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Alright, Boils and Ghouls - the folks at Mattel and BluBox Games have released MONSTER HIGH: GHOULS AND JEWELS as an all-new, freemium mobile game, available for iOS (playable on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) via the Apple App Store. Check out the full details below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

Our foam-based arsenal is growing here at Rock Father HQ, and the most recent addition is the NERF N-Strike Elite Mega Magnus Blaster. Sent to us by Hasbro for review, this new offering for Spring 2014 is undoubtedly my favorite Nerf blaster thus far. Problem is, it might actually be a little bit too powerful, and it's already gotten me into a little bit of trouble.

McFarlane Toys has certainly released a ton of stuff that I've dug over the years, and while their more "grownup" action figures have always caught my eye, they've also done some toys for the kids, and the latest is pretty appropriate for Easter - characters based on Nickelodeon's RABBIDS INVASION (itself based on the Ubisoft game). Just in-time to infiltrate Easter baskets, Rabbids toys just hit Walmart and Toys "R" Us Stores Nationwide. Here's what's out there right now...

KaBOOM!The folks at KaBOOM! have been doing some incredible work over the years, completing well over 2,000 playground builds as they move toward their mission of making sure that every child has a safe place to play within walking distance of their home. While it's nice to check out a website or see a story in the news, nothing is more impactful than viewing it with your own eyes - and I've seen what KaBOOM! can accomplish first-hand, as there are two parks that we visit that were the result of volunteer-staffed builds. In fact, I just shot some video of my girls playing at one of them this week (technically, we've been there twice this week)... take a look:

Step2Of all the things that the late Spring arrival here in Illinois has brought with it, one of the highlights has been the coming of new toys. We've all been infected with a bad case of Cabin Fever this year, and that's only been made worse by the fact that we've had certain things here in "the warehouse" at Rock Father HQ that we've been unable to use right away, thanks to snow. The BIG example? The Step2 Alpine Ridge Climber & Slide, a brand-new offering for 2014 that's being sold Exclusively at Toys "R" Us Stores. As a Step2 Brand Ambassador, my family gets to try out many of the coolest new toys that Step2 has to offer, and this one was at the top of the girls' list. With the snow finally gone, our Alpine Ridge is set-up and ready to rock.

Tuesday, April 08 2014 21:47

Is Your Child Ready for the Next Grade?

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With my oldest daughter about to enter kindergarten this Fall, I'm constantly thinking about it... and wondering if she's ready. No matter how much we do, no matter how prepared I think we are, I don't know. I hope she's ready, but I tend to worry about such things. Now it's on my mind once more, as some news hit my inbox from Lakeshore Learning, who will release a new series of games called the Are You Ready? Game Show on April 15.. This series is aimed at helping kids Kindergarten through Fifth Grade prevent summer learning loss, while helping their grownups be aware of what skill areas need work. Check out the video below...

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION is rolling out to theaters this summer, but over at Sideshow Collectibles, they're paying tribute to Optimus Prime as he appeared in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON. The Museum Masterline Series Optimus Prime statue by Japan's Prime 1 Studios features interchangeable weapons and heads, LED light features, a cool base and more. But it's nearly $2,300.00 and limited to just 2000 pieces that are expected to ship in January of 2015. Still interested?

The Rock Father is a 2014 Step2 AmbassadorAh yes, Spring is FINALLY here (officially, anyway), and it's that time of year when the college sports world is truly overcome by madness. To celebrate, my friends at Step2 are giving away some of their all-new basketball hoop sets to three lucky readers! Winners will be able to have their choice of the Shootin' Hoops Pro Basketball Set, Shootin' Hoops Junior Basketball Set, or the Floor to Door Basketball. Being a 2014 Step2 Brand Ambassador, we've had the Shootin' Hoops Pro here at Rock Father HQ for a few months now, and you know what? My little girls are some serious ballers. Just take a look at the video below and see for yourself...

On October 14, 2014, Warner Bros. Games will release BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT (Pre-order: Amazon | GameStop), the finale to their Arkham Trilogy. While the game was just officially announced today and details are scarce, the Next Gen-only title will arrive for PC, XBOX One, and PLAYSTATION 4. I guess this means I finally need to get an XBOX One (I'm still on the XBOX 360), as this game looks fantastic. The Rocksteady crew have certainly taken some of that Christopher Nolan-influence and run with it, and their driveable BATMOBILE is one mean ride. See the trailer, "Father to Son," below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

On April 1, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release THE PIRATE FAIRY, a film that is not only a sequel to recent films in the Disney Fairies series - but also a prequel to a true Disney classic, 1953's PETER PAN. I recently paid a visit to DisneyToon Studios (I was there as a guest, and yes, it was on Mickey's dime) in Glendale, California to get an early look at the film (review forthcoming) and a look at all the tie-in products that are being released this year to further entertain kids and grownups alike that find themselves enthralled in the world of Disney Fairies. Me? I'm sort of like "the boy who wouldn't grow up," and I got to hang out in the "zen garden" of the same facility where cool stuff like PLANES was made, while eating lunch with some fellow bloggers and wearing a Tinker Bell watch. 

Last week, in the midst of all the Toy Fair news out of New York came an announcement from Activision that sorta flew under the radar for a lot of people... myself included. Set for release on June 10, 2014 is TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE DARK SPARK, a new video game for XBOX ONE, Playstation 4, XBOX 360, PS3, Nintendo 3DS and WiiU that is intended to serve as a follow-up to the upcoming TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION film (out June 27 via Paramount Pictures) and Activision's previous TRANSFORMERS: WAR FORCYBERTRON and TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON games. Take a look at the trailer below...

In the roughly four-and-a-half years since I became "The Rock Father," it's been interesting to see just how much innovation and change has come to the toy aisles (actually, all the baby/kids sections) in such a short period of time. While it's easy to say "they didn't have that when I was a kid!," the same can be said for my two girls - who arrived just three years apart. You don't think that building blocks and bricks aimed at the youngest of architects would change that much, but they sure do, and the latest offerings from MEGA BLOKS certainly show that. It was just about four years ago when we first purchased a big bag of basic, pastel bloks for Addie, and now there's a whole FIRST BUILDERS line just bursting with possibilities.

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