When I stopped into the Hasbro Party at Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe this past July, one of the special guests was a purple monkey named Cheeky. You see, he's one of the newest additions to the growing ELEFUN AND FRIENDS line, and the subject of two new games being released in-time for Fall: CHEEKY'S BARREL BURST (pre-order here) and CHASIN' CHEEKY (out now). As luck would have it, the folks at Hasbro Games had already sent the latter to Rock Father HQ for evaluation in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house).
What's the plural of "Mogwai?" Is it Mogwais... or is it like LEGO and just Mogwai? Regardless, the folks over at NECA have revealed a new batch of their popular, 7" Mogwai action figures based on GREMLINS. For this round, the NECA team dug deep into the archives for concept Mogwai(s) that were crafted by FX legend RICK BAKER (STAR WARS, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) for the production of 1990's GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH. Get ready to meet Brownie, Doodah, and Penny...
Now this is cool. As a guy that has a Kermit the Frog plush in his office (along with a few Muppets action figures) and lives fully-immersed in music, the idea of letting kids build their own MUPPET band is right up my alley. After all, DR. TEETH AND THE ELECTRIC MAYHEM are legendary, commanding respect from music lovers of all-ages, right? Well, Disney Interactive has launched MY MUPPETS SHOW, a Freemium App (Free to download, with in-app purchases available) for iOS and Android. Check out the full details below...
Last Friday night, my friends from Hasbro invited me down to The Hard Rock Cafe (oddly appropriate location) in Chicago for a special #HasbroParty. There, bloggers like myself got to go hands-on with some new and upcoming offerings like the new NERF Rebelle line, Furby Boom, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, TRANSFORMERS Rescue Bots, and more. While there was plenty of play to be had, it was hard not to notice that the bar had been completely taken over by the KRE-O CITYVILLE INVASION. Now, we're already fans of the KRE-O line (check out this STAR TREK review), but I wasn't really familiar with this whole "CityVille" deal until a bartender in full-on zombie makeup served me a vodka-heavy "Zombie Punch" from the KRE-O inspired drink menu.
This past Friday night, I was invited to be one of a select group of Bloggers to take part in a first-of-its-kind event at American Girl Place in Chicago. It was a celebration - a baby shower of sorts - to announce American Girl's new arrival: The Brand-New World of Bitty Baby. On August 27, 2013, the newly-enhanced Bitty Baby line of 15-inch dolls, clothing, and accessories for girls ages 3+ will make it's public debut at American Girl stores, and online at AmericanGirl.com.
PACIFIC RIM is not quite a runaway success in the U.S. just yet, but the Guillermo del Toro sci-fi film is a Global success. As the movie continues to grow legs, the folks at WizKids/NECA along with MFV have launched a new card game App that brings PACIFIC RIM into the popular world of SHUFFLING THE DECK. The Shuffling the Deck: Pacific Rim Edition is available as of today for the iPad, FREE on the App Store.
If you've ever wondered "Where Do Toys Come From?", you just might be able to find out first-hand... if you're near Montreal. The folks at MEGA Brands are throwing open the doors of their massive MEGA BLOKS Factory, said to be "The Largest Toy Factory in North America," to allow special group tours for daycares, schools, camps, and non-profits. Check out the details below...
If your little one(s) like art, then there's a new App on the market that you might want to try. MO WILLEMS' Pigeon Presents... Mo on the Go! is out today via Disney Publishing Worldswide, and features some of Willems' most beloved characters in a collection of games and activities. Kids can also draw along in the App, which is available now for iOS and Nook.
Hot on the heels of the announcement that ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS II ft TELEPODS would be coming to Mobile Devices this September, the crew over at Rovio has teamed up with Activision to bring ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS to consoles. Activision hit The Rock Father with details on the platform version, which will arrive for XBOX 360, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and 3Ds on October 29.
Not long ago, the folks at NECA sent over an announcement about a a partnership they'd entered into with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to produce new collectibles based on THE SIMPSONS: 25 Greatest Guest Stars. I didn't post the news at the time, because I don't like posting announcements that arrive devoid of pictures (little pet peeve of mine). But, today that's all squared away, as the first five guest stars have been announced: PLAYBOY's Hugh Hefner, Music Icon James Brown, Basketball Star Yao Ming, Actor Tom Hanks, and Detroit Cowboy, Kid Rock.
Get ready, LEGO fans. The folks at LEGO have announced that THE LEGO MOVIE is getting a transmedia merchandising rollout that puts it on-par with Summer Movie Blockbusters. While LEGO building sets are a given (and there will be 17 of them - one of which will debut at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday), a Video Game, and a whole lot more will be arriving for kids and grownups alike. Check out the full details below, right here on The Rock Father.
UPDATE #2 - Three+ Years Later: As of 2016, a new line of Sofia the First Toys are being created and sold by Just Play Toys, thus negating this original article... unless, of course, you happen to come across old stock that could still be floating around from 2013. And, in fairness, we did eventually buy some of the later Mattel releases and they were just fine. In fact, the Royal Prep playset is still played with regularly... years later.
UPDATE: Since posting this entry, Rachel Cooper, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Mattel, got in touch. After speaking with her on the phone this evening, I can tell you that Mattel is well-aware of the problems, and that the line has gone through a "complete overhaul." This means that new shipments of merchandise should start arriving in August as part of an inline change. Families that have purchased defective or sub-standard product can contact Mattel Customer Service for a free replacement from the new batches as they arrive. Rachel made it very clear that Mattel is sorry for any issues or disappointment.
There is trouble in Enchancia. Royally-bad trouble, I'm afraid... and as a parent - and a writer - this is one of those times where I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but more than happy to raise the flag to spread the word and hold accountable those who are responsible. Parents and Children across the country are discovering that there's BIG problems with the new line of toys based on Disney Junior's SOFIA THE FIRST. Specifically, the collection of 3-inch scale Dolls (action figures?) by Mattel, and all related accessories, including the "Magical Talking Castle."