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Disney's live-action reimagining of the 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, is a huge hit, and with most big movies comes a line of great toys. As part of my gig with The Toy Insider, I recently took part in a Beauty and the Beast twitter party, and the folks at JAKKS Pacific sent us a couple of their new toys to play with here at Rock Father HQ. Ballroom Belle and the Enchanted Objects Tea Set are two of the most popular toys based on the new film, and ones right up The Rock Daughters' alley! Check out the video and details below...

The Rock Father™ has collaborated with Life of Dad and Marvel for the #WhoIsYourHero initiative.

If you're into Twitter Parties, by now I certainly hope that you know that there aren't many that are as vibrant and fun as a Life of Dad Twitter Party. Our next one is coming up, and this one is pretty exciting - brought to you by MARVEL! We'll be talking not only about the vast legion of legendary characters from Marvel, but also about the real-life heroes that inspire others each and every day. Of course, we will have some prizes to dish out within our chat as well! One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $175 Marvel Toy Pack, while five (5) runners-up will each receive a $50 Visa Gift Card.

If you watch the news, it's easy to feel down about a lot of things, and that's why I like to highlight some good news - like the occasions when an organization that I respect is making waves by doing good. The folks at Mattel are in the business of making children happy, and that extends well beyond simply making toys. One such initiative has been the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and this week, Mattel announced a $50 million gift to UCLA Health that will fund an expansion of the facility, and "help establish a world-class pediatric care center and research hub focused on improving children's health."

This Friday, Walt Disney Studios will bring "a tale as old as time" back to life as their live-action telling of Beauty and the Beast waltzes into theaters. Along with the beautiful new film comes a wide selection of new toys and collectibles, and JAKKS Pacific is among those leading the charge, with some fantastic new dolls and roleplay items. To celebrate, The Toy Insider and JAKKS Pacific are throwing the #BeJAKKSGuest Twitter Party from 11am-12pm ET on March 17, the very day that the film makes its cinematic debut! RSVP now to take part!

Last month at New York Toy Fair, countless toymakers rolled-out a preview of what's in-store for the rest of 2017 and beyond. Among the toys that we're most interested in here at Rock Father HQ are those in the new Vampirina collection by Just Play. On the surface, the ingredients for success are there in that it's the latest Disney Junior series from Doc McStuffins creator, Chris Nee, based on the hit Vampirina Ballerina books by Anne Marie Pace. For Disney, the characters have been updated with a look more in-line with what preschoolers and elementary-aged kids have come to expect. While I think that my girls are gonna be all over this, I see so much potential -- this coming from a guy that's Halloween-obsessed, and has written stories about supernatural beings a time (or two) in the past. With a storyline following an immigrant family (of vampires, no less) that has moved from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, there's some topical issues at hand (new kid in town, dealing with differences, etc.), but on the toy front, what's coming is just so cool...

When it comes to imaginative play, my friends at The Step2 Company are always on top of the game in coming up with new ways to expand the horizons of children. For 2017, one of the most unique new offerings is the All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy™, a new style of kid's playhouse that's wheelchair accessible, and exceptionally spacious in combining multiple play options into one affordable package. To celebrate the coming of warmer weather and getting kids back outside, The Rock Father™ and Step2 have teamed-up once again, and we're giving you the chance to win one of these for your yard! It's Made in the USA (Ohio!) of US and imported parts. Check it out...

It's another big year for the TRANSFORMERS franchise, with Transformers: The Last Knight heading to theaters this summer, and plenty of small-screen animated adventures yet to come. On the toy front, New York Toy Fair presented a host of new characters, but the reveals keep coming. At the Australian Toy Fair, Hasbro unleashed a first-look at their Transformers Generations Titans Return Misfire and Slugslinger, part of the Fall 2017 deluxe assortment. Take a look at the gallery below!

When it comes to "unboxings," I usually don't post them if it's not myself or The Rock Daughters™ doing the unboxing and reviewing. Exceptions are to be made, and this is one of those - just because the toys in question are just pretty cool. Here we have the team from DC Collectibles doing an unboxing via Facebook Live of two new sets - the Batman: The Animated Series "Expressions Pack," and the DC Rebirth Justice League DC Icons 7-pack set. Check out the video below...

Growing up, the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the big hook for me in terms of gaming, and a system that began a long history with the famed brand. From there, I had the Super Nintendo (SNES), Virtual Boy (first-day buyer, sadly), Game Boy Color, N64, GameCube and Wii. While we skipped the WiiU, The Rock Daughters™ have the 3DS XL and there's an NES Classic here in my office. With the latter two in mind, something I've mentioned before (most recently, here) really applies -  the trip I took with our oldest daughter last November to Nintendo's North American Headquarters in Redmond, Washington, has created another pair of lifelong fans. Addie spreads the Nintendo gospel daily, and little sister follows-suit. While we were able to see a short preview of the Nintendo Switch when we were visiting Nintendo HQ, we didn't get to go hands-on... something that changed recently as I headed into Chicago proper for a preview event ahead of the official launch. With the next chapter of Nintendo's legacy about to begin, here's some thoughts after experiencing the Nintendo Switch for myself. It should be noted that these are first impressions based on a few hours of play, as I have not received a review unit to thoroughly evaluate here at HQ

First revealed at New York Toy Fair back in 2016, the collaboration between Funko and Playmobil was a bit of an unexpected one. Playmobil is one of my favorite toy lines of all-time, producing quality, German-designed toys since 1974. Funko is a more recent success story, the Washington-based maker of Pop! Vinyl ever-expanding their footprint into the pop culture world and beyond. For Funko x Playmobil, the two toymakers have partnered for a series of 6" collectible figures that are scaled more in-line with what Funko is known for, but with the iconic Playmobil look and feel. What makes these special is that they're the first-ever pop culture licenses to appear in Playmobil form, and while they're bigger than the norm, they also serve as a preview for Playmobil Ghostbusters, which launches in May of 2017. With the first wave of Funko x Playmobil officially released, my friends at Entertainment Earth sent over an assortment of figures for review here at Rock Father HQ, and one duo that I was really excited to see was Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future!

With New York Toy Fair behind us, we now have a pretty good idea of what lies in store for the rest of 2017 when it comes to toys and collectibles. But what have pop culture collectors been buying recently? My allies and affiliates at Entertainment Earth have some data to share, taking a look at sales figures from mid-October 2016 to mid-January 2017. The Force is still strong, but there's "significant consumer interest" rising for items based on the Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, and Marvel's forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Check out the details below...

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

It was twenty years ago that the world first laid eyes on a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po became an immediate hit, with little ones becoming enamored with the grassy world of the Teletubbies. I was working retail at the time, just two years shy of getting married, my future wife and I still a good twelve years off from having kids of our own. Still, I was on the front lines as the first wave (a tsunami, really) of Teletubbies popularity rolled in, with families eager to find the latest merchandise for their little fans. Two decades later, Teletubbies have been reinvigorated - revamped for their 20th Anniversary to delight new generations of kids. Having worked so well the first time around, the changes more like subtle upgrades, all meant to better connect with tech-savvy tots through a new series on, a fresh line of toys from the folks at Spin Master, and the new Big Hugs DVD from DHX Media.

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