Unlike the world I grew up in as a kid, military toys for kids in 2017 are a little bit hard to come by. Aside from an True Heroes at Toys "R" Us, Lanard Toys' The Corps at Walmart and maybe the occasional G.I. Joe release from Hasbro, there just isn't a huge presence for old-school military adventures, and with that in mind I was pretty surprised to come across a new collection called AWESOME LITTLE GREEN MEN. Featured on display at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite '17, this new line of blind boxed figures and vehicles comes from MGA Entertainment, the folks behind LOL Surprise, Num Noms, Lalaloopsy, Project Mc2, Bratz and Little Tikes. With a goal of "combining humor and battle play with a pop vinyl aesthetic," Awesome Little Green Men will begin hitting retail stores nationwide on August 1, 2017.
When it comes to music festivals, my "Old Crankypants" alter-ego tends to come out. The April arrival of the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is essentially the start of festival season here in the U.S., and for the most part, the most high-profile fest in the country holds little interest for me. Sure, they score a few sweet headliners like GUNS 'N ROSES this year, and the mighty FAITH NO MORE a few years back, but the running joke of the dozens of bands slapped on the poster in an increasingly smaller font is just that - a joke. Then we have Lollapalooza here in Chicago, a fest I still haven't attended since it planted its flag on Illinois soil for a permanent run - preferring to remember it as a traveling carnival of awesome from the 90s. In fact, the only fest locally that I've been known to support 100% is RIOT FEST, but I will say that the upcoming Chicago Open Air has my attention (needs some Product of Hate, though). Cranky business in lineups aside, the amount of press releases that I receive each year about the culture surrounding Coachella is fascinating. There's usually two things being pitched - "VIP" packages that would be unaffordable for most ($25K-$50K), and fashion. A lot of fashion. On the latter note, I really have no gripes, which is why it's actually sort of cool to see that MGA Entertainment has issued a new series of "Music Festival Vibes" BRATZ dolls... though "Old Crankypants" does come back when it comes to BRATZ.
I'm into my second year as a Lalaloopsy SIP (SEW Important Person) Brand Ambassador, and I might be mistaken, but I think I'm the only dad in the crew. How did I get into the world of Lalaloopsy? Quite simply, it's The Rock Daughters™. For our first major Lala post of this season, the folks at MGA Entertainment asked us to share a little bit of background on why we collect Lalaloopsy, and for that I had to defer somewhat to Addie (6) and Finn (3)... you see, even before I was an official Ambassador, we were receiving and reviewing some new toys here and there, and between those special deliveries and the stuff we'd been buying, the collection at Rock Father HQ became sizable fairly quickly. The girls say they love Lalaloopsy for a lot of reasons: The dolls are cute/cool; the outfits are fun; they're colorful; and they love the TV series, specials, and movies. As a parent, I like the message of friendship, and I think the toys are really well-made and fun to play with. My personal favorite doll: Strings Pick 'N' Strum (the guitarist!). While I expect a huge Lalaloopsy boom this Fall when the new musical series arrives on Netflix, there's a lot of new goodies hitting stores, and we've got some recent additions to our collection from the Spring line.
What are Num Noms? That was the first question that most people ask when they hear the name - something that happened repeatedly when The Rock Daughters and I did a live unboxing of MGA Entertainment's latest collectible toy line via Periscope. Officially launched on December 1, 2015 at Toys "R" Us (though we did see some hitting the shelves locally a bit early), the collectible characters are scented, pretend food that combines multiple play patterns into something new. Scented like Strawberry Shortcake... tiny collectibles like Shopkins... motorized like Hexbugs... in their own colorful world like Lalaloopsy. It's not hard to have all of those elements (and more) hit the senses, but out of the gate Num Noms are a kid-magnet, the latest creation from MGA Entertainment, makers of Project Mc2, Moxie Girls, Bratz and Lalaloopsy.
Lalaloopsy is always a big deal around these parts, and aside from all the dolls, costumes and toys, I've seen every animated movie and special multiple times. For some of these, like ADVENTURES IN LALALOOPSY LAND, LALALOOPSY PONIES: THE BIG SHOW and A SEW MAGICAL TALE: THE MOVIE, Netflix has been our main source of viewing, but just in-time for the gift-giving season, MGA Entertainment have bundled them together in two separate 2-movie collections, HOLIDAY TREAT and SEW SWEET MOVIES. They're a perfect stocking stuffer, and a pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide. Want to win both of these sets for a total of four movies in all? Here's your chance, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!
To celebrate the fifth birthday of MGA Entertainment's Lalaloopsy brand, the folks behind the ever-popular dolls have been throwing an extended Super Silly Party. As part of the excitement, four previously-retired "core" dolls (the big ones that started the brand) have been released from "The Button Vault" as Super Silly Party Limited Editions. Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Peanut Big Top, Jewel Sparkles and Mittens Fluff 'N' Stuff are all back on store shelves, decked-out in special packaging and filled with surprises. As a Lalaloopsy SIP (Sew Important Person) Brand Ambassador, I received a Super Silly Party Surprise box for The Rock Daughters to check out. We did a live unboxing via Periscope (since captured and uploaded to YouTube) in which the girls explored multiple clues to guess who was in the box. Cue Brad Pitt... "What's in the box????" Watch the video below...