Author Archives: keith

E3 trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows us more Rey, Kylo and Chewie

Call us insane, but we can’t get enough of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so we were very happy to see the latest E3 trailer from the makers of the upcoming LEGO Star Wars version of Episode VII.

This trailer gives us some more Rey moments (hooray!), as well as scenes with the pouty Kylo Ren (how will LEGO address his tantrums?) and a cool sequence featuring our favorite Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron.

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14 Jun 2016

This LEGO Ghostbusters animation is a must-see

Apologies for yet another Ghostbusters post (gee, you’d think there was another movie coming up). With the proliferation of LEGO mini-figures based on pop-culture brands, there are a LOT of stop-motion animations that people create on YouTube that are super-fantastic.

Here’s another one – the folks at Digital Wizardz created an homage to the original Ghostbusters film with stop-motion figures (not the CGI stuff that the regular LEGO teams do). The coolest part is the final battle, in which our heroes get help from a lot of different sources (it’s like they were playing LEGO Dimensions or something)

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10 Jun 2016

LEGO Dimensions expansion trailer hits the web ahead of E3

OK, finally we get some good news in the toys-to-life video game market. The team that makes the LEGO Dimensions video game (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group) announced new expansion packs that bring in even more pop-culture entertainment brands to the mix.

Beginning on Sept. 27, 2016, you’ll be able to get the Ghostbusters Story Pack (the one with characters from the upcoming movie), Adventure Time and Mission:Impossible Level Packs, Harry Potter and Adventure Time Team Packs, and The A-Team Fun Pack (LEGO Mr. T!). The level of expansion is mind-boggling – we’ll also see packs featuring characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The LEGO Batman Movie, The Goonies, Sonic The Hedgehog, Teen Titans Go!, LEGO City Undercover, Knight Rider, The Powerpuff Girls, Gremlins, Beetlejuice and even E.T. (not Entertainment Tonight – although a John Tesh and Mary Hart LEGO figure would be interesting).

Another new feature will be the Battle Arenas, which will provide split-screen local gameplay for up to four players. The minifigures included in the wave 6 through 9 expansion packs will also include “golden Toy Tags that unlock a Battle Arena within the Free Play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand.” Don’t worry, we’ll figure it all out.

Here’s the trailer for the expansion. Feel free to squee with delight:

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09 Jun 2016

Ghostbuster Build-A-Bear items available for pre-order

If you have kids that love both Build-A-Bear and geek/pop culture, get ready to fork out some more money from your wallets. Build-A-Bear today announced pre-orders for its Ghostbuster-themed items, including a Ghostbusters Bear ($25), Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man ($29), Supernatural Ghostbusters Bear Set ($56.50) and a Mini Slimer plush ($12.50). Pre-orders can take place now through Sunday, June 12.

If you already have some bears that you created, you can add clothing accessories for less money – a Ghostbusters T-shirt ($7), tan jumpsuit ($13.50) and “Who Ya Gonna Call” T-shirt ($7) are also available for pre-order.

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08 Jun 2016

Told you so: James Corden and Lin-Manuel Miranda sing Broadway Carpool Karaoke

Time for a little bragging – two weeks ago I predicted that James Corden, host of this Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony, would be doing a Carpool Karaoke segment for The Late Late Show with Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of the smash hit musical, Hamilton.

Bang! Here it is. Mic drop!

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07 Jun 2016

The 6 best geeky mobile games to play with your kids

6 Mobile Games to play with your kids

When PCs were hot in the 1980s and 1990s, my father used to be horrified whenever I wanted to play games on the machine — “Computers are not for games!”, he’d say, but I knew better.

Fast-forward to the smartphone and tablet era. Unlike my Dad, I’m totally aware that these mobile devices are made for games (and other things, like email, Facebook, Twitter, oh, and making phone calls). I don’t admonish my children with the phrase, “Smartphones aren’t for games”,  but rather, “Stop playing that and clean your room!” (some things never change).

With thousands of games available, though, you want to make sure that your kids are playing the right kind of mobile game — one that has a geeky element to it. Otherwise, they may end up playing one of those Candy Crush games or asking you to help them on their farm * shudder*.

Here’s our list of the top mobile games we’ve been enjoying with our kids:

Note: We’re not going to take a stand on games with in-game transactions; your decision about whether to spend money on mobile games is up to you. However, we would suggest that you don’t give your young children the ability to pay for premium items until they understand the consequences.

Simpsons Tapped Out

The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Hopefully you’ve raised your kids correctly, and they know all about The Simpsons. This mobile game has a lot of the same humor, voice acting, and storylines seen in the TV show, and it’s pretty fun to play. Also, it’s quite addicting.

The plot of the game — Homer has blown up the town of Springfield, and it’s your job to help rebuild the town and bring back all of the show’s characters. You do this by completing quests, leveling up, unlocking other characters and, if you’re in a rush, spending real money to buy “donuts,” which is the in-game premium currency. Fortunately, you can earn donuts by leveling up and doing other daily missions, but this does take longer than simply buying them.

The game also has seasonal events, limited-time missions that unlock additional buildings, and “outfits” for existing characters. This helps keep the game interesting beyond the initial parts of the game (the game even jokes about how long most players are playing the game).

For kids, playing this gives them a chance to develop their “city-building” game skills, learning that open space often costs a lot of money, so better to put roads in grid-based form to conserve space.
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28 May 2016

X-Men Apocalypse: Should kids see this movie?

X-Men: Apocalypse

OK, this isn’t a formal movie review like you’d see on other sites or blogs — if you’re looking to see whether you should go see X-Men: Apocalypse or not, there are other reviews out there (although I really enjoyed the movie).

This being a Geek Parent site, I’d rather answer the question, “Should my kids see this movie?” With a rating of PG-13, this raises lots of questions for parents who might be considering taking younger children to see the film, especially if they’re fans of the other Marvel movies or the X-Men comics.

The first thing to consider is whether your kids have seen previous X-Men movies, especially the last one, Days of Future Past. The X-Men movies in general are a bit darker thematically than those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, etc.). Mutants — and humans’ reaction to mutants — are often a metaphor for real-world issues of racism to those who can recognize them (especially when they discuss Magneto’s past in the World War II concentration camp). If they have seen those previous movies, then this one just continues some of those themes, so they should be fine.

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27 May 2016

James Corden’s ‘Crosswalk the Musical’ is the spiritual successor to ‘Guffman’

If you enjoy musical theater or have ever been in a local theater production, there’s no better movie than Waiting for Guffman, a 1996 mockumentary by Christopher Guest that showcases the journey of a local theater production that wants to be bigger than it really is.

James Corden, host of CBS’ Late Late Show, has taken on the mantle of the spiritual successor of that film, via his “Crosswalk the Musical” segments. The videos showcase Corden as the leader of a local theater group that puts on musicals in the middle of a Los Angeles crosswalk. They only have 30 seconds or so to run out, perform the number, then run back to the sidewalk before the traffic starts again.

It’s brilliant comedy – the first one they did was Grease (they’ve also done Phantom of the Opera), and last night Corden was back doing The Lion King, but this time with special guests Rose Byrne and Seth  Rogan.


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26 May 2016

Geek parenting for the win…

Baby MarvelRight after we had finished watching the season finale of The Flash (did anyone understand that ending?), my 6-year-old daughter comes in the room and presents us with this drawing.

Yep. So proud. If anyone from Disney or Marvel would like to talk about creating the TV show, movie or comics, just let us know.

BTW, the character on the right is Baby Deadpool, which we think is the white costumed version (No, we didn’t let her watch the movie).

24 May 2016

Chewbacca Mom is winning the Internet Webs

If there was a “Mom & Dad Are Geeks Hall of Fame” (we’re working on it), the first inductee would have to be Candace Payne, based on the weekend that she’s having. In case you were under a rock, her Facebook video where she was showing off her Chewbacca talking mask and joyously laughing to the camera has tallied millions of views.

Payne is now taking advantage of this newfound fame. On Monday, she appeared on Good Morning America as well as the Late Late Show with James Corden. In this video, Corden pretends to be annoyed with Payne, until a special guest star shows up:


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24 May 2016

New ‘Sing’ trailer shows world of singing, dancing animals

Movie Sing pigs singing

I imagine the pitch meeting for Sing, from the studio that made Despicable Me and Minions, went a little something like this: “It’s Zootopia meets American Idol.” Of course, perhaps they didn’t know about Zootopia at the time of the pitch, so maybe it was “The whole world is populated by animals, and someone holds a singing competition.”

Inevitably, this movie will be compared to Zootopia, which is a very tall order considering how successful that film has been. However, I still give this a fighting chance, based on the reactions of my kids to the first teaser trailer, which included the rabbits singing Baby Got Back and the pig singing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Throw enough fart jokes in there and we’re all set.

Here’s the new trailer, which expands more on the plot and has more popular music being sung by animals.


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24 May 2016

Disney posts teaser trailer for live-action Beauty and the Beast

We’re not big fans of teaser trailers for movies, as they show very, very little related to the film. Give us the first official trailer (or, if it’s universally panned, the second), in which there’s more to see.

Such is the case with the first teaser trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a live-action version of the 1991 animated classic. We get to hear a few of the voices (Ewan McGregor’s Lumiere and Ian McKellen’s Cogsworth), and we get a very short look at Emma Watson’s Belle. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of scenery, as well as the haunting music from the beginning of the movie. But we’ll take it.

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23 May 2016

New Star Trek Beyond trailer hits the web – will this appease fans?

Star Trek Beyond Chris Pine

An interesting trend is taking place with movie trailers from well-loved franchises – if the first trailer drops and is heavily criticized, we then get a second trailer in which the filmmakers (or the marketing departments) change the tone or show different footage to tell fans, “Hey, don’t worry, this will still be a great movie.”

We saw it earlier this week with the release of the second Ghostbusters trailer, and late last night we saw it again with the second trailer for this summer’s Star Trek Beyond. Earlier in the year I totally forgot that this movie was coming out – it hits theaters on July 22, right in the middle of summer (normally the big summer movies are hitting now, Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend. In fact, it comes out one week after Ghostbusters and one week before Jason Bourne, so its opening weekend has to win Trek fans or it’s not going to be around for long.


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21 May 2016

Your 3D avatar could be in ‘Ready Player One’ movie

ReadyPlayerOne
You may not be talented enough to be in movies, but perhaps your artistic skills could get your virtual persona into the next big Steven Spielberg film.

In this video, Ready Player One author Ernest Cline is inviting people to submit a 3D avatar creation to the filmmakers, which could be selected to appear in the movie’s virtual world, OASIS. The movie begins shooting this summer, and is expected to hit theaters in 2018.


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20 May 2016

Watch us open the Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty box for May

Smuggler's Bounty May 2016
SPOILER ALERT: Do not watch this video if you’re a subscriber to the Smuggler’s Bounty box for May 2016.

Presenting our first official video for the site – our guest unboxer, Will, takes you on a tour of the Smuggler’s Bounty box for May 2016. The theme is bounty hunters.


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19 May 2016