The 2017 Toy Fair is getting underway at the Javits Center in New York right now, and while I'm not there in-person, I've still got tons of new toy news to share! One early reveal comes from the folks at Just Play, and it's a line that's an important one for our girls here at Rock Father HQ: Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins. With the series having been just greenlit for another season, Doc's adventures continue to go in new directions, and that means some great new toys. Over the past few weeks, a new collection of Doc McStuffins Baby toys have been hitting retail, including a Diaper Bag and Get Better Baby Cece, but the pinnacle of the new line is the Doc McStuffins Baby Checkup All-in-One Nursery. A follow-up to the famed (and at one time, extremely hard-to-get Check-up Center), this new playset will hit retail this fall, and is destined to become a sought-after holiday gift, and an early pick for my 2017 Holiday Wish Guide. Take a look!
In the ramp-up to the 2015 release of JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the biggest events was the first-ever "Force Friday" - the official launch of merchandise tied to the release of the film. I went all-in for the launch, joining Hasbro in posting daily entries from their "Force Friday Countdown" calendar (a new Star Wars toy featured every day for four months - see them here). Last year, when Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came around, no one really knew what to call the launch, bouncing back-and-forth between "Rogue Friday" and "Force Friday," but today we learn that the latter was incorrect, as Disney & Lucasfilm have officially announced that September 1, 2017 is FORCE FRIDAY II - the official launch of new toys and merch from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Check out the details and your first-look at the new toy packaging below!
One of the hottest new toys of 2017 here at Rock Father HQ is the latest American Girl - Girl of the Year (GOTY), Gabriella McBride. For the first time ever, the folks at Mattel revealed that their GOTY would remain available for the foreseeable future, and that change in routine was just the first move in what's shaping up to be a very big year. Ahead of Toy Fair getting started in New York this weekend, news has come down that American Girl will be introducing "a new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to even more girls' interests, backgrounds, and experiences." It begins very soon - February 16 with the release of Tenney Grant, "a rising star in the Nashville music scene," and her drummer - American Girl's first-ever boy character, Logan Everett.
It was probably 1983 or '84, and at some point my parents bought me a set of Fisher-Price Construx. The cool new building set used grey beams with colorful accent pieces, connectors and plates that allowed kids like myself to create some interesting structures and vehicles. I distinctly remember creating "Doozer" towers at one point. While the line didn't really last long, the name has been used off-and-on, but not for awhile. Now, Mattel has resurrected the name as a new sub-brand to help better distinguish between the two main divisions of the MEGA Brands umbrella - now known as Mega Bloks and Mega Construx. The launch is in-progress, and I'm digging the new campaign - particularly, "The Beyonders."
On Friday, February 17, my friends at The Toy Insider are serving-up a #CupcakeSurprise... Twitter Party! Sponsored by Sunny Days Entertainment, the crew will be talking toys, and giving followers a shot at winning some fun new dolls. During the party, four winners will win a set of three Cupcake Surprise dolls, and one lucky grand prize winner will win a set of SIX Cupcake Surprise dolls! RSVP here, and be sure to join from 11am-12pm ET!
By now, you probably know that my affection for the 1980s runs deep, hence the return of MADBALLS was a welcome one. I reviewed the Series 1 batch of Just Play's 2017 Madballs here on the site, and now there's a chance for YOU to share in the gross-out fun! Join The Toy Insider this Friday, February 10, 2017 from 11am-12pm ET for the #Madballs Twitter Party! Click here to RSVP!
For most families, when it comes to raising kids, you don't get many chances to do things right the first time. Those "firsts" are typically a per-child affair, and in our case, we've experienced certain milestones twice because we have two girls, and hopefully we've done better with our youngest than our oldest. There's a learning curve, and it's always fascinating to see how quickly the tools to help parents evolve. Bonding and separation anxiety are things that I certainly didn't consider in our pre-parent days, and while I think that bonding was a non-issue, anxiety is a thing. For new parents, now there's the CuddleBright™ Experience - the first and only routine-based experience aimed to connect, comfort and calm both parent and child during times of separation. This four-component system is geared toward children ages 0-5 and their parents, and to celebrate it's launch, the development experts at the Simms/Mann Institute have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a chance to win the complete set. Check out the details and enter below!
As Toy Fair New York and Star Wars Celebration Orlando approach, Star Wars fans are getting exceptionally eager to learn what plans have been made to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Star Wars Saga. While May is likely the big month (A New Hope was released on 5-25-77), we've got some time before that, and the folks at Hasbro have no shortage of new toys yet to come. Yesterday some rumors were confirmed as my favorite line - the 3.75" action figure assortment - will get new characters from Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels. Check out a full gallery below, along with details on some new offerings beyond the realm of figures!
It's impossible to think of Princess Leia without thinking of the late Carrie Fisher, as the character she inhabited lives on in many forms. This year, as Star Wars celebrates its 40th Anniversary, the folks at PPW Toys are continuing their line of licensed Mr Potato Head PopTaters, and as we spin things back to 1977, it's time for a "classic" Mrs. Potato Head version of Princess Leia!
I'm gonna have to get in on this action soon - the first DLC for last year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has arrived with Sabotage. In addition to four all-new multi-player maps, what's particularly intriguing is that the COD Zombies experience continues in 90s horror movie style with Rave in the Redwoods. Dropped into a lakeside camp (a la Friday the 13th and countless others), players can fight zombies with 90s "stereotype characters" - Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Suicide Squad) as “the Hip Hop Wannabe;” Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Austin Powers) as “the Kandi Raver;” Jay Pharoah (White Famous, Saturday Night Live) as “the Grunge Rocker;” and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live, Inside Amy Schumer) as “the Westside Gangsta.” Additionally, filmmaker Kevin Smith, as himself. Check this out...
I certainly do miss the heyday of Harmonix's Rock Band franchise, and it's certainly weird to think that 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the series. In stranger terms, the game has been around for a quarter of my life. That said, the February DLC has been announced, leading off with Twisted Sister and Ratt coming to Rock Band Rivals, perfect for the newly-released Quick Play mode. "I Wanna Rock" and "Round and Round" are available on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for $1.99 per track. Check out a preview below, along with the full lineup of new songs for the month...
This fall, the world of Equestria transforms into a whole new realm of play as K’NEX Brands introduces TINKERTOY building sets inspired by the popular animated series MY LITTLE PONY : Friendship is Magic. Announced ahead of Toy Fair International in New York, these new sets are created under license to K'NEX by Hasbro, and will bring the main characters and locations from My Little Pony into the Tinkertoy building system. Check out details on the new My Little Pony Tinkertoy collection, hitting retail this fall...