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When the Nintendo Labo Kits were first introduced earlier this year their tagline was “Make. Play. Discover”. Now, with the new Labo Vehicle Kit coming out on September 24th, these words will take on new meaning. We recently were given the opportunity to attend the pre-launch event for the new Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit (Toy-Con 03) in New York City where my daughter and I were able to drive, fly and dive with our on-screen avatars.

Growing up in the 80s, kids like me were practically raised with the idea that a cool new cartoon would have an equally (if not more) awesome toy line to accompany it... and the most awesome toy lines had an equally (if not more) awesome cartoon or movie to support them. In a lot of ways it was a "chicken and the egg" scenario where we didn't know which came first, and that really didn't matter. Years later, those little kids grew into big kids, and we now know that many of those cartoons (G.I. Joe, He-Man and The Masters of The Universe, etc.) were designed specifically to get kids excited for the toys. Now we've entered the era where YouTube has taken the place of television for a whole bunch of kids, and that means that toymakers are crafting new worlds from the ground-up that take all those screens into account - placing awesome content wherever the audience may be. One of the latest and most exciting new launches for Fall 2018 is Little Tikes' Kingdom Builders, and they've hit the ground running with an original series of cartoon webisodes ahead of launching a full range of toys, exclusively at Target! It's a little bit like Game of Thrones with a dash of Clash of Clans but in a totally kid-friendly way. Check out a preview...

Something is aflutter this Halloween season… and Mezco Toyz is inviting all of you to celebrate Halloween 2018 with The Living Dead Dolls: Vesper. Details on this year's seasonal exclusive doll were just unveiled, and this doll looks fantastic. "Vesper, translating to ‘evening’ in archaic Latin, incarnates Halloween and is ready for a night of trick or treating with her bat-inspired sweatshirt, detailed with bat ears on the hood and bat wings attached to her sleeves. Her look is complete with  ‘Living Dead Dolls Halloween 2018’ logo."

Brought to you by Entertainment Earth... this will self-destruct at 12:00am PST on 8/23/2018

I tend to not post a lot of "deals," but this one is too good not to share with all of my Star Wars-loving friends. For 24 hours-only, the crew over at Entertainment Earth is having an insane blow-out sale on Hasbro's Star Wars The Black Series 6" Action Figures - specifically the Wave 14 Case. On August 22, 2018 ONLY, you can get the entire case of 8 figures for just $50! That's over 70% off the normal price of $174.99. Based on characters from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you'll get REY (JEDI TRAINING), LUKE SKYWALKER (JEDI MASTER), SUPREME LEADER SNOKE, KYLO REN, RESISTANCE TECH ROSE and an ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD, You'll also get MAZ KANATA (as seen in The Force Awakens) along with JAINA SOLO (a popular character from Star Wars Legends).

The 90th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse is a big deal for Disney fans, and that means a lot of cool new merch. Some of it's already been featured here, but other items continue to roll out, such as a new lineup of products from Funko, including an assortment of their signature Pop! Vinyl figures. My friends over at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate) are taking pre-orders for a bunch of the new items including Pop Pencils, Pocket Pop! Keychains and Mini Vinyl Blind Box Figures, but it's the five Pop! Vinyls that will likely have collectors scrambling. Apprentice Mickey, Conductor Mickey, Brave Little Tailor Mickey and Firefighter Mickey are all there, and you can't celebrate such a milestone without throwing it back to where it all began with Steamboat Willie Mickey

Oh, disposable income, how I miss thee... 

As the countdown to Mickey Mouse's 90th Anniversary on November 18th continues, The Walt Disney Company has unveiled a host of new products to mark the occasion, along with some special celebrations set to take place at Disney Parks. Following the announcement of Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, new Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Product Launches hitting the scene this week and beyond include collaborations with fashion and footwear brands like Forever 21 and Vault by Vans (pictured top), luxury candy boutique Sugarfina, Brooklyn-based ice cream company Ample Hills Creamery, along with new capsule collections available exclusively at Disney stores and shopDisney.com, commemorative titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, a line of plush and toys by Just Play and a new Mickey Mouse Brickheadz figure from LEGO

Sunday, August 19 2018 23:43

WowWee's Fingerlings HUGS are in the Wild!

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WowWee's Fingerlings are adorable, but when it comes to the rapidly-expanding brand, I think a lot of the spin-off products are even better than the sought-after robotic animals. In fact, I'm looking at a glittery plush Fingerling right here in my office as I type this - and I love it! But now comes the next thing - the retail launch of Fingerlings HUGS, the first-ever special feature plush edition of the award-winning Bella and Boris Fingerlings Baby Monkeys. It's electronics + plush, and priced at just $29.99, we could be looking at another much-wished-for item as we roll into the holiday season. Here's what WowWee has to say about these...

Several years in the making, the 150-acre LEGOLAND New York Resort will open to visitors in 2020, and this week the crew at Merlin Entertainment have unveiled the first look at the eight themed "lands" that will make up the family theme park. At a ceremony in Goshen, New York (60 miles outside of New York City), a 10-foot LEGO model of the entire theme park was shown for the very first time. Crafted from over 135,000 LEGO bricks, the LEGOLAND New York model took 20 Master Model Builders more than 1,300 hours to design and build. See the unveiling in the Facebook Live stream embedded below, along with all the details on the eight lands. The press conference starts at the 10:00 mark in the video...

When I first got word of The Fartist Club, my initial vision was of a swank den of flatulence presided over by Brian Posehn. After all, his 2013 comedy album, The Fartist has been in the archives here at Rock Father™ HQ since its release. But that wasn't the case, as The Fartist Club is a new line of collectible toys that's putting some gaseous wind in the sails of the the "gross" toy craze that's been been making a splash (or a plop) across the world this year. Basic Fun has Poopeez; Spin Master has Flush Force; Moose Toys is still rockin' with The Grossery Gang; and of course, the original Kings and Queens of of the genre - The Garbage Pail Kids - are always on the verge of a mainstream comeback. So where does The Fartist Club fit in? 

If there's kids in your home, there's a solid chance that you've found them tethered to a device at some point, and if that device led them to YouTube, there's also a good chance that they've discovered Ryan Toys Review. Despite the awkward phrasing (shouldn't it be "Ryan's Toy Reviews?"), the six-year-old toy reviewer is a global phenomenon, and with the guidance of his parents, his channel has become a benchmark that has spawned thousands of imitators, eager to pump-out colorful, kid-focused videos for the masses. Now things are getting really meta as Ryan himself has become a toy thanks to some crafty dealings by pocket.watch and the folks at Bonkers Toys. Previewed in New York City back in July during The Toy Insider's annual Sweet Suite, The Rock Daughters™ and I got an early, albeit brief look at the first wave of Ryan's World toys. Unfortunately, they were under embargo (not a fan) at the time and couldn't be shown officially, but now the toys are out there in the wild, having launched exclusively at Walmart (an affiliate) with more retailers set to jump on-board this October. So the big question... do the new Ryan's World toys live up to the hype? 

Sure, it's mid-August, but that means we're about to enter my favorite season of them all... Fall. With that comes Halloween, and for the past few years the folks at Disney Parks have served-up some stellar seasonal offerings, including a tradition in which a spooktacular new Droid from their ever-growing Droid Factory line would hit the streets. For 2018, R4-BOO18 is the latest Astromech to represent the Halloween season, inspired by candy corn and looking to spread some sweets to Cloud City or your city. Problem is, ShopDisney sold out almost immediately. While my fingers are crossed that they'll restock their supply, your best bet on this one might be to visit a Disney Park in hopes of grabbing one of these in-person!

It's not often that I get fully behind a Kickstarter project, but there's one going right now that I really believe in and they could use your help! One of our favorite toys of the past year came from a small company in California that most people have never heard of: ReadySetz. Their Urban Playset (reviewed here) quickly became a favorite with my girls for imaginative play, and for me as an environment for action figure and toy photography. For their next endeavor, they're going out-of-this-world with a much-requested Space Base Playset. I mentioned it recently in my Star Wars column over at The Pop Insider, and since then I've been brought on-board to photograph one of the handmade prototype playsets. As with the Urban Playset, the girls and I were blown away - so I can't wait to get our hands on an actual, fully-realized production model down the line. As of this writing, the clock is ticking and they're just shy of the halfway mark with just 10 days to go. Similar to when Hasbro crowdfunded their massive Jabba's Sail Barge earlier this year, the ReadySetz Space Base is seeing a slowdown in backers, so my fingers are crossed that we'll see an uptick here in the final days. By my math, they'll need to see another 250 pre-orders of the $65 large playset to meet their all-or-nothing funding goal. These sets are MADE IN THE USA and offer a durable, eco-friendly, easily-stored fold-flat design that's a perfect play space for all of your space-themed figures and vehicles! Will you back the base?

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