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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...
Emojiez come in a variety of styles, including Buddiez (the kids' favorite here, part of the micro/mini-collectible craze), Plushiez (large and medium plush), Plushi Palz (plush backpack clips), Slap Bandz (slap bracelets), All-Starz (3.75" vinyl figures), Squishiez (what it sounds like) Eraserz (yes, erasers) and more.
It is undeniable that the kids love these, and again - it's the Buddiez that are the huge hit (the mini toys are a big deal, think: Shopkins), followed closely by the Plushi Palz.
As the emoji craze carries on, I'm including these as an early pick for my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide - they're perfect stocking stuffers... but there's also something else...
From Twizmo Games comes a find from the Sweet Suite portion of Blogger Bash NYC, EMOJI WARS Fantasy Card Game - Where Emojis Meet Epic Card Play. There's 102 collector cards in total, with rulers, allies, weapons, magic, energy and shields available. No two games are alike, but which Emoji will wind up on top to rule the Emoji Empire?
James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor ofThe Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider— a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.
He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.
Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.