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Tail Shakin’, Lip Smackin’ Action: Hasbro’s Rocket Raccoon

Hasbro's Big Blastin' Rocket Raccoon Points the Cannon at You

Hasbro’s Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon Points the Cannon at You

With Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy poised for release just a few days from now this summer’s biggest star may turnout to be a 3 foot something CGI critter, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and armed to the teeth with tech weapons and one liners. Rocket Raccoon.

The GotG trailers suggest a tongue in cheek approach to galaxy guarding, with the scrappy Rocket the cheekiest among the rag tag band. If your youngster is raring to battle with Thanos’ henchman then Hasbro Toys has your back with two Rocket Raccoon goodies, already on sale.

Hasbro's Rocket Raccoon Action Mask Includes  User Activated Motion.

Hasbro’s Rocket Raccoon Action Mask Includes User Activated Motion.


Face Time…
Encountered at Hasbro’s Sweet Suite 2014 booth, The Rocket Raccoon Action Mask takes role-playing up a notch. It sports an interior mechanism that allows the wearer to move the mouth, eyebrows and ears. All the better to emote while foiling bad guys and singing “Hooked On A Feeling” (Ooga Chocka) or “Cherry Bomb” from the 70’s-centric movie soundtrack.

I predict many a moppet clad in Rocket Raccoon garb on Halloween 2014, this would be a superb choice to highlight that costume.

Rocket's Action is Activated from his Gun Scope or Leg Mounted Button.

Rocket’s Action is Activated from his Gun Scope or Leg Mounted Button.

Equipped with a Gun…
The Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon should make action figure collectors happy. The 8’ character is “locked and loaded” for battle, and he says so as part of his electronic repertoire of sounds and phrases. There’s a multi colored light array on the spinning turret and ear twitching, jaw flapping motion. Single action is activated from the gun scope, while continuous action can be effected from a button on his leg. Rocket’s backpack conceals the battery compartment for 3 AA cells, and has an on/off plus demo switch.

Both toys are rated for children 4 and up.

Sugar, Spice and Rockin’ Good Times: The Beatrix Girls Are More Than Meets the Eye

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When I was growing up, the message I heard over and over again (and hear all too often, even now) was, “Girls can’t rock!” It was all too clear. It was OK for boys to be bass players, drummers, lead guitarists and frontmen, but my aspirations to become the next Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, or Freddie Mercury were frowned upon. After all, you can’t play rock and roll and still be a lady, right? Wrong… so very wrong. Ultimately, it didn’t stop me from joining a band when I was in college (playing with both male and female musicians), but I wonder how much sooner I might have pursued my dreams had I been encouraged, rather than completely disregarded.

What They Are…

Media executive and cartoon veteran Sherry Gunther Shugerman (SimpsonsFamily Guy) must have wondered the same thing when she came up with The Beatrix Girls.  The Beatrix Girls are 12 inch fashion dolls, with brightly colored hair and cool outfits. These adorable dolls are definitely made to appeal to young children, and while still feminine, they’re not too adult (suitable for ages 5 and up).

Why They’re Cool…

What sets this line apart is the fact that it is driven by original music (featuring the writing talents of some of today’s top pop stars), which kids can collect. Each doll is a member of a rock band. The Beatrix Girls band members are Brayden (Guitar), Ainsley (Drums), Lark (Bass) and Chantal (Keys). Each Beatrix Girl has a unique personality and look, as befitting a budding rock star. The Beatrix Girls even have their own fan club and webisodes.

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The idea behind The Beatrix Girls line is to empower young girls to be so much more than just pretty faces. Though fashion-conscious, The Beatrix Girls were created to encourage girls to discover the joy of music and to inspire them to create their own as well. Through friendship, collaboration, hard work and determination, The Beatrix Girls gig, work and play together. Pretty ideal if you ask me.

As if that weren’t enough, the line has partnered with Peavey Electronics to create a customized Peavey-branded guitar geared toward smaller frames (reminiscent of the Daisy Rock line of guitars).

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The Beatrix Girls collection initially hit stores in the Fall of 2013. This Fall 2014, we’ll be seeing The Beatrix Girls London Collection, inspired by the British subculture Mod Movement of the 1960s.

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Andy Says…

I love this concept and hope to see more variety as the line continues to grow. I can only imagine, since the girls have their own webisodes, soon they’ll be starring in their own cartoon. If you liked Jem and The Holograms, or Josie and The Pussycats, why not The Adventures of the Beatrix Girls?

I truly enjoyed getting a closer look at these beauties, and others, at my first Blogger Bash, SweetSuite 2014 Toy Event in NYC last week. Thanks to The Big Toy Book and SkeletonPete for inviting me to the event. Hopefully, it won’t be my last.

The Beatrix Girls are available at Toys R Us and Amazon.com and their songs can be found on Pandora, iTunes and Spotify.

To Infinity 2.0 (and Beyond): Disney Adds Marvel Heroes

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via "power discs."

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via “power discs.”


The Disney Infinity Game line amps up the play action this fall with the addition of Marvel Super Heroes to the mix. The Infinity 2.0 game pieces expand the “Toy Box” of the previously Disney-centric character set to include beautiful three dimensional game pieces based on Marvel’s Avengers and Spiderman universes. Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, Nova, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Venom, Iron Fist, and Nick Fury will all be part of the Wave 1 roll out scheduled for September 23, 2014.

Although the new character set will not work with the previous Infinity base or software, all original characters will be recognized and playable on the 2.0 system and may even include power-up “skill tree” enhancements.

There will also be another group of Disney film characters coming to the shelves before the 2014 holiday season. These include Merida, Tinkerbell, a very Angelina looking Maleficent and Stitch, all pictured below. All characters are playable in all worlds so die hard purists will need to bring their sense of fun and an open mind to game play that could ultimately pair the Incredible Hulk with Tinkerbell. I believe kids will not blink and just go for it.

The Mighty Thaw, Um Thor…
I have always been a fan of The Mighty Thor from my earliest off-the-newsstand comic buying days and was thrilled to learn that The Avengers game story will pit them against Loki and the Frost Giants to save New York City from a frozen doom. Disney says the play maps are 4 times the size of the cityscapes offered in the original game.

Power to the People…
Power Discs will add other dimensions to the screenplay and come in two flavors. Placing a character on top of a Circular Power Disc (or 2) can for instance change a character’s uniform, add an on-screen helper character (like Falcon or Winter Soldier for Captain America) for a short “team-up” period, some will add a vehicle like the Spiderman dune buggy, or a motorcycle.

Hexagonal Discs offer “Play Sets,” these are game experiences with hours of story or task based action when placed on the Infinity base. While each starter kit will come with Power Discs, discs will also be sold mystery box style to encourage collecting and trading between gamers. 80 separate discs have been announced.

Building your own worlds inside the “toy box” area will also be enhanced so gamers can more easily create unique experiences. We were told those end-user built worlds could eventually be shared online via Disney to others around the world.

SkeletonPete Says…
It was great to get an up close and personal sneak peak of these temping collectible game pieces at the Blogger Bash’s SweetSuite 2014 Event in NYC this week. Like Activision’s Skylanders they serve not only as game tokens but excellent display items that deserve shelf space.

Thanks to the kind folks at The Big Toy Book for giving co-editor Andy Melendez and I the opportunity to cover this fun event.

I strongly suggest you visit Marvel’s website for detailed info on the deep set of gaming capabilities offered in Infinity on a wide range of platforms.