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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.

The battle to "catch 'em all!" is getting hardcore. The inaugural 2017 Pokémon North American International Championships will take place June 30–July 2 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, followed by the 2017 Pokémon World Championships in Anaheim, California in August. It's the ultimate challenge for players of both the Pokémon Trading Card Game and video game series. Check out the details below...

Can you become the biggest snake? That's the question posited by the massively-popular mobile game, Slither.io. With over 150 million downloads, and over 120 million plays per day, Slither.io has been consistently been Google Play's #1 free game, and now it's making the jump to toys. Revealed this month at Toy Fair 2017 in New York, Bonkers Toys is bringing Slither.io to life as a line of blind bag collectibles, and later, plush. While we're not at Toy Fair in-person, some of the first samples of the Slither.io blind bags made their way to Rock Father HQ in Illinois, and The Rock Daughters™ (already familiar with the game) were more than happy to crack into four of them. Check out the video below!

It was January of 2016 when I declared that "Sprout's FLOOGALS is the next great space-based program for kids." In that article, I noted that our youngest daughter, Finley, immediately began asking us, "When are Floogals toys coming out?" At the time, there was no licensee for Floogals, but that changed last summer when the folks at Just Play picked up the ball. In the time since, a weird thing has happened... Finn has asked for Floogals toys every single time a package has arrived. We're talking over a year, folks. With each delivery by FedEx or UPS to Rock Father HQ, she always sees the boxes and asks, "Is it Floogals toys?" Of all the many diverse interests that our girls have, I have never seen such an obsession over one thing that until now, simply didn't exist. Today, that changes. Thanks to my friend Lindsay at Ren Beanie, I have for you a first-look at Just Play's first batch of Floogals Toys! This is straight from the product showroom at the in-progress North American International Toy Fair in New York City. Check it out...

The North American International Toy Fair continues to roll on in New York City, and the TRANSFORMERS continue to roll out! Among to new toy announcements from Hasbro comes a new trailer for Transformers: Forged to Fight, the new mobile game from Kabam Games. Arriving in the App Store and Google Play this Spring, Transformers: Forged to Fight will give players access to nearly every phase of the Transformers franchise history, challenging fans and players to assemble the ultimate team of Transformers. Players will be able to collect iconic characters from every Transformers generation, including Autobots and Decepticons from the animated series and Paramount’s blockbuster films, as well as fan-favorites from the Transformers comic book series and Hasbro’s massive catalog of figures. The Transformers PR Team just hit The Rock Father with the new trailer, and I've got it for you below. Check it out!

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