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...

When the teaser trailer for MARVEL's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrived back in December, I was one of the people quick to deem the new "Baby Groot" as "Toddler Groot." I also said that "toddler Groot is gonna be the toy that kids want," and behold, Hasbro is answering the call. With Toy Fair in New York happening shortly, new toys are starting to emerge, and the folks at Hasbro just sent over the full details on their MARVEL GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 DANCING GROOT Figure!

Tuesday, January 31 2017 21:43

Splashlings Wave 2 are Swimming into Walmart...

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A rising part of the micro-collectibles craze, TPF Toys' Splashlings made a, well, splash, last year, and now the second wave is swimming ashore. Arriving at Walmart in February, Sam Walton's former "five & dime" joins the ranks of other major retailers in stocking these fun, sea-dwelling friends. From Mike Bowling, creator of Pound Puppies, Splashlings are "An Ocean Full of Friends," and the new wave brings 100 new mermaids, ocean friends, gems, shells and treasures join the Splashlings family. We have a few Wave 1 sets here at HQ, and The Rock Daughters™ love 'em.

Tuesday, January 31 2017 15:59

Toy Review: The Return of Madballs! Series 1 (2017)

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When I was a kid, it was always interesting to hear how much the grownups of the day referenced the 1950s, and to a lesser extent, the 1960s. As a parent of this generation, I find myself constantly referencing the 1980s, and I don't know if it's all a part of the "Back in my day..." cycle, or if that decade just really was perfect when it came to pop culture and toys. Joining the multitude of icons that have returned, Madballs are back for another round this year, relaunched and ready to win the masses with their gross-out fun. 

Last week, once again filling the space between big sister heading off to school and me having to take the little one to Pre-K, Finley decided that she wanted to do some blind bags. Our friends at Just Play had sent over a full box of their PEANUTS Series 1 Collectible Mini-Figures, so the temptation was there. With 12 figures in all, PLUS the "Rare Snoopy" (complete with dog bowl in his mouth), it was time to crack the box and see exactly what we got. Check out the video below!

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