Toy Fair 2015 Funko Booth

Funko Booth Toy Fair 2015

As usual, Funko had one of the most interesting booths at Toy Fair this year. I didn’t take an official tour, but I did take a ton of photos. I managed to quickly snap photos of most of the figures. I had to delete a few that were blurry, and missed a couple small sections because a tour of buyers was in the way, but I still got over 240 photos of figures. Continue reading

‘The World’s Great Wonders’ Explains the Planet’s Masterpieces

Image: Lonely Planet

If you’re looking for some fantastic background information on the world’s incredible sites and sights, Lonely Planet has another quality book that will teach you the wheres, whens, whys, and hows of 50 of them. Continue reading

A Beginner’s Guide to CES

ces

This year marked my first ever International Consumer Electronics Show, and what a week it was. Still, I emerged from the experience with some hard-fought knowledge I really wish I’d’ve had going in. If you’re thinking of attending next year – or if you’d just like a peek behind the curtain – read on for a handful of helpful tips. Continue reading

Are Your Kids Ready to Run a 5K?

IMG_3466

When I first told people that I had signed up my 5-year-old daughter for a 5K, they thought I was crazy. Those with kids around that age were especially incredulous. No one could believe that a 5-year-old would be able to run 3.1 miles. Continue reading

Strange Magic at Skywalker Ranch

The Technical Building, home of Skywalker Sound, reflected in Lake Ewok.
Photo by the author.

After Star Wars became a box office giant, George Lucas decided he wanted to make movies outside the studio system. He found a perfect spot on the coincidentally-named Lucas Valley Road, 40 minutes north of San Francisco, and set about creating Skywalker Ranch. Continue reading

Skylanders Day at GameStop, Sunday January 10th, 2015

KaosEon

From open to close, all local GameStop stores will be hosting a Light & Dark Skylanders Day. Stop in for some great deals and exclusive traps and characters. Eon’s Elite Stealth Elf and Elite Terrafin will be on sale for $20 and if you haven’t joined the Trap Team, all starter packs will be $30 off.
Continue reading

Happy Holidays From the Great White North

Christmas lights

Every family has its holiday traditions. One of ours is to pile the kids into the SUV the night before Christmas Eve for a tour of the city and its holiday decorations. Hot chocolate is a requirement, as are blankets — even though it’s warm in the vehicle, something about being wrapped in blankets makes the drive a little more festive. Canadian weather doesn’t always cooperate. Some years have seen blizzards that push the four wheel drive sled to its limits while cutting visibility; this year was rather green, drizzly and dreary (so much for The Great White North). Methodology has changed tremendously, too. Many of the more popular displays are synchronized, computerized light and music shows (I still have a soft spot for the old school decorations that have clearly been collected over the course of decades). Instead of word of mouth or random exploration, there’s now an app that maps the holiday light hotspots. And, of course, my kids have grown. There’s a high school student riding along with us now — when did that happen? No matter what traditions your family celebrates, here’s hoping this holiday season finds you healthy and happy. Continue reading

Photos From London’s Brick 2014 Lego Show

The Incredible Steampunk/Pirate Land Diorama

Over the weekend, the munchkin and I were lucky enough to attend Brick 2014 at London’s Excel Centre. It was the biggest Lego show the UK has seen, running for four days and attracting thousands of Lego fans of all ages. And we took lots of photos! Continue reading

The Mothership: A Visit to the New SparkFun Building

Sparkfun

The shipping department was full of dudes with asymmetric facial hair on skateboards. An engineer had picked up about a thousand Keva planks and on an upstairs wrap-around counter space, there was a crowdsourced build going on — in which you could tell the crowd had higher than the average bear’s level of design thinking skills. Strung on a wall was a DIY art piece made of light bulbs and wire that was set to ripple in response to sounds. A trigger-operated race car track wound underneath a 7-foot tall version of one of those wooden dinosaur skeleton kits. Continue reading

Explore the Science of Animation at OMSI

OMSI Animation

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, Oregon, just opened a new exhibit about animation, developed in partnership with Cartoon Network. If you and your kids like animation, this is a great way to see how it works. Continue reading

Having Fun at the PDX Mini Maker Faire

Mini Maker Faire Portland

Portland’s third Mini Maker Faire was held at OMSI last weekend, and it was an impressive show. I was only able to go on Sunday this year, but I could tell from the difficulty finding parking that it was well-attended. According to OMSI, attendance was 6,700 and there were about 115 Makers exhibiting. Continue reading

Spin Master Toys: 20 Years of Spinnovation

Copyright Spin Master

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a media event for Spin Master, the Canadian success story and one of the global leaders in the toy industry. That’s a long way to have come in just 20 years and Spin Master’s rise from a start-up selling the grass hair-sprouting Earth Buddy to a multinational children’s entertainment company with products ranging from the robotic Zoomer line to Air Hogs RC vehicles and the hit PAW Patrol animated TV series shows how quickly things can change in the industry. With its three co-founders still in leadership roles, an emphasis on innovation and a laser focus on entertaining kids, Spin Master is well positioned for further growth. Continue reading

Coming Soon: 3rd Annual Portland Mini Maker Faire

PDX-MakerFaire

Next weekend, September 13-14, OMSI will once again host Portland Oregon’s Mini Maker Faire. Portland is a great place to be a maker: there’s a real DIY culture here and it’s always fun to see the fun things that people bring. Continue reading

Announcements From Calliope Games

Tsuro App

Calliope Games is a GeekDad favorite—I first met Ray Wehrs at PAX Prime several years ago, and since then it’s become a tradition to make a trip to the Calliope booth at the beginning of a convention (and sometimes also at the end). This year at Gen Con, Wehrs made several announcements about some things that Calliope has in store. Continue reading

Kickstarter Gen Con Previews

Operation Faust

I already mentioned several ongoing Kickstarter projects that I checked out during Gen Con, and now I’ve got a slew of games I saw in some form that are coming to Kickstarter later—some are launching any day now, and some may still be six months out, but these are games that you’ll want to watch for. Continue reading

Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Gen Con Edition

Lift Off X-Wing

You know how much I love Kickstarter board games, and Gen Con was a great opportunity to sit down and play a lot of prototypes with designers and publishers. Some are on Kickstarter now, and some will be launching later this year (or even next year). I’m sure there are plenty that I missed, but here’s a quick run-through of the current and upcoming Kickstarter games I saw last weekend. Continue reading