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It was 33 years ago that crazed shoppers went nutty during "Cabbage Patch Mania." The originally hand-crafted creation of young Xavier Roberts had been licensed for the mass market, and parents and kids just couldn't get enough of the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS... with original manufacturer, Coleco, having a hard time meeting demand. The madness of people tackling one another, dolls flying through the air, and store managers fending off what looked like a zombie hoard with sticks (yes, it happened) went on to be the stuff of Black Friday legend, and helped to inspire movies like the perennial classic, JINGLE ALL THE WAY. In the more than three decades since, the Cabbage Patch Kids have gone through many iterations, never going away, but always riding the waves of pop culture flavors-of-the-moment as truly timeless fixtures of play for generations. For 2016, Wicked Cool Toys has issued CABBAGE PATCH KIDS Baby So Real, the first-ever truly interactive CPK experience, infusing a CPK doll with innovative technology to compliment traditional play patterns. While I first got an in-person look at the doll during the Sweet Suite '16 portion of Blogger Bash in NYC this summer, the folks at Wicked Cool Toys sent us one for review in the Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™. As a parent that loves Cabbage Patch Kids (I still have my original!) but tends to be cautious of too much tech, I was eager to take an in-depth look...

With MARVEL's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR coming home on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray, it's time to take a look at one of the more recent toys to spawn from the film - the MARVEL Legends 3-Pack featuring Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-man. Crafted by Hasbro and sent to us for review by my allies at Entertainment Earth, this set marks the world action figure debut of Tom Holland's Spider-man, a character that finally entered the MARVEL Cinematic Universe this year, soon to be seen in next summer's SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Take a look at the video below for a hands-on look at this set, right here in the Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™.

Who knew that Emojis were gonna become such a thing? Personally, it took me years to even start using the little icons of emotional response in my digital messaging, but today they're a part of every day life, just as they tend to be for most of those who find themselves living as part of a connected world. They're everywhere we look at this point (we saw "Poop Hats" at the Lake County Fair this summer), and one of the most interesting aspects of their pop culture saturation is that they've taken hold without a tv show or movie (though one is coming) to support it - they're just already naturally in your pocket... living in your smartphone or mobile device. Kids have been giving the Emoji (which I figure is both singular and plural, a la "Jedi") personalities to back up what they already represent, but now things are getting even more detailed with Fun 2 Play Toys' new collection of EMOJIEZ - fleshed-out characters available across a variety of sub-lines. Sent to us for review in our Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ, Finley (already an Emoji enthusiast) and I took a look at a big assortment, plus did some blind bag action...

I'm not entirely sure where she'd even seen it, but last year, our oldest daughter, Addie, only had one wish for Santa: The Original Miracle Melting Snowman. It's actually pretty charming that for a girl that "has everything," she always ends up asking Santa for some relatively simple things come Christmastime. Now, it actually took me a little bit to figure out what she meant by "I want a melting snowman," but as always, Mr. Claus delivered - a 3" snowman that can "melt" before your very eyes. With my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide™ taking shape and soon to launch, I'm presenting the Melting Snowman as an early entry that's Rock Father-approved as a perfect stocking stuffer. Check out the hands-on time-lapse video below, straight from the Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ!

It's been pretty-much determined that it was Disney•Pixar's CARS that inspired the love of vehicles that both of The Rock Daughters™ share with daddy here at Rock Father HQ.  It started with Addie fairly early into things, an interest that spread to little sister Finn - who just may be the more octane-inclined at this point. Regardless of who has the bigger "need for speed," our daughters have a collection of Hot Wheels, Matchbox and CARS vehicles that has already eclipsed that of my own youth, and these girls are just 4 & 7. One common thread is that all of those brands are produced by Mattel, and something that came to us recently through Mattel's Play, Rate & Review program is the Disney•Pixar CARS Piston Cup Collection - an 11-car box set of fan favorite vehicles from the famed Piston Cup Championship.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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