Warner Bros.' The LEGO Batman Movie has proven to be one of 2017's biggest hits - a follow-up to 2014's The LEGO Movie, but one with perhaps even more appeal to families that embrace the desire for adventure. Like it's predecessor, our kids have had a desire to take the film with them, and that's something we've seen from the start. When General Motors showed off the Chevrolet version of The LEGO Movie Batmobile at The Chicago Auto Show back in February, my oldest daughter was right there rockin' her LEGO Batman backpack. When a LEGO Batgirl costume popped up at Walmart - the girls had to have it. And by summer, the movie was available on Digital HD, and the girls insisted that it be added to the iPad for the road. In fact, on our June trip to the lake house in Wisconsin, we traveled with a LEGO Batman pack.
Update - 8/17/17, 8:30am: Looks like someone at Hasbro goofed and perhaps jumped the gun. After being live on their official YouTube Channel for more than 12 hours, three of the four new commercials have been removed. I'll replace them in this article if/when they're restored.
As we approach the next "Force Friday" event on September 1, the folks at Hasbro have updated their official YouTube Channel tonight with a look at some of the new STAR WARS toys set for release ahead of Rian Johnson's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI this December. The big one (literally) has already elicited a verbal "I want that!" from the youngest of The Rock Daughters™, along with a mental of "I want that..." from yours truly. Indeed, Hasbro is releasing a playset, and I honestly can't remember the last time that they did a proper 3.75" playset that wasn't just a fold-out vehicle. In this case, they're releasing a large BB-8 that opens up into a First Order Star Destroyer, complete with four levels of play and figures of Supreme Leader Snoke and an Elite Praetorian Guard. Take a look at the new commercial below!
The world of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has evolved numerous times throughout the past few decades, and through countless adventures that have sometimes jumped dimensions, the Turtles have occasionally crossed paths with a Ronin rabbit called Miyamoto Usagi, perhaps better-known as Usagi Yojimbo. Created in the 1980s by Stan Sakai, the character has appeared alongside the TMNT crew in several different versions, particularly becoming a cult favorite based on the original 1987 animated series. Now, in Nickelodeon's TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Usagi is back, and a recent three-part story arc found the Ninja Turtles transported to an alternate dimension in which they fight as samurai alongside the mysterious Ronin rabbit. Of course, being back on the radar for a new generation means the right time to be reintroduced to the toy line, and Playmates has stepped-up with a fantastic Samurai-themed collection of new TMNT action figures, a sampling of which arrived here at Rock Father™ HQ for review.
Hasbro's HASCON is fast-approaching, and today the toymaker has issued details on additional entertainment programming for their first ever "FANmily" event. Happening September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, HASCON will bring Hasbro’s most iconic brands to life, with experiences based around Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Marvel, Play-Doh and more.
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!
Every generation has their memorable entry point into the world of video gaming, and for The Rock Daughters™, I know they'll remember theirs as the Nintendo 3DS XL - the first system that they really got into. Now, even as we have the Nintendo Switch and the NES Classic Mini (need to get my hands on an SNES Classic!), their 3DS is the go-to, and for families looking to get into the handheld action, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems is a great entry point into a world that continues to grow, and for those looking for some real value, the new 2DS just may be the perfect starter, and this week brought the announcement of some new games and fun ahead...
They say that "friendship is magic," and with that in mind, Hasbro - makers of MY LITTLE PONY - celebrated International Friendship day by unveiling what they're calling their first "brand anthem" for MY LITTLE PONY, titled ‘Through the Eyes of a Friend.’ It's social experiment that invited parents to hear how their child was doing in school; and surprised them with a report card from their child’s best friend. Check out that video below, but keep scrolling as there's much more...
When Ben 10 launched the first time around, my wife and I were still some years off from becoming parents, and thus the multi-dimensional adventures escaped us for a bit. While the series has evolved over the past decade and a half, 2017 brought the opportunity for a fresh start and a new series of Ben 10 was born - the perfect opportunity for a new generation of kids to enjoy the adventures of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen and their grandfather, Max. With the power of the Omnitrix on his wrist, Ben can transform himself into one of 10 different alien creatures as the family embarks on great adventures in their Rustbucket - a combination RV/laboratory. With a great new show comes some great new toys, and Ben 10 is being handled by Playmates Toys - the same team behind the long-running success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the recent Voltron: Legendary Defender collections.
As a big kid that plays with a lot of toys, I tend to see a lot of radio controlled vehicles here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™. For the most part, it's always the cars and trucks that score the biggest points, with the more unique ones (motorcycles, for example) tending not to live up to expectations, or coming with a learning curve so big that kids lose interest. Sure, they look cool, but I've seen so many R/C vehicles fail to perform as advertised that when the prospect of an R/C skateboard came up, even my wife scoffed at the notion. Now, I'm here to tell you that when it comes to the new XPV Xtreme Performance Skateboard from JAKKS Pacific, there's finally a unique R/C ride that not only works as-promised, but completely blows the expectations right out of the water. Simply put: this thing is badass!
Unlike the world I grew up in as a kid, military toys for kids in 2017 are a little bit hard to come by. Aside from an True Heroes at Toys "R" Us, Lanard Toys' The Corps at Walmart and maybe the occasional G.I. Joe release from Hasbro, there just isn't a huge presence for old-school military adventures, and with that in mind I was pretty surprised to come across a new collection called AWESOME LITTLE GREEN MEN. Featured on display at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite '17, this new line of blind boxed figures and vehicles comes from MGA Entertainment, the folks behind LOL Surprise, Num Noms, Lalaloopsy, Project Mc2, Bratz and Little Tikes. With a goal of "combining humor and battle play with a pop vinyl aesthetic," Awesome Little Green Men will begin hitting retail stores nationwide on August 1, 2017.
The 2017 edition of Comic-Con International is currently in-progress in San Diego, and while there's countless exclusive toys and collectibles available on the show floor, one that Despicable Me fans are gonna want to seek out can be found at the UCC Distributing Booth #5625. From Moose Toys, the leader in the micro-collectible scene (Shopkins!) comes the Despicable Me 3 Mineez Balthazar Bratt San Diego Comic Con 2017 Exclusive Figure Set. Limited to just 2,000 pieces, this is the only place to find Balthazar Bratt in Mineez form!
Ever since posting a sneak-preview of Spin Master's RUSTY RIVETS toy collection back in February, one of the most-often-asked questions I get is: "When are those Rusty Rivets toys coming out?" When I was at Sweet Suite in NYC with The Toy Insider earlier this month, I asked one of my friends at Spin Master and was presented with the cryptic "they've been pushed back slightly, but they're coming soon." Today we have the date...