The legend of the Calico Critters is getting bigger. Having checked out a small preview during Toy Fair this year and then going hands-on during The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite back in July, I can tell you that the new Calico Critters Town Series is a lot of fun. The detailed playsets and figures of the new Town Series mark the biggest launch in the past 10 years for their maker, Epoch Everlasting Play. According to the toymaker, "the new collection takes girls to the next level as they move beyond preschool play to the early school years. It features a more elegant, sophisticated styling, and a focus on the lives of more grown-up characters, who have fun jobs that children can dream of having when they grow up." Following a special pop-up experience to celebrate the launch in New York City, little fans everywhere will be excited to know that the world of Calico Critters is coming to Netflix as an all-new animated series this fall!
Last Friday, we closed-out the week with some casting announcements from Lionsgate's forthcoming PLAYMOBIL: The Movie. Now, we're starting off a new week with a first-look at some of the characters from the film! Directed by Lino DiSalvo and produced by ON Animation Studios, PLAYMOBIL: The Movie will feature the voice talents of Anya Taylor-Joy (The New Mutants), Gabriel Bateman (the upcoming Child's Play remake), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), comic Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick) and singers Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise, and as part of a year-long celebration, many products have been released that throw things back to where it all began... the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The camp charm of the original series brought forth a host of memorable characters, but no villain has been more suited for the Halloween season than the big bad of the Power Rangers' 1994 "Trick or Treat" episode - the Pumpkin Rapper. While it was The Nightmare Before Christmas that really drove home the title of "Pumpkin King" for Jack Skellington, there's been many Jack-O-Lantern-headed creatures that have terrorizing (or amusing) the masses for years and the Pumpkin Rapper is one of the best! For 2018, Funko brought the character into the Pop! Vinyl range for an exclusive figure available Only at GameStop. I recently bought one at our local GameStop store, and it only seemed right that we took the Pumpkin Rapper with us to the pumpkin patch...
One of the greatest toy lines of all-time is getting a movie. After years of back-and-forth development between a few different companies with multiple attachments in-and-out, PLAYMOBIL: The Movie is on-track for 2019. Deadline broke the news this morning that film from Lino DiSalvo, a Walt Disney Animation Studios vet who previously served as head of animation on Frozen, is casting. Anya Taylor-Joy (The New Mutants), Gabriel Bateman (the upcoming Child's Play remake), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), comic Jim Gaffigan (Chappaquiddick) and singers Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert have all joined the project, which will be told through a mix of live-action and CGI.
Despite occasionally writing about the franchise when something newsworthy has happened over the past few years, I didn't realize how powerful R.L. Stine's Goosebumps was until fairly recently. With our girls now 6 & 9, they've discovered the spooky world of Goosebumps, first through the 1990s television series which has been available on Netflix. But earlier this year, a neighbor started placing some of the original, 400-million-selling books from Scholastic into the Simplay3 Neighborhood Sharing Library that I installed in our yard last year. Goosebumps became a staple of the heavy reading rotation, and eventually they checked out the 2015 film that was inspired by that world. All that said, the timing of Sony Pictures' Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween couldn't be better, and the fact that I was invited to host a Chicago-area advance screening of the film was absolutely perfect... a first-hand example of just how powerful the Goosebumps franchise really is. And Haunted Halloween? It's primed to be a perennial favorite - a new Halloween classic that's going to surprise a lot of people.
This weekend, Oct. 12 - 14, 2018, Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!, is coming to Chicagoland for eight performances at the Rosemont Theatre. This is an all-new Sesame Street Live! - the inaugural production under Feld Entertainment’s new partnership with the non-profit educational organization, Sesame Workshop. features favorite Sesame Street pals Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and more in a brand-new sensory adventure live on stage. Check out a preview below!