Disney has released a jackpot of Kid’s Activity Sheets and movie clips in celebration of Monsters University, graduating to theaters this June 21. Mike and Sulley weren’t always the best of friends. In fact, when the Scarers first met in college, they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University sets the story straight on how the pair overcame their differences and became inseparable.
Choo choo or beeep beeep beeep! You get it all with the Caterpillar tractor and train set by Toy State. This sweet little train set pulled into the Talking Dad station last week and its been a smash ever since. The Cat Iron Diesel Train comes in a small package, but it’s packed (15 pieces total) with train cars, tracks, and working tractors.
A few weeks ago upon a midnight dreary, I was liquifying brain food for the baby, when suddenly I heard a rapping. There was someone tapping upon my chamber door. A raven delivered an invitation to load up the family and visit Ghostly Manor Thrill Center in Sandusky, OH. We accepted the invite from the generous staff of Ghostly Manor and planned a fantastic vacation to our neighbor state. I imagine “the living” would complete the road trip to Sandusky from Detroit in under 3 hours….but “walkers” will nevermore have that luxury.
Comfortably seated in my top 5 movies of 2013 is the brand new Star Trek Into Darkness by J.J. Abrams. Comfortably seated on my fireplace mantle is the brand new Star Trek Starship Enterprise and Klingon Bird-of-Prey by KRE-O. Block building is the perfect father/son activity and Asher and I have spent hours on past KRE-O play sets.
Professor Pal was particularly excited about his latest toy evaluations this week. Comic book reading is a staple activity at The Talking Dad Institute, so when anything superhero arrives at our doorstep, kids start going nuts. Iron Man 3 is the latest Marvel Studios entry, so Hasbro followed suit with some great products inspired by the high-octane flick. The Assemblers toys promote the most creativity in the Iron Man 3 line. The Battle Vehicle comes with an Iron Man action figure with interchangeable weapons and arms. Stark’s car can launch the hero out of his seat and toward his enemies, which adds an amusing element to the playset. The Assemblers Battle Vehicle turned out as the Professor’s recommended pick of the bunch, due its incredible replay value.
Check out the newest intergalactic feathered Jedi’s this side of Endor in the Angry Birds™ Star Wars® AT-AT Attack Battle game and more. Hasbro released its newest licensed board games just in time for Star Wars day, this May 4th. Professor Pal got his wings on a few sets in the laboratory for this week’s toy review. Setting up the AT-AT is straight forward – 4 legs on 4 feet, followed by the platform piece and head. The remaining blocks and pig tokens are stacked in any number of configurations, but the instructions will provide the most AT-AT-like setup. This step of the game required a steady hand to complete at first, but once the professor figured out the weight and balance, setting up became quick and painless. If you’re not familiar with the Angry Birds™ Star Wars® video game apps, the goal is to eliminate the occupying pig army by launching angry birds at the structures protecting the bad guys. The gameplay is the same with its board game counterpart. Professor Pal launched his first two Jedi Knights over the armored transport, but the next three heroes began dismantling the invading galactic forces. It’s certainly a challenge to completely destroy the entire vehicle, so as Yoda would say, “encourage your child, you must”.
An interesting tidbit of news crossed my desk (that’s code for high-chair….I was feeding my toddler) this afternoon. In anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Transformers brand, Hasbro is launching an unprecedented event that allows kids and fans a stake in character design decisions. Dubbed the “Fan Built Bot”, our collective decisions will create a “robot in disguise” – to be fully integrated into Transformers lore. This new bot will appear in comics, as well as the “Thrilling 30” line of toys to be made available in retail outlets next year. Polling will close on May 5th, with the “Fan Built Bot” unveiled at San Diego Comic Con 2013. Visit Transformers.com and start making your design decisions. Everything from special ability to choosing sides (of the conflict) are available options.
Admission, I am a zombie fanatic. But that doesn’t mean I am feeding episodes of The Walking Dead or Romero’s iconic classic as part of my children’s pop-culture diet. Zombies do, however, make for a fun twist on the classic chase game of “tag”. Brains…..
I want to thank my brethren in the daddy blogging society for linking to this awesome short film from Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke. Titled, Cargo, the film is about a zombie-bitten fathers last moments with his infant child. I don’t want to say more than that as to preserve the message being delivered. The short film was a finalist in the 2013 Australian Tropfest Film Festival.
I am super stoked Asher has taken to automotive drivers the way he has. These athlete’s give everything to ensure fans are entertained at every race. Dennis Anderson, perhaps the most well-known and popular driver in the sport of Monster Trucks, drives the World famous Grave Digger, a 1950 Chevy Panel Van with a signature graveyard paint scheme. Anderson and Grave Digger have made a career of forwarding the sport of Monster Trucks and providing safe and exciting fun for families. He’s been doing this for over 30 years. He is a family man and even competes against his sons, Ryan (Son-uva Digger) and Adam (Grave Digger the Legend). Asher met with Dennis Anderson for an autograph and photo during his stop here in Detroit. The experience was very fulfilling and will be carried with Asher for years. It is Dennis’s dedication and the example he sets on and off the track that make him a great role model.
Jack the Giant Slayer is Bryan Singer’s interpretation of the English folktale. There has been an influx of fairy tale movie adaptions in the last couple of years, but Giant Slayer best keeps to the spirit of the original tale. The filmmakers even worked in a “Fi, Fi, Fo, Fum”, a golden egg and harp. From giants to set pieces, Jack is laden with spectacular CGI. The fairy tale landscape is the perfect companion to the computer canvas and the massive giants are very well done, though, with exception to General Fallon (Bill Nighy), are sometimes difficult to discern from one another. Jack does have his shortcomings. The final confrontation between humans and giants isn’t the payoff I had anticipated, it feels rushed and leaves too many unanswered questions. There isn’t much character development. But perhaps the most disappointing shortfall is the 3D….there is none. Do not pay for this upgrade. Jack the Giant Slayer is rated PG-13. Is Jack safe for kids? Well, that depends on the limits you place on violence. There is no blood, gore, or giant’s goo. Violent encounters are mostly suggestive. There is gross-out humor.