Monday, November 11, 2019

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD

dad blogger
SPONSORED BY PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Dora the Explorer's adventures in her animated television show on Nickelodeon have educated and entertained preschoolers for nearly twenty years.  Now she's grown up from being a venturous child in cartoons to be portrayed as a modern day teenager in the live action movie DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD from Paramount Pictures. This is a fun flick for a family movie night which will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on November 19, 2019.

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD isn't a movie for the preschool audiences that are delighted by the Nickelodeon cartoons; but rather is aimed to entertain children like my own who loved the animated series but have outgrown it. Spoofing the cartoons without disparaging them, DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD is an adventurous comedy that this dad blogger felt made the movie seem like a 21st Century mashup of two of my favorite family friendly movies from my youth that I like to watch now as a parent along with my kids: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) and The Goonies (1985). While this live action movie is suitable for all ages, it probably will play best with the 7 - 13 year old demographic that watched Dora the Explorer as preschoolers.

geek daddy


When the movie first came out last summer, my 10 year old twins were apprehensive about going to see it. Though Dora the Explorer was a favorite show of theirs at one point, they thought this movie would be too "babyish" for them to enjoy. We were invited by Paramount Pictures to review the movie for ageekdaddy.com so I dragged them to go see it.

The movie actually turned out to be perfectly suited for kids their age and I noticed them both smiling throughout it. They both admitted afterward that they enjoyed the movie! In fact our whole family has been looking forward to seeing it again when it becomes available to add to our home entertainment video library.

GIVEAWAY

blog giveaways
To share my family's enthusiasm for the release of DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, ageekdaddy.com has partnered with Paramount Pictures for a special giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a Dora Adventure Kit worth more than $50.  Of course every explorer needs a backpack! So inside a specially themed backpack will be a DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD Blu-ray/DVD/Digital movie bundle. Also packed inside will be goodies any explorer will appreciate including a Maglite flashlight, binoculars, compass, magnifying glass, and whistle among other things.

One winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. To toss your name in the hat for a chance to win follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet this original contest giveaway announcement and/or complete the rafflecopter entries below.  Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate. Must submit entries before 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, November 24, 2019. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet -- high school in the big city.  When her parents mysteriously disappear while on an archeological expedition, Dora finds herself transported back to the wilderness accompanied by a ragtag group of teens and her pet monkey Boots. They must now solve the seemingly impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilization if any of them ever want to see their families again.



DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for action and some impolite humor. Go to dora.movie for more information about this film and to play some free video games inspired by the film.

video game

video game

For a list of other great giveaways, head over to bloggiveawaydirectory.com

Thursday, November 7, 2019

JURASSIC WORLD LIVE TOUR DETROIT

discount tickets
A Geek Daddy received complimentary tickets for promotional consideration from Feld Entertainment
Something BIG is coming to Detroit! Feld Entertainment is bringing the dinosaurs of Jurassic World to the city for a live stage show at Little Caesars Arena. The Jurassic World Live Tour will be having performances in Detroit November 14-17, 2019.

I was so geeked to have a chance to meet some of the cast of the show, including a baby stegosaurus, in advance of the Jurassic World Live Tour coming to town and my whole family is excited to go see Feld Entertainment bring these dinosaurs to life at Little Caesars Arena. This isn't one of those animatronic displays that tours the country which you will often see exhibited at museums and zoos, but rather a performance of an original Jurassic World story featuring actors and puppeteers utilizing elaborate costumes. Combining lifelike dinosaurs with pyrotechnics, special effects and vehicular stunts creates an extraordinary experience making audiences feel as if they are immersed within a Jurassic World adventure taking part right in front of them.

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Getting a close up look at one of the dinosaurs from Jurassic World Live Tour, I have to say these outfits are spectacular! Mixing together traditional puppetry with high tech features, it really seemed as if I was interacting with a dinosaur. Isn't amazing the fantasy worlds we can be transported to thanks to today's technology.

These dinosaur suits are a marvel and have to give kudos to the performers who bring these creatures to life during Jurassic World Live Tour performances. With these dinosaur outfits weighting up to 120 pounds this is a physically taxing effort on these puppeteers. It also takes a tremendous amount of skill and practice to make these dinosaurs movements appear fluid and realistic while the creatures are running and jumping around a stage. They have to get choreography down as well as handling the physical and electronic controls that operate the dinosaur's movements ranging from blinking eyes to waving tails. From the advance preview of the stegosaurus this dad blogger had a chance to meet up close, I was really impressed.



Tickets are for sale now to see Jurassic World Live Tour for its upcoming stop in Detroit. I will be going to a show with my family courtesy of Feld Entertainment. My kids have been getting really excited about this night out every time they see one of the ads promoting these shows pop up on TV. It is sure to be a fun night!

If you want to join us in going to see Jurassic World Live Tour at Little Caesars Arena, Feld Entertainment has provided me with a special discount code to share with my ageekdaddy.com audience. Get great seats for just $20! Don't wait to use it though because not only are these shows coming up soon but this deal expires on November 13.

Great seats for only $20* 
Use code JWL20 (last character is a zero) 
Offer expires 11/13

Purchase tickets here

*Additional fees and restrictions apply. Limit 8 tickets per order. Save on processing fees by purchasing at the Box Office directly. Not valid on Opening Night- these tickets are already discounted to $15!



For more information about the show, go to jurassicworldlivetour.com

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

40 YEARS OF HAPPY MEALS

A Geek Daddy received the featured products for promotional consideration



Who doesn't love a Happy Meal?! This year marks the 40th anniversary of the debut of Happy Meals at McDonalds. To celebrate the occasion, beginning November 7, 2019 while supplies last you can get limited-edition Surprise Happy Meals featuring fan-favorite throwback toys from the past four decades at restaurants worldwide. Don't miss out on picking up some of these classic Happy Meal toys because one they are gone … they're gone! Thanks McDonalds for sending us a box of these Surprise Happy Meal toys for this dad blogger to unbox.

The very first edition of the these children's meals was called the Circus Wagon Happy Meal which became available nationally in the United States in 1979. Happy Meals in their first years featured decorative boxes with a variety of themes and included prizes such as a spinning top or an eraser in the image of a McDonaldland character. These eventually evolved into the iconic red boxes with golden arches for a handle that contains a collectible toy that we are all familiar with now.

Over the years Happy Meal toys have been associated with promoting movies, toy lines, and McDonalds' mascots. My favorite toys have to have been the Looney Tunes character action figures dressed up as DC Comics super heroes that were a promotion in the mid-90s. I still have one of these, the Tasmanian Devil dressed up as The Flash, which stays on my office desk as a cherished keepsake. Do you have a favorite McDonalds Happy Meal toy?

mcdonalds


From November 7 - 11, McDonalds Happy Meals will each have a blind bag in them which will contain one of 15 throwback toys from the past forty years inside. It will be a surprise which toy is inside until its package is ripped open. These toys are being randomly distributed so there is an equal chance of getting any of these toys from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

The toys which can be discovered in these Limited Edition Surprise Happy Meals include:

· Cowboy McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
· Fireman McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
· Mail Carrier McNugget (McDonald’s): 1988
· Hamburger Changeable (McDonald’s): 1989
 · Grimace (McDonald’s): 1990
· Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable (McDonald’s): 1991
 · McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird (Mattel): 1993
· Hamburglar (McDonald’s): 1995
 · Power Rangers (Hasbro): 1995
· Space Jam Bugs Bunny (Warner Brothers): 1996
 · Patti the Platypus (Ty Beanie Baby): 1997
· Tamagotchi (Bandai): 1998
· My Little Pony (Hasbro): 1998
· Furby (Hasbro): 1999
· Hello Kitty (Sanrio): 2013

new happy meal toys

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

blu ray
A Geek Daddy received a free Blu-ray from Fox Home Entertainment
Someone is looking forward to a family movie night watching THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. While you may think it is our puppy because the star of the show is a dog, my wife is probably the most eager to see the movie because its leading man is Milo Ventimiglia. This actor has been in her two favorite television shows, Gilmore Girls and This Is Us. That is ok if he has peeked her interest in seeing THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN because she teases me about having a crush on Kate Beckinsale.

Based upon the best selling novel by Garth Stein, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is a heartwarming tale narrated by a witty and philosophical canine named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through this dog's unique insights, Enzo (named after the founder of  the Ferrari automobile brand) helps steer his owners -- racecar driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia). his wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried), and daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong / Lily Dodsworth-Evans) through obstacles in life with a perspective about friendship, family and unconditional love from the point of view of man's best friend. From 20th Century Fox Studios, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. It is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for thematic material.



My dog loves to be a co-pilot when I go for a drive! This movie shares the story of how a dog serves as a family's co-pilot through life. Plus Enzo loves to be a co-pilot in Denny's racecar too! A heartwarming story of a dog who dreams of his good deeds leading him to be reincarnated as a human himself someday. It shows how dogs can be wonderful companions during both the ups and downs of people's lives.

blu ray release date


The author of the novel this film is based on was a racecar driver himself. Garth Stein won the points championship racing in the Northwest region Spec Miata class in 2003 and actually left racing after crashing while racing in the rain. The title of the book and movie is based upon that crash as well as the family troubles another race car driver Stein knew during his professional driving career dealt with are experiences that are incorporated into the story providing a sense of realism to tale told by a dog. THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is a refreshing drama for families to enjoy together for something to break away from the adventure flicks and comedies that so many of us tend to gravitate to viewing for a movie night at home.

movie


Pick up the movie from Best Buy using these links for buying a Blu-ray or DVD and a geek daddy will receive a small commission from your purchase at no additional charge to you. The affiliate link helps this dad blogger keep ageekdaddy.com up and running. Your support of the blog is appreciated! For more information about the movie go to foxmovies.com/movies/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain

Monday, November 4, 2019

DJI GLOBAL MAVIC MINI

MAVIC MINI
SPONSORED BY BEST BUY
With Halloween in the rear view mirror, it is full speed ahead to the holiday gift giving season. Time to start thinking about presents! Don't be that person who is stressed out and rushing to find the perfect gift for someone at the last minute. That is absolutely no fun when you could be having a festive good time instead. Get your shopping done now.

For the tech loving person on your holiday gift list, take a look at the DJI GLOBAL MAVIC MINI available from Best Buy.  Not only can you have fun flying this compact, lightweight quadcopter drone all over the place because of its super portability, but it can provide great travel mementos with the imagery from its super photography features.



Know someone who is spending too much time inside playing video games? Encourage them to go on some outdoor adventures using the MAVIC MINI. Instead of steering digital vehicles through virtual realities in video games, enjoy the excitement of navigating this drone through real life landscapes and obstacles. It provides a real-time, first-person view of flights from its camera straight to a phone or tablet via free iOS and Android apps which provides an exciting experience. Get off the couch and get outside for some high flying action with a MAVIC MINI.

Flying this quadcopter drone though is just half the fun as you can get great aerial shots from its cameras as well.  When traveling get some great pictures of where you are visiting with some views from off the ground with the camera drone. MAVIC MINI supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K Quad HD videos.  Its 3-axis motorized gimbal provides superior camera stability to ensure clear, ultra-smooth footage.

drone


For those more interested in artistic endeavors than adventurous activities, the MAVIC MINI is a great fit too. It provides amateur as well as professional photographers with a cinematic edge.  Here are two great features that make this quadcopter drone stand out whether it is being used for work or play:

QuickShots -- Creating videos that look like they came from a Hollywood film set are as easy as tapping a button to start one of the MAVIC MINI QuickShot modes (Dronie, Circle, Helix, and Rocket). Quickshot modes put the drone on autopilot to execute an elaborate preset motion in the sky while recording. While in flight it automatically generates a short video that can be instantly shared with friends on social media.

CineSmooth Mode -- Set the motion of a MAVIC MINI so it is optimized for obtaining compositions that wow from its cameras while flying around. Slowing down its flight speed and movements provide an added layer of precision and stability. This especially comes in handy when flying in narrow spaces of locations with lots of obstacles to avoid.

mavis


Whether you are using a MAVIC MINI simply for the fun of flying it or to take advantage of its aerial photography and video capabilities as a camera drone, its overall functions are important to keep in mind as well. The MAVIC MINI has a number of important features to keep in mind. It excels when it comes to ease of use, durability and safety. Here are a few examples:

Ultralight Construction --With a weight under 8.82 oz., MAVIC MINI is almost as light as the average smartphone. Not only does that make it exceptionally portable but it also places MAVIC MINI in the low and safe weight class of drones.

Extended Flight Time -- The weight of a MAVIC MINI allows it to stay in the air longer than similar consumer FlyCam drones on the market. Get up to 30 minutes in the air with a fully-charged battery.

Safe Flight Technology -- MAVIC MINI can hover precisely both indoors and outdoors thanks to its downward-vision-sensing system and GPS.

Propeller Guards -- Provide for reduced risks of harm or damage to people or objects from accidental collisions with the MAVIC MINI.

DJI  Fly App -- gives users integrated access to SkyPixel, a social media platform for users to share their aerial photos and videos. Browse, share your own, and discover popular aerial photography spots.

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This extremely portable camera drone is great for taking on the go. That makes it in this dad blogger's opinion well worth getting a DJI GLOBAL MAVIC MINI. Its small size doesn't diminish the quality of its flight and photography abilities so its transportability is a big perk. Not only is it a blast to play with but it has a lot of practical capabilities to make it very useful as well. Head over to Best Buy to check it out! Beat the holiday shopping rush and buy yours now.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

ATMOSFX HALLOWEEN DIGITAL DECORATIONS

digital projector
This year was our first Halloween in a new house. A few of our neighbors were going all out decorating their yards with some elaborate props so I wanted to join in the fun with some techy flair. Impressed by the digital decorations from AtmosFX seen in YouTube videos, I decided to let my geek side show by creating my own special effects show for trick or treaters.

First, I created a space to stage my AtmosFX digital decorations in the front yard. Some old fencing and Styrofoam tombstone transformed the spot into a cemetery. The tombstones and fencing were also nice for camouflaging the extension cords and AtmosFX projector that were needed to power up the digital decorations which I downloaded from atmosfx.com. These images stored on a USB thumb drive that plugged into my projector.

review


Of course, you need something to project your special effects on. So I staked in two seven foot high garden fence posts from Lowes and covered them with corn stalks to make them less obvious. Then I stretched AtmosFX Hollusion Material between the two posts. This created a 6' x 9' screen for projecting my digital decorations.

special effects


AtmosFX has a variety of digital decorations you can purchase to make decorating your home for Halloween spooky fun. Instead of going scary, I decided to have goofy monsters dance around in the cemetery. So we had a Halloween Monster Bash in our front yard!

digital decorations

I set the projector so that it was rotating among a number of images that included movie shorts and holographic images. In the movies the characters looked cartoonish and had a grave yard looking background to their scenes. While the holographic images were a bit more realistic and made it look as if monsters were walking across my backyard with the screen they were being projected on seemed almost invisible.

Trick or treaters were serenaded by these goofy hologram monsters playing instruments on our front yard. You could see the trees and night sky in the background behind them as they walked back and forth between the corn stalks. It was a spook-tacular performance!



Unfortunately, the week leading up to the big night as well as Halloween itself was filled with dreary weather. temperatures were frigid, it was raining and sleeting, and the wind was gusting.  So I didn't have much of an opportunity for my first time using an AtmosFX projector to play around with its setting and perfect my setup because it was miserable to be outside.  Sorry too that my camera doesn't take the best pictures in the dark. So there are a few things I need to work on for next year mostly to do with lighting. That being said this digital decoration display looked great to anyone who was able to get a firsthand look.

I was really geeked about my Atmos Fx Halloween display and am excited about different things to do next year to improve upon it. Not only did it look great but there weren't a whole lot of things I had to physically take down and store someplace until next Halloween. Plus because AtmosFX has digital decorations with a variety of holiday themes, I'm beginning to brainstorm some ways to also geek out by incorporating special effects into my Christmas decorations.



Find out how you can make your own home stand out for the holidays by using digital decorations by going to atmosfx.com. I think AtmosFX special effects are AWESOME and am looking forward to creating even better holiday displays as I get some more experience using these products and ideas from other AtmosFX product users. So I am absolutely giving AtmosFX a geek daddy nod of approval. You are sure to have yourself some spooky Halloween fun with AtmosFX digital decorations!

Monday, October 28, 2019

LEGO STAR WARS BATTLES

video game

My kids as well as myself have had a lot of fun playing past editions of LEGO video games from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment with Star Wars themes. Up to now these video games have let you play through LEGOized recreations of scenes from the Star Wars movies and tv shows. So I was intrigued by news that a brand new LEGO video game is being released for mobile devices in 2020 that will let players go off script to create their own unique battles.

LEGO Star Wars Battles is a brand-new action strategy game designed specifically for mobile devices that blends iconic Star Wars characters, vehicles, and locations with LEGO toys in real-time, one-versus-one multiplayer battles. This video game will allow players to mix and match characters and vehicles from all eras of the Star Wars galaxy, building a deck of light side or dark side forces to battle in fast-paced, competitive matches. With intuitive touch controls, players will deploy troops and build LEGO towers on the battlefield to defend and capture territory as they attempt to destroy their opponents’ base.

Featuring content from all nine saga films, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you will be able to collect iconic heroes and villains such as Luke Skywalker, Rey, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader, along with characters such as Porgs, Stormtroopers, Battle Droids, and a variety of vehicles from AT-ATs to TIE bombers, and even the Millennium Falcon while building an army to compete against others online. As players progress and level up, different arenas will be unlocked based on familiar Star Wars locales, including Scarif, Naboo, Hoth, Endor, Geonosis, and more. This will be a strategic game involving both deck building and territory conquest as important aspects of winning competitive matches while also incorporating the comedic elements that LEGO video games have become known for.

This dad blogger thinks the game sounds like it will be lots of fun! My son and daughter are drooling at the chance to play this game. Now that my kids have their own iPads it looks like they'll be looking to take down their goof ole dad in some family matches playing LEGO Star Wars Battles.

video game

LEGO Star Wars Battles is coming in 2020 to the App Store and Google Play and will be available to download for FREE with in-app purchases. I'll be downloading LEGO Star Wars Battles to my iPad for sure! The head to head competitive nature of this game should be a blast! If you are as interested as my family is about this upcoming game, tune in to these social media channels for updates leading up to the release of LEGO Star Wars Battles:

Twitter: Twitter.com/LSWGame (@LSWGAME)