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.
While I'm still waiting for Mattel to finally create a "Rock Father - Friend of Barbie" doll (and keep in mind, Mattel & Step2 did make "The Rock Daughter Edition Hot Wheels Bed" for our youngest), Ken has finally gotten a bit of a makeover. Expanding upon last year's update to the Barbie Fashionistas line, 15 new and diverse Ken dolls, featuring three body types – slim, broad and original – and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and modern fashion looks. One of them has my camo shorts (Yes! Take that wife who hates them!) which I totally approve of, but can we all agree that the "man bun" is a bad thing unless you're a wrestler?
There's some mischief afoot over at Super Impulse. While numerous super villains have tried and failed repeatedly to craft a "Shrink Ray" as part of their nefarious plans, someone over at Super Impulse has created one, and yes - it works. I first featured their line of World's Smallest toys here on the site as part of my annual Holiday Wish Guide in 2016, but apparently the evil geniuses weren't satisfied at simply shrinking the likes of Fisher-Price classics, Rubik's Cubes and Polaroid Instamatic Cameras. Nope, now they've managed to shrink Hasbro's G.I. Joe (the 60's style 12" "Man of Action") and Mattel's Hot Wheels. Now these classics are small enough to be toys for your toys. They were so proud of their shrinking technology that they had to send me one of each just to brag about how awesome they are. I dig it.
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.
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...