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I'm currently typing this from a hotel room in Manhattan, as I'm in New York City with The Toy Insider for the industry's "biggest night of play" - Sweet Suite 2017! As toymakers prep to unveil some of 2017's hottest holiday toys, things are already shaping up to be a little bit different this time around, and one big addition to the festivities is a live stream studio. I'll be hopping in front of the camera for a special Sweet Suite Live Broadcast in which I'll be unboxing some new toys from K'NEX, and the action begins at 5:10pm ET on July 12, 2017. To see the livestream, simply visit The Rock Father™ on YouTube or Facebook!

It was about a year and a half ago when Hasbro laid out their public plans to build a "cross-property interconnected onscreen universe featuring the brands G.I. JoeMicronautsVisionariesM.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM." In the comic world, IDW has already brought this to life with REVOLUTION, a crossover comic that also throws TRANSFORMERS into the mix, and at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, fans will be able to purchase the first toys based on the series in a massive "Mega-Set." This is right up my alley...

2017 marks the debut of HASCON - Hasbro’s first-ever family convention that’s taking place on September 8-10 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. With the toymaker highlighting their own brands for the very first time in a convention atmosphere, many have been wondering what that will entail, in addition to how some of their licensed properties (Star Wars/Marvel) would be represented. In short, this event is looking to be massive. Heading into the weekend, Hasbro sent over the full details on their brand experience activities for Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Marvel and Play-Doh. Check them out below!

The Rock Father™ is a writer for The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board and the Netflix #StreamTeam

This Friday, July 7, 2017, join The Toy Insider for the #SpiritRidingFree Twitter Party! This will be your first chance to check out and WIN toys based on the Netflix Original Series SPIRIT RIDING FREE, which recently made its debut from the folks at DreamWorks Television Animation. Join us for an hour full of fun, trivia, and giveaways from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EST! RSVP to participate.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters this week, and to celebrate, Marvel Contest of Champions is welcoming Stark-Enhanced Spider-Man to the Battlerealm! The folks at Kabam Games just sent over he details on the new additions to the popular mobile game, including a new event quest - Battlerealm: Homecoming - and a series of "Stark Assignments."

The much-anticipated Star Wars Forces of Destiny made its debut today, with "Sands of Jakku" - its first first short-form episode, available for viewing below. Star Wars Forces of Destiny is an original series of animated shorts which explore the untold stories that helped shape the destinies of Rey, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, Padmè Amidala, Ahsoka Tano and others.  Check out what Rey and BB-8 are up to below!

It's a chance for your kids to "make it rain" in their very own little water park! The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table is and my friends at Step2 have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give you a shot at winning one for your own backyard! One of 2017's Top Summer Toys as chosen by The Toy Insider, this is big fun for kids ages 18-months and up! Check out the details below, and enter to win!

If you've read my "Coffee & Rock" features here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine, you already know that I do enjoy "a damn fine cup of coffee" on occasion... just like FBI Special Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). With TWIN PEAKS' resident coffee aficionado back on the scene for a new limited series on Showtime, my friends at Entertainment Earth are bringing the character to life as the TWIN PEAKS Agent Cooper Bobble Head – Convention Exclusive, and they've teamed-up with yours truly to debut it! This new figure will make it's debut at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2017 in the Entertainment Earth booth (#2343)! Check out the full details below!

Last year, I lucked out as my oldest daughter and I happened to be at Nintendo of America HQ outside of Seattle on the very day that the much-anticipated NES Classic was released. We were technically there for a project related to the 3DS system, but the folks at Nintendo were kind enough to set aside a stack of Classics for folks in our group to purchase. Fortunately, I did grab the Mini edition of the famed 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, as the $59.99 item was quickly hard-to-come-by, and resellers were charging hundreds. When news came that the system was discontinued this spring (after failing to meet demand), rumors swirled that something new was in the pipeline... a Mini Edition of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Yesterday, the SNES Classic Edition was officially announced, and it's hitting the streets on September 29, 2017 with an MSRP of just $79.99.

I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

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

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Teletubbies - Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. As I first wrote about earlier this year, the legend of the Teletubbies continues to grow as the series and characters have been updated for a new generation of tech-savvy tots, with new episodes airing weekdays at 9:47am on Nick Jr. There's the new toys from Spin Master, and from DHX Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the new "Big Hugs" DVD. With summer road trip season upon us, now is the perfect time to bring the Teletubbies along for the ride, ad we're gonna give you a shot at winning some new DVDs to take with you!

It was 1991 when THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST arrived, the third game in the Zelda series, and first for the recently-launched Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). I came into THE LEGEND OF ZELDA a tad late, our family getting the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) a few years after it came out, but just at the right time (probably 1988 or so) to be really into the Zelda series by the time that THE SUPER MARIO BROS. SUPER SHOW! started airing in syndication the following year, presenting animated episodes of The Legend of Zelda in place of the Mario Bros. each Friday. The reason I cite the third game in the series as a benchmark is because it was a massive game for Nintendo at the time, helping to usher in the era of a new system, and it has a title that perfectly relates to being a parent: As my kids grow to love THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, it is in fact "a link to the past" - my past.

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