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Holiday Wish GuideWhen "Force Friday" arrived on September 4th, families couldn't wait to get their hands on some of the latest STAR WARS toys, many of which are inspired by or based upon J.J. Abrams' forthcoming STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (opening December 18). With mostly radio silence leading into release day, many had questions about some of the more unique, and in some cases higher-dollar toys that had arrived on-shelves - things well beyond the usual realm of action figures. Spin Master jumped into a galaxy far, far away with a host of new items - their first run as a STAR WARS licensee. From their Air Hogs line came two of the most talked-about - a Millennium Falcon Quad, and a Remote Control X-Wing Starfighter. With both of those having been sent to Rock Father HQ for review, we've spent some time with them and are ready to file a report. Up first is the X-Wing Fighter that's unmistakably based on Luke Skywalker's "Red Five" from 1977's STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE.

Published in Rock Father Rides

Spin Master's MECCANO (known in the U.S. as "Erector" Sets) has just scored a Guinness World Record. The Big Bridge Build, a year-long project, resulted in a massive bridge over Clarendon Dock in Belfast, Ireland, built entirely out of Meccano parts. Created by the Queen's University Belfast Civil Engineering Department with assistance from Spin Master, McLaughlin & Harvey and Aecom, Architecture and Civil Engineering faculty and students built the bridge, with the help of local school children, as part of the university's outreach program to encourage more children to think about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Officials from Guinness World Records have confirmed that this bridge is the world's largest Meccano structure. Take a look at some stats!

For those who are familiar with my writings and photography as "The Rock Father," you already know that my affection for toys runs deep. Over the past few years, toys and the business of play have not only become one of the biggest coverage areas here on the site, but I've also been fortunate to work as a Brand Ambassador and consultant for a number of toymakers - both publicly, and privately. One area of the toy world that tends to get overlooked by the public is no doubt the most important - the inventors, and how their ideas and imagination evolve into the cherished toys that kids around the world get to enjoy. I hadn't seen this particular video until today, and I only discovered it after one of the featured inventors (Jim McCafferty of JMP Creative) followed me on twitter. From Spin Master (already one of our favorite toymakers here at Rock Father HQ) comes "Inventing the Future," a 3½-minute look at some of the creative minds behind some of their coolest toys. Take a look...

PAW Patrol is going on-tour. Thanks to Spin Master Toys and Nickelodeon, families can experience PAW Patrol like never before, as a life-sized version of the PAW Patroller rolls across the Country, making stops at State and County Fairs from now until October. The PAW Patrol Tour will include kids' activities, family photo opportunities, new toys and limited edition giveaways. Additionally, Spin Master will also have Little Charmers, Chubby Puppies and Sick Bricks in the mix at each stop along the way!

After making their debut in Canada last month, Spin Master Toys' SICK BRICKS have officially launched in the United States, putting a new and unique spin on the toy/game crossovers we've been seeing of late. Those familiar with SKYLANDERS and DISNEY INFINITY will know the basic gist - physical toys and figures somehow make the jump into the digital realm as playable characters in a video game. For Sick Bricks, it's 3D Optical Beaming Technology that takes the real-world collectible figures and places them firmly into a wacky, digital world rooted solely in Mobile Gaming for Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store). "Get Sucked Into the Game!" is the Sick Bricks mantra, and it's completely valid. What's interesting here is that these "figures" are actually mix-and-match pieces that are compatible with "major brands" of building bricks. That means that while there's individual characters and playsets available from Spin Master, your Sick Bricks will have no problem infiltrating your LEGO, Mega Bloks or KRE-O worlds.

Back when I was going overboard with my STAR WARS collecting addiction, I had this "Interactive Yoda and Lightsaber" that Tiger Electronics and Hasbro released. A lot of what was inside it was closely related to the Furby, and while 15 years has brought us Hasbro's forthcoming Furbacca (so cool), the robotic geniuses at Spin Master Toys just may have waiting in the wings what I'd always hoped that "Interactive Yoda" would've been. Straight out of Toy Fair comes this Sneak-Peek at Spin Master's LEGENDARY YODA. Take a look...

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