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This past spring, I had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of ABC's latest competition series, THE TOY BOX. Now, the series is back for a second season in which a new crop of inventors will present their toy concepts to a panel of judges in hopes of making it to the end, in which the grand prize winner will see their toy manufactured by Mattel, to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. For Season Two, THE TOY BOX has been retooled - gone are the "industry mentors," and instead of facing just one panel of kid judges, contestants will face a rotating panel of five kids. The only returning judge from Season One is apparently, Noah Ritter. Like the first season, the episodes will be airing out of numeric order as they work toward the endgame, but for the purpose of my previews, I'll be labeling them by week. Curious what's on-deck for the first two episodes? Here's a preview...

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Familiar? Haven't we done this before? We have, and the cycle will continue...

ABC just announced their cast for Season 25 of DANCING WITH THE STARS, and as usual, fans are taking to twitter to air their excitement or concern by tweeting @DWTS. Thing is, on twitter that means they're reaching the original DWTS... or at least a DWTS that staked (like a vampire) the acronym before "Dancing," and that's DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. If you haven't been playing along for the past 13 or so years, the #OriginalDWTS is a genre-bending transmedia property created by someone very familiar to readers of this site... yours truly. Curious?

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#D23ExpoThis special feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

This week is a unique one in that I'm gearing up for a full seven days of travel - the longest stretch that I've ever been away from home since becoming "The Rock Father." That means it's the longest I've been away from my wife and our girls, but it will be worth it since what I'm doing is part of the greater good - a mix of work and play that directly relates to having fun as a family, and spreading that goodness throughout the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine. While the entire week will be massive, the end will be epic as I wrap one gig in New York City, then head straight to Los Angeles to meet up with the Disney crew for the D23 Expo and Disneyland Summer of Heroes. One big focus for me will be the launch of Disney XD's DuckTales, but my group will also be taking part in activities and events from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC Network and more, and I'll be bringing you the latest news and features direct from the show floor of "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event" - July 13-16, 2017!

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It wasn't necessarily a secret (in fact, I mentioned here that it was in-development), but ABC's THE TOY BOX is coming back for a second season. The network made it official today, announcing on Instagram that production is underway and that some "brand new toy inventions will be unveiled soon" 

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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...

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