Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Niko and the Sword of Light

Amazon is debuting a new original animated kids series, Niko and the Sword of Light, on Prime Video which can be streamed to televisions, computers and a variety of mobile devices beginning July 21, 2017.  My eight year old twins had a chance to watch the 13 episode first season of Niko and the Sword of Light before its official release courtesy of Amazon.com and they were thrilled by it. The story takes place in a once peaceful world full of fantastic creatures that has been enveloped for centuries by the dark magic of the evil sorcerer Nar Est.  He has transformed many of the creatures into dangerous mutated monsters.  The original rulers though have used their own magic to shrink the royal palace along with its inhabitants and place it within a snow globe-sized crystal that is impenetrable by Nar Est though the villain can literally hold them within his grasp.

While the palace's inhabitants can't leave the protection of the crystal globe, they have been utilizing magical energy to create "Champions" to fight Nar Est on their behalf out in the world.  Once every generation a new powerful adult warrior is grown outside the crystal globe from a hidden chrysalis. He emerges with a sword made of light powered by a crystal shard with the mission of defeating Nar Est. This has gone on for hundreds of years and none of the Champions have yet been successful in overcoming the darkness plaguing the world.

The first episode of the series begins with an accident causing the newest Champion's chrysalis to open early.  Instead of an adult emerging out comes a 10-year-old boy named Niko.  The royal palace's council of elders is able to send Princess Lyra to accompany and guide this boy in the world but doesn't have the power to bring her back within their protective enclave.  They hope she can protect the boy long enough for him to grow up to be the Champion who finally defeats the evil sorcerer.  The series follows the exploits of Niko, Princess Lyra and a cast of crazy critters that join them as sidekicks as they traverse the world hoping to reverse the darkness created by Nar Est.


Will Niko be able to free his people and return the world to light?  You'll have to tune in to find out by streaming season one's episodes of Niko and the Sword of Light from Amazon's Prime Video service.



My son said the show was "Amazing!"  He particularly likes seeing Niko undo Nar Est's magical curses on monsters with his light sword and seeing what the animal freed from the sorcerer's darkness looks like. My daughter on the other hand likes checking out Nar Est's mutants and guessing what animals have been combined to create the monsters that Niko faces off against.  One of her favorites was a giant mutant that combined a bull with a spider.

While this is a children's show and my own kids love it, be cautious about allowing preschoolers to watch it.  Niko and the Sword of Light is a combination of Dungeons and Dragons with Pokemon. There are lots of adorable creatures in the show but also some really menacing monsters in it that include flying centipedes, three headed hyenas and the giant mutant spider bull I earlier mentioned.  I could see both of my twins having nightmares after watching some of these episodes if they were a few years younger; but they've both thoroughly enjoyed the show at the age they are at now.  In my opinion Niko and the Sword of Light really is a show more geared for elementary school aged kids. This is one of those show's you're going to have to make a parental determination about whether it is a good fit for your own particular child when dealing with younger children.

 
Niko and the Sword of Light is full of wonderful imagery.  They really did a great job with the animation!  Inspired by a motion comic app created by Imaginism Studios and StudioNX available on iTunes and GooglePlay, Amazon ordered a 22-minute pilot episode in 2015.  The pilot was an incredible success winning a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Children's Animated Program" in 2016 spurring Amazon to then ordered a full season of the show that is debuting on its streaming service beginning Friday, July 21st.  You can also get a FREE digital Niko and the Sword of Light comic book that will be available on Comixology (also owned by Amazon) in conjunction with the animated show's release date.  An Amazon Prime membership is necessary to view the full first season of Niko and the Sword of Light though the first episode is currently FREE to watch without a subscription.


 Niko and the Sword of Light has earned A GEEK DADDY nod of approval for its originality, energetic flair, great animation style, and most importantly because my kids delighted in watching it.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Star Wars FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER Sixth Scale Collectible Figure

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

It is that time of year again when all the world's attention turns to California for the annual Comic Con International: San Diego event.  Four days (Thursday July 20 - Sunday, July 23, 2017) that are a comic culture bonanza filled with artist/actor appearances, movie/television promotional screenings, exclusive product sales, and all sorts of special events that appeal to people's inner geek.  For those of us who can't make it to San Diego, the folks at Sideshow Collectibles are hosting an Online Comic Con through July 23rd which is featuring new product announcements, special deals, and giveaways so we can all share in the festivities.  If you are a fan of science fiction or super heroes you'll want to check out sideshowtoy.com/events/comic-con

One of Sideshow Collectible's Online Comic-Con deals is offering free shipping and double rewards points with the purchase of any of the Hot Toy's Star Wars First Order Sixth Scale Collectible Stormtrooper Figures they have in stock during the month of July.  Sideshow Collectibles is the official distributor in the United States as well as for North and South America, Europe, Australia, and select Asian countries of figures from Hong Kong-based Hot Toys.  Hot Toys has built a reputation for crafting exquisite sixth scale collectible figures that feature the actual likeness of characters from movies, television shows and video games ranging from today's popular Batman: Arkham Knight game to the '80s film Back to the Future

A Geek Daddy was provided a Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Promo Edition sixth scale First Order Stormtrooper (Sideshow Collectible's Jakku Exclusive) collectible figure to highlight what you'll be getting if you decide to pick up one of these Hot Toys for yourself. Opening up the box when it arrived in the mail, I had the same anticipation to see what was inside as waiting to get my first glimpse of the new stormtroopers on the silver screen at the movie theater when first seeing The Force Awakens.  I wasn't disappointed by what I found inside!


Initially opening the box you will find a nicely illustrated cover panel hiding the figure and its accessories underneath.  Pull that aside and you'll find a highly-detailed figure based upon the first images of the First Order Stormtroopers the audience sees in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The figure is equipped just like the stormtroopers in the invasion force that arrives on the desert planet of Jakku.  The figure is wearing the sleek helmet and armor of a First Order stormtrooper along with a heavy artillery ammo vest and comes equipped with a articulated binoculars, a blaster rifle, pistol and detachable survival backpack.



You can pose the figure in a variety of realistic positions because it features an incredible 30 points of articulation.  It also includes 8 interchangeable hands to assist with creating realistic portrayals of your favorite scenes from The Force Awakens.  One pair is for holding binoculars, another is for holding weapons, plus there are some that let the figure show a fist and a set for relaxed looking palms.  In addition to the helmet, armor, and heavy artillery vest, the figure also includes a black under-suit, a belt with pouches, and a pair of white boots.  An extra pair of attachment plugs are also included in case you lose or damage the ones that connect the hands and the feet to the main body while interchanging and re-positioning parts.  All in all with the numerous points of articulation and removable parts, the figure is very well built and durable.


The materials and decorative touches put into making this figure provide the appearance that if enlarged to life size it could be used as a costume that an actor could wear in an actual Star Wars film.  I really liked that the blaster pistol and survival backpack attach to the figure magnetically.  Just place them against designated spots and they firmly stick in place but a simple nudge will also easily remove them.  That was a really nice touch!  You can tell that Hot Toys takes pride in the products they produce whenever you get a close up look at their sixth scale figures.


Also included was a Jakku desert-themed figure stand that includes the Star Wars logo and a nameplate identifying the figure as a First Order Stormtrooper.  The figure can stand alone without it, but the stand is a nice accessory for providing a sturdy way to display it.


Whether you want to spoil a child with a toy that will awe all their friends or as an adult want something unique and awesome to decorate a family game room, home theater or office space, Hot Toys' sixth scale figures will delight kids and kids-at-heart. I honestly was really impressed by the  Star Wars: The Force Awakens First Order Stormtrooper (Sideshow Collectible's Jakku Exclusive).  I've had a lot of fun posing the figure for pictures and playing around with it about the house.

The Sideshow Collectibles Online Comic-Con deal will provide you with DOUBLE their usual customer rewards points that can be used to reduce the price of a future purchase plus FREE shipping so this is good opportunity.  Hot Toys makes these sixth scale figures in limited quantity, one-time manufacturing runs to provide their products with collectible value.  So once Sideshow Collectibles is out of these figures they aren't being restocked!  In addition to the First Order Stormtrooper (Sideshow Collectible's Jakku Exclusive), this deal also applies to these other Star Wars First Order stormtroopers: Heavy Gunner, Flame Trooper, Snow Troopers, First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader, Snowtrooper Officer, TIE Pilot, plus the duel figure sets.  Don't miss out on this Online Comic-Con opportunity from Sideshow Collectibles.


Win a Comic Convention Survival Pack from Comet TV

July is a great month for science fiction and super hero fans as it is that time of the month when the annual Comic Con International event takes place in San Diego, California.  Comic Con is the place for breaking news and making announcements about publications, movies and television shows that are of interest to comic book, scifi and horror genre fans.  Since all this stuff is on people's minds it is only fitting that COMET TV broadcast throughout the month of July shows and movies that appeal to people who enjoy the geeky side of life.

Did you know the actor who portrayed evil Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) in Star Wars also played the role of Doctor Who?  Check out Cushing play the role of the good guy as Doctor Who in the movies DR WHO AND THE DALEKS (1965) and DR WHOL DALEKS INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D. this month on Comet TV.

The classic 80's scifi flick FLASH GORDON that has seen a renewed interest since been spoofed in the TED movies will also be airing on Comet TV in July.  As well as THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) which scared the hell out of me as a kid.  Check out Life in Pieces' James Brolin when he was a young man starring in this horror film.  What do you think of his son Josh playing the villain Thanos in the Avengers movies?

Comet TV is also hosting a Godzilla movie marathon throughout the month you won't want to miss out on seeing.  Episodes of the television shows, Stargate SG-1, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Poltergeist Legacy and Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot will also be airing throughout the month.  And if you are a fan of the Johnny Sokko TV show like I am, you won't want to miss VOYAGE INTO SPACE (1970) which was spun off from episodes of the 1960s  Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot television series.

Whether you are treking to Comic Con in San Diego or attending an exhibition closer to home, COMET TV has a comic book convention survival pack for A Geek Daddy to giveaway this month.  For a chance to win it please follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet the embedded message below before 11:59 pm ET on July 24 2017.  Must be a US resident over 18 years old to participate in this promotion.

COMET TV is an overair broadcast network that can be tuned in with a digital antenna that specializes in science fiction and horror programming.  You can watch COMET TV in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan via digital antenna on Channel 19-7.  CLICK HERE to see if COMET TV is broadcasting in your area.  If not, COMET TV can also be viewed for free by utilizing its app on Apple TV and Roku or watching its live website stream at CometTV.com.

Disclaimer & Rules:  A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by COMET TV and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.  If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. COMET TV will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.  A Geek Daddy is not responsible for delivery of the prize.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

TOY INSIDER PARENTS PANEL

During the last year I have partnered with The Toy Insider as a member of their Parents Panel, a group of moms and dads who make regular contributions to thetoyinsider.com with tips from parents for parents on a wide range of topics including educational tools we've used, our kids' favorite toys, and ways to get children engaged in imaginative play.  Parents Panel members are provided samples of toys throughout the year so we can share reviews of our family's own experiences, host Twitter parties where we give out some really nice prizes while having some witty banter, and get inside access to preview events where we get to see the next hot toys before they even hit store shelves.  This is a really great group of people including James Zahn (The Rock Father), Destiny Paquette (Suburban Wife City Life), Stephanie Glover (A Grande Life) and Charlene DeLoach (Charlene's Chronicles) and myself. 

Here are some examples of my past Parent's Panel posts that you can find on thetoyinsider.com:

Summer Stay-cation: Fun Ideas For the Whole Family

Bringing the WOW Factor to Your Next Family Game Night

Get Kids Bug-Eyed About Learning

Toys to Make Your Kids King of the Hill on the Neighborhood Playground

I'm excited to announce that I'll be continuing as a member of Parents Panel for another year with my new term with the group starting during my appearance at the Toy Insider's annual holiday shopping toy preview Sweet Suite 2017 at this year's Blogger Bash in New York City.  Stay tuned for another year of Toy Insider fun!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

CALEXIT

** A Geek Daddy received a complimentary comic book to review ** 
Could a situation like what is going on in Syria with a country falling into anarchy as everyday citizens revolt from an authoritarian government and fanatical groups jump into the fray causing mass casualties and destruction throughout the land ever happen within the United States?  Author Matteo Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan portray a dystopian near-future where California becomes embattled territory as its residents begin to battle against the federal government, and each other, over the state's withdrawal from the United States.  In the CALEXIT comic book series being published by Black Mask Studios, when a Trump-like President becomes empowered by a second term re-election, he orders the mass deportation of all non-citizen residents.  California responds by declaring itself a "Sanctuary State" and resisting the policy resulting in all of its federal assistance and funding being cut off.  This leads the State Legislature and Governor to declare, similar to the Great Britain exiting the European Union (Brexit), that California would be withdrawing from the United States.

In response, local authorities begin taking sides with liberal urban areas supporting CALEXIT and  conservative rural regions standing up against it.  Citizen militias begin to form as well supporting each side and armed conflict erupts.  California is thrown into a chaotic civil war scenario and the President then takes control of the state's national guard to secure major cities and infrastructure while supporting local efforts to extinguish the rebellion.  In areas occupied by the federal government such as Los Angeles life goes on as if a state of emergency isn't taking place with tourists still coming into town to visit place like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Disneyland creating a very odd dynamic.  Especially when the occasional sniper takes out a soldier guarding the tourist spots! 


This is where readers find themselves in the first issue of  CALEXIT that arrived at comic book shops today.  The ongoing series will tell the story of Jamil, a 25-year old man working as a courier (aka smuggler) that has a knack for slipping between secessionist and federalist battle lines, and Zora, a 27-year old woman who was adopted by an American family as a baby and is now facing deportation after having been told she is no longer a citizen because the law that allowed her adoption and citizenship has been invalidated. Zora has become a figurehead for the California resistance movement being tracked by a diabolical homeland security field agent who will do anything it takes to eliminate the rebellion.  Jamil and Zora are trying to escape a Los Angeles occupied by the United States military to keep her out of the hands of Agent Rossie who is engaging in a merciless hunt for the young woman.


Black Mask Studios aims to bring a punk rock ethos to comics and it hits that mark with this comic book series.  A fictional warfare themed suspense story with realistic plot undertones, CALEXIT is a great pickup for adults who enjoy comic books.  Fans of comic book/television series such as The Walking Dead and The Strain will appreciate the material in this gritty series that has its characters dealing with political drama and overcoming dangerous situations.  Instead of battling against supernatural horrors though the characters in CALEXIT must overcome situations arising out of sociopolitical issues pulled from today's news headlines.

I really enjoyed reading this comic book and am looking forward to the next issue.  This looks like a series I'll be adding to my pull list at the neighborhood comic book shop.  Beware that while CALEXIT is a comic book it isn't meant to be read by kids.  It is meant for an adult audience and is full of mature content.  The first issue includes swearing, lots of killing (a severed head is delivered as a warning in one scene), and sexual situations including a couple getting at it on while riding a merry-go-round at a playground.  This is a grown-up story that is full of shocking and thought provoking situations that will really draw you into its characters, plot and setting.  While it is full of shoot outs and other action scenes, CALEXIT also incorporates plenty of drama making Pizzolo's writing as interesting to read as it is entertaining to peruse through the comic book's nicely done illustrations by Nahuelpan.


ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Named Wired Magazine's 'World's Most Wired Comics Creator' and included in Bleeding Cool's 'Top 100 Most Influential People in Comics,' Matteo Pizzolo is a comic book writer-creator, award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of Black Mask Studios. He is currently focused on writing comic books such as CALEXIT that explore and challenge the dynamics of today's political hot topics.

Amancay Nahuelpan has worked on ROBOCOP (Boom!), BOY-1 (IDW) and co-created YOUNG TERRORISTS and CLANDESTINO (Black Mask Studios).  He broke into the field of comic book artistry by participating in the Zuda Comics Competitions and his first published work was in OCCUPY COMICS.  Nahuelpan provides the visual vibe of CALEXIT by creating the interior illustrations and cover artwork for the comic book series.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Amazing Spider Man Giveaway

Marvel superhero fans aren't going to want to miss out on this Amazing Spider-Man Giveaway for a Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format Figure featuring the Web Slinger in an incredible pose.  Just click on the link above for a chance to throw your name in the hat to win this great prize!  Oh yeah one more thing ... please refer ageekdaddy.com as who you found out about the contest from.  If A Geek Daddy get the most contest referrals among the bloggers promoting this giveaway then I win one of these amazing statues too!

There’s never a dull moment for Peter Parker when he puts on his iconic red and blue costume to become the Amazing Spider-Man! Everyone’s favorite high-flying, wise-cracking web-head is at it again – out to save the day in this fantastically sculpted gravity-defying composition. Captured just moments away from certain doom, the acrobatic hero effortlessly launches himself above Green Goblin’s explosive pumpkin bombs and out of harm’s way. Marvel The Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Premium Format(TM) Figure is a stunning tribute to his action-packed comic book legacy, this is the ultimate must-have for fans of Spider-Man!



Don't miss out on this spectacular giveaway! Submit your FREE entry here --> Amazing Spider-Man Giveaway.  Get your entries in before July 24 and 11:59 pm PT!  Sideshow Collectibles is responsible for selecting a winner, notifying them and delivering the prize.  Spider-Man, Spider-Man, this friendly neighborhood Spider-Man Premium Format Figure will make a great decoration for a kids bedroom, family game room, home theater, office, or man cave.  Good luck everyone!

Win SWING SET the new childrens music album from Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards

Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards are releasing a brand new album of children's music titled SWING SET and A Geek Daddy is giving it away to one lucky winner.  The album is a snapshot of the music created by African-American children, adults, and musicians from the mid-1800s to the early jazz era. You'll hear a fresh take on sassy playground clapping songs, soulful lullabies and classic New Orleans melodies, all presented in style by Jazzy Ash and her band.  Each of the 16 songs featured are more than 100 years old but today's kids will still have a swingin' good time listening to them.



Jazzy Ash grew up with a mother from New Orleans and father from Trinidad. Music infused her home life every day, from jazz to Caribbean rhythms to the lively children’s music which was playing all the time for the kids in her mother’s home day care. Later, after becoming a mother herself to two sons, Jazzy earned a degree in early childhood development, began a music education program, and started performing for a children's audience with her band The Leaping Lizards.  Their songs have topped the children's music charts and SWING SET is Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards' fourth album.

A Geek Daddy will randomly select one winner who submits entries via the rafflecopter form below.  Must be over 18 years old and have a United States mailing address (No P.O. Boxes) to be eligible to win.  Entries must be received by received by 11:59pm ET Sunday, July 30, 2017.  The selected winner must respond to their winner notification email within 48 hours or a new person will be selected to receive the prize.  Sugar Mountain PR will be responsible for delivery of the album to the winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more information about the band, please visit jazzyash.com.