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The much-anticipated Star Wars Forces of Destiny made its debut today, with "Sands of Jakku" - its first first short-form episode, available for viewing below. Star Wars Forces of Destiny is an original series of animated shorts which explore the untold stories that helped shape the destinies of Rey, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, Padmè Amidala, Ahsoka Tano and others.  Check out what Rey and BB-8 are up to below!

It's a chance for your kids to "make it rain" in their very own little water park! The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table is and my friends at Step2 have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give you a shot at winning one for your own backyard! One of 2017's Top Summer Toys as chosen by The Toy Insider, this is big fun for kids ages 18-months and up! Check out the details below, and enter to win!

If you've read my "Coffee & Rock" features here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine, you already know that I do enjoy "a damn fine cup of coffee" on occasion... just like FBI Special Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). With TWIN PEAKS' resident coffee aficionado back on the scene for a new limited series on Showtime, my friends at Entertainment Earth are bringing the character to life as the TWIN PEAKS Agent Cooper Bobble Head – Convention Exclusive, and they've teamed-up with yours truly to debut it! This new figure will make it's debut at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2017 in the Entertainment Earth booth (#2343)! Check out the full details below!

Last year, I lucked out as my oldest daughter and I happened to be at Nintendo of America HQ outside of Seattle on the very day that the much-anticipated NES Classic was released. We were technically there for a project related to the 3DS system, but the folks at Nintendo were kind enough to set aside a stack of Classics for folks in our group to purchase. Fortunately, I did grab the Mini edition of the famed 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, as the $59.99 item was quickly hard-to-come-by, and resellers were charging hundreds. When news came that the system was discontinued this spring (after failing to meet demand), rumors swirled that something new was in the pipeline... a Mini Edition of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Yesterday, the SNES Classic Edition was officially announced, and it's hitting the streets on September 29, 2017 with an MSRP of just $79.99.

I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

Sponsored Content: This special feature is presented in partnership with Teletubbies...

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Teletubbies - Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. As I first wrote about earlier this year, the legend of the Teletubbies continues to grow as the series and characters have been updated for a new generation of tech-savvy tots, with new episodes airing weekdays at 9:47am on Nick Jr. There's the new toys from Spin Master, and from DHX Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the new "Big Hugs" DVD. With summer road trip season upon us, now is the perfect time to bring the Teletubbies along for the ride, ad we're gonna give you a shot at winning some new DVDs to take with you!

It was 1991 when THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST arrived, the third game in the Zelda series, and first for the recently-launched Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). I came into THE LEGEND OF ZELDA a tad late, our family getting the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) a few years after it came out, but just at the right time (probably 1988 or so) to be really into the Zelda series by the time that THE SUPER MARIO BROS. SUPER SHOW! started airing in syndication the following year, presenting animated episodes of The Legend of Zelda in place of the Mario Bros. each Friday. The reason I cite the third game in the series as a benchmark is because it was a massive game for Nintendo at the time, helping to usher in the era of a new system, and it has a title that perfectly relates to being a parent: As my kids grow to love THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, it is in fact "a link to the past" - my past.

Tuesday, June 20 2017 13:01

Mattel Gives Ken a Much-Needed Makeover...

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While I'm still waiting for Mattel to finally create a "Rock Father - Friend of Barbie" doll (and keep in mind, Mattel & Step2 did make "The Rock Daughter Edition Hot Wheels Bed" for our youngest), Ken has finally gotten a bit of a makeover. Expanding upon last year's update to the Barbie Fashionistas line, 15 new and diverse Ken dolls, featuring three body types – slim, broad and original – and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and modern fashion looks. One of them has my camo shorts (Yes! Take that wife who hates them!) which I totally approve of, but can we all agree that the "man bun" is a bad thing unless you're a wrestler?

When I think of the toys of my childhood, there's a few that have pretty legendary status. There was a time when some of the best playsets were made of little more than cardboard, and because of that, not many of them survived. One such playset was one of my favorites - the G.I. Joe Cobra Missle Command Headquarters. Originally offered as a Sears exclusive back in 1982, this was one of the first G.I. Joe playsets that I had, and I played with it until it fell apart. While I still have the figures that came with it, the set is a memory (I might have some Super 8mm film of it), but now it's all coming back. Next month, Hasbro will issue a reproduction of that playset as an SDCC exclusive, complete with modern figures. Check this out...

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) play is hot right now, and looking ahead it's a category that will only continue to grow. For some toys placed in that category of hands-on learning, not all are necessarily "new," but sometimes new spins on some old classics. Marble play is pretty timeless, and I even had a Marbleworks set some 30-40 years ago, one that I believe my mom might still have. Likewise, my wife and I have played with some similar things with our own kids, and one recent offering is the Techno Gears Marble Mania Catapult set, sent to us for review by The Learning Journey, along with their new Techno Gears Bionic Bug.

Angry Birds has evolved... and you might even say that it just got weird. Rovio, the creator of the legendary Angry Birds, has just launched Angry Birds Evolution - a completely new spin on the game. Along with eastern-style RPG mechanics and promising "console quality graphics" on mobile, the birds are completely reimagined and redesigned to collect, train, and evolve... you could even say that "these birds are not to be flocked with." Rovio, in co-operation with Chimera Entertainment, have created over 100 new birds with multiple evolution states (some look suspiciously familiar to certain 80s action legends and comic book heroes). The dastardly pigs in never ending fauna swine conflict are led by the evil(ish) Don Bacon, who plans to turn the idyllic Bird Island into a hotel chain. Check out the launch trailer and a character featurette that looks quite PREDATOR...

It's go time! With Disney•Pixar’s Cars 3 racing into theaters this weekend, the folks at Disney Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have officially released Cars 3: Driven to Win for the PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch™ and Wii U™.  Developed by Avalanche Software, Cars 3: Driven to Win "provides an entirely new interactive experience that is thrilling to play alone or with friends and family." Players can race as Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez, Jackson Storm and other beloved characters while mastering the tricks, skills and combat techniques needed to become the Ultimate Champion. Check out the launch trailer and full game details below!

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