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Back in the early 2000s, there was a small company here in Illinois that made SMITI action figures - little Kubrick-style versions of bands like Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Powerman 5000, The Offspring and No Doubt. I had a few of the sets and they were pretty fun, but then the maker (Stevenson Entertainment) sorta disappeared. Fast-forward to tonight and I just had a flashback when Japanese toymaker brokker got in touch about their new SEX PISTOLS collection, set for launch in the U.S., UK and Japan in January of 2019. After previously focusing on Japanese bands, this marks brokker's first entry onto the global stage. The SEX PISTOLS set features articulated mini-figures that represent the UK punk icons in their "God Save the Queen" stage gear.

Published in Music News

Another tip of the hat to our friends to the north today as Toys "R" Us Canada has officially brought back a classic just in time for the holiday season. Originally written by Linda Kaplan Thaler and James Patterson, "I Don't Want to Grow Up, I'm a Toys 'R' Us Kid" has been a familiar staple since the 80s, and now it's a reminder for all kids big and small that they can still be a Toys 'R' Us kid as TRU Canada is "here to stay and play." The jingle is back in several spots that are airing on television and radio. See a couple of them below...

GreenLight Collectibles has been expanding in recent years, locking-down new licenses as they continually roll out new, authentic diecast vehicle replicas. Now they've inked a deal with Turtle Wax to develop a new line of collectibles ahead of the brand’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Published in Rock Father Rides

We're entering award season, and that means we've hit a time of the year in which I question a lot of choices and inject my opinion as awards and nominees are pretty subjective. Earlier this week, the Toy Association unveiled their annual list of nominees for the coveted Toy of The Year (TOTY) in a variety of categories, and while there's some great stuff in the mix - there's some that hit me like the GRAMMYS... a little off and with some that seem to be on the list just to have representation from certain brands. Prime example, Playmates Toys scored a nom for their Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Ninja Action Figure Assortment. Overall, the Rise of the TMNT line is fantastic - another huge win for Playmates, but I would've chosen the more extensive (and creative) Basic Action Figure Assortment. Why? I think the "Deluxe" figures sorta suck. They're gimmicky, oddly proportioned (to hide the mechanics of the gimmick), and above all - I see kids play with this stuff on a regular basis. But maybe I'm over-analyzing things... doing my "Tom Hanks in BIG" ("I don't get it?") routine.  It'll be a tough call to choose the winners, and you can take part by casting some votes (early and often, as we say here in Illinois) at www.toyawards.org. Now let's check out the full list...

It's officially Chicago Toy & Game Week, the annual gathering of toy industry players here on the Third Coast. Toy & game designers, inventors and innovators will be meeting with acquisition executives from major toymakers as a variety of conferences take place leading up to the annual TAGIE Awards on Friday, followed by the main event on Saturday and Sunday - #ChiTAG: the public Chicago Toy & Game Fair. Happening at Navy Pier, November 17 & 18, 2018, ChiTAG has become a Chicago tradition to usher in the holiday shopping season by allowing families to go hands-on with some of the hottest toys of the season, along with some under-the-radar picks from major manufacturers and independent toymakers alike. There's fun for the whole family, and this year there's some new additions on opposite ends of the spectrum... like the baby and toddler play area and a beer garden (with games!) for the "big kids" (21+).

A Special Veterans Day Feature to Kick-off the 2018 Holiday Season...

At Toy Fair in New York earlier this year, I finally had the opportunity to meet Tom Murdough, founder and CEO of The Simplay3 Company. Launched in 2016 and based in Ohio, the name reflects the power of simple play, but the "3" is indicative of the fact that this is the third toy company from Murdough, who famously founded both Little Tikes (1969) and The Step2 Company (1991) before taking a detour into "retirement" (at least from toys) for a portion of the past decade. While Simplay3 is a rare example of of an American toymaker that actually produces American-made toys (along with "grownup" items like mailboxes and wheelbarrows), it's also unique in that it's a privately-held, Veteran-owned business. Mr. Murdough was a member of the United States Marine Corps, having served from 1961-1964.

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