It was rumored right around the time that my girls and I paid a visit to Nintendo of America HQ in Redmond, Washington last fall, and now it's official - a new Super Mario Bros. movie is happening. Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri. Universal will be distributing the film, but no additional details  are available just yet, making today's news about as simple as it gets.

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It's gonna be another big year at the movies - but will it be at the box office? After a year soft on theater receipts and some less-than-stellar movie tie-ins, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is looming on the horizon, prepping for its June 22, 2018 release. While the promotional partners are vast, one returning from 2015's Jurassic World is LEGO Group, and today they've announced a joint partnership with Universal Brand Development for a collection that goes beyond the norm. Like the last time around, they'll offer an expanded line of construction sets, all-new animated content, and, for the first time ever, a lifestyle collection. Among the new collections will be construction sets that span every LEGO age category (Duplo/Juniors/LEGO), as well as two all-new, animated videos, and a collection of soft lines and publishing to reach audiences beyond the toy aisle. A few sets have been revealed this week, with more set to debut at Toy Fair in New York in mid-February (I will be in attendance for that).

When I'm in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places to visit is Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Hollywood. Since I often stay at the Sheraton Universal, it's just a short walk up the hill and a place that comes with a couple of constant reminders: 1) I need to take my entire family to L.A. soon (my wife and kids have never been to California), and 2) we have to visit Universal Studios. In fact, ever since I saw construction of Hogwarts begin a few years back, the wheels on a trip have been turning, particularly since my wife is a massive Harry Potter fan (she has the wands to prove it). Now comes news that really gives me the bug because it taps into my unusually-high love of Christmas. This year, "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is happening, but that's just one piece of what's promised to be "a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy" at Universal this coming season. Here's the rundown on what visitors can expect for 2017...

This Summer, Zen Studios will will bring Universal Classics Pinball, to their popular Pinball platforms for console, PC and mobile. Based on three classic films from Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios, the new collection will feature gameplay inspired byE.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, and the Back to the Future trilogy. The Universal Classics Pinball pack will release as a part of the launch of the Pinball FX3 platform on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam and Windows 10 (date TBA), while the themed tables will also be available as individual in-app purchases for Zen Pinball on the App Store and Google Play. Check out the gameplay trailer featuring E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial below!

When it comes to getting the license for pretty much everything, Funko has that action on lock, and one need look no further than their growing line of Pop! Vinyls. To a smaller extent, they've also done well with their 3¾" ReAction Figures - those done in a similar style to the Kenner Action Figures (think STAR WARS) of the late 1970s and early 1980s. After taking on some cool properties like Back to the Future and Gremlins, now they're doing figures based on E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

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Something strange is going on here... perhaps a resurgence of THE A-TEAM, or just some savvy marketing of the NBC Universal television lineup of the mid 1980s? After the recent announcement that THE A-TEAM and KNIGHT RIDER are coming to LEGO Dimensions (could AIRWOLF be far behind?), Funko has revealed that the crack commando unit is getting the Pop! Vinyl treatment with B.A. Baracus, John "Hannibal" Smith, "Howling Mad" Murdock and Templeton "Faceman" Peck coming to the Pop! Television line in August, followed by THE A-TEAM VAN as a new addition to the Pop! Rides collection in September. All of these are available for pre-order now via my allies over at Entertainment Earth, and since I already have the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment versions of the famed GMC Van and Face's Chevrolet Corvette in my office here at Rock Father HQ, I have to say that there is a temptation here...

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