Friday, June 23, 2017

Despicable Me 3 Giveaway

Despicable Me 3 Prize Pack

You'll go BANANAS just like a Minion for this great Despicable Me 3 prize pack! The third installment of Despicable Me is a must-see animated movie for a family outing to the movie theater this summer.  My family are huge fans of this movie franchise and to share our anticipation for the theatrical release of Despicable Me 3 I've partnered with The Hopping Bloggers to put together an awesome prize pack we're giving away! One lucky, randomly selected entrant will win over $100 in Despicable Me swag that includes:
  • 3 Movie Collection on Blu-Ray: Minions, Despicable Me, & Despicable Me 2
  • Despicable Me 3 Learn to Read Book
  • Despicable Me 3 Mega Construx Building Set
  • Despicable Me 3 Mystery Plush
  • Despicable Me 3 Operation
  • Despicable Me 3 Fluffy Funko Pop
  • Despicable Me 3 Spy Gru Funko Pop
Synopsis Gru (Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) must stop former '80s child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from achieving world domination.

Despicable Me comes to theaters June 30th!



Connect with Despicable Me

Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | #DespicableMe3
Enter to win this Despicable Me 3 Prize Pack using the form below.
GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TRANSFORMERS THE LAST KNIGHT

Summer blockbusters are meant to be a way to escape the realism of the world around us for a moment in time by being thrilled over watching a movie and snacking on popcorn.  They don't need to have a life altering impact on their audiences or masterfully written award-winning scripts.  What these movies must have are mind-blowing special effects, pulse raising action scenes, incredible stunts, and comedic situations.  People aren't looking for the film of the year but rather to have some summer fun where they'll be wowed and made to laugh while watching a movie.  TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT fits this mold perfectly!

The fifth movie in Michael Bay's cinematic saga, based upon the Hasbro Transformers toys that were popular when I was a kid growing up in the 1980's, THE LAST KNIGHT is a roller coaster of a movie that is meant to be a thrill ride.  It has adorable characters called baby dinobots that will make you go aww! Incredible vehicles that you wish you could drive or fly.  Stunts like Mike Wahlberg hanging out the door of a speeding car inches from the ground making the audience exclaim whoa!  Along with plenty of moments that will have you chuckling in your seat.  And let's not forget the stars of the show, incredibly detailed CGI fighting robots that while watching the movie you'll forget aren't real.


While TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT is based upon children's toys, parents should be aware that it is rated PG-13.  I took my eight year old twins to see the movie and personally didn't have any problem with them seeing anything contained in it.  There isn't any gore or nudity in the movie but it gets the PG-13 rating for intense action scenes, violence and cursing.  Because most of the violence is robot-on-robot in my opinion there isn't anything over-the-top concerning for parents to worry about when it comes to grade school aged and older children viewing it.  If you let your kids watch the Harry Potter or Star Wars films this movie should be just fine for them to see.

I wouldn't recommend taking preschool aged children to this movie for a few reasons though.  First there is a lot of swearing that young ears probably shouldn't hear.  You'll have to make a parent judgment on your comfort level about profanity. Second, while there really isn't any sexual content in the film there is a lot of innuendo which you may want to avoid young kids being exposed to.  Of course it may just go right over their heads like it did with mine.  Finally, there are some characters, robots and humans, who die in the film.  If death is a topic you want to steer clear of here's your heads up about that.


For adults if you enjoy action adventure movies with explosions and battle scenes go see this!  If you are more interested in movies with great dramatic plots than you'll probably want to go see something else.  I'll be honest the plot is full of holes like a piece of swiss cheese.  The script is OK while you are racing through THE LAST KNIGHT but afterward it will be hard not to think back and say that didn't make a whole lot of sense.  Of course it is a movie about larger than life alien robots so the script doesn't need to be more than meets the eye.


My son and daughter really enjoyed this movie, and my wife who normally doesn't share my appreciation of sci-fi/superhero type stuff admitted she had a good time too.  I really liked how King Arthur and Merlin were incorporated into the story and thought the dragon transformer featured in the show was just darn cool.  Being from the Motor City it was also interesting to see all the Detroit locations that were used in filming the movie. That combined with my really wanting to own a baby dinobot now gives A Geek Daddy nod of approval to TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT.  If you sit back and enjoy the ride you'll have a fun time!


For more information about THE LAST KNIGHT please visit www.transformersmovie.com.  You can also find out more about TRANSFORMERS by visiting the movie's social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and TwitterClick here to take a look at the newest Transformers toys from Hasbro.

CARS 3 DRIVEN TO WIN VIDEO GAME

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

My kids and I have been having a good time playing the new Cars 3: Driven to Win video game that features racing competitions with characters and locations from all three of the Disney PIXAR Cars movies.  The controls are easy enough to use so that young kids can comfortably play the game without getting frustrated or overwhelmed yet it is also challenging enough so that adult will enjoy participating in the races as well.  With the ability for four players to race against one another at the same time in split screen head-to-head action it is really easy to get the whole family engaged in competing against one another. Perfect for a weekend game night, Cars 3: Driven to Win is a video game families can have a lot of fun playing together.

The setting for the video game takes place after the final big race in Cars 3.  Note there are some spoilers in the game if you haven't already seen the movie.  Based upon its game play and great graphics though, you'll have an entertaining time playing it even if you've never seen a Cars movie.  Is there anyone out there who has never seen a Disney PIXAR Cars movie?

Cars 3: Driven to Win includes a variety of customizable playable characters including Lightning McQueen, Mater, Mack, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm.  Some of the characters are playable right away and others need to be unlocked by winning races, completing stunts and achieving a variety of objectives as you progress through the game.  Cars 3: Driven to Win also features 20 unique tracks that highlight 13 iconic race environments from the Cars movies.


There are six exciting modes of game play in Cars 3: Driven to Win.  The variety of racing options keeps the game interesting for repetitive play.  Race Mode lets you challenge a pack of characters from the Cars movies in a first to complete a number of laps is the winner challenge.  Battle Race allows you to collect power-ups including missiles, oil slicks, and rocket engines to take out your competition with during the race.  In Takedown Mode the player who takes out the most opponents during the race wins instead of the first to cross the finish line.  Best Lap Challenge has players race against themselves to set a track record.  Playground Mode lets players explore a fantastic obstacle course.  Stunt Showcase has players perform stunts to earn points.  The player who earns the most points before time runs out wins the competition.

Then there is Piston Cup mode.  Combine a variety of locations and modes to create your own unique racing series.  For example engage in Race Mode at Florida International Speedway, Stunt Showcase at Thunder Hollow Destruction Derby and Battle Mode at Radiator Springs Interstate Pass.  Whoever has the best record among the three races will win be crowned your family's Piston Cup champ!  Have fun mixing up the locations and modes to make every Piston Cup competition you play on Cars 3: Driven to Win exciting and unique.

The ability to allow players to personalize the attributes of their favorite Cars characters and race as them, great visual effects and backgrounds, a variety of playable game modes, and its overall fun factor, have earned Cars 3: Drive to Win the nod of approval from A GEEK DADDY.  Whether you are a fan of the Cars movie series or just enjoy automobile racing, this is a video game you are going to repeatedly want to play over and over again. This really is a very fun family-friendly game to play!

Cars 3: Driven to Win is being distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under license from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.  The game was developed by Avalanche Software, the same video game studio that created the popular Disney Infinity video games.  It is available for Playstation 4 and Playstation 3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and Wii U.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Bourne Initiative Summer Reading Giveaway

** I partnered with Grand Central Publishing to share this giveaway **

I'm big fan of the Jason Bourne novels and movies, so I'm going to enjoy adding the new book, The Bourne Initiative, to my summer reading list.  Originally created by bestselling author Robert Ludlum, the Jason Bourne series was later adapted into films that have become modern classics. Now, New York Times bestselling writer Eric Van Lustbader carries on Jason Bourne's story with a new novel about the rogue secret agent who has lost his memory.



To share my enjoyment of the Jason Bourne novels, A GEEK DADDY is hosting a great giveaway courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.  One lucky winner will receive a prize pack consisting of 10 books from the series ranging from the fifth novel, The Bourne Betrayal, to the newest release, The Bourne Initiative.  This will provide an incredible summer of reading for whoever wins the prize pack!



To be eligible to win must be over 18 years old and have a United States mailing address (No P.O. Boxes please).  Just complete the entries in the form below before July 3, 2017 for a chance to be randomly selected to receive the prize pack:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About The Bourne Initiative

Jason Bourne—the rogue secret agent who has lost his memory—returns in this stunning new thriller from Eric Van Lustbader, continuing Robert Ludlum's classic series. 

Gen. Boris Karpov, head of the feared Russian FSB, is dead. But Karpov has reached out from the grave with an unstoppable cyber operation he conceived in the months before his murder, aimed at the heart of the United States—a way to steal the president's nuclear launch codes. Who has taken over the operation? Karpov trusted only one man: Jason Bourne. But can Bourne be working against his own country?  Gen. Arthur MacQuerrie, chief of the Dreadnaught Section of NSA and Morgana Broussard, head of the mysterious Meme, LLC, are convinced of Bourne's treasonous act, and will do everything in their power to kill him.

Flushed from cover, hunted by the best assassins in the business, wounded and nearly killed, Bourne's only hope is to join forces with his bitterest enemy, a Somali magus named Keyre, whose terrorist forces Bourne once decimated. Now Keyre is more powerful than ever, with a burgeoning international network—a man who can help Bourne, but to what end? Lying in wait is the young woman Bourne saved from Keyre's torture, who now calls herself the Angelmaker. Both seductive and deadly, the Angelmaker loves Bourne, watches over him, but from whom does she take her orders? Is she ally or adversary?

These are questions Bourne must answer before he can unravel the mystery of Boris Karpov's last legacy, a weaponized code that may very well bring about the unthinkable: a violent end to America.

Click here to read an excerpt from The Bourne Initiative.


DISCLAIMER & GIVEAWAY RULES A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this post and  hosting the giveaway but did receive the same prize being awarded for personal use. The prize is provided by Grand Central Publsihing. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate. Must submit eligible entries through the rafflecopter format for a chance to win. Winner when notified by email has 48 hours to reply by providing a valid mailing address within the United States to accept the prize. Grand Central Publishing will be responsible for shipping the prize to the randomly selected winner.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog as we are facilitating this free opportunity as a benefit to our readers.

A DESPICABLE GIVEAWAY

** This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures **

The hilarious antics and misadventures of Gru and his Minions are returning to the big screen on JUNE 30 when DESPICABLE ME 3 opens at movie theaters throughout the United States.  To say me kids are EXCITED to go see this movie is an understatement.  Picture Agnes seeing a big Fluffy unicorn and you get my drift about how much they want to go on a family outing to see Despicable Me 3 this summer.



So what is the plot for this movie?  After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis.  But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.



To share my family's excitement about this movie, A Geek Daddy is hosting A DESPICABLE GIVEAWAY.  I'll be giving away to one lucky randomly selected winner a $25 Fandango gift card to see Despicable Me 3 at the movie theater plus two Despicable Me Mega Construx Micro packs. Must be over 18 years old and have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible to win (no P.O. Boxes allowed).  Prizes are courtesy of Universal Pictures and Mega Brands. Enter below for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MEGA CONSTRUX MICRO ACTION FIGURES

Get ready for buildable buffoonery movie-sized mischief with Despicable Me action figures in Mega Construx blind bag Micro packs.  There are 12 to collect including Fluffy the unicorn among an assortment of minions for you to create your own shenanigans with.  Recommended for ages 5 and up, collect this new assortment of Mega Construx action figures that feature all-new outfits, gear, themes, and accessories to allow you to build your very own loyal tribe of Minions.  Available now at Toys R Us, Target and Walmart.


For more information about the movie, please visit www.despicable.me. Also check out the Despicable Me social media content on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and GruTube searching with #DespicableMe3. Find out more about Mega Construx toys by visiting www.megaconstrux.com or following the brand on Twitter or Instagram.

DISCLAIMER & GIVEAWAY RULES A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this post and  hosting the giveaway but did receive the same prize being awarded for personal use. The prize is provided by Universal Pictures. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate. Must submit eligible entries through the rafflecopter format for a chance to win. Winner when notified by email has 48 hours to reply by providing a valid mailing address within the United States to accept the prize. Universal Pictures will be responsible for shipping the prize to the randomly selected winner.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog as we are facilitating this free opportunity as a benefit to our readers.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

CRAFTCOM 2017

We met the Ghostbusters at the CRAFTCOM Festival in Clawson, Michigan that took place over the Fathers Day weekend.  In it's first year, this community event brought together artists, craft beer makers, food trucks, and comic book culture for a fun time that let people enjoy the geeky side of life.  Ghostbusters Detroit and the Great Lakes Garrison of the 501st Legion, two great movie fan clubs, were there to greet people and the festival hosted a cosplay contest to encourage attendees to get into character as well.  Theater Bizarre was on hand as well with an elaborate tent promoting its annual masquerade extravaganza at Detroit's historic Masonic Temple which had developed a reputation as one of the best Halloween parties in the entire world.  DJs entertained the crowd with techno music and the event also featured performances by kids from The Detroit School of Rock & Pop and the musical group Wesley and the Crushers.

There also were a variety of vendors on hand selling crafts, comic books, toys and jewelry.  My daughter bought a Harry Potter themed necklace with the Gryffindor seal emblazoned on it that she hasn't taken off since picking it up at one of the CRAFTCOM exhibitor booths.  I noticed a lot of kids that we ran into at the festival had purchased handmade plush toys called Cool Critters that a vendor was selling.  Another vendor, Red Lava Toys, was selling customized Minecraft inspired action figures that also seemed to be very popular with the kids my children's age.  A local hardware store was crafting unique marshmallow shooters from pvc piping and duck tape that they were giving out for to kids for free.  My children pretended to hunt the giant inflatable T-Rex that was on hand with theirs.


A variety of craft beer places participated in hosting CRAFTCOM including Clawson's very own Black Lotus BreweryB. NEKTAR, from Ferndale Michigan, which specializes in meads (honey infused drinks) in addition to ciders and craft beers was my favorite exhibitor to try some samples from.  Shmaltz Brewing traveled all the way from Clifton Park, New York to share their Star Trek Klingon Imperial Porter which not only has a cool theme to it but also tasted great with a unique chocolate flavor to it.  Ommegang Brewery from Cooperstown New York also was there showing off their Game of Thrones branded Bend the Knee line of ales and wines.  Iconic Detroit area soda brand Faygo was also on hand to provide beverages to the Under 21 crowd and adults who didn't want to partake in the alcoholic drinks.

Although alcohol was a big part of this festival it was still very family-friendly with a Kids Zone that included free inflatable bounce houses, an arts and crafts area where Detroit Imagination Works helped kids craft unique projects, and HUB Stadium setup some bombowling lanes which combines horseshoes, bowling and football into one game.  My kids had a lot of fun creating there own super hero masks while we were there.


Hopefully CRAFTCOM was successful enough that its sponsors will bring it back next year because we had a lot of fun during its inaugural run.  For more information, visit craftcomfestival.com and stay tuned for announcements about 2018.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

DAD TO DAD CHAT: GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL

** A Geek Daddy is a Goldfish Swim School brand ambassador **

I spent some time chatting with fellow dad, Chris McCuiston, the co-founder of the swim school my kids take lessons at in this edition of A Geek Daddy's DAD TO DAD CHAT segment.  Chris started Goldfish Swim School with his wife as a single location in Birmingham, Michigan eleven years ago and over the last decade has franchised more than 40 locations across the United States.  He shares some thoughts with us about entrepreneurship, fatherhood, and swimming lessons.

Since starting Goldfish Swim School not only has your business grown but so has your family.  Tell us about your kids?

I'm the proud dad of four boys ranging in age from 2 to 8 -- Charlie, Jack, Brody & Reid.

As a dad yourself what do you really want to instill with the kids who attend Goldfish Swim School?  

We want to help children build a respect and love for the water while building safer and more confident swimmers.

How does Goldfish stand out from other swimming instructional programs?  

When my wife, Jenny, first came to me with the idea of opening a swim school, it was because she knew there was a better way and better place to teach swim lessons. We’ve fulfilled that need with Goldfish – not only do we build our facilities with kids and families in mind (warm water, inviting environment, private changing rooms, hair drying stations, bright colors, etc.), we also offer a safe place for kids to learn about water safety, while also having fun. Our members become a part of our Goldfish family and we love hearing how much their families love Goldfish.

How can dads utilize the Goldfish Swim School experience as a way to bond with their kids?

In our Mini classes, dads can get in the water with their babies and spend an uninterrupted 30 minutes bonding with their child. That time is so important and beneficial not only to each child’s individual growth, but also to their relationship with their parent. As your kids get older, the entire family can come and enjoy Family Swim – having fun in the water, working on new skills and playing with our water toys. We have monthly Family Night Out events as a time for families to come together, enjoy each other’s company and have fun!

What is the most important thing every parent should know when it comes to water safety and their kids?  

The most important thing is to always make sure that an adult is supervising your kids while they are in and around the water. Swim lessons are the number one way to help keep your kids safer around the water, but it is still so important that someone is watching. Accidents can happen in an instant.

Goldfish has gone from a single mom and pop operated location in Birmingham, MI to becoming a successful corporation franchising numerous locations in multiple states -- what is your continuing vision and expectations for the brand?  

We never imagined that Jenny’s vision would turn into what it is today, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in 11 years. Our goals for the future are to continue to grow into new markets – the more locations we open, the more kids and families we have the ability to teach. We are committed to continuing to provide the best service, teachers and curriculum to remain the premier learn-to-swim destination for families. We want to continue to have a positive impact on the community and help more and more kids learn how to be safer in and around the water.

How do you balance work life and family life ensuring you spend quality time with your kids? What is your favorite way to bond with your kids?  

We balance work and life by making sure we set clear expectations around work and play. Clear communication is important along with accountability. We also have the benefit of working together so that helps us find time to be together both in and out of work. Jenny and I were both former athletes so we enjoy spending time with our kids on the baseball field, football field and in the pool.  

You played collegiate baseball at Michigan State University -- has that experience impacted how you handle your professional and personal life?  

Playing college baseball taught me a lot about teamwork, how to handle responsibility and how to handle winning and losing. There are so many situations that you encounter playing a college sport and I think those situations prepared me for the challenges of running a business and having a family.  

You obviously were involved with sports as a kid -- how important do you believe it is for today's children to be involved with organized athletic activities whether that be playing on a school sports team, joining a rec soccer league or participating in a swimming program at Goldfish? 

 I think being involved in sports and activities is so important for a child’s development. It teaches kids to be a part of something that is bigger than them, how to work with others and to set goals and work to achieve them. They will carry and use those skills for the rest of their lives.

Does your family have any traditions when it comes to celebrating Fathers Day with you?  

The only tradition is to allow Dad to sleep inWith a family of 4 boys, there is not a lot of quiet time or down time. In all honesty, we tend to spend the day together and cook out with family at night. I enjoy entertaining and being with people so it’s fun to get the family together for special events.