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The Fidget Spinner craze is something I imagine will start to slow pretty quickly. It seemingly came out of nowhere, with dozens of different Fidget Spinners, Fidget Cubes, and Fidget Dies hitting the market almost simultaneously, and the variance in quality is astounding. We were a little late to the party, but after a special trip to Learning Resources a few weeks back, we returned home with a metal, light-up Fidget Spinner, and a 12-Sided Fidget Die. My wallet was $50 lighter, annoying as we're starting to see these pop-up much cheaper everywhere, but the big bonus is the fantastic set of instructions that came with the 12-Sided Fidget Die. Labeled as the "Holy Crystal Decompression Magic Cube" (what does that even mean?), this thing came packed with detailed descriptions for each of the 12 sides, presented in classic, poorly-translated English. This is "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" territory, so I decided to pay a visit to The Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ™ to read the instructions on video, just for you. Check it out!

The Toy InsiderIt's time for another great Twitter Party with The Toy Insider, and I'll be there as a Panelist during the #MyLilButter Twitter Party, sponsored by Snaptoys, on Thursday, May 25 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EST. We'll be talking toys for a full hour full of fun, trivia, and giveaways, all in celebration of Lil' Butters - a new collection of 4" "Social Butterflies" - awesome collectible figures, each with a unique personality and look. I'll have a review up here on The Rock Father Magazine shortly, but in the meantime, check out what Marissa at The Toy Insider had to say about Lil' Butters Series 1 and Series 2, and be sure to RSVP and join us this Thursday!

Starting with a preview post in which I took an early look at the series alongside Mentor and Pixar Consumer Products Creative Director Jen Tan (read it here), each week for the past two months, I've been following ABC's THE TOY BOX. Last night, the eight-episode competition series wrapped it's first season, with hopeful toy inventors vying to have their creations produced by Mattel, and the winning toy to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. If you pay attention to details like episode production numbering, you may have noticed that THE TOY BOX aired out of order, which is something easy to do with series' that don't carry a narrative. In this case, THE TOY BOX played with audience anticipation by introducing two important entries in episode 106 - which actually aired as episode 7, the final episode before the grand finale. Now, the judges - Sophia Grace Brownlee (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”), Aalyrah Caldwell (“Uncle Buck”), Toby Grey (“The Unexpected John Cena Prank”) and Noah Ritter (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”) - have spoken, and a winner has been crowned. As of today, the winner is available at Toys "R" Us, but that's not the only toy from THE TOY BOX that's hitting shelves this year. In fact, one popular finalist has a link to the past... specifically, Mattel's past, and now it's coming back. 

It's that time of year again - the time when all the toymakers start rolling out the news on their SDCC Exclusives - the sought-after collectibles that will only be offered at San Diego Comic-Con International this July. Since I don't attend SDCC (I've long-said that I'll avoid it until I have a creative project to promote again... like one of my own comic or film endeavors), I sorta look at these as a bit of "window shopping" from afar. The first reveal here at Rock Father HQ comes from my friends at Hasbro, with a 12" Daredevil Figure from their MARVEL Legends collection. The SDCC Exclusive features impressive detailing, 30 points of articulation, premium packaging with original artwork by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada. Check it out...

I've owned a lot of NERF blasters over the years, and right now we have an arsenal of decent size here at Rock Father HQ. Still, I can't think of a time when I've specifically looked at a NERF blaster and thought: "that is beautiful." That changed today, when my friends at Hasbro sent over details on their NERF Rival Star Wars Battlefront Apollo XV-700 Blaster and Face Mask Set. The special edition Mandalorian set will be available exclusively at Gamestop this spring, and comes decked-out in a full Boba Fett color scheme, ripped straight from EA's STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT!

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales drops anchor into theaters on May 26, but those looking to re-enter the world of Captain Jack Sparrow today can do so with JOYCITY's newest mobile game, Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War. The new strategy game just arrived for iOS and Android today, and I've got the launch trailer and game details for you below. Check it out...

Pokémon continues to be an entertainment behemoth, and in 2018 the franchise will see a toy aisle rebirth thanks to Wicked Cool Toys, who has just been appointed to be the master toy licensee. The Pokémon Company International and Wicked Cool Toys issued a joint statement earlier today, with new action figures, play sets, plush, roleplay items and other toys based on the hit Pokémon animated series in most areas of the world. But the partnership between Pokémon and Wicked Cool is even bigger...

MARVEL Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is lighting up the box office, and to celebrate the launch of the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Rock Father™ has teamed-up with MSI to give readers a shot at winning some fantastic prizes, built around Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series! One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive an MSI Trident 3 Desktop Gaming PC, a 55" TV and a GOTG Steam Code. Fifty (50) runners-up will receive a Steam Code for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series! You can enter via the form below, or hit this link to visit the sweepstakes page. Check out the full official rules for further details. Good luck!

Disney's Puppy Dog Pals first hit the scene last month, quickly gaining young fans eager for more adventure with pug brothers Bingo and Rolly. As with most new shows that are fresh-out-of-the-gate, there's often the question of "where's the toys?," and with Puppy Dog Pals I can give you the answer: they're coming this Fall! Previewed at New York Toy Fair a few months back, my friends at Just Play have shared with The Rock Father™ a first-look at their Puppy Dog Pals Doghouse Playset! No doubt the pinnacle of their collection (more toys will be revealed soon),  I'm already anticipating this to be a hot item for the 2017 holiday season. After all, Just Play has a track record, with awesome kid-coveted toys from PJ Masks, Mickey and The Roadster Racers, The Lion Guard, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First in their lineup. Check this out...

Space-based play is a big deal here at Rock Father HQ, a fact that I've often mentioned both here and in my column over at The Toy Insider. Two Christmases ago, our youngest daughter had just one request for Santa Claus: "A Space Station." While he delivered on that wish, this year an even bigger orbiting craft arrived here at HQ, and it's something that our girls can actually climb inside of. The folks at Pacific Play Tents recently sent us their Space Station Tent and Tunnel Combo, and it's become a regular base for out-of-this-world adventure. When paired with the "Get Real Gear" Astronaut Suits and Jr. Astronaut Helmets from our friends at Aeromax Toys (based right here in Illinois!), they've got the perfect accessories for endless imaginative play! Take a look at the video below. Will SpaceX be sending kids into space?

Without a doubt, Hatchimals were the hottest holiday toy of last year. Now, Spin Master is expanding that world with Hatchimals Colleggtibles - a new series of micro-collectible figures and accessories, born from the magical world of Hatchtopia. Arriving at retailers this spring, these collectible figures bring the magic of Hatchimals to small-scale, still requiring the love of a child to hatch. Available in single blind bags, 2-packs (with nest) and 4-packs (with bonus), kids can rub the heart on each speckled egg to help their new friends hatch. When the heart changes from purple to pink, it's time to crack the egg (by pressing on it) to see who's waiting inside. My friends at Spin Master sent us a small assortment for review in The Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ, and this is what we got. Check out the video below!

Updated with the Official Announcement and game details....

As teased last week, the Call of Duty franchise is returning to its roots this November with the release of CALL OF DUTY: WWII. At today's Worldwide Reveal Livestream (still happening as of this writing), Activision has unleashed the official reveal trailer for Sledgehammer Games' highly-detailed step back into the era of World War II. The team did extensive research for a war that they note still touches families (my own Grandfather served in the 82nd Airborne), and our first taste of that labor can be seen below. Check this out...

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