Saturday, May 27, 2017

Starpath Dolls

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

My daughter has a new friend to add to her toy collection with Shining Star from STARPATH DOLLS.  There are four multi-ethnic 18-inch dolls to choose from among the Starpath Dolls that each have their own unique style and a personality designed to be relatable to girls in the age range of 5 to 9 years old.  Crafted by renowned porcelain doll designer Linda Mason these dolls are made not only to look good but also to play with.

Each doll has a huggable cloth body combined with moveable limbs and a head made of vinyl that allow for posing and positioning the toy while being played with.  Their hair is also brushable and braidable allowing it to be styled in a variety of ways.  Plus they can be dressed up in a variety of outfits ranging from the fashionable outfits each doll comes wearing to a set of comfy pjs, an elegant ball gown, a flowing sari, or fairy tale inspired clothing that can be purchase separately.

My daughter chose Shining Star, who she renamed Jessica, because of the doll's chestnut hair, warm brown eyes, and fashion model sense of style.  The doll comes with a cute outfit consisting of a plaid double tiered cotton skirt along with a pink knit shirt and beret.  She also has shiny black patent boot and a matching belt that my little girl says looks trĂ©s chic!


A unique accessory for these dolls are customizable chapter books that can purchased through the starpathdolls.com website.  These books allow you to incorporate 20 personal details into the story so that it appears the doll and her owner are the main characters of the story.  Available as an ebook for $15 that can be read on digital readers available for most mobile devices and personal computers or as a paperback book for $20 there are two stories to choose from:

“A Fairy Tale Gone Wrong”

Written by award-winning author Suzanne Williams, who has written nearly 40 books for children, in this chapter book, the girl and her Starpath Doll find themselves accidently trapped inside the Cinderella story. It is up to them to keep the story on track so Cinderella will wind up with her prince and they can return home safely. Recommended for ages 5 -8 years old.


“Tiger Magic”

Is the story my daughter selected for us to get with her doll as an ebook.  Written by award-winning author, Mitali Perkins, “Tiger Magic” is an adventure story where the child and her doll friend find themselves on a magical adventure in the jungles of India. After learning about life in an Indian village, it is up to them to protect a tiger cub from poachers. Recommended for ages 5 – 9 years old.



Children will be delighted to play with these charming and well-made dolls while parents will delight in that they cost nearly half the price of some other similar top selling dolls.  For more information or to purchase a doll, visit StarpathDolls.com




LEGO Worlds Video Game: Updates + Sandbox Mode


There has been a major update to the LEGO Worlds video game that is playable on Playstation 4, Xbox One and STEAM.  Now players no longer need to complete the game's adventure mode to access its freestyle building sandbox mode.  People who have purchased the game can download this free update which adds LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS and LEGO City characters, creatures, structures, props and vehicles as well as immediately unlocks sandbox mode.  The update also fixes and improves the game's user interface to make the menus and tools easier to use.

The biggest aspect of the update is providing immediate unlimited access to sandbox mode which allows players to let their imagination run wild in designing their own world made from LEGO bricks, accessories and mini-figures.   Players can now skip the LEGO Worlds' tutorials and adventure mode if they desire because all of the elements of the game are now unlocked for them in sandbox mode.  Customizing their own landscapes, buildings and characters is what my kids really enjoy about this game but they've been limited because its been a slow progression for them through the adventure mode to gain access to a variety of things that are now automatically accessible through the unlocked sandbox mode.  They love this update!



My kids are also very excited that the video game has added elements of two of their favorite LEGO themes to it in LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS and LEGO City.  That is just the beginning though!  Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The LEGO Group are promising more new themes are coming based off of the existing LEGO toy sets.  With a LEGO Ninjago movie coming to theaters don't be surprised to see that theme pop up soon.  I'm personally hoping for a Speed Champions theme with some racing options in it to really get my interest in joining my kids playing this game.  What LEGO toy products would you like to see incorporated into the game?


For more information, please visit  lego.com/en-us/worlds

World's Smallest Stretch Armstrong

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **
Stretch Armstrong was a BIG hit with all my friends as a kid growing up in the late 1970's and early '80's.  This muscle bound character in a speedo could be contorted and stretched in all sorts of manners but the toy would always return to its original shape.  Stretch Armstrong hit store shelves just as professional wrestling was seeing a boom in popularity adding to the appeal of the toy.  The character had the appearance of someone who would be jumping in the ring to take on the likes of Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, or Ricky Steamboat and kids could have fun imagining some great bouts that resulted in Stretch Armstrong being tied up in knots.  It really was a lot of fun to see how far you could stretch the toy out (our neighborhood record was five feet) or bend the figure into different shapes without breaking it.

Now Super Impulse Toys is bringing back Stretch Armstrong to entertain a new generation of kids.  Super Impulse has made a reputation for taking classic toys that were big hits and reproducing them in miniature form with their World's Smallest toy line.  While the World's Smallest Stretch Armstrong is reduced in size from the original toy, small enough to hold in the palm of your hand actually, it still has the flexibility to be wrapped up like a giant pretzel or have its limbs tugged really far apart.  Just like the original, once you are done stretching the toy it amazingly returns to its normal size and shape.


My son and daughter have really enjoyed tugging Stretch Armstrong in a variety of shapes and directions.  It really kept their attention for awhile when we first gave it to them and they've brought it back out several times to play with.  My son thought the toy was so cool that he snuck it to school one day and said all the boys were in a frenzy to take a turn with it on the playground at recess.

Because of its small size, the World's Smallest Stretch Armstrong makes for a great item to amuse children while traveling on a family vacation.  It is also just the right size for an Easter basket gift or stocking stuffer at Christmas.  It can also be a fun gift for an adult who likes to keep a few toys at the office as it is just to right size to tuck away in a desk drawer.  While Super Impulse's Stretch Armstrong may be small there is no limitations to the fun you can have with it!

Other retro toys that Super Impulse has made tiny working versions of include Hot Wheels, Etch-a-Sketch, Silly Putty and Rubik's Cube.  For more information, visit superimpulse.com/our-brands/worlds-smallest


Friday, May 26, 2017

National Geographic's EXTREME WEATHER 4D

The Michigan Science Center's brand new Toyota Engineering Theater (TET) will be hosting the world debut of an exclusively produced version of the National Geographic film, Extreme Weather 4D over the Memorial Day Weekend.  And guess what? You can see it for FREE!

Thanks to the support of Toyota Motor North America, the science center (MiSci) is providing free general admission throughout the holiday weekend and complimentary viewings of the film. Pre-registration for is required. Patrons can select the day they would like to attend and register at the following link - mi-sci.secure.force.com/ticket



Extreme Weather 4D brings audiences face to face with Mother Nature at her most dangerous moments. Traveling to Alaska's melting glaciers, filmmakers capture the action as massive chunks of ice shear off into the frigid water with explosive force. In the Midwest, cameras roll as storm chasers risk their lives to capture data as deadly tornadoes race toward them. And, in drought-ravaged California, filmmakers embed themselves with courageous first responders fighting to contain raging wildfires.

"Extreme Weather 4D  is the perfect film to experience in 4D and we are delighted for the Michigan Science Center to host the world premiere,” remarked John Wickstrom, National Geographic Director of Film Distribution It is exciting to launch Extreme Weather 4D in the state of the art Toyota Engineering Theater with all of its amazing effects.  Audiences will be completely immersed in the film, experiencing the adventure with all senses.”

The TET is designed to inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning. The theater delivers a unique four-dimensional experience that engages multiple senses. It houses a state-of-the-art HD projection system with 3D viewing capabilities and enhanced space and lighting for a more immersive experience, and, the TET is the only theater in Michigan to incorporate “spark” effects without heat, smoke or pyro techniques.


WONDER WOMAN PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY


My daughter is really looking forward to going to see the WONDER WOMAN movie while I'm excited to have a daddy-daughter trip to the theater to enjoy a film that will share my enjoyment of comic book superheroes with her. To share our enthusiasm for the movie, I'm co-hosting with my friends from The Hopping Bloggers a giveaway for a super prize pack. This Wonder Woman Prize Pack Giveaway is worth $70 and includes:
  • Wonder Woman LEGO set
  • Wonder Woman Heat Changing Mug
  • Wonder Woman Funko
  • Wonder Woman Bracelet
  • DC-Comics Battle Ready Wonder Woman Doll
Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny. 

Wonder Woman opens in theaters everywhere June 2nd! 


Connect with Wonder Woman

Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | #WonderWoman
Enter to win this Wonder Woman Prize Pack using the form below. GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

THE FASTEST HUNK OF JUNK IN THE GALAXY

** This post contains affiliate links for Sideshow Collectibles**
When it comes to Star Wars when people ask who my favorite character is, I could very easily reply the Millennium Falcon because there is just as much of an emotional connection with that spacecraft as there is with any of the characters in the space opera.  One of the reasons the Millennium Falcon is such an iconic vehicle is probably because most people can relate to having a beat up car at some time in their life that despite its flaws they've loved similar to Han Solo and his spaceship in Star Wars. 

For me it was the used Buick Skyhawk that I purchased as my first car in high school. That car was always overheating and breaking down yet was a source of freedom from the supervision of parents that took me and my friends on a countless number of adventures.  So I've always had a fondness for the Falcon because, like my Skyhawk, despite all its flaws it always came through in the end. Plus through the Falcon, I had the chance to travel to a galaxy far, far away as a diehard Star Wars fan.  In fact, the first time seeing The Force Awakens I unexpectedly became rather upset about how the Millennium Falcon had been abandoned on a junk planet which caught me a bit off guard because who'd think that was the part of the movie someone would get emotional about.

I've thought the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy was a cool ride since first watching A New Hope as a kid in the '70s.  So I was excited to discover this incredible diecast replica of the Millennium Falcon as it was portrayed in the original trilogy of movies from Sideshow Collectibles.  Collaborating with the Lucasfilm Museum of Narrative Arts Archives and utilizing a digital scan of the actual surviving special effects miniature and original model kit parts from the original movie trilogy, the Star Wars Millennium Falcon Star Wars Scaled Replica is an accurate approximate 1:100 scale reproduction of this iconic part of the Star Wars saga.


How cool would it be to have this incredible model displayed on your desk at work or in a home office?!  In addition to intricately replicating the exterior details of the Millennium Falcon, this model also has some impressive lighting effects for the ship's cockpit, headlights and engines.


The model is approximately 8.5" H x 16.25" W X 19" L and rests upon a nice EFX mirror display base.  If you are a Star Wars fan looking for a memento to commemorate this year's 40th anniversary of the debut of A New Hope and the galactic adventures that followed it this would make an excellent collectible to spruce up a home decor or office space with.


Click here for more information -->  Star Wars Millennium Falcon Star Wars Scaled Replica

Star Wars Adventures All-Ages Comic Book Series

While Disney now has its own in-house comic book publisher through its acquisition of Marvel they have decided to keep that brand focused on material geared for teen / adult audiences and have licensed out material suited for younger audiences to companies like IDW Publishing.  For the last few years IDW has been publishing all-ages comic books featuring classic Walt Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.  Now they'll be adding Star Wars to that list when IDW launches a new monthly comic book series in September.

Marvel will still be producing Star Wars comic books rated for teenage and older readers, but IDW is going to have a focus on stories for children.  All-ages comic books are meant to be enjoyable by anyone no matter what their age is but are particularly suited to have appropriate material for children under the age of ten years old.   Whether it is a mom or dad who wants to share their enjoyment of the Star Wars universe by reading stories to a preschooler or a young reader in elementary school who has become interested in adventures a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away these comic books are meant for kids to enjoy and give parents peace of mind that their content is age appropriate.

"Star Wars Adventures" will feature characters from the prequel, original, and current movies in  either one-shot or double issue story arcs.  This is great because parents will be able to pick-up one or two issues for their children and not feel like they have to buy months and months worth of consecutive issues to be able to enjoy a story.  You'll be able to get value for these comic books in knowing that a kid can enjoy a single issue in itself.  Though not announced, there is a good likelihood that just as IDW started off with Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, that are tales featuring multiple characters, then expanded with other series focused on particular characters (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge) they'll also branch out with additional Star Wars titles focused on specific characters such as a child aged Anakin beginning his Jedi training, A New Hope era Princess Leia,  Ezra Bridger from the Rebels animated cartoon, or Rey from the newest movies.


With IDW noting that "Star Wars Adventures" will be particularly written to appeal to 7 - 10 year old boys and girls, which is right where my twins fall right now, our family is looking forward to checking out this new comic book. Especially because my kids and I are are all enthusiastically anticipating the upcoming movie The Last Jedi and IDW is promising a connection to it in the pages of this comic book during the months leading up to the theatrical release.  This will be part of an overall promotion called Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi taking place among Disney's publishing licensees to cross-market the film.  So make sure to keep an eye out at your local comic book shop this fall for "Star Wars Adventures."

"Star Wars Adventures" is actually a continuation of a partnership between Disney and IDW.  In 2015, IDW added Star Wars to its popular Micro Collectors Fun Pack line; a format pioneered by the comic book publisher that has fast become a fan-favorite. Micro Collector Fun Packs consist of a full-length, pocket-sized comic-book story, along with exclusive inserts including posters, standees, trading cards or stickers.  Some varieties have come with 3D comics, posters, and viewing glasses.   You can find these at local comic shops as well as retailers like Target and Toys “R” Us.  I've picked up a few of these packs to amuse my kids on long road trips and they worked very nicely to help keep my twins occupied during the car ride.



For more information, visit www.idwpublishing.com or follow them on Twitter via @IDWPublishing