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For a character that first hit screens more than 40 years ago, it's interesting to note just how hard it is to get the look of Chewbacca just right. Licensees have now had four decades to work on their Chewie products, yet in certain categories, nailing the proper look of the STAR WARS galaxy's most famous Wookiee is still a real problem. In fairness, any character or creature with full-body hair is challenging to pull-off, but I'd argue that the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon deserves a lot more care than he gets. That said, here's a look at an assortment of different "Chewbacca" costumes that are available for purchase right now. From 1977's STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE to 2017's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, Chewie's had a variety of looks (and we may see a different one in Ron Howard's Untitled Han Solo Movie next year), but most of these look nothing like the Porg's beloved friend. 

As a guy whose earliest years were well-documents on his parents' Super 8mm camera (which I'd later use for "filmmaking" purposes), I will forever hold a place in my heart for Kodak, and as the film company continues to reinvent itself in both film and digital worlds, today comes news of a partnership that will see some vibrant Kodak imagery come back into the toy department this fall.  Cra-Z-Art has entered into a strategic brand licensing agreement with Eastman Kodak Company to produce and distribute puzzles in the U.S. The puzzles will feature beautiful photo imagery and be available in various size piece counts from 100 to 2000. Those puzzles will be Made in the USA.

Friday, September 22 2017 10:07

Toy Review: Funko DC Heroes Batman 1966 Action Figures

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When I first heard that Funko would be tackling the 1966 Batman license with a new set of 3.75" action figures, I'd imagined an approach on-par with the Reaction line that they'd worked on with Super7 for awhile. Having only glanced at the pictures in passing, the packaging artwork registered, and again I was thinking that these were going to be in the vintage Kenner style - "5POA" as some call it, with toys designed as they would've been in decades past. I would've dug that on its own, but shame on me for not noticing how detailed the line really is, with super-articulated figures that you have to see for yourself (like me) to truly appreciate. We have a few of these, and I can tell you that this is one cool line.

Friday, September 22 2017 08:20

The Toy Insider's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

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Over the past few weeks, the ramp-up to the holiday season has kicked-in, and with that comes speculation on what will be the hottest toys for 2017. Each fall, retailers, experts and speculators alike weigh-in with their hot toy lists, but the two best are ones I'm very partial to: The Toy Insider's Holiday Gift Guide and THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine's Holiday Wish Guide™ (coming soon). As a member of The Toy Insider Parent Panel, for the second year I've contributed a "Rock Father Pick" to their guide, joining my colleagues in highlighting a favorite from the 42 toys featured in the Hot 20, STEM 10 and Tech 12 lists. But that's just the start of things! Beyond those 42 toys, this year's print guide features more than 230 toys from nearly 100 different manufacturers, and an additional 150 toys can be found online, representing more than 130 toy companies in total (you won't find a more comprehensive list). Look for the print guide in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on October 10th. Preview the 42 top picks below!

Tuesday, September 19 2017 23:49

Get Ready to Play with ABC's THE TOY BOX Season Two!

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This past spring, I had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of ABC's latest competition series, THE TOY BOX. Now, the series is back for a second season in which a new crop of inventors will present their toy concepts to a panel of judges in hopes of making it to the end, in which the grand prize winner will see their toy manufactured by Mattel, to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. For Season Two, THE TOY BOX has been retooled - gone are the "industry mentors," and instead of facing just one panel of kid judges, contestants will face a rotating panel of five kids. The only returning judge from Season One is apparently, Noah Ritter. Like the first season, the episodes will be airing out of numeric order as they work toward the endgame, but for the purpose of my previews, I'll be labeling them by week. Curious what's on-deck for the first two episodes? Here's a preview...

RICK AND MORTY is one of those shows (like GAME OF THRONES, BREAKING BAD, etc.) that people keep telling me that I have to see, yet I just haven't caught an episode of. I know it's big, and I've seen the toys start making their way out to stores, but I'd never seen any of it - not even a preview - until this hit my inbox. I've written much about metal covers of popular themes in the past, but they're generally not officially-sanctioned. This one is. Check out the metal version of the RICK AND MORTY theme song below, created by Jason Suecof from Time + Space and Alex Rudinger. I dig it...

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