Is Jabba the Hutt's Sail Barge the Ultimate Toy from a Galaxy Far, Far Away... or is it 30 Years Too Late?Written by James Zahn
I'm a bit belated on writing about this one, largely because it's taken me a little while to really distill all of my feelings about it. On February 17, when I was in New York City for the 115th North American Toy Fair, I was an invited guest at Hasbro's "Fan Media" event at the New York Times building. This was a time, when amid all the new toys being unveiled for the year ahead, Hasbro welcomed a group of writers that serve some specific niches of pop culture and fandom. While the showroom was open for viewing of all toys, the big focus was on sites that cater to fans of the big franchises that Hasbro handles - Marvel, My Little Pony, Transformers, Power Rangers, and my personal favorite: Star Wars. As that franchise enters its 41st year, there's a lot going on, but the toy front is an interesting space in which there's a lot of debate about the type of merchandise available, and exactly who it's really for. This is something being discussed constantly within the offices of toymakers and retailers in addition to public forums geared toward passionate collectors. It was on that February afternoon that Hasbro unveiled a bold new initiative called HasLab, but just two weeks later it seems to be stalling. They have an absolutely incredible toy that could become reality, but is it arriving more than three decades too late?
During the 90th Academy Awards, ABC aired a 30-second spot promising the full teaser for MARY POPPINS RETURNS "tomorrow." Since Disney often does the trailer premieres during Good Morning America, that seemed a likely spot for the clip to debut, but it actually arrived online tonight! From the official Walt Disney Studios YouTube Channel comes your first real look at what should be one of the holiday season's biggest hits - a film I'm very much looking forward to. Check out the teaser for Mary Poppins Returns...
Last year, PLAYMOBIL surprised audiences by getting into the realm of pop culture licenses for the first time. Now in their 44th year, PLAYMOBIL is entering their second year of licensed product by expanding upon the first to launch - PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters. That line was a huge hit right out of the gate, and we were lucky enough to have received the Ecto-1 for review last year, along with the iconic Firehouse Playset as a gift from The Toy Insider. My girls and I were so into it that we eventually purchased all of the other sets. So with a collection based largely on 1984's Ghostbusters, it's only logical that the next step would be 1989's Ghostbusters II and the folks at PLAYMOBIL have done just that... but they're also looking for inspiration in a more unexpected place: The Real Ghostbusters.
At Toy Fair in New York last month, the Spin Master booth was a center of constant activity. While their offerings are diverse, their television brands are a big deal, and we're now entering into the second year for Rusty Rivets, which airs daily on Nick Jr. Last year, the much-anticipated toy line first hit the scene as a Toys "R" Us Exclusive, but this year it's a wide-release meaning that parents should be able to find these just about anywhere. While I was personally hoping to see a Mobile Rivet Lab Playset on display (it might've been too new), that didn't happen but a lot of other great items have materialized. The Rock Father™ is excited to present to you a full look at the 2018 Rusty Rivets toy line, complete with suggested pricing and availability dates below. Get ready to Combine It and Design It!
After making their debut in one short sequence from 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan, the Muppet Babies made the jump to television for a long-running animated series that ran until 1991. It's been nearly three decades since the original series came to the end of its run, and now it's time for a long-overdue reboot for a whole new generation. Disney's MUPPET BABIES launches as an all-new original series premiering FRIDAY, MARCH 23 with two back-to-back episodes on Disney Channel (10:00 a.m. EDT) and in the DisneyNOW app. Today, The Rock Father™ and Disney Junior have teamed-up to present the EXCLUSIVE premiere of Muppet Babies: Show & Tell - a new short-form series that young audiences can enjoy starting March 2nd. In these shorts, kids can get to know the Muppet Babies and their environment, starting with a first-look at the playroom and backyard through the eyes of Kermit the Frog. How connected is the new series to the classic Muppet tales that that kids like me grew up with in the 70s and 80s? There's a definite connection... you might even say that there's a "Rainbow Connection." Check out Kermit's Show & Tell...
Last summer, at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, I had a chance to preview footage from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2. It was incredible, and one of the most buzzed-about scenes is that the film manages to bring together every Disney Princess, and Star Wars into the digital realm of Wreck-It Ralph. Fortunately, that's not being shown to the world just yet, because aside from knowing of its existence, you're gonna want to see it on the big screen this Thanksgiving. While there might be some surface comparisons to last summer's The Emoji Movie in that characters enter a digital galaxy filled with apps and websites, there's a lot more happening here, and today we've got the first official teaser trailer direct from the folks at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Check it out below!