cool, but I've seen so many R/C vehicles fail to perform as advertised that when the prospect of an R/C skateboard came up, even my wife scoffed at the notion. Now, I'm here to tell you that when it comes to the new XPV Xtreme Performance Skateboard from JAKKS Pacific, there's finally a unique R/C ride that not only works as-promised, but completely blows the expectations right out of the water. Simply put: this thing is badass!

This special feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

It's been a week since I landed back on the ground in Illinois - arriving on the LAX-O'Hare red eye at 4:35am, knowing that by 9am I'd be back in the groove and taking the girls to their theater camp. That Monday was the end of a week-long journey from coast-to-coast, the back half of which was my first visit to the D23 Expo - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. Held biennially in Anaheim, D23 is like a Disney-only version of what Comic-Con has become - a place for the most loyal of fans to make an in-person connection to the entertainment they love from across the Disney family of companies. After finally adjusting to the jet-lag caused by jetting forward and backward in time, it's time to share more about my adventures in Anaheim, pulling back the curtain on a Disney event unlike any other.

When it comes to the rides of a galaxy far, far away, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more legendary vehicle than the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Indeed, the Millennium Falcon is the most famous example of the Corellian Engineering Company's YT-1300 Light Freighters - albeit a heavily-modified ship that managed to consistently defy the odds under Captain Han Solo and his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca, along with Lando Calrissian and most recently, Rey. To celebrate the legacy of this ship during the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, the folks at Mattel have issued the Hot Wheels Collectors Millennium Falcon Special Edition - a highly detailed Metal/Metal fully-diecast version of the ship as it appeared in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Rock Father is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam...

1984 is a year that I remember well. The Ghostbusters and Gremlins became a huge deal, Michael Jackson's Thriller was still fresh in our minds, and occasional trips to Aladdin's Castle were a serious treat. Now comes the first trailer for the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things 2 - and it captures 1984 just as I remember it. While the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab, Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived. Darkness falls across the land, with Stranger Things 2 arriving just in-time for Halloween...

Unlike the world I grew up in as a kid, military toys for kids in 2017 are a little bit hard to come by. Aside from an True Heroes at Toys "R" Us, Lanard Toys' The Corps at Walmart and maybe the occasional G.I. Joe release from Hasbro, there just isn't a huge presence for old-school military adventures, and with that in mind I was pretty surprised to come across a new collection called AWESOME LITTLE GREEN MEN. Featured on display at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite '17, this new line of blind boxed figures and vehicles comes from MGA Entertainment, the folks behind LOL Surprise, Num Noms, Lalaloopsy, Project Mc2, Bratz and Little Tikes.  With a goal of "combining humor and battle play with a pop vinyl aesthetic," Awesome Little Green Men will begin hitting retail stores nationwide on August 1, 2017.

The Rock Father is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam...

They say that "the war for New York" is over, but for IRON FIST, JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE, DAREDEVIL, and yes - THE PUNISHER - it's just getting started, and on August 18, THE DEFENDERS arrive. The long-awaited first season of the Netflix Original Series from Marvel will be streaming in-full, and straight out of San Diego Comic-Con comes a new trailer, plus a featurette starring Stan Lee, in which we get a look at some of NYC's greatest champions. They're not "super friends," they're THE DEFENDERS!

We seem to have entered an era where drastic production changes amidst unusual circumstances are becoming commonplace, and the fall's JUSTICE LEAGUE is no exception. With Zack Synder stepping aside to tend to family matters, Joss Whedon is at the helm, and today comes a new look at some iconic heroes as they get ready to fight a major battle. Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are all here... and did we just get our first hint that Superman returns? Take a look...

Thor and Loki, working together and smiling? Thor and Hulk, sitting together while having a conversation about their mutual love of fire? What kind of madness is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe this November? In the just-revealed new trailer for THOR: RAGNAROK (which made its debut at SDCC), we get a new look at what looks like the superhero buddy movie we've been missing and just didn't know it. It just looks like everyone is having a ton of fun, and as part of the bigger picture, there's a real sci-fi vibe that makes THOR: RAGNAROK a perfect bridge to when our mighty Asgardian comes face-to-face with the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY when AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR hits theaters next year. Take a look...

Last year, when I had the chance to meet and sit down with filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actor Mark Rylance during the press launch for Disney's THE BFG, their next collaboration was just days away from filming, and briefly touched-upon as something very special. From Warner Bros. Pictures, READY PLAYER ONE brings Ernest Cline's cult classic book to life for the big screen for a science fiction adventure that manages to include bring together characters and objects from across the pop culture spectrum, marrying them in ways few thought possible. Fresh from San Diego Comic-Con comes the first trailer for READY PLAYER ONE...

It's sometimes a strange thing how certain things can cause an association with others, especially when nostalgia comes into play. When DuckTales was in its original heyday, it overlapped with a dark time in my own childhood - but coming home from school and watching DuckTales is something that I remember fondly. The globetrotting adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his great-nephews were epic, and the "magic of Disney" could always be felt throughout. As a kid, I shared a desire with many to one day jump into Scrooge McDuck's money bin - something that logic would say was impossible - something only real in a hand-drawn cartoon world. Little did I know that some three decades later, DuckTales would return (premiering August 12 on Disney XD), and that Scrooge McDuck's money bin would be realized in the human world...

The 2017 edition of Comic-Con International is currently in-progress in San Diego, and while there's countless exclusive toys and collectibles available on the show floor, one that Despicable Me fans are gonna want to seek out can be found at the UCC Distributing Booth #5625. From Moose Toys, the leader in the micro-collectible scene (Shopkins!) comes the Despicable Me 3 Mineez Balthazar Bratt San Diego Comic Con 2017 Exclusive Figure Set. Limited to just 2,000 pieces, this is the only place to find Balthazar Bratt in Mineez form!

Ever since posting a sneak-preview of Spin Master's RUSTY RIVETS toy collection back in February, one of the most-often-asked questions I get is: "When are those Rusty Rivets toys coming out?" When I was at Sweet Suite in NYC with The Toy Insider earlier this month, I asked one of my friends at Spin Master and was presented with the cryptic "they've been pushed back slightly, but they're coming soon." Today we have the date...

Blame Canada. At least in this instance, the title of the Oscar-winning 1999 song from the South Park motion picture might ring true, if only for those individuals that happen to have been a part of the angry social mob that just attacked Spokane-based RESCUE! Pest Control over the past couple of days. This angry, misguided gang of idiots also decided it was worth attacking yours truly based upon a 2014 review that I'd written about the TrapStik Non-Toxic Wasp Trap, followed by some social posts over the past few years - most recently, this past May. Part of my mission is to guide families toward products that work, and when it comes to controlling the Wasp population, there is nothing that I've found that works as well as the TrapStik - and it does so without pesticides of any kind. Now, they're being voluntarily pulled from the market pending a redesign, and that's a decision I don't agree with. The reason for the fiasco? The occasional unintended creature (bird or bug) may get stuck on the TrapStik. Personally, that's a risk I'm willing to take.

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