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If there's a poster company for toy industry consolidation, Basic Fun! just might be it. As the industry of play continues to evolve and more companies jockey for position in the wake of the Toys "R" Us closure in the U.S. and elsewhere, team-ups and mergers are where it's at, and that's something that Basic Fun! saw coming. Announced during Toy Fair 2017 and reported on here, Basic Fun! was formed by combining two smaller companies - The Bridge Direct and Tech 4 Kids. At the time, Tech 4 Kids CEO Brad Pedersen said that the new company had the "expectation to acquire or merge with new businesses every twelve to eighteen months" to fuel growth. Indeed, the company has grown, but at an accelerated rate, having already absorbed K'NEX, Uncle Milton and Good Stuff. Today comes word that the company just pulled another PAC-MAN, gobbling-up Playhut, maker of indoor and outdoor play structures.

It wasn't long ago that The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Genius Brands had raised $4.5M to help give Rainbow Rangers a proper push ahead of the series' November 5 launch on Nick Jr. Now comes word that Genius has secured KIDdesigns to work on the development of a youth electronics line for the property, and Basic Fun!, who will develop a novelty toy line based on the colorful superheroes geared toward pre-schoolers. They join more than 20 licensees for the property, including master toy licensee Mattel, bicycle manufacturer Dynacraft, Jay Franco (bedding and bath), Disguise & Spirit Halloween (costumes) and more.

It was two years ago that I first told you about Robozuna - a then-in-development series from ITV that had been added to the Netflix slate of original kids and family programming. While the premiere date has still not been announced (Netflix still lists it as "New: 2018"), we know that there's a full range of toys coming, and they'll be arriving in the U.S. via Basic Fun! The initial wave arrives in spring/summer 2019, with more consumer products in the pipeline for fall/winter. 

When we last heard of Oregon Trail, it was getting a rebirth of sorts thanks to a new handheld game from the folks at Basic Fun! Toys. Indeed, I played the original version on the green-and-black CRT screens of my elementary school circa 1980-something, so the new game has an appeal (I've not yet played it). But for those wishing for a more true-to-life experience with the Oregon Trail, you can now pretend you're an Oregon Trail settler who just spent six months "on the dusty, bumpy and downright grueling journey west" - and you won't even have to die of dysentery to do it! For a limited time, those in Portland, OR can snag a ride in a covered wagon courtesy of Travel Oregon and Lyft Portland. It's a rare chance to enjoy a wagon experience in the Rose City in honor of the Oregon Trail's 175th Anniversary. Check out all the details below...

Published in Rock Father Rides

Poop Talk

Comedy Dynamics & Party of 7 Entertinment's new docu-comedy Poop Talk is an open and honest look at a taboo topic in today’s society. It's an inside look at all things poop — from uncensored, embarrassing moments to scientific explanations recounted by 50 experts and comedians including Kumail Nanjiani, Nicole Byer, Adam Carolla, Rob Corddry, Nikki Glaser, Pete Holmes, Eric Stonestreet, Randy and Jason Sklar, Nick Swardson, Dr. Drew Pinsky and many others. To celebrate its release in select theaters, VOD and Digital HD, as the second part of a two-part interview (read part one hereThe Rock Father™ invited The Sklar Brothers (executive producers of the film, in addition to cast and parents) to share some thoughts on some new offerings from one of 2018's hottest trends in play - poop toys. It's a rapid-fire look at some of the crappiest playthings that kids will want this year, and we mean that as a compliment.

Every time I think that the micro-collectibles bubble is about to burst, something comes along that reinforces the fact that there's no sign of that happening. In fact, the market is evolving and kids can't get enough of these small little toys. Evolution brings us to the launch of Cake Pop Cuties, a new line from Basic Fun that checks the boxes on several current trends, combining the brightly-colored blind box appeal of toys like L.O.L. Surprise with the strange appeal of the slow-rise squishes movement into a tiny little package that's appropriately shaped like... a cake pop. Available soon at most major retailers (Amazon is taking pre-orders), Cake Pop Cuties is backed by a CGI-animated webseries and boasts over 36 different Cuties and Sweeties to collect in the first wave. Check out a preview below...

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