Sunday, August 28, 2016

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir "Spots On!" DVD

 A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free & one to giveaway
 My kids have become big fans of the animated television show Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir which features the adventures of two teen-aged super heroes with European flair. When the treacherous Hawk Moth uses his evil energy to transform the citizens of Paris into super villains, only Lady Bug and Cat Noir can save the day!  With the help of their magical Kwamis, this duo teams up to outwit Hawk Moth and keep their city safe.  These super heroes biggest challenge though may not be battling evil doers though but rather graduating high school.  It has to be hard to juggle schoolwork, friends and family while growing up when every day is a super-powered adventure.

On August 30, 2016 Shout! Factory is releasing six episodes on DVD from the first season of the TV series which is currently being broadcast by Nickelodeon on Sundays at Noon.  Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir "Spots On!" will include the episodes The Evillustrator, Rogercop, Dark Cupid, Horrificator, Darkblade and The Mime.  Additionally, the DVD includes a miniature comic book featuring a Lady Bug and Cat Noir adventure in print.


I know my kids will be delighted to view this new DVD and read the included comic book!  To share their enthusiasm with our A Geek Daddy blog readers and social media followers, Shout! Factory has provided a Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir "Spots On!" DVD to giveaway. Retweet our contest tweet below to throw your name in the hat for a chance to be randomly picked to win.



To be eligible for this giveaway you must follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet our original contest tweet embedded above before September 1, 2016 @ 11:59 pm EST.  Must be a US  resident over the age of 18 to participate. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize.  One entry per person and winner will be selected from all eligible entries. Shout! Factory will be responsible for the delivery of the prize to the selected winner. By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. A Geek Daddy is providing this giveaway contest as a benefit to our readers and social media followers and has not been financially compensated for this promotion.

Beginning August 30th, you can purchase the DVD from the Shout! Factory online store or pick it up at retailers throughout the United States and Canada  including Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Walmart.  For more information about the show, visit miraculousladybug.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016

FIND IT GAMES "MYTHICAL CREATURES" REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

 A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free & was provided one to giveaway

Dragons, Trolls and Unicorns have been capturing people's imagination in fairy tales for generations.  The Mythical Creatures edition of FIND IT® GAMES allows players the fun experience of searching for and discovering fantastic animals, creepy monsters, and magical treasures.  Shake, twist and spin the game to search for mythical creatures and artifacts that range from the elusive Big Foot to the enchanting Cupid's Arrow.  Forty items are hidden to be discovered in a sealed see through cylinder filled with colorful pellets.  A variety of weights, dimensions and colors make some things easier to find than others when playing the game which makes for a fun and challenging experience.  Our family has really enjoyed competing against each other to see who can be the first to find all the hidden objects contained within FIND IT: MYTHICAL CREATURES.

To share our family's enjoyment of the game with our A Geek Daddy blog readers and social media followers, we have a FIND IT: MYTHICAL CREATURES game to giveaway.  Who wants it?!



To be eligible for this giveaway you must follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet our original contest tweet embedded above before August 31, 2016 @ 11:59 pm EST.  Must be a US  resident over the age of 18 to participate. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize.  One entry per person and winner will be selected from all eligible entries. Identity Games International will be responsible for the delivery of the prize to the selected winner. By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. A Geek Daddy is providing this giveaway contest as a benefit to our readers and social media followers and has not been financially compensated for this promotion.

There are several ways to play FIND IT.  One way is to download and print out a check list of all the items contained within the container.  People can play by themselves seeking out all the items or compete against other players to see who can find all the items first.  Another option is to deal out the clue cards that come with the game.  Each card has examples of items a player can collect.  Players take turns searching for items that meet the requirements on their cards.  Players get rid of their cards when they've made a match.  The first person without any cards in front of them wins the match.  FIND IT is flexible in providing suggestions on how to play the game but also allows players to determine their own rules to follow so the only limit on enjoying the game is a person's own imagination.

Whether you are 6 or 106, a person can have fun playing this game.  Because it is self-contained there are no parts or pieces that need to be manipulated or handled.  Nor is there any need to set up or clean up this game.  Because FIND IT games are compact, self-contained adventures they are easy to pull out for an entertaining family game night and make for ideal distraction to keep kids amused while traveling for a family road trip.  Find It Games are made from high-impact plastic tubing to ensure these "contained adventures" stay contained.

In addition to MYTHICAL CREATURES there are a variety of FIND IT games to choose from with a multitude of themed objects to search for.  Can you find the buried treasure in the PIRATES versions of FIND IT?  How about the T-Rex in the DINO version?  Can you spot the giraffe in the WILDLIFE game?  There are currently 12 versions of FIND IT to choose from.  To check them all out and for more information, please visit finditgames.com


Friday, August 26, 2016

A DOG'S PURPOSE - Movie Release Date + Trailer

Today is #NationalDogDay which seems like the perfect time to announce the release date and trailer for Amblin Entertainment & Universal Pictures upcoming movie A DOG'S PURPOSE. Based upon the bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.  This family-friendly film told from the dog's perspective (voiced by Josh Gad) stars Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, Britt Roberson, K.J. Apa, Juilet Rylance, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz and Pooch Hall.



A Dog's Purpose arrives at movie theaters across the United States on January 27, 2017.  For more information visit adogspurposemovie.com or follow the movie's twitter account @a_dogs_purpose


#ADogsPurpose

KATE & MIM-MIM DVD - "THE MIMILOO ZOO"

I had the chance to goof around with Mim-Mim from the popular Disney Jr. cable network television show KATE & MIM-MIM this summer and have to say that bunny is sure a lot of fun to hang out with.  Of course anyone who has seen this animated show for preschoolers that focuses on the friendship and adventures of a 5 year old girl named Kate and her favorite stuffed animal, a plush bunny named Mim-Mim already knows that.  In the show, Kate and Mim-Mim travel to the land of Mimiloo for imaginary adventures where they are joined by magical friends that live in this land of make believe  named Lily, Tack and Gobble.  If you haven't seen Kate & Mim-Mim yet now is a chance to catch up on some of their past escapades which are being released on a new DVD coming out September 20, 2016.  "THE MIMILOO ZOO" DVD will feature six fun filled tales plus a bonus video called "Mimiloo's Creatures."


In the story "The Mimiloo Zoo," Kate's trip to the zoo gets canceled because it's raining, so it's off to the fantasy world of Mimiloo! In Mimiloo, animals made out of bushes are being created for Gobble and Tack's AMAZING new fruit garden inside their AMAZING new hedge maze.  When Mim-Mim accidently spritzes the animals twice with Gobble's powerful presto potion, they come to life and things quickly get wild.  With the animals creating a bit of havoc, the gang needs to fnd a place for them to live and Kate knows the perfect location.


The DVD also features the story "Lily and the Unicorn."  Lily has always wanted to see a unicorn, and now is the perfect time as beautiful shimmer flowers, which unicorns love to eat, are blooming.  After searching all day, the gang finally locates a whole garden of flowers.  When the garden starts to float away, with Lily, who can save her?

Additional stories included on "The Mimiloo Zoo" DVD include, To Catch a Critter, Follow the Leader, Kate's Turtle Drive, and Kittens & Mittens.  The DVD run time is approximately 65 minutes. You can order the DVD online from Shop PBS or look for it at retail locations across the United States.  For more information about this television series and its characters, visit  kateandmimmim.com


PUP STAR debuts on FandangoNOW -- August 30, 2016

Welcome to a world where dogs can not only talk -- they can SING! Air Bud Entertainment, the creators of the 'Air Bud' and 'Disney Air Buddies' movies, have created a new film with a dog-filled spin on America's hit TV singing competitions, being released August 30, 2016 in Digital HD through Fandango's on-demand video service FandangoNOW.  Loaded with music, including 13 original songs, and the biggest cast of talking (and singing) canines ever assembled, this all-new family friendly film is the inspirational adventure of an adorable Yorkie pup, Tiny (voiced by Kaitlyn Maher, America's Got Talent) who finds herself on an action-packed cross-country journey to compete in the ultimate singing competition for dogs -- Pup Star.

After Tiny earns a place in the finale, she's suddenly dog-napped! But with the help of her new friend, Charlie, a retired rock-and-roller, she escapes.  Together they journey through some of music's most iconic cities trying to get back to the Pup Star competition.  Along the way they encounter Big Ears, a soulful Bassett Hound who teaches Tiny to belt out the blues; Murray, a spiritual shaggy dog who helps her find her inner rhythm; and Emily Rose, a country-singing shepherd who helps Tiny learn to sing from her heart.  Most importantly, all of her new friends encourage Tiny to believe in herself and never give up on her dreams.  Will Tiny make it back to the Pup Star set in time to participate in the Pup Star finals?!  You'll have to watch the movie to find out!



PUP STAR, which stars Makenzie Moss (Steve Jobs), Jed Rees (Deadpool), Carla Jimenez (The Purge: Anarchy) and David Deluise (The Wizards of Waverly Place), can be viewed on FandangoNOW for $9.99 by visiting fandangonow.com/pupstar.  FandangoNOW is available on Roku, smart televisions from Samsung, LG and Vizio and on iOS and Android mobile devices.  For more information about the movie, visit airbud.com


Thursday, August 25, 2016

River Raisin National Battlefield Park

August 25th marked the 100th anniversary of Congress creating the National Park Service as an agency of the United States Department of the Interior when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act into law. As its name implies, the agency manages all of the U.S. national parks, as well as many national monuments, conservation areas, and historical sites.  All together the National Park Service manages 412 sites covering more than 84 million acres across the United States as well as locations in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  While Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and the monuments along the National Mall in Washington D.C. are some of the best known locations, properties managed by Park Service range from the 13.2 million acre Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska to the 0.02 acre Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania.  You can do a search for locations that may be near your home or an area you plan on visiting at nps.gov/findapark.

I used this online feature and discovered the River Raisin National Battlefield Park which is located in the community of Monroe, Michigan about an hour away from our home.  To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service my kids and I spent the afternoon of August 25th exploring the site.  River Raisin National Battlefield Park marks the spot of a major skirmish that took place during the War of 1812 between a U.S. force of 1,000 soldiers consisting of the U.S. Army's 17th Infantry Regiment and units of the Kentucky militia under the command of General James Winchester versus an opposing force of 600 British Red Coats and Canadian militia aided by 800 Native American allies.  It was a disastrous engagement for the United States with only 33 of the 1,000 Americans escaping the battlefield without being killed or captured during the fighting that took place January 18 - 22, 1813.  Additionally, the day after the battle dozens of wounded and captured Americans who were abandoned when the British withdrew from the battlefield were scalped and brutally murdered by the Red Coats' Native American allies in what is referred to as the River Raisin Massacre.  General William Henry Harrison, who later become President of the United States, at the time of the battle called it a "national calamity" and inspired the battle cry "Remember the Raisin" used throughout the remainder of the war by U.S. forces.



In 2000, an excavation taking place on the property that now makes up the national park discovered a line of scattered human remains which archeologists believe identified the main skirmish line for the 17th U.S. Infantry Regiment during the Battle at River Raisin.  This helped spur Congress to incorporate the site into the National Park Service.  River Raisin National Battlefield Park opened in 2011.

When thinking of battles that took place on American soil, Revolutionary War and Civil War sites are the ones that most often come to mind.  River Raisin National Battlefield Park is a reminder that the War of 1812 also was a deadly conflict impacting the country and that Michigan was a cross road in determining the future of  the United States.  When driving around Metro Detroit and southeastern Michigan today it is hard to imagine the area 200 years ago as a wild frontier that was a contested gateway to the growth of the United States beyond the original 13 colonies.  River Raisin National Battlefield Park pays tribute to those people who lost their lives fighting in a battle long forgotten by the general public in a conflict that contributed to shaping the country we live in today.



At the park's visitor center you can watch a 15 minute video which provides the history of the War of 1812 and the battle at River Raisin's role in the conflict.  It also provides an excellent narrative that describes how the events of the battle unfolded.  Combined with two wall-sized maps that can be referred to during the video presentation, it is easy to picture how the skirmish took place on the grounds surrounding the visitor center.

The visitor center also features several full-scale vignettes that show how American and British troops may have appeared during the battle.  The life-like statues show U.S. enlisted infantry, Kentucky militia, British Red Coats, and a Native American warrior.  Original military firearms from that time period are also on display.



There are also several miniature dioramas on display that depict scenes from the War of 1812 including the skirmish at River Raisin, the naval battle of Lake Erie, and the decisive victory in the battle of the Thames by the United States that re-established its control of the Old Northwest Territory.


Visitors can also try on costumes replicating the clothing the combatants would have worn during the War of 1812.  My kids and I tried on the hats that were part of the standard uniform for the U.S. Army's infantrymen during that time period while we checked out the various artifacts, diagrams, pictures, and maps on display at the visitor center.  We learned about history and had fun while exploring the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

The grounds of the park contain a .6 mile paved Battlefield Loop Trail with historical markers.  There is also a 1 mile crushed rock nature trail that meanders through the battlefield grounds.  A trail also connects the national park with nearby Sterling State Park which has 6 miles of hiking paths through a marsh habitat, fishing lagoons, and Lake Erie beach access.



In addition to exploring the battlefield, my kids earned patches from a park ranger for learning about native Michigan flowers, herbs, and vegetables that are grown onsite during our visit.



We had a nice summer road trip adventure visiting River Raisin National Battlefield Park.  It is open 7 days per week from 9am to 5pm excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.  Admission is FREE.  For more information about the park, visit nps.gov/rira.



Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School Crayola Products - Crayons, Markers & Colored Pencils

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

It's the beginning of Second Grade for my twins beginning on September 6th.  Thanks to a complimentary box of crayons, markers, and colored pencils, Crayola sent our way my kids will be well stocked for returning to school.  Getting a brand new box of Crayola crayons was always a fun part of returning to classes after summer break for all the neighborhood kids when I was in elementary school.  If you were lucky your parents would get you the monstrous 64 crayon super box with a built in sharpener in the package.  Buying Crayola products when it comes to back to school shopping is still a family tradition but for my kids they now have many more tremendous products to choose from then when I was their age.



One of the modern updates to Crayola products that I really appreciate as a parent is their line of Ultra-Clean Washable markers and crayons.  These non-toxic crayons and markers are specially formulated to wash clean from skin, clothing, and even painted walls.  Featured in classic colors as well as in a variety of other fun shades kids can engage in self-expression without parents or teachers worrying about having to cleanup a mess.  Today's children can create more vibrant art work then when I was a kid with Color Max products which provide the brightest, truest colors that Crayola has ever offered.  Look for Crayola's Ultra-Clean and Color Max labels when doing back to school shopping.


In many class rooms, traditional black chalk boards have been replaced with more modern white dry erase boards.  Crayola offers a variety of dry erase crayons ranging from traditional shades to cool neon colors.



What kid wouldn't enjoy creating school projects and personal works of art with markers infused with tasty and funny scents such as Buttered Popcorn and Barn Yard.  Each scented marker in the Washable Doodle Scents pack is also decorated with fun character illustrations inspired by its smell.  My daughter just adores these Doodle Scents markers!



My son really enjoys using colored pencils in the drawings and illustrations he creates.  Crayola's Twistables and Erasable colored pencils have worked out really well for him.  I hadn't thought about it until he started using Crayola Erasable colored pencils but most brands really aren't very erasable.  With these easy-to-erase pencils from Crayola, kids can easily make changes or fix mistakes without worrying about having to start over again.  Twistables allow users to avoid having to sharpen or peel a traditional wood colored pencil. The clear plastic shell shows how much color is left and protects a pencil from breaking while it's being used.



To see all of the great products Crayola has to offer for use at home and school, please visit Crayola.com