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As we roll toward the end of an unusually challenging year for many, there's some bright spots to be seen, one of which is shining in California tonight. MGA Entertainment and the Marine Toys for Tots program have been working together in order to brighten the holidays for some of the many children whose families were affected by the devastating wildfires that ravaged parts of both Northern and Southern California last month. The team at MGA will be providing more than $5M in new toys that are expected to bring joy to an estimated 300,000 kids in California and in other parts of the country where disaster has struck.

Officially, it's not an "advent calendar," but MGA Entertainment's latest L.O.L. Surprise! offering certainly follows the pattern of a 25-day holiday countdown by offering kids a new surprise behind a different door each day. The L.O.L. Surprise! #OOTD Outfit of the Day box is exactly what it sounds like - a collection of new fashion pieces for your L.O.L Surprise! dolls, with a new one counting toward something. The packaging isn't seasonal in nature, but with LEGO, Hot Wheels, PAW Patrol, PLAYMOBIL and more getting in on the advent calendar action, it's easy to see what's happening here. As we move into the holiday shopping season, this is another addition to a growing list of "if you see it, buy it!" items, as the $29.99 MSRP toy is already being flipped on the secondary market for $60-$70. You can look for it via my affiliates at Amazon or Walmart, but just watch the price!

Last month I previewed for you the L.O.L. Surprise! House, the long-awaited residence for MGA Entertainment's smash hit L.O.L. Surprise Dolls. Based on my own internal tracking (article views + reader search + the number sold thus far through affiliate links), as of September we have an early leader for 2018's hottest holiday toy. The activity is unusually high, and in that I mean that it's so far out in front right now, it's an absolute monster! While we don't have one here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father™ HQ, the girls on MGA's L.O.L. Surprise! YouTube Channel have posted an official unboxing. This comes alongside the release of an official 30-second television spot, which I just added to The Rock Father Channel. This is an early reveal from my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™, so if you want one of these - and at list price - you have to get it now! Pre-order via Amazon or Walmart, both priced at $189 as of this writing. See the new videos below...

Counterfeit toys are a big problem. While there might be the occasional "funny" bootleg like the infamous Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace  knockoffs that labeled Darth Maul as "Dennis" and Anakin Skywalker as "Little Girl," counterfeit toys are no laughing matter. They put kids at risk by preying on the parents and grandparents who may accidentally buy them. The hottest toys are the most heavily-bootlegged, and that means that L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls are not only the #1 toy right now, but also the most faked. Around the world, reports have been coming in about shipments being seized and counterfeiters being prosecuted as MGA Entertainment continues to protect their patents by taking legal action as they can - with the ultimate goal of stopping them at the source: the Chinese factories that are quickly pumping out these low-quality knockoffs that wouldn't pass safety tests. In fact, many bootlegs test positive for high levels of dangerous chemicals. So what happens to the counterfeit toys once they're found? They have to be destroyed, and that's just what happened to a shipment discovered by authorities in Chile. MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian shared a video today via LinkedIn that I've been given permission with all of you...

Believe me when I tell you this, because I say it at this same time every year... the Holiday toy rush is about to begin, so if you want to get the good stuff at list price, you have to start shopping now. For those of you with kids that are into L.O.L. Surprise! (or maybe you're into it yourself - that's cool too!), the long-rumored and much-anticipated L.O.L. Surprise Dollhouse is hitting retail right now. In fact, as of this writing, Amazon and Walmart (both affiliates) has the L.O.L. Surprise House in-stock and ready to ship! It's made of real wood and comes with over 85 surprises, including an exclusive family (other dolls sold separately). Check out all the details below...

Growing up in the 80s, kids like me were practically raised with the idea that a cool new cartoon would have an equally (if not more) awesome toy line to accompany it... and the most awesome toy lines had an equally (if not more) awesome cartoon or movie to support them. In a lot of ways it was a "chicken and the egg" scenario where we didn't know which came first, and that really didn't matter. Years later, those little kids grew into big kids, and we now know that many of those cartoons (G.I. Joe, He-Man and The Masters of The Universe, etc.) were designed specifically to get kids excited for the toys. Now we've entered the era where YouTube has taken the place of television for a whole bunch of kids, and that means that toymakers are crafting new worlds from the ground-up that take all those screens into account - placing awesome content wherever the audience may be. One of the latest and most exciting new launches for Fall 2018 is Little Tikes' Kingdom Builders, and they've hit the ground running with an original series of cartoon webisodes ahead of launching a full range of toys, exclusively at Target! It's a little bit like Game of Thrones with a dash of Clash of Clans but in a totally kid-friendly way. Check out a preview...

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