If you missed the big reveal the other day, then it's time to catch up - as one of this season's hottest toys has arrived: The Step2 Spin & Go Xtreme Cruiser! Available exclusively from Walmart.com, this rockin' ride for kids 4-8 is one of my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide Items this year, reviewed here on THE ROCK FATHER as part of my gig as a Step2 Brand Ambassador. Now, in the spirit of giving and to kick things off with style, my friends and fellow Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro have teamed-up for a giveaway in which one of you will score one of these awesome new vehicles for your little one(s)!
Is it safe to say that girls love mermaids? I know it's a generalization, but with my own two daughters and their friends, mermaids seem to be a can't-miss mythical creature - and there certainly seems to be a trend of adding mermaids into the mix with plenty of popular shows and toy lines. In fact, mermaids have shown up on SOFIA THE FIRST (and not just The Little Mermaid, Ariel), Barbie has become one (on many occasions), and I've spotted half-fish versions of Lalaloopsy, Monster High, Dora the Explorer, Mooshka and more over the past year. The big question for me has become, "At what age do I show the girls SPLASH?" - the 1984 classic that for me, shaped how I'd forever view mermaids (sans that "Murmaider" song from METALOCALYPSE/DETHKLOK). Bottom line is, when it comes to kids and mermaids, they're a pretty good combo, and thus I'm adding Zuru Toys' MY MAGICAL MERMAID to my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER. There's a good chance you've seen it on television or in-stores, but I'm gonna show you real video of it in-action here at Rock Father HQ.
The folks at Wicked Cool Toys have served-up a couple of oddities this year (see: CAT PAW), and today comes a Holiday Wish Guide feature on a toy line that I didn't even expect to like... much less see land a spot in the annual rundown of cool Holiday Gifts. CRASHLINGS (Meteor Mutants from Outer Space) are a collection of micro figures, vehicles and playsets that come with "poppable" meteors - the idea being that these little creatures from another world crashed into earth inside of said meteors. The poppable action sends these things flying, and in our experience has become dangerously-addictive - for the entire family. If you have father, mother and two daughters popping little meteors around the house... you get the picture.
A new entry into the world of larger-scale dolls, Global Girl is unique for a variety of reasons - starting with the 21" size, but that's just the surface. The dolls were inspired by children's curiosity about different cultures around the world, and rather than make the doll look similar to the child, each doll has it's own mold and traits indicative of the land from which it represents. Accompanying stories are meant to be "inspirational and empowering," with hope that "the ongoing collection of dolls and books will pique girls' interest and excitement about other cultures at a young age and help prepare them for the future." That's something I can get behind, and Global Girl secures a spot in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.
When it hits November, you know it's CALL OF DUTY season, and this year's launch of CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE has ushered-in a new era for the long-running franchise. For older kids (17+) and grownups, I'm including the latest COD game in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER - and as in years past, I'm gonna give you a chance to win one - but this year, this game is a little bit different: Five (5) lucky readers will score CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE on their choice of system - Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.
When I was a kid, I had a playmat for my toy cars. It was a thin sheet of plastic that rolled out to display a cool scene involving roads, towns, cities, and countryside. It got a ton of use, and each time it would be put away, the more tattered it would become. Three decades later, playmats have evolved into a market of their own, with many options available from printed area rugs to textured rubber tiles. The big problem tends to be that they're not portable, and that's something that Prince Lionheart has addressed with their new Everywhere playMAT - a 6.5ft x 4.9ft reversible foam mat that folds into smaller configurations and then slips neatly into it's included carrying case for travel and storage. Reversible, with a city scene on one side and a zoo on the other, it's a perfect backdrop for adventure for Ages 0+, with plenty of fun for babies, toddlers and younger kids. It's a unique addition to my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.