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Thursday, January 28 2016 13:13

Big News for Barbie as "The Doll Evolves"

I'm a big fan of the icons, but sometimes even the most established brand comes to a point where evolution is an absolute necessity. For Mattel's BARBIE line, evolution is something perhaps long-overdue - a result of changing times and ideals, and even Mattel admits (in a video on TIME) that today's announcement comes partially-rooted in what's most important to shareholders - sales have been slumping, and something had to be done. For the past two years, in a time when Barbie has gone through much scrutiny, behind-the-scenes a team of around 20 people at Mattel were hard at work on a secret initiative called "Project: Dawn." The result is the biggest change in Barbie ever - a new line of Fashonistas that feature 4 body types (three new: Curvy, Tall and Petite), 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and countless on-trend fashions and accessories. Take a look at the introductory video...

For today's entry into 31 Days of Halloween 2014, we have something different - something not intended to be today's entry. In fact, TOTE-EMS MONSTER PLUSH came from out of the shadows and onto my radar via one of the darkest, most sinister places on the internet: Kickstarter. Now, I don't cover a lot of crowdfunding projects anymore (please, read this before submitting), but once in a rare while, something strikes me... or in this case, sinks its fangs in like a vampire's bite. It's a project perfectly-launched in time for Halloween, and one with a ton of potential. Toy designer David Murphy (a 15-year pro who's worked on a ton of Disney licenses including a little property called FROZEN) has created over 100 characters for his Tote-ems line, complete with full backstories for each. These little creatures have stretchy arms, a snapping function, and are ready to go wherever kids are. Watch the video below and let David give you the full scoop...

Bachmann TrainsI have to admit, I was having some serious childhood flashbacks when putting together our new Bachmann Trains Mountain Master HO Scale Ready-to-Run Train Set earlier this month. Exclusive to Menards stores this holiday season, this 155-piece set is everything you need to get your kids started with electric trains, and a set that's a lot of fun for grownups as well, thus gaining it a spot in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide here on The Rock Father.

Wednesday, November 13 2013 00:59

Review: Road Rippers Street Beatz by Toy State

Toy StateJust in-time for the Holiday Season, my friends at Toy State hit us with a fresh batch of new rides to put to the test right here at Rock Father HQ. Among the new offerings to capture the interest of my car-obsessed little ones was one of the all-new Road Rippers Street Beatz vehicles. With lights, sound, music, and motorized action, the girls have been racing this new ride around the family room, having to opt out of our traditional "road test" on the sidewalk... since there's already snow on the ground.

Published in Rock Father Rides

Bitty BabyBack in July, I attended the first-ever blogger event at American Girl Place in Chicago. It was a "baby shower" of sorts to celebrate the relaunch of their Bitty Baby line - beautiful dolls for children ages 3+. In August, my oldest daughter Addie, received one for her birthday, and ever since, her Bitty Baby has been one of her most treasured companions. I've heard her carry on full conversations with Bitty Baby, and when we went Trick-or-Treating last month, Bitty Baby was there - riding in the last car of our Step2 wagon, decked-out in her own little Halloween costume. For 2013, I'm including Bitty Baby in my Holiday Gift Guide here on The Rock Father.

BattroborgRecommended for Ages 6+. "Battling" is a BIG thing for the 2013 Holiday Season, and at the head of the pack is BATTROBORG Battling Robots from TOMY. When I first came face-to-face with these pint-sized robotic combatants, I was with a group of fellow Dad Bloggers who had come together on the streets of Chicago in order to "Settle the Score." What score were we settling? I'm still not quite sure, but I didn't get a real good grasp of the game while surrounded by 20 or so other grown men that were huddled around like some sort of "Fight Club" while awaiting their chance at glory.

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