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

NICKELODEON WORLDWIDE DAY OF PLAY 2016

Nickelodeon is encouraging kids to embrace healthy lifestyles with its annual Worldwide Day of Play on September 17. As part of the net’s ongoing health and wellness initiative, Nickelodeon and its sister channels and their corresponding websites will go dark from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT) to encourage kids to get outside and play.  On September 17, kids from all over the country are expected to participate in more than 5,000 scheduled events hosted by Nickelodeon’s national partners, including Afterschool Alliance, Association of Children’s Museums, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Kiwanis, National Environmental Education Foundation, Police Athletic League, President’s Council on Fitness, The Salvation Army and US Play Coalition.

Worldwide Day of Play, now in its 13th year, will once again be marked with a signature New York event on September 17, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. This slime-filled and fitness-packed celebration will feature Nick-themed games, including a Super Slime obstacle course, Nick bowling, a slime booth, costume characters, appearances by the stars of Nickelodeon’s Legendary Dudas and more. The network will be joined by its longstanding partners including Art of Stepping, Canine Companions for Independence, Major League Baseball’s PLAY BALL and World Baseball Classic, NBA Fit, New York Road Runners (NYRR), NFL PLAY 60, Playworks, Special Olympics, Street Soccer USA and USA BMX.

At Noon on September 17, Nickelodeon will suspend programming and a message encouraging viewers to go outside and play will appear on a loop. Nick’s platforms will resume programming at 3 p.m., with additional WORLDWIDE DAY OF PLAY 2016 campaign messaging encouraging healthy living playing throughout the day.

For more information, visit nick.com/worldwide-day-of-play

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

E.T. Will Soon Be Calling LEGO Dimensions Home

Supergirl, the newest addition to the LEGO Dimensions video game, recently took a few moments out of her busy schedule of battling dastardly villains to introduce another friendly alien who will be joining her within the LEGO Dimensions Multiverse soon -- E.T.!!!  Check out this great introduction video featuring Supergirl and E.T. along with a special appearance by another do-gooding alien friend:



The E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial Fun Pack coming out later this fall includes an E.T. LEGO minifigure with Illumination and Fix-It abilities, as well as special Stealth and Telekinesis skills to make his way around the LEGO multiverse. Players can also build E.T.’s iconic Phone Home device, then rebuild it into a Mobile Uplink or Super-Charged Satellite for additional in-game abilities.


Supergirl will be available this fall for a limited time within LEGO Dimensions Starter Packs for Sony PlayStation 4 computer entertainment systems as an exclusive, bonus playable LEGO minifigure within the video game.  The Supergirl LEGO minifigure will have a number of extraordinary in-game abilities to help solve puzzles and battle enemies, including Super Strength, Flying, X-Ray Vision, and Beam Attacks which enable her to shoot heat beams out of her eyes.  She can also transform into Supergirl Red Lantern with additional abilities such as firing powerful Red Lantern energy bolts and energy beams from her Red Lantern Ring.



If you aren't able to obtain the Supergirl minifigure through this limited edition PS4 Starter Pack, the character will also become available in the near future as a "Hire-a-Hero" option for all consoles.  This is a feature in LEGO Dimensions that allows players to sample characters using studs collected in the game.  Players can select the hologram minifigure near certain hint stones to unlock characters for a limited time to try out their special abilities to solve problems and complete puzzles.

Also keep an eye out for additional expansion packs coming to LEGO Dimensions just in time for the holiday shopping season which will include Sonic the Hedgehog, Gremlins, and characters from the upcoming Harry Potter prequel  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  In addition to providing some new great characters and special abilities to the LEGO Dimensions multiverse all of these new expansion packs will include golden Toy Tags which unlock special, all new Battle Arenas.  These Battle Arenas will offer first-to-LEGO video games competitive split-screen gameplay for up to four players at once!  Each will have four gameplay modes and come with its own traps, special powers and interactive environments that make every Battle Arena unique.





LEGO Dimensions is developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. For more information about the video game, visit lego.com/en-us/dimensions

Monday, September 12, 2016

Batman Day 2016

Saturday, September 17th is DC Comics' annual BATMAN DAY fan appreciation event.  Stop by local comic shops, book stores, libraries, Six Flags parks and other participating locations to pick-up a FREE copy of BATMAN #1 from this year's DC REBIRTH written by Tom King and illustrated by David Finch, Matt Banning and Jordie Bellaire 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.



Pottery Barn Kids is also hosting a special BATMAN DAY event at their stores across the USA at 11am on Saturday, September 17, 2016.  Space is limited so you'll need to contact Pottery Barn Kids to reserve a spot for children plus purchase a Batman Pencil Case from them.  The pencil case will be filled with crayons and other goodies that kids can enjoy during a Batman themed craft and story time.  CLICK HERE to find a out more information about contacting a store to reserve a spot.

If you want to enjoy BATMAN DAY without leaving the house, A Geek Daddy has you covered!  Just  print out this Batman coloring page or CLICK HERE to download a free BATMAN DAY fun pack filled with activity sheets, trivia and games courtesy of DC Comics, Warner Bros. and their publishing licensees.



For more information about BATMAN DAY, visit dccomics.com/BatmanDay