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I have a confession to make. Despite promoting the show when I was writing for the Netflix #StreamTeam when that was still a thing (RIP, for now), I have not yet finished watching the first season of Stranger Things. Yes, I know - even though my love of the 80s and all the spooky stuff is powerful, I stopped watching with the idea that my wife would join the viewing and it just never happened. With Season 3 on the way, I should probably catch up, but in the meantime I'm really admiring what they're doing on the licensing and merchandising front. One of the biggest items just hit the streets this week, and it's "Mike's bike" from Schwinn. Launched alongside a 1980's-style commercial, the only way to get it is by calling 1-800-SCHWINN. Check out the commercial below!

The Rock Father is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam...

1984 is a year that I remember well. The Ghostbusters and Gremlins became a huge deal, Michael Jackson's Thriller was still fresh in our minds, and occasional trips to Aladdin's Castle were a serious treat. Now comes the first trailer for the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things 2 - and it captures 1984 just as I remember it. While the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab, Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived. Darkness falls across the land, with Stranger Things 2 arriving just in-time for Halloween...

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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.

With New York Toy Fair behind us, we now have a pretty good idea of what lies in store for the rest of 2017 when it comes to toys and collectibles. But what have pop culture collectors been buying recently? My allies and affiliates at Entertainment Earth have some data to share, taking a look at sales figures from mid-October 2016 to mid-January 2017. The Force is still strong, but there's "significant consumer interest" rising for items based on the Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, and Marvel's forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Check out the details below...

Netflix Stream TeamIf you happened to catch the SAG Awards, then you already know that the big winner was one that many rooted for, but few expected to clean house - Stranger Things. The Netflix Original Series scored big with audiences last year, coming seemingly out-of-nowhere, delighting audiences by bringing back the classic storytelling of the 1980s, complete with a period setting to perfectly capture that vibe. As families have gathered to experience a modern classic that has in many ways opened the door to share the films that inspired it (E.T., for example), it's interesting to see how important the 70s & 80s are to the viewers of today. One Day at a Time was inspired by the 1975-84 series of the same name; Fuller House is huge; but that's just scratching the surface. Here's some things you need to stream right now...

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Wednesday, August 31 2016 08:34

STRANGER THINGS 2 is coming...

Despite my gig as a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I'm behind on one of 2016's most buzzed-about hits, STRANGER THINGS. In truth, I got a couple of episodes in and then stopped thinking my wife might want to watch it, but time slipped away from me. As I attempt to catch-up on the 80s-inspired goodness, those who already made it to the end and are craving more can get excited: STRANGER THINGS 2 is coming in 2017, and it will be 1984 all over again...

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