Quantcast

For the past few years, Mattel's American Girl subsidiary has been running into problems. Sales have been dropping by the double-digits as habits change (damn the devices!) and other companies' 18" dolls have started to catch up to them in terms of quality but at a lower price. Add in another unfortunate set of moves that were tied to the failing Toys "R" Us (TRU), and those problems have snowballed quickly. The launch of the lower-priced, 15" Wellie Wishers line never took off in the way that everyone hoped, and those dolls and their accessories were shipped heavily to TRU. Pair that with fact that about a year and a half ago (October 2016), American Girl opened store-within-a-store pop-up concepts in 97 Toys "R" Us locations, and that's an issue. Mattel is owed over $135M in the Toys "R" Us bankruptcy that they'll likely never see and the fallout has begun. They recently announced the closing of their New York City office (100 jobs lost), and today comes news that hits close to home - they're shutting down American Girl operations in Wilmot, Wisconsin, and The Mattel Toy Store is going along with it.

The details are light right now, but Mattel and Mills Entertainment have teamed-up to bring American Girl to life as an all-new traveling musical. AMERICAN GIRL LIVE! will feature all-original songs and "unforgettable experiences" based on some of American Girl's most loved characters. The show promises "fun-filled adventure, where exciting tales of bravery and friendship come to life, LIVE and in-person" as families join their "favorite American Girl characters, and some brand-new friends, as they follow their hearts and share their dreams, in a journey across time." Check out a short video teaser below, and look for more details coming soon, including tour dates and cities. I can reveal that tickets will go on-sale on May 18, 2018 for most markets...

This morning I woke up to an email from Mattel with news that I knew would be just around the corner - the reveal of American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year. What I didn't expect was that 2018's GOTY, Luciana Vega, would be perhaps the most perfect doll ever... at least in our house. As our girls often look to and reach for the stars, Luciana becomes a new example for them - the latest in American Girl's long line of inspiring characters that encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world—no matter the challenges they may face. Vega is described as "a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step." This sounds very, very familiar...

The Rock Father™ is a MEGA™Ambassador and Beyonder

The holiday rush is on, and as an extension to my annual Holiday Wish Guide, it's time to take a look at some great gift ideas for the whole family from MEGA™.  Their ever-expanding line of MEGA Construx™ building sets can bring families together for open-ended play, much of which now features iconic characters. From developing builders to kids ages 4+, from tweens to adult collectors, MEGA™ has something for everyone, and there’s no better time than the holidays to spend some time with the family, getting together to “Build Beyond.” Below are just a few Rock Father Picks for the season, but the MEGA™ Shop is your go-to for the full assortment, including some brand-new toys

Mattel's WellieWishers (a spin-off from American Girl) have been a part of regular play here at Rock Father HQ since last year, when my friends at The Toy Insider sent the girls a couple of the dolls (Emerson and Camille) followed by Grandpa Dale giving The Rock Daughters some new outfits and the Garden Stage Playset. Like most toys these days, WellieWishers are getting some digital accompaniment, and this month brings the release of WellieWishers: Garden Fun, an all-new mobile game for iOS and Android. Check out the trailer for the game below...

The Rock Father™ is a MEGA™Ambassador and Beyonder

MEGA Bloks® have been a part of our family since day one. In fact, I think it was at the baby shower for the first of The Rock Daughters™ when we received our first set - a Big Building Bag filled with those classic blocks that preschoolers have been building with for decades. Fast-forward a few years, and just as our kids have grown up, so has MEGA™ - recently making a nod to the past as they look toward the future with their ever-expanding line of MEGA Construx™ building sets for the entire family. From developing builders to kids ages 4+, from tweens to adult collectors, MEGA™ has something for everyone, and there’s no better time than the present to spend some time with the family, getting together to “Build Beyond.”

Page 1 of 4