After acquiring MEGA BLOKS last year following a previous partnership that found iconic Mattel properties such as Barbie and Hot Wheels making their way into block form, Mattel has announced some major moves to expand their construction sets by bringing some major licenses into the world of MEGA BLOKS. From Mattel's own portfolio comes the long-rumored new collection of MONSTER HIGH Building Sets that find the ghoulish guys and gals taking play into a whole different realm. MEGA BLOKS will also issue new sets under their Power Rangers line, with collections based on Saban's POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE, which just debuted on Nickelodeon this month. While those are cool, the biggest news may be a pair of licenses that they've snagged from others in the growing brick segment...

Holiday 2014Now, it's a not-so-secret piece of information around here that I don't like Spongebob Squarepants... at all. I've never been fan of the Nickelodeon series, and I don't let the girls watch it. Despite being such a big "thing" over the years, the world of these characters is lost on me, and it probably all goes back to the time I rented THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE for one reason only: An appearance by David Hasselhoff. Even Michael Knight himself wasn't enough to win me over when it comes to Spongebob, so I have little knowledge of what the little yellow guy is up to... aside from the fact that MEGA Bloks has turned out some pretty cool building sets as part of a new line based on the hit series. That said, the MEGA Bloks Krusty Krab Attack Building Set arrived here for consideration for my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, and you know what? It makes it - because Spongebob or not, it's a cool building set and a lot of fun!

Holiday Wish GuideWith HELLO KITTY celebrating her 40th Anniversary this year, it's almost a wonder that I haven't featured more of Sanrio's biggest star here on the site. After all, my girls have more HELLO KITTY stuff than I can count, from clothes to plushies, DVDs to toothbrushes... and a few of the MEGA Bloks sets that have been coming out over the past couple of years. The latest of the bunch is one that MEGA Brands sent us for review, the HELLO KITTY Fun at the Fair Set (10956), a 233-piece affair geared toward builders ages 5-12. Well-received here at Rock Father HQ and built with assistance from yours truly, this new one lands firmly in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide.

MEGA BLOKSBack on October 10, 2014 there was a knock on the door here at Rock Father HQ - an oddity since most ring the doorbell and subsequently send our dogs into a frenzy. When I looked outside, there was no one to be seen until I happened to look down. There he stood, a small yellow creature in a pair of purple and white flowered shorts. Having seen DESPICABLE ME and it's 2013 sequel, I knew immediately that I was looking at a "Minion." You see, somewhere between Montreal and New York City (where visitors got an unannounced sneak-preview at NYCC, the New York Comic-Con), seven Minions escaped the crew at MEGA BLOKS as preparations were underway to announce a new deal between Mega Brands (part of the Mattel family of companies) and Universal Partnerships & Licensing to bring DESPICABLE ME Construction Sets into stores just in-time for the holiday season. Out of seven minions, "Tim" now lives here with us, while six others are still out there... somewhere, most likely lurking within the confines of some perhaps familiar names in the online world of pop culture. One thing is certain, and that's that Tim is ready for adventure, and the #MinionMontage has begun. Check out these shots from my Instagram...

Earlier this year, after the past success of their building sets based on JOHN DEERE and CATERPILLAR, the folks at MEGA BLOKS added JEEP to the mix and combined all three under a new brand, AMERICAN BUILDERS. While these sets are geared toward kids 5+, I'm pretty well-aware that there's quite a few grownups who enjoy these as well, especially if they strike an emotional chord of some kind - and these certainly can. Where nostalgia can be a factor (I played with a lot of John Deere tractors as a boy), adventure is the key on the Jeep note, and my girls and I recently dug into the American Builders Jeep Off-Road Adventure Set, which was sent to Rock Father HQ for review.

Published in Rock Father Rides

It's hard to believe, but it was over a year ago already that MEGA BLOKS announced a partnership with MATTEL to create a series of HOT WHEELS branded building sets (MATTEL recently announced that they've straight-up purchased MEGA Brands). They started rolling out to retailers last Fall, and in that initial wave, we received the first assortment of their Turbo Tubes Build & Collect Vehicles for review here in our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house). Those rides were an immediate hit, so we were pretty excited when a trio of new rides rolled up to Rock Father HQ a few weeks ago, part of the 2014 Spring assortment. Up for review this time: BAD TO THE BLADE (Team Blue), FAST FISH (Team Green), and a new Team Yellow version of TWINDUCTION.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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