Preschoolers will soon have some new rides to play with as Funrise and Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) are teaming-up for a new toy line called HERODRIVE. Making their debut at the 2018 edition of the North American International Toy Fair in New York City, HERODRIVE is being touted as "an innovative, one-of-a-kind line that combines kids' favorite entertainment characters with fun and innovative play features to deliver the coolest vehicles for preschoolers." Racing from the starting line, the HERODRIVE DC Super Friends Collection will launch with vehicles inspired by iconic DC Comics characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, and more.
Paramount Pictures is currently in-production on AMUSEMENT PARK, a 3D computer animated adventure comedy film set to be released on March 15, 2019. Produced by Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies and Ilion Animation Studios, there hasn't been a ton of information released about the project since it's original announcement a few years back, sans the casting of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Jeffrey Tambor, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver, all of whom will lend their voice talents to the film under the direction of Dylan Brown. Today comes news that Paramount is confident that AMUSEMENT PARK will be a big hit, with the announcement of a full line of toys to support both the film, and its already-in-production spinoff television series that's headed for Nickelodeon.
Back in the 1980s, Galoob Toys' Micro Machines first hit the scene and became a massive success for a number of years, eventually fading a bit before the small, West Coast toymaker was absorbed by the large, East Coast-based Hasbro. Along the way, Hasbro also acquired TONKA, since licensed out to Funrise Toys, current manufacturers of the iconic yellow vehicles and their many spinoffs. The reason why these acquisitions and licensing deals are important to this story is that the newly-released TONKA Tinys seem to carry a lot of DNA from all of these companies' past endeavors. While there have been plenty of Micro Machines copycats over the past three decades, none have felt as close to the real deal as these new Tinys from TONKA, and that's a pretty cool thing as nostalgia plays so heavily into what parents of today are introducing to their own kids. One decidedly modern spin, however, is that TONKA Tinys are essentially "Blind Boxed," and they tap into the very now trend of micro collectibles.
Of all the vehicular interests here at Rock Father HQ, one of the most timeless has to be that of TONKA. While the line has evolved over the years to encompass many different types of vehicles in varying sizes and materials, nothing beats the classics - those made of steel or diecast. In last year's Holiday Wish Guide I featured some of the modern diecast singles, but this year I'm focusing on a few different versions, including this TONKA Vintage Diecast 3-Pack. Featuring a Vintage Fire Rescue truck, Vintage Police Cruiser and Vintage Police Wagon (along with a pair of safety cones), the classic styling and sturdy construction will make these a big hit for kids and grownups alike.
Many times over the years, I've used the phrase "as a kid that grew up in the 80s," or some variation thereof. While born in the 70s, the 1980s are my reference point for play, and sometimes that play got messy and weird. It was a decade that brought forth the gross-out humor of the Garbage Pail Kids (I still have the movie on DVD), Madballs, and even the famous SLIME that still remains a part of Nickelodeon's DNA 30+ years after YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION. The "gross" toy movement of the 80s also brought with it one big disappointment for me - the HE-MAN and the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Evil Horde Slime Pit. I wanted that thing so bad, and after receiving it for my birthday, my parents took it back to the store after reading that the green slime "may stain furniture and clothing." Didn't even get to open it. But now, in 2016, my wife and I are parents, and we know full-well that kids just love boogers. Not just the fantastic kindie punk rock band, THE BOOGERS, but the genuine article - pick 'em, flick 'em, eat 'em. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I never recall ever eating a booger, but The Rock Daughters have both been known to dine from the nostril, from time to time. So do they dig BOOGER BALLS, the new outdoor concoction from Funrise Toys (makers of the excellent TONKA and Gazillion Bubbles)? Well, yes... very much. In fact, this past Saturday was "National Pick Your Nose Day," but do kids really need a "day" for that?
The unofficial start of Spring is upon us, and National Bubble Week continues as an annual ambassador of fun. We've featured Funrise Toys' Gazillion Bubbles here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine before, with their Bump & Go Bubble Car making an appearance in last year's Bubble Week coverage. For 2016, Gazillion Premium Bubbles continues to show that bubble-blasting technology has come a long way over the years, and two of the latest entries into their growing arsenal of bubble launchers are the Hurricane Blaster and the Triple Bubble Blaster - both of which arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review.