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MARVEL Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is lighting up the box office, and to celebrate the launch of the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Rock Father™ has teamed-up with MSI to give readers a shot at winning some fantastic prizes, built around Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series! One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive an MSI Trident 3 Desktop Gaming PC, a 55" TV and a GOTG Steam Code. Fifty (50) runners-up will receive a Steam Code for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series! You can enter via the form below, or hit this link to visit the sweepstakes page. Check out the full official rules for further details. Good luck!

As someone who writes about toys often (both here at The Rock Father™ Magazine and also over at The Toy Insider), I see a lot of new stuff. With that, I've been digging ABC's THE TOY BOX, in which independent toy creators find themselves vying for the attention of the judges in hopes of being crowned champion. At the end of the 8-week series, the winning toy will be produced by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. Check out a preview of the week five toys below...

Disney's Puppy Dog Pals first hit the scene last month, quickly gaining young fans eager for more adventure with pug brothers Bingo and Rolly. As with most new shows that are fresh-out-of-the-gate, there's often the question of "where's the toys?," and with Puppy Dog Pals I can give you the answer: they're coming this Fall! Previewed at New York Toy Fair a few months back, my friends at Just Play have shared with The Rock Father™ a first-look at their Puppy Dog Pals Doghouse Playset! No doubt the pinnacle of their collection (more toys will be revealed soon),  I'm already anticipating this to be a hot item for the 2017 holiday season. After all, Just Play has a track record, with awesome kid-coveted toys from PJ Masks, Mickey and The Roadster Racers, The Lion Guard, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First in their lineup. Check this out...

Ready for a STAR WARS marathon? Disney XD is celebrating Star Wars Day! All episodes from the first season of "LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures" will air along with additional LEGO Star Wars specials for 24-hours straight on THURSDAY, MAY 4th, 2017! 

Space-based play is a big deal here at Rock Father HQ, a fact that I've often mentioned both here and in my column over at The Toy Insider. Two Christmases ago, our youngest daughter had just one request for Santa Claus: "A Space Station." While he delivered on that wish, this year an even bigger orbiting craft arrived here at HQ, and it's something that our girls can actually climb inside of. The folks at Pacific Play Tents recently sent us their Space Station Tent and Tunnel Combo, and it's become a regular base for out-of-this-world adventure. When paired with the "Get Real Gear" Astronaut Suits and Jr. Astronaut Helmets from our friends at Aeromax Toys (based right here in Illinois!), they've got the perfect accessories for endless imaginative play! Take a look at the video below. Will SpaceX be sending kids into space?

As a kid, I grew up around racing. My dad was a track announcer, traveling on occasion with World of Outlaw/UARA Midgets - an era in which I got to see a lot of the short tracks across the Midwest. For awhile, he was also a regular announcer at the famed Santa Fe Speedway near Chicago, so I had plenty of chances to get up close to some high-octane fun. As an adult, I've seen my girls become enthusiastic about racing, and it all goes back to when our oldest daughter first saw Disney•Pixar's Cars. That was the start of the fascination here, and that makes it even more special that I've had the opportunity to work with Disney in promotion of Cars 3 - in theaters on June 16, 2017. During the early press days for the film, I found myself on the track at Sonoma Raceway - the road course formerly known as Sears Point - for a ride-along, along with some time spent doing a "Pit Stop Challenge" and witnessing a presentation on the history of NASCAR racing, presented by Cars franchise Creative Director Jay Ward and former Hendrick Motorsports Crew Chief, Ray Evernham. If you love racing, Cars 3 is going to mean a lot to you... but even if racing isn't your thing, you just might learn a lot, and find something new to love.

From the creator of Dino Dan and Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures comes and the next exciting chapter in the Emmy-winning dinosaur franchise. The Amazon Kids Original Series Dino Dana comes roaring onto Prime Video in the US and UK on May 26, 2017, and this morning Amazon and The Rock Father™ are giving you your first-look at the official trailer! Dino Dana: Season One features 11 awesome new prehistoric creatures, and, for the first time, two sisters at the forefront of the adventure! Check it out...

Oddly mesmerizing, and strangely soothing... today popular metal YouTuber Rob Scallon has uploaded a cover of the METALLICA classic "For Whom the Bell Tolls," played in its entirety on bells... or bell-sounding instruments like a children's xylophone.  It's a great video to start the week, month, or as Rob calls it - "MAY-TALLICA." Take a look:

When you think about backpacks for kids, generally the back-to-school season is the first thing that comes to mind - but there's many different applications and occasions where a proper sack can come in handy. In some cases, a full-size backpack can be too much, and that's where the Gym Rucksack by Beckmann of Norway can come in handy. Rugged, yet adorable designs are both functional and stylish, and they appeal to kids of many interests. The folks at Beckmann USA (an authorized reseller) recently approached me about checking out some of their products, and my eyes immediately zeroed-in on just the right bag: a Gym Rucksack in "Mint Alva," the perfect new dance/ballet bag.

Two years  ago, I had the unique honor of sitting in a theater in Burbank with Director/Choreographer Kenny Ortega to watch Disney's DESCENDANTS before its official premiere, and before it became a phenomenon. From the moment the kids first walked out singing "Rotten to the Core," I new Descendants would be huge, and now the crew is back! As announced earlier this week, Descendants 2 premieres FRIDAY, JULY 21 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) on five networks – Disney Channel, ABC, Freeform, Disney XD and Lifetime! Check out the trailer below, along with the new music video, "Ways to Be Wicked!"

Without a doubt, Hatchimals were the hottest holiday toy of last year. Now, Spin Master is expanding that world with Hatchimals Colleggtibles - a new series of micro-collectible figures and accessories, born from the magical world of Hatchtopia. Arriving at retailers this spring, these collectible figures bring the magic of Hatchimals to small-scale, still requiring the love of a child to hatch. Available in single blind bags, 2-packs (with nest) and 4-packs (with bonus), kids can rub the heart on each speckled egg to help their new friends hatch. When the heart changes from purple to pink, it's time to crack the egg (by pressing on it) to see who's waiting inside. My friends at Spin Master sent us a small assortment for review in The Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ, and this is what we got. Check out the video below!

Twist and Seal first hit my radar a few years back when their first weather-resistant cord protector started popping up at retailers around the holidays. Now, the Twist and Seal family of products includes four unique items, each with a specific application that helps to achieve the same end result: protection of electrical connections from the elements. Personally, I've dealt with wet plugs and moisture issues for years, and here at Rock Father HQ, it's always the holiday season that's most painful. Christmas lights are notoriously fragile, with tiny fuses that aren't water-proof, and wet connections constantly tripping our GFCI outlets. Add the recent blow-up characters and laser shows into the mix, and there's more chance for irritation. That doesn't mean that other seasons are devoid of hassle, and with summer approaching, we'll also have our DynaTrap and some outdoor lighting that will need protection, and thanks to Twist and Seal, there's a solution for that as well. The folks at Twist and Seal - located right here in Illinois - sent over some items for review, and in the video below, I'll walk you through them...

15 years ago, Ain't It Cool News posted a story about an "investment trailer" being shot for a movie called 5-25-77 - a film later touted as being "From the Producers of STAR WARS and LOST IN TRANSLATION." That 2002 news item was sourced from an assistant camera operator... yours truly. In the years since, I've written a few times about the semi-autobiographical tale from filmmaker Patrick Read Johnson, both on this site (here's one from 2012) and at one point, a feature for STARLOG Magazine that ran on 5-25-09. Now, after numerous false-starts and premature announcements, this film about Star Wars' "Fan #1" is finally, really coming out... just in-time for the 5/25/17 40th Anniversary of Star Wars. Starring John Francis Daley, Coleen Camp, Neil Flynn, Austin Pendleton and my late friend, Justin Mentell, 5-25-77 will be hitting theaters via Filmio Original Pictures. A new trailer debuted earlier today, appropriately back at AICN with some words from Mr. Harry Knowles.  Check this out...

Friday, April 28 2017 23:13

There's a New MOTÖRHEAD Beer on the Way...

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A lot of bands both current and past have had beers brewed in their honor of late, and I've sort of developed an affection for those limited-edition drinks. In fact, I have some Megadeth and Iron Maiden beers just a few feet from me here in the office at Rock Father HQ as I type these words about the latest brew to be inspired by MOTÖRHEAD. It's not the first beer to be licensed by the band, but the first in a series from Amplified Ale Works. The MOTÖRHEAD Born to Lose IPA is described as "a boldly aggressive West Coast-style IPA, befitting of the band's loud, aggressive style."

With Arbor Day marking the mid-point of spring, there's a focus on urban/suburban forestry and the importance of planting trees. Here at Rock Father HQ, we have two trees in our yard - the biggest of which is directly in the center of our front yard. That tree was pretty small when we moved here seven years ago, and with care (I prune it regularly and have fertilized it), it's now taller than our house. Planting a tree is a pretty easy way to revamp a yard, and it can add value to your home - but there should be some planning involved. My friends at Davey Tree have put together a helpful guide to assist homeowners in planting the right tree in the right spot.

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