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Chicago Toy & Game Fair 2013Chicago Toy and Game Fair Giveaway: Week 6 of 6! Your last chance to win!

Last year, one of the best events I had a chance to attend was the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (read my report here). For 2013, ChiTag is back for it's 11th Annual event, taking place November 23-24 at Navy Pier, right at the heart of Chicago's beautiful lakefront. It's the only public event of it's kind, allowing kids and grownups of all-ages to get a peek and play with some of the hottest upcoming toys and games, all while taking part in special events and shopping at the same time. The Rock Father and ChiTag have teamed-up to get six lucky families hooked-up with weekend passes to the show, one per week leading up to the big event. Want to join us at Navy Pier?

Chicago Toy & Game Fair 2013Chicago Toy and Game Fair Giveaway: Week 5 of 6!

Last year, one of the best events I had a chance to attend was the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (read my report here). For 2013, ChiTag is back for it's 11th Annual event, taking place November 23-24 at Navy Pier, right at the heart of Chicago's beautiful lakefront. It's the only public event of it's kind, allowing kids and grownups of all-ages to get a peek and play with some of the hottest upcoming toys and games, all while taking part in special events and shopping at the same time. The Rock Father and ChiTag have teamed-up to get six lucky families hooked-up with weekend passes to the show, one per week leading up to the big event. Want to join us at Navy Pier?

UPDATE: An update to this story follows after the original post with a statement from the manufacturer/importer.

With the Holiday gifting season getting into full-swing, I've been getting a lot of interesting items showing up here at Rock Father HQ - sent by their makers and publicists with hopes of landing a spot within my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Sometimes, it's completely unexpected, such as the case with the Mario Kart Wii Donkey Kong Mini Radio Control Kart (what a mouthful) by Goldie International. I'm going to go back to something that I've said here on the site before: Toy makers - STOP SELLING GARBAGE TO FAMILIES. This is also about the point were PR reps will get irritated, and will scold me for not coming to them with a problem first - all so they can try to "correct" it and keep some mud off of their client's faces. That wouldn't be honest, and certainly wouldn't be representative of my true experiences with a toy... especially when a safety issue is involved. Five days ago, I received a toy that burned my child (and me) today. And, I took the damn thing apart and am going to show all of you exactly how it happened.

In all areas of media, there are certain companies that operate just on the fringe of good taste, principle... and intellectual property laws. Much like those companies that put out similarly-titled and plotted films that land on DVD racks just to confuse good-hearted grandparents (I'm looking at people like Engine 15 Media, with their dubious CARS & TOY STORY knock-offs; and whoever the makers of CHOP-KICK PANDA are), there's long-been some occasional similarities in the toy department from major and minor players alike. Such is the case with "The Toon Studio of Beverly Hills" (aka United Trademark Holdings) and their "Junior Elf Fairy PRINCESS" line, which I'm sure is meant to look nothing like the famous DISNEY PRINCESS collection. Nor is their "Original Cars" line supposed to evoke images of Disney-Pixar's CARS... their "Original Monsters" supposed to resemble UNIVERSAL MONSTERS... or the "Original Fairies" supposed to be anything remotely similar to Disney FAIRIES. So what of this new FAIRY TALE HIGH collection of dolls that showed up at Walmart and Toys "R" Us this past month? Nah, they're not similar to anything else out there right now.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair 2013Chicago Toy and Game Fair Giveaway: Week 4 of 6!

Last year, one of the best events I had a chance to attend was the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (read my report here). For 2013, ChiTag is back for it's 11th Annual event, taking place November 23-24 at Navy Pier, right at the heart of Chicago's beautiful lakefront. It's the only public event of it's kind, allowing kids and grownups of all-ages to get a peek and play with some of the hottest upcoming toys and games, all while taking part in special events and shopping at the same time. The Rock Father and ChiTag have teamed-up to get six lucky families hooked-up with weekend passes to the show, one per week leading up to the big event. Want to join us at Navy Pier?

Today marks the official start of the Holiday Season here at Rock Father HQ, and thanks to my friends at Step2, we're getting off to a massive start. What would you do with a $1,000 Step2 Shopping Spree?  I know exactly what I'd start with - the 2013 Pink Corvette Toddler to Twin Bed for Addie, and the Pedal Farm Tractor and Trailer for Finley. But how about for you? A play kitchenwagonclimber and playhouse? How about a backyard climber and patio furniture? How about, a swing set? There's so many possibilities to ponder, and one lucky reader is going to have their wish granted. Step2 has teamed-up with The Rock Father and some of your favorite parenting blogs to make it happen. Now through November 26, you have a shot at a $1000 Shopping Spree on Step2.com!

Now this is a tough one. I have these four friends from New York City - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello - that I met for the first time back in the late 80s. We've had some good times, some great adventures, and yes, we shared more pizza than we probably should have. Problem is, they sorta went away for a little bit, making a retreat back into the shadows only to emerge every few years for another big adventure, often facing off against the same metal-faced samurai over-and-over-again. You see, they're ninjas... and they're turtles. Now they've got another adventure, and they need our help. They're trying to get into the NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME.

It's pretty appropriate that the new trailer for CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS comes just prior to Halloween. The reason? It brings with it some monstrous aliens in the new "Extinction" mode - a world that finds the planet under siege from some critters that will bring to mind everything from ALIENS, to STARSHIP TROOPERS. No Zombies here, but it's still looking quite deadly. Family-friendly this one isn't, so use caution if viewing near the kids. It's part of "Daddy Shooting Pixels" here on The Rock Father...

The Beatrix Girls - MEET THE BEATRIX EPEarlier this month, THE BEATRIX GIRLS released their debut EP, when MEET THE BEATRIX arrived on iTunes. These rockin' young ladies might not be a household name just yet, but Lark (Bass), Ainsley (Drums), Brayden (Guitar/Vocals), and Chantal (Keyboards) are poised for stardom. You see, they’re musicians, they’re role models for a new generation of empowered young girls, and they spread a message that you can accomplish your dreams through talent, tenacity and old-fashioned hard work... but THE BEATRIX GIRLS are something else as well... they're dolls

Chicago Toy & Game Fair 2013Chicago Toy and Game Fair Giveaway: Week 3 of 6!

Last year, one of the best events I had a chance to attend was the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (read my report here). For 2013, ChiTag is back for it's 11th Annual event, taking place November 23-24 at Navy Pier, right at the heart of Chicago's beautiful lakefront. It's the only public event of it's kind, allowing kids and grownups of all-ages to get a peek and play with some of the hottest upcoming toys and games, all while taking part in special events and shopping at the same time. The Rock Father and ChiTag have teamed-up to get six lucky families hooked-up with weekend passes to the show, one per week leading up to the big event. Want to join us at Navy Pier?

The Classic Ouija Board. It doesn't matter if you think of it as "Wee-Ja" or "Wee-Gee" (I prefer the latter), the classic board game is capable of conjuring some pretty strong feelings and emotions... depending on who you talk to. While versions of the William Fuld-stamped board have been around for over a century, it's the CLASSIC OUIJA Board that is most-often thought of, though many don't realize that it hasn't exactly been easy to come by in recent years. For Day 24 of 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father, I'm featuring the Classic Ouija Board - brought back to life by Winning Moves Games under license from Hasbro. Yes, the true classic based on the famous Parker Brothers board is available once more, and they sent one to Rock Father HQ for some spooky fun...

SI KIDS Brand AmbassadorAs the 2013 MLB World Series is set to begin tomorrow, the folks at OYO Sportstoys have teamed with my friends at Sports Illustrated Kids for a special video that animates some of the best moments from the 2013 ALCS & NLCS into brick and minifigure form. Yes, bricks and minifigures... OYO makes sports-themed minifigures that could be considered the distant cousins of similar brands like MEGA Bloks and LEGO. Honestly, I wasn't aware of them until today, but now I have my eye on a few. Check out the toy versions of the BOSTON RED SOX and ST. LOUIS CARDINALS rockin' the bases below...  

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