It was nearly two years ago that I first mentioned SUPER MONSTERS here in the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine, and last Halloween it came roaring onto Netflix, where it became a surprise hit of the spooky season. It's become a common thing that I've heard both here at Rock Father HQ and echoed among other parents when a show becomes a hit seemingly out of nowhere... "are there toys?" With Super Monsters, the answer is now a big YES, and thanks to Hasbro, a new collection of Super Monsters toys will be hitting retail just in-time for Halloween 2018. While these toys are bound to delight preschoolers and small children everywhere, I'm predicting that these will see some big crossover success with certain grownup collectors as well. Fans of the Universal Monsters, classic horror films, Halloween enthusiasts and even those who were big into Monster High are gonna dig these - and I've seen similar enthusiasm around another recent property, Disney Junior's Vampirina. At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York City, I got a first-hand look at the prototypes for the new Super Monsters toys, including their School Bus (which was sculpted in clay)!
There's certainly no shortage of collectible figurines available out there, and it seems that everybody has something cool going on. My friends at Entertainment Earth sell many of those, but they've also gotten into the action as a toymaker themselves, putting a decidedly retro spin into action for their own line: Pin Mates. For those looking to build a massive collection that's light on price and small on size, Pin Mates bring pop culture licenses into the realm of tiny wooden figures that recall the old Fisher-Price Little People of the 60s and 70s. With prices starting at just $4.99 a figure, they're really affordable, and one of the coolest recent assortments ties into a film that's just hitting the in-home market - Marvel Studios Thor: Ragnarok. Now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD, DVD and Moves Anywhere, fans can bring home the galactic adventure of Thor and Hulk as we charge toward the coming Avengers: Infinity War. But how about something to play with, too? The crew at Entertainment Earth recently sent me a box of Pin Mates for review, and inside were some extras that I'm going to pass onto one of you! One lucky friend of The Rock Father™ will receive a pack of five (5) Thor: Ragnarok Pin Mates! Ready to Ragnarok?
Take the Nintendo Switch Challenge - a New Way to Play Mario Kart and a Race for a Prize Pack from GameStop!Written by James Zahn
This week, the Nintendo Switch celebrated its first birthday. Our family has been in on the action since day one - and I was actually into it a bit early thanks to attending some pre-launch events. The system is just getting started, and while we await the launch of some cool new initiatives like Nintendo Labo (which I've played for an hour and a half - more on that soon!), my friends at GameStop have come up with a fun new way to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe... if only for a round. Our family took the #NintendoSwitchChallenge and the video proof is below! Now GameStop wants to see how you fare. If you take the challenge, you could win some sweet prizes on social media... but we're also giving readers of The Rock Father Magazine a chance to win a Nintendo Switch Accessory prize pack that's filled with fun hear from PDP Gaming. You could say that it's the Switch's birthday, but you get the presents!
Is Jabba the Hutt's Sail Barge the Ultimate Toy from a Galaxy Far, Far Away... or is it 30 Years Too Late?Written by James Zahn
I'm a bit belated on writing about this one, largely because it's taken me a little while to really distill all of my feelings about it. On February 17, when I was in New York City for the 115th North American Toy Fair, I was an invited guest at Hasbro's "Fan Media" event at the New York Times building. This was a time, when amid all the new toys being unveiled for the year ahead, Hasbro welcomed a group of writers that serve some specific niches of pop culture and fandom. While the showroom was open for viewing of all toys, the big focus was on sites that cater to fans of the big franchises that Hasbro handles - Marvel, My Little Pony, Transformers, Power Rangers, and my personal favorite: Star Wars. As that franchise enters its 41st year, there's a lot going on, but the toy front is an interesting space in which there's a lot of debate about the type of merchandise available, and exactly who it's really for. This is something being discussed constantly within the offices of toymakers and retailers in addition to public forums geared toward passionate collectors. It was on that February afternoon that Hasbro unveiled a bold new initiative called HasLab, but just two weeks later it seems to be stalling. They have an absolutely incredible toy that could become reality, but is it arriving more than three decades too late?
Last year, PLAYMOBIL surprised audiences by getting into the realm of pop culture licenses for the first time. Now in their 44th year, PLAYMOBIL is entering their second year of licensed product by expanding upon the first to launch - PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters. That line was a huge hit right out of the gate, and we were lucky enough to have received the Ecto-1 for review last year, along with the iconic Firehouse Playset as a gift from The Toy Insider. My girls and I were so into it that we eventually purchased all of the other sets. So with a collection based largely on 1984's Ghostbusters, it's only logical that the next step would be 1989's Ghostbusters II and the folks at PLAYMOBIL have done just that... but they're also looking for inspiration in a more unexpected place: The Real Ghostbusters.
At Toy Fair in New York last month, the Spin Master booth was a center of constant activity. While their offerings are diverse, their television brands are a big deal, and we're now entering into the second year for Rusty Rivets, which airs daily on Nick Jr. Last year, the much-anticipated toy line first hit the scene as a Toys "R" Us Exclusive, but this year it's a wide-release meaning that parents should be able to find these just about anywhere. While I was personally hoping to see a Mobile Rivet Lab Playset on display (it might've been too new), that didn't happen but a lot of other great items have materialized. The Rock Father™ is excited to present to you a full look at the 2018 Rusty Rivets toy line, complete with suggested pricing and availability dates below. Get ready to Combine It and Design It!
Last summer, at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, I had a chance to preview footage from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2. It was incredible, and one of the most buzzed-about scenes is that the film manages to bring together every Disney Princess, and Star Wars into the digital realm of Wreck-It Ralph. Fortunately, that's not being shown to the world just yet, because aside from knowing of its existence, you're gonna want to see it on the big screen this Thanksgiving. While there might be some surface comparisons to last summer's The Emoji Movie in that characters enter a digital galaxy filled with apps and websites, there's a lot more happening here, and today we've got the first official teaser trailer direct from the folks at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Check it out below!
It's officially Pokémon Day, and my friends at Entertainment Earth are celebrating in an appropriate manner - with a sale, of course! Pokémon fans can take advantage of free domestic shipping on in-stock Pokémon merchandise (and anything else in the order that is also in-stock) on top of the great deals that EE has to offer. Of course, Entertainment Earth and I are longtime affiliates and collaborators, so a portion of sales purchased through my link will help to support operations here at Rock Father™ HQ. If you've gotta catch 'em all, you should save a few bucks when you can, too!
I have a unique relationship with Pokémon. Back when the original games were released in 1996, I was working for Walmart (seems like a lifetime ago), so I was on the ground floor when the craze begain. It all started on February 27, 1996 with the release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green in Japan, and because of that The Pokémon Company International commemorates this date with new products and promotions that give Pokémon fans around the world new ways to interact with the Pokémon brand. Pokémon Day could be called "every Trainer’s favorite pop-culture holiday," and it's today - 2/27/2018! Pokémon Trainers can now access the Pikachu Talk skill for Amazon Alexa and Pikachu Talk action for Google Home. Fans can also join Pokémon Day celebrations on social media with all-new Snapchat Lenses featuring the original first partner Pokémon—Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle—while also enjoying new Pokémon merchandise, opportunities to watch iconic Pokémon animation, and the chance to catch a special Pikachu in Pokémon GO. See all the details on this year's festivities below...
Hard to believe that the The Toy Association's 115th North American International Toy Fair wrapped-up a week ago already, but it did, and I'll still be presenting content from Toy Fair here in the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine and over at The Toy Insider for some time to come. The annual event is significant, and outside of the toy industry, I'm not sure that the general public has any real idea of the magnitude of this thing - it's MASSIVE. Today the official numbers came in, and in all 26,236 professionals attended the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere. The Javits center played host to hundreds of thousands of toys and games across 442,700 net square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of about seven football fields! Curious for more data? Check this out...
It's Tax Season, and depending on where you fall in life, that can mean a feeling of excitement or a feeling of dread. For those who will be receiving a refund this year, I always say "don't blow it!" - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a little fun with some of it. If gaming is your thing, my friends at GameStop want to help you stretch your refund... you could even say "reFUN" your refund as your cash respawns. They've got some of the hottest gaming gear at some great prices, and it kicked-off with the one-day PRO Day (which you've already missed - queue the Pac-Man defeat noise!). But now through March 10, you can multiply those hard-earned dollars with unbeatable savings and trade-in offers on a variety of games, consoles, accessories, toys and apparel! To celebrate the season of savings, The Rock Father™ and GameStop are teaming-up to sweeten the deal by giving YOU a chance to WIN a Tax Season Gaming Prize Pack featuring collectibles from Funko & PDP plus accessories for the Nintendo Switch! First, let's take a quick look at some new games to be excited about in March...
At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York City, one of the most buzzed-about toys was front-and-center at the JAKKS Pacific booth. In fact, you couldn't walk by without seeing someone making an attempt to ride the MorfBoard, the innovative all-in-one board system that lets riders skate, scoot, bounce and balance. I know that my own kids are gonna be all over this, and to celebrate the wide launch of this awesome new toy, The Toy Insider and JAKKS Pacific have teamed-up for a Twitter Party in which YOU could win a MorfBoard to share with your own family. The Rock Father™ will be there alongside other members of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board as we all talk spring toys and about all the action sports goodness that the MorfBoard will be bringing home! You MUST RSVP to be eligible to win at the party, which takes place Friday, March 9 from 11am-12pm EST. Want a taste of what the MorfBoard experience is like? Take a look...