Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A New Wave of LEGO Dimensions Expansion Packs Arrived at Stores Today

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free  **
Wave 6
Hurrah, hooray, hurray -- a new wave of expansion packs for the LEGO Dimensions video game arrived at stores today!  This is the sixth wave of new characters, levels and vehicles that expand upon the original LEGO Dimensions content.  Now you can incorporate The A-Team, Adventure Time, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Ghostbusters into your game play experience.  Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment generously sent A GEEK DADDY some of these new expansion packs to play and I can't wait to rip open the boxes to try them out!  Keep an eye out for future blog posts as A GEEK DADDY tests out and reviews the newest additions to the LEGO Dimensions video game multiverse.

This new wave of expansion packs for LEGO Dimensions are the first to include the brand new Battle Arena feature that adds an exciting new dimension to the game playing experience.  For the first time in a LEGO themed video game players can compete with up to four players in split-screen action within special Battle Arenas.  Each Battle Arena has four gameplay modes: Capture the Flag, Objective, Base Bash, and Tick, Tag, Boom! Plus each Battle Arena contains its own traps, defenses, and special powers to make it unique.  Players can compete in the Battle Arena gameplay modes in multiple configurations including 2 vs 2, 3 vs 1, or individually against one another or the video games AI allowing for family and friends to enjoy LEGO Dimensions together at once.  Battle Arenas can be unlocked by obtaining golden tagged LEGO mini-figures that are packaged within LEGO Dimensions Expansion Packs beginning with the newly released sixth wave.



Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment sent the Ghostbusters Story Pack, Harry Potter Team Pack, and Adventure Time Team & Level Packs for A GEEK DADDY to play around with:

Wave 6

A highlight of the new wave of expansion packs is the Ghostbusters Story Pack which allows players to relive the action of last summer's motion picture.  Help Abby Yates and her team of Ghostbusters save the world from the mysterious and evil ghost, Rowen, across six new action-packed levels of LEGO Dimensions play.  The Story Pack unlocks "Rip," a new Toy Pad mode allowing players to tear open an alternate universe. In this mirror world, players have the ability to solve puzzles which have an impact on objects and other items in the primary universe.

Ghostbusters


The Story Pack also includes a 3-in-1 buildable Ecto-1 car which can also be rebuilt into the Ectozer and PerfEcto.  Additionally, the Zhu's Chinese Restaurant gateway can be built upon the LEGO Dimensions Toy Pad to customize it.  Players can also access the new Ghostbusters free play Adventure World with its own unique Battle Arena by utilizing the gold tagged Abby Yates mini-figure included with the Story Pack.


The Harry Potter Team Pack allows players to pit the boy wizard against he who shall not be named.  Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort LEGO min-figures bring the Wizarding World to LEGO Dimensions.  Players can use Harry to cast magical spells such as Wingardium Leviosa, Stupefy, and Expelliarmus to solve puzzles and fight off Death Eaters or play as Lord Voldemort to utilize the power of Dark magic.  Players can also explore the Harry Potter themed Adventure World by jumping aboard the included buildable 3-in-1 vehicles of the Hogwarts Express (Steam Warrior / Soaring Steam Plane) or Enchanted Car (Shark Sub / Monstrous Mouth).  Players can also use this Team Pack to engage in battles of good vs evil in the Harry Potter Battle Arena.

Harry Potter

In the Adventure Time Level Pack, based on Cartoon Network's animated television series, players can help Finn the Human on his mission to find the Enchidrion and prove to Princess Bubblegum that he's a hero.  Players can use on of Finn's many special swords to cut vines, grapple and even deflect lasers as they battle foes and travel through the Forest of Mount Cragdor, the Dark Magician's Brain World and more in this exclusive level available through this expansion pack.  It also comes with a 3-in-1 buildable Jalemobile (Snail Dude Jake / Hover Jake) and 3-in-1 buildable Ancient War Elephant (Cosmic Squid / Psychic Submarine).  Plus the pack allows players to unlock an Adventure Time themed Battle Arena.


Fans of "Land of Ooo" can also pick up an Adventure Time Team Pack which includes LEGO min-figures of Lumpy the Space Princess and Jake the Dog that can be used as playable characters within the game.  It also comes with a 3-in-1 buildable Lumpy Car that can also be transformed into a Lumpy Truck or a Lumpy Land Whale and BMO that can also be turned into DOGMO and SNAKEMO.  It also provides access to the Adventure Time Battle Arena.




LEGO Dimensions is available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the Wii U video game consoles.  For more information, visit www.lego.com/dimensions. You can also follow the LEGO Dimensions through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for tips on playing the game and updates about upcoming additions to it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

THE ART OF MISS PEREGRINES HOME OF PECULIAR CHILDREN

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review**
It is PECULIAR DAY and 20th Century Fox surprised me today by sending a courtesy edition of "The Art of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" my way.  They obviously want to encourage me to #StayPeculiar !!!  This wonderful 192 page hardcover book provides a great behind-the-scenes look at how Tim Burton's film adaptation of the Ransom Riggs novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children all came together. The book chronicles the steps involved with the making the movie ranging from from script development and concept art creation to the efforts put into casting, set design, costumes, and visual effects.

 "The Art of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" is filled with exclusive interviews, on-set photography, and also includes special introductions by Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs.  I always enjoy checking out movie concept art and the book is also filled with great illustrations that were used to inspire how the costumes and sets for Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children would be portrayed in the film.  Here is one of my favorite concept art illustrations contained within the book:



 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a PG-13 rated fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton and scripted by Jane Goldman based upon the 2011 novel of the same name by author Ransom Riggs which 20th Century Fox is releasing at movie theaters across the USA on September 30, 2016.  In the film, a 16-year old boy named Jake follows a series of clues that he discovers after a family tragedy which lead him to a mysterious orphanage on a remote Welsh island.  There he discovers a community of children with unusual abilities and learns he is destined to protect them. The movie stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O'Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.



For more information about the movie, please visit www.facebook.com/PeregrinesMovie


Friday, September 23, 2016

Play Like Hasbro Twitter Party -- September 27, 2016

 **A Geek Daddy has been compensated for participating in & promoting this event **

Join A GEEK DADDY for a Twitter party on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EST with Hasbro! I'll be co-hosting a fun hour of fun banter about The Toy Insider's favorite holiday gift ideas from Hasbro this year. Join in this fun chat and follow along using #PlayLikeHasbro for a chance to win great prizes, including Hasbro’s latest games, My Little Pony and Transformers products, Disney Princess dolls, and much more!  Hasbro will be giving away five themed prize packs throughout the hour plus an incredible grand prize during the Twitter party.

The lucky grand prize winner will receive more than $400 worth of the hottest holiday toys from Hasbro, including the coveted new Furby Connect! The grand prize includes:

Disney Frozen Little Kingdom Elsa’s Magical Rising Castle (4+)
Littlest Pet Shop Pet Shop Playset (4+)
My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Playset (3+)
Play-Doh Town 3-in-1 Town Center Playset (3+)
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime (5+)
DreamWorks Trolls Glitterific Guy Diamond Doll (4+)
Star Wars Blade Builders Spin-Action Lightsaber (4+)
Pie Face Showdown Game (5+)
Furby Connect (6+)


For a chance to win a prize during the #PlayLikeHasbro Twitter Party you need to RSVP in advance, follow @TheToyInsider, @HasbroNews & @Geekdad248, and actively participate throughout the hour long event using the #PlayLikeHasbro hashtag in your tweeted comments.  CLICK HERE to RSVP.

This Twitter party is open to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 or older to play. You must RSVP and participate actively in the party to be eligible for a prize pack. This event is brought to you and sponsored by THE TOY INSIDER. The event was rescheduled from Friday, September 16, 2016. A GEEK DADDY is participating as a member of 2016 - 2017 The Toy Insider's Parent Panel and has been financially compensated for being involved with and promoting the event.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Micro Boats from ZURU Toys

** A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free to review **

Micro Boats are 3.5-inch miniaturized motor boat toys that can really race around.  These motorized racing boats can reach a scaled speed for their miniaturized stature of 200 miles per hour which would be the equivalent of how fast they could travel if they were at real life size.  My kids have been playing with them quite a bit since ZURU Toys sent us a few to try out and have really been enjoying themselves racing these Micro Boats.


There are five differently decorated Micro Boats to choose from; four are packaged and sold separately while another one is included along with the available SHARK ATTACK CHALLENGE race track set.  In addition to a Micro Boat, the toy set provides nearly 6 feet of track allowing for structured play and racing anywhere indoors/outdoors you want to set it up.  It also includes a crane that can pull boats in and out of the water and a giant shark head that can try to take a chomp out of passing racers as they go by.



The Micro Boats activate when they come into contact with water which gets their propellers spinning.  Dry off the bottom of the boat and it turns off.  The toys also have a battery saving feature that shuts the boats down after a few minutes of continuous use.  Each boat is powered by 3 replaceable coin cell batteries which the included instructions advise should provide about 1.5 hours of cumulative play time.  My kids enjoyed a week of quality play both using the race track and taking the Micro Boats into the bathtub with them before battery drain began to slow the toys down.

While the SHARK ATTACK CHALLENGE race track provides a nice space for playing with these toys, especially for younger children, you'll get the optimal experience from Micro Boats when they are used in a bathtub or backyard pool.  These toys really picked up some speed and were better able to use their 4 direction racing abilities when they had some more open space to move about compared to the more restrictive water filled racing track provided in the SHARK ATTACK CHALLENGE.  Micro Boats are equipped with sensors so that being hit on either side by another boat or a barrier will trigger a 360 degree spin, bumping the front will cause them to traverse in reverse, and knocking the back will get the toy racing forward again.  The four directional movement aspect of these toys provide an extra element of fun to the Micro Boats racing experience.



The impressive water activation function, nicely decorated racing boat designs, the four direction racing features and the uniqueness of the toy earn Micro Boats from ZURU Toys a nod of approval from A Geek Daddy.  Whether you are looking for a holiday stocking stuffer, a bath time toy, or something to amuse your children on a summer afternoon, Micro Boats are a great pick up that will surely excite  the recipient whether it is a kid or a kid-at-heart.


For more information, visit zurumicroboats.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

STORKS Flies Into Movie Theaters On September 23, 2016

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free**

We received a special delivery of back to school goods when a stork left us a surprise on our front porch.  It appears #Storks have gotten out of the baby delivery business and are competing with Fed Ex and UPS delivering consumer products now.  Check out what arrived at our doorstep:



STORKS is a family-friendly 3D animated comedy that is arriving at movie theaters across the United States on Friday, September 23, 2016.  In this movie, Storks have stopped delivering babies and now deliver packages for a global internet retailer.  Junior, the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.



STORKS features the voices of  Andy Samberg (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Hotel Transylvania”), Kelsey Grammer (“Toy Story 2,” “The Simpsons”), Katie Crown (Cartoon Network’s “Clarence”), Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele (Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele”), and Danny Trejo (“The Book of Life”). The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller (“Neighbors,” BAFTA nominee for “Muppets Most Wanted”), and Doug Sweetland (supervising animator on “Cars,” Oscar-nominated director of the animated short “Presto”). STORKS was produced by Warner Bros. Animation Group which also created THE LEGO MOVIE.

For more information, visit storksmovie.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Evolution of the Rubber Band Launcher -- Precision RBS

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **

Being able to be the most accurate at flicking a rubber band the longest distance with the hardest impact at each other and various targets around the class room was an ongoing challenge among my friends when I was a kid in school.  Back in those days launching a rubber band was all about the various styles of flinging it from your hand.  The rubber band launcher has evolved for a new generation with the Precision RBS [Rubber Band System] from Super Impulse.  The Precision RBS allows today's kids to launch rubber bands further and with more precision than you could ever do with your hand.


We put the Precision RBS to the test with a target shooting competition between my son, daughter and I in the backyard.  Taking aim from 12 feet away at the cardboard targets that came with the HYPERION Precision Rubber Band Systems, that Super Impulse sent our family to try out, we challenged each other to see who could tally the highest score.  The pressure was on this dad not to get usurped by his kids in this rubber band launching competition.



I started out with a strong score, but the ease of aiming and using the Precision RBS allowed my twins to provide some fierce competition.  Nocking the launcher is a simple process and the mechanics of the Precision RBS combined with its ammunition of rubber bands that are sized just the right length to provide plenty of umpf! allow the HYPERION to hit targets from as far away as 50 feet.  The HYPERION comes with rubber bands manufactured specifically for use with Precision RBS products that also include the mid-range CHIRON and the short range TALOS launcher.  We found the HYPERION had more than enough Precision RBS ammo included with it for plenty of fun, but the long-range purple rubber bands, medium-range orange ones, and a yellow short-range variety can also be purchased separately if you do need to restock.


A nice feature of the HYPERION is that it allows for multiple rubber bands to be nocked at the same time and released one by one with a rapid action trigger so loading the launcher doesn't become tedious.  Either six long-range rubber bands or eight mid-range ones can be loaded at one time.  Plus there are ammo storage cleats to hold rubber bands conveniently located on the frame of the HYPERION to allow the Precision RBS to be quickly reloaded. There is also a burst feature that allows for 14 short-ranged rubber bands to be loaded and spray out all at once.  The flexibility of the HYPERION also includes the ability to separate the launcher to create a smaller TALOS Precision RBS launcher which can be held in one hand providing its own variety of play options.  All the nice features on the HYPERION Precision RBS make it a real dandy of a toy to have fun playing with.


I discovered the Precision RBS toys while at the 2016 Blogger Bash event in New York City and had the chance to meet its twenty-something inventor Benjamin Stack.  He had been making rubber band launchers as a hobby since middle school and during college designed the Precision RBS for a thesis project while pursuing a degree in Industrial Design at Philadelphia University.  His hand-made prototypes won the university's prestigious senior design competition catching the attention of school alumnus Alan Dorfman who as the president of Super Impulse worked with Benjamin to bring the product to toy store shelves.  A Geek Daddy asked Benjamin a few questions about his invention during our conversation at Blogger Bash:

Do rubber bands have any advantages compared to foam darts and other projectile toys?

Rubber bands are safe because they aren't rigid, so they collpase and distribute their energy along their entire length. Rubber bands are plentiful because of how easy they are to make and versatile they are in application. And finally, most importantly, rubber bands can use the Lariat and Magnus effects of physics to both float with a flat trajectory, and have far more accuracy than foam darts or ball shaped projectiles. Precision RBS is precisely optimized for the most accuracy and range you can possibly get from a rubber band.

Any special tips or tricks you can share on how to use the Precision RBS?

Precision RBS launchers are jam packed with lots of hidden features and to get the best performance, I recommend watching our tutorial videos. There is a special technique for launching bands with the MOST accuracy that everyone should learn! All our tips and tricks can be found at Precisionrbs.com and on our YouTube channel as well.

What advice would you give to aspiring inventors like yourself on how to turn their ideas into real products like you did with the Precision RBS?

The most important thing is showing your passion. People generally want to be excited, and your genuine passion for your ideas is your greatest asset. For critics, you always need your short list of reasons your product is not just better, but how it fits into the market. Make sure you anticipate every possible way your project can fail and have an answer for every one of them.

What is one thing you would like everybody to know about the Precision RBS?

Precision RBS was designed to be the safest, most accurate, highest performance, and affordable toy projectile launcher. After a lifetime of play and research, we've finally made it real!


So now you know a bit more about the Precision RBS, I'm sure you're still wondering who won our backyard target shooting competition.  After a bit of practice, the twins became quite adept with the Precision RBS and were knocking down targets here and there. I was beginning to fear they might actually show up good old dad and beat me in this contest.  Can you imagine the grief I'd get from them teasing me about their victory if that occurred?!  While I was impressed by watching them knock down targets a bit of sweat emerged on my brow for every one they knocked down.



In the end, A Geek Daddy emerged victorious winning by 300 points as I'd knocked down a few more of the higher point markers than they did.  It was a slim margin of victory though and I'm going to have to watch Benjamin's online tutorials and get some practice in before the rematch my twins are demanding.  In all seriousness though,we've had a very enjoyable time playing with the HYPERION  Precision RBS and it has provided hours of fun.  If you are looking for a unique toy that will maintain a child or teen's interest and promote outdoor play, pick up one of the three models of Precision RBS launchers from Super Impulse.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Fun Ways People Can Enjoy Batman Day

Saturday, September 17th has been designated by DC Comics as a day to appreciate one of the publisher's most popular super hero characters -- Batman.  There will be a variety of events taking place across the United States and Canada at comic shops, book stores, libraries, and other participating locations honoring the Dark Knight's 75+ years of adventures that have been portrayed in books, comics, television shows, movies, and video games.  Here are 5 fun suggestions from A Geek Daddy on how your family can have some Caped Crusader themed fun to enjoy BATMAN DAY:

#1 FREE COMIC BOOK

Pickup a FREE copy of  BATMAN #1 written by Tom King and illustrated by David Finch, Matt Banning and Jordie Bellaire which was released earlier this year as part of the DC REBIRTH fictional universe storyline reboot featuring a special BATMAN DAY 2016 cover.  I picked up that issue when it first came out and it is actually a very good comic book to be able to get for free.  CLICK HERE to find a location participating in this BATMAN DAY giveaway near you.



#2 LEGO DIMENSIONS

Team up Batman with a wide variety of other super heroes and characters ranging from Superman to Scooby Doo to Doctor Who to combat evil villains and engage in wacky fun adventures on the LEGO Dimensions video game.  Utilize the game's buildable Batmobile and Batman minifigure that come with the Starter Pack to save the LEGO multiverse by solving puzzles and tackling bad guys.  LEGO Dimensions is an entertaining video game that the whole family can enjoy together -- both kids and parents who are kids-at-heart will have fun engaging in adventures as the Caped Crusader.



#3 AIRHOGS REMOTE CONTROL BATMOBILE

Take the Batmobile out for a spin with the AIR HOGS Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Official Movie Replica Remote Control Batmobile.  Our family has had a lot of fun playing with this RC toy pretending to race it around the streets of Gotham City.  CLICK HERE to check out our A Geek Daddy toy review.



 #4 BATMAN THE TELLTALE SERIES


While LEGO Dimensions is fun for all ages, the Telltale Games video game featuring the Caped Crusader is a gritty detective case meant for mature audiences.  Available for PC, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, BATMAN THE TELLTALE SERIES transforms a choose-your-own adventure book into a video game for adults featuring the Dark Knight.  It combines an excellent story with great artwork to create a game playing experience that any true Batman fan will thoroughly enjoy.



#5 BEDTIME FOR BATMAN


One of my favorite bedtime stories for my son as a toddler was reading a book called "Goodnight Baseball."  We've read that picture book by Michael Dahl more times than I can count.  Now that author, along with illustrator Ethen Beavers, has created a new story that is perfect for wrapping up your BATMAN DAY and putting children to bed for the night called BEDTIME FOR BATMAN.  This book from Capstone Publishing will have children feeling like super heroes getting ready for bed.  Youngsters won't be afraid of the dark at night as they picture themselves as the Dark Knight.

Older children may enjoy reading BATMAN SCIENCE: THE REAL-WORLD SCIENCE BEHIND BATMAN'S GEAR for some bedtime reading.  Capstone Publishing's book BATMAN SCIENCE explores the science behind the hero's really cool technology.  Unlike other comic book heroes it isn't super power that let the Caped Crusader save the day but rather his gadgetry and tricked out vehicles give him the edge over the villains he is fighting against.  This book explains the Dark Knight's high-tech crime fighting tools plus highlight real world applications of similar technology.



Holy Car Full Of Clowns Batman, I hope everyone has a super time enjoying BATMAN DAY on Saturday, September 17th!  CLICK HERE to download a free BATMAN DAY activity kit filled with coloring pages, games, and other fun stuff that you can do in addition to our suggestions for having some Caped Crusader fun.  For more information about BATMAN DAY 2016, visit dccomics.com/BatmanDay