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Thursday, September 07 2017 09:42

Enter the BATMAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN Sweepstakes!

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"How deep into the darkness will you let Bruce Wayne descend?" That's just one of the questions posited in BATMAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN, the latest chapter from the award-winning studio behind Batman - The Telltale Series. It's a new story in which both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be forced into precarious new roles. The Riddler has returned to terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an even greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce Wayne undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Now, The Rock Father™ andd EMG have teamed-up to hail this new game with a sweepstakes in which you could win big with a tricked-out new Alienware PC, or STEAM Codes for BATMAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN. Will you take a chance?

[Updated 9/18/2017 - 11pm CST - Toys "R" Us filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection]

There's a big problem at Geoffrey's house, and if you follow the toy industry or the retail sector in general, then you've no doubt seen it coming for years. Retail is a challenging space to begin with, and when you look at specialty retail, the landscape gets even bumpier. When it comes to toys, there's only one major toy store left in the United States, and that's New Jersey-based Toys "R" Us. While they've had their share of issues over the years, one thing that's really bothered me has been the involvement of Bain Capital Partners since 2005, at which time they, along with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vornado Realty Trust took part in a leveraged buyout of of the iconic toy retailer. There's a lineage here in which Bain Capital has notoriously taken successful companies, saddled them with debt, and eventually flushed them down the toilet, all while the "partners" make out like bandits. One such victim was KB Toys, who Bain targeted as a profitable business with over $1.4B of annual sales. Strapped with debt, bankruptcy followed, and eventually KB was dead. History has been known to repeat itself, and it looks like Toys "R" Us could be the next victim. After all, Bain is playing the same game right now with another retailer - Gymboree, who was acquired in 2010 and filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

I gotta say - I wasn't sure if I should file this one under "Toys & Games" or "Family Music," and the reason is that it's both. On the surface we have an announcement that Baconstein is coming - a "plush posable action figure" that will become available this Friday. But then we have the fact that Baconstein is the nemesis of Gustafer Yellowgold, who has a new record coming out... also this Friday. Check out a commercial for this delicious-looking figure below...

As we roll toward the holidays, the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) category will once again be one of the hottest, and this month Educational Insights celebrates five years of empowering young girls to embrace their passion for science through their Nancy B's Science Club line of S.T.E.M. toys. Launched via Facebook, a new music video champions "all of the smart, cool, curious, science-loving girls out there." Check it out below...

Wednesday, September 06 2017 10:00

UNO for the Colorblind? Mattel Just Made That Happen...

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When I was a little kid, there were always UNO games present around our house. We had a lot of them due to the game having some Illinois roots with International Games having sponsored UARA midget auto racing in nearby Joliet. In fact, I recall a bright red midget ripping around the track with UNO graphics painted-on. Fast-forward a few decades, and UNO is still one of the most popular card games in the world, produced by Mattel, who've owned the game since 1992. Today, on International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel announced the launch of its newest deck, UNO® ColorADD, the world's first card game for the colorblind.  Check out all the details below!

You might not want to hear it, but the holiday season is fast-approaching on the horizon, and families will soon be seeking the perfect gifts for the little ones in their lives. The folks at Lakeshore, a leading developer of innovative learning materials for schools and homes, has just unveiled their Gifts for Growing Minds collection - a product line that "invites kids to discover the wonder of learning through play." The new assortment features over 200 items for kids ages 0–11. Check out some highlights below!

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