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Back in April, I shared the news that Mattel and Mills Entertainment had teamed-up to bring characters from American Girl into the realm of live theatre with the launch of American Girl Live. Now comes news on the full cast for the debut performances, which will have their world premiere at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois, Dec. 21-23, 2018. The cast of American Girl Live includes Jenna Bruce as Rebecca, Ashley Diane as Luciana, Laila E. Drew as Melody, Shelby Lysette Miguel as Nanea, Monica Potson as Julie and Kelsey Elaine Pressnall as Maryellen. The cast also features Orisa Gutierrez and Mari Skoultchi. 

Dumbo is a bit of a divisive figure in our house. The 1941 animated film falls into that "sad movie" category that my wife generally tends to avoid, so I'm the one that's introduced it to The Rock Daughters™ and got pretty excited when I first heard that the Batman Returns team of Michael Keaton (Batman), Danny DeVito (The Penguin) and filmmaker Tim Burton had come together to reimagine the tale for the big-screen. This coming March, Walt Disney Studios brings DUMBO into theaters, and now comes a new trailer and poster for the live-action adventure that picks-up where the animated version ended. Check it out...

As toymakers look to diversify, experiences are where it's at. Now comes news that Hasbro has just entered into a licensing agreement with Los Angeles-based Kilburn Live to  to create, build and operate Hasbro-themed family entertainment centers across the US and Canada. In an announcement received at Rock Father HQ this morning, the two companies promise that "the indoor family entertainment facilities will take iconic Hasbro brands and create interactive, immersive and innovative entertainment experiences in a high-energy, gamified environment with multiple activity zones.

Getting an earlier release than previously-announced, the highly anticipated Netflix original, DreamWorks She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, is now available. The 13 half-hour episodes tells "the epic story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra. Along the way, she finds a new family in the Rebellion as she unites a group of magical princesses in the ultimate fight against evil." I haven't had a chance to dig in and show The Rock Daughters™ just yet, but I've always been a big fan of Hordak. Mattel's Fright Zone Play Set was a favorite for me as a kid, and in a new clip from the series, it seems as if this new-school Hordak as a very Darth Vader-eque vibe. Check it out!

I do not care for "reaction videos." That's something that I've made clear many times in the past, because despite being extraordinarily popular (and I know some folks who do quite well with them), they're just not my bag. They're fake, exaggerated and make the subjects appear to be human cartoons. In fact, I even did one that pretty much sums-up how I view every trailer, and I titled it "The World's Most Boring Reaction Video." Today, however - a slight exception in that Disney•Pixar went totally-meta and released a reaction video for their own Toy Story 4 teaser, but it's not a traditional reaction video. No, it's snarky carnival toys taking shots at Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears before riffing on the famous catch-phrases of Woody & Buzz Lightyear. Check it out below, and be on the lookout... I do believe we've just seen our first Easter Egg. Are those Cordoba COCO guitars on the wall?

It's officially Chicago Toy & Game Week, the annual gathering of toy industry players here on the Third Coast. Toy & game designers, inventors and innovators will be meeting with acquisition executives from major toymakers as a variety of conferences take place leading up to the annual TAGIE Awards on Friday, followed by the main event on Saturday and Sunday - #ChiTAG: the public Chicago Toy & Game Fair. Happening at Navy Pier, November 17 & 18, 2018, ChiTAG has become a Chicago tradition to usher in the holiday shopping season by allowing families to go hands-on with some of the hottest toys of the season, along with some under-the-radar picks from major manufacturers and independent toymakers alike. There's fun for the whole family, and this year there's some new additions on opposite ends of the spectrum... like the baby and toddler play area and a beer garden (with games!) for the "big kids" (21+).

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