All posts by Ken Pierce

I'm a Freelance Music Photojournalist from NYC and Founder of the Heavy Metal website PiercingMetal.com; I created this blog site to showcase the other things in life that keep my interest or catch my attention. Believe me that is a lot of stuff to talk about when it comes down to it. I hope you enjoy what we are delivering because there is so much to share as a resident of this bustling metropolis.

“Happy Thanksgiving” 2018 My Friends

Hello my friends and a wish of “Happy Thanksgiving” to you and your families, if you are in the part of the world that is celebrating along with us today on this frigid NYC Day. It’s sooooo cold and winter is not even here yet so bundle up if you are on the East Coast and heading anywhere today such as the Macy’s Day parade. As this is a day to give thanks overall, I must share that I am very thankful for my own family, dear friends and those who take the time to peruse whatever I have decided to write about on “The Chronicles” or on PiercingMetal.com – All of you mean the world to me.

The world around us tends to remind us just how fleeting our time is with our loved ones and beloved pets so use that time wisely and treat each other well as much as possible. I’m not trying to be grim or anything as much as I am saying to be good to each other while it can be done. Hold the door for someone, donate food and clothes to a shelter, feed or rescue a stray cat or dog that you see all the time. It’s all going to make you feel better inside at the end of the day. Thanks once again, its time for me to brave the ever-changing schedule of the MTA as I head to relatives in another borough. I hope that you get to your own destination without incident today. Remember to never text and drive or take unnecessary phone calls. Unless you are Batman, no one needs to be called or messaged as you head somewhere. See you soon and by the way, this years photo was observed on a lawn in nearby Dyker Heights.

Official Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

Now Playing: “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” in Theaters Everywhere (11/21/2018)

Back in September, I shared the Official Trailer for Disney’s “Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” and if you missed that post just click HERE because that film opens today in theaters everywhere. It sure looks like fun, so lets examine the theatrical poster and the massive voice casting as well.

movie posters, walt disney pictures, ralph breaks the internet

The Premise: Six years after the events of the first film, the story centers on Ralph’s adventures in the Internet data space when a Wi-Fi router gets plugged into the arcade by Mr. Litwak as he must find a replacement part to fix Sugar Rush. Along the way, Ralph and his best friend Vanellope von Schweetz encounter new customs, worlds, and characters, such as trendy algorithms and the Disney Princess lineup.
Continue reading Now Playing: “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” in Theaters Everywhere (11/21/2018)

2019 Toy Of The Year Finalists Revealed

Over 100 Innovative and Exciting Toys & Games Are the Judges’ Top Picks for the Holiday Season!

The Press Release:
The Toy Association today unveiled the 123 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top toy, game, and licenses in the industry, and supports children in need by serving as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation.

Finalists were announced this morning by prominent online influencers who serve as TOTY Ambassadors. Between now and January 6, families can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 17 categories, including Action Figure of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year, and Collectible of the Year.

“If you’re wondering what to get the kids and ‘kidadults’ in your life this holiday season, this year’s TOTY finalists are the hottest toys and games on the market. Whether you are looking for a doll, a board game, or the latest youth electronics, you’ll find great gift ideas for children of all ages. Every one of the TOTY finalists has been carefully screened by judges for its outstanding ability to deliver joy and wonder, while facilitating key developmental benefits of play,” said Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president & CEO.

“Importantly, the TOTY Awards program supports The Toy Foundation’s important mission focused on serving children in need – whether they are living in foster care, impoverished, dealing with a traumatic or life-threatening illness, or facing other adversities,” added Pasierb.

The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominees submitted by over 200 companies of all sizes. Nineteen judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, reviewed and ranked the products in specific categories relevant to their areas of expertise. The judges then participated in a live discussion to determine the finalists in each category. They considered each product’s creativity, design, play value, and marketing.
One winner in each category, as well as the coveted “Toy of the Year” award winner and the “People’s Choice” winner (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards gala to be held on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The celebration will kick-off the 116th North American International Toy Fair and will include the induction of toy industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR
Toys that include action figures

DJ Bumblebee (Hasbro, Inc.)
Mattel Jurassic World™ Dinosaur Action Figures (Mattel, Inc.)
Pokémon 4.5” Battle Feature Figures (Wicked Cool Toys)
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Ninja Action Figure Assortment (Playmates Toys)
Stikbot Monsters (Zing)
Treasure X (Moose Toys)
WWE® Sound Slammers™ Figures (Mattel, Inc.)

COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.

Beaker Creatures™ (Learning Resources)
Disney Doorables (Moose Toys)
LEGO® Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ Minifigure Series (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Series (MGA Entertainment)
Lost Kitties Blind Box Multipack Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)
Pikmi Pops: Pikmi Flips (Moose Toys)
Polly Pocket (Mattel, Inc.)
Twisty Petz (Spin Master)

CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that include building and engineering sets

Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion (Learning Resources)
GeoSmart Flip Bot (SMART Toys and Games, Inc.)
GraviTrax Starter Set (Ravensburger)
Kessel Run Millennium Falcon™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
LEGO® Harry Potter™ Great Hall™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Marbleocity Triple Play Archimedes Screw (PlayMonster)
Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures (Elenco)

CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that allow kids to build an/or make items that are unique to them

Antsy Pants Build & Play Kit (Beach House Group)
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit (littleBits)
Building Bricks Play N Store Table (KidKraft)
Cool Maker KumiKreator (Spin Master)
Rock And Roll It Spectrum Drum (MukikiM LLC)
Sew + Glow (Tech Will Save Us)
The Big Engineering Makerspace (Thames & Kosmos)

DOLL OF THE YEAR
Toys that include plush, baby, toddler, and fashion dolls

Barbie® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
Barbie® Robotics Engineer Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
Cry Babies (IMC Toys)
DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Spirit Walking Horse (Just Play/Universal Brand Development)
Hairdorables (Just Play)
L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps (MGA Entertainment)
Marvel Rising Secret Warriors Doll Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)
My Friend Fancy Nancy™ Doll (JAKKS Pacific)

GAME OF THE YEAR
Children’s board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats or puzzles

Disney Villainous™ Game by Wonder Forge (Ravensburger)
Dr. Biscuits’ Radical Road Trip (Barry and Jason Games & Entertainment)
Fryin Flyin Donuts (Maya Toys)
Monster Match (North Star Games)
Relative Insanity (PlayMonster)
Unstable Unicorns (TeeTurtle, LLC)
Voice Originals: When in Rome (Sensible Object)

INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 0-3

Dolce Baby Aardvark (Magformers LLC)
Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn® Smart Learning Home™ (Mattel, Inc.)
Grippies® Shakers – 30 Piece Set (Guidecraft)
HEXBUG Cuddlebots Garden Carousel (HEXBUG)
Kid O Hudson Glow Rattle (PlayMonster)
Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ (LeapFrog)
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog (Learning Resources)

INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value

Botley™ the Coding Robot Activity Set (Learning Resources)
Harry Potter™ Wizard Training™ (JAKKS Pacific)
K’NEX Thrill Rides Bionic Blast™ Roller Coaster Building Set (K’NEX, a division of Basic Fun!)
Legend Kit (Infento)
Marvel Legends Series Infinity Gauntlet Articulated Electronic Fist (Hasbro, Inc.)
Mystery Flying Snitch (Wow! Stuff)
Sensors Alive: Bring Physics to Life! (Thames & Kosmos)

LICENSE OF THE YEAR
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry

Hatchimals (Spin Master)
Hot Wheels (Mattel, Inc.)
Jurassic World™ Fallen Kingdom (Universal Brand Development)
L.O.L. Surprise! (MGA Entertainment)
Marvel Black Panther™ (The Walt Disney Company)
Peppa Pig (Entertainment One)
PJ Masks (Entertainment One)

OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons

Glove-A-Bubbles (Zing)
MorfBoard™ (JAKKS Pacific)
Nickelodeon Automatic Slime Drencher (JAKKS Pacific)
Razor Turbo Jetts Electric Heel Wheels (Razor USA, LLC)
Rollplay Nighthawk Ride-On (Rollplay)
Watermelon Smash (Yulu)
X-Shot™ Flying Bug Attack (ZURU)

PLAYSET TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event

Disney•Pixar Cars Super Track Mack Playset (Mattel, Inc.)
Farm To Table Play Kitchen With EZ Kraft Assembly™ (KidKraft)
Hidden Temple with T-Rex (PLAYMOBIL)
L.O.L. Surprise! House (MGA Entertainment)
LEGO® Creator Expert Roller Coaster (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
LEGO® Jurassic World™ Indoraptor Rampage at Lockwood Estate (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 43” Epic Sewer Lair Playset (Playmates Toys)

PLUSH OF THE YEAR
Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling

Dolce Afghan Hound (Magformers LLC)
Fingerlings HUGS (WowWee)
GUND Flora Bunny Animated Plush (Spin Master)
Pomsies™ (Skyrocket)
Rainbocorns (ZURU)
Rescue Runts (KD Kids)
Scruff-A-Luvs (Moose Toys)
Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie (Hasbro, Inc.)

PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 3-5

Design & Drill® See Through Creative Workshop (Educational Insights)
Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile (Just Play)
Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Rocktopus™ (Mattel, Inc.)
Kid Trax Rideamals Scout (Kid Trax)
LEGO® DUPLO Steam Train (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab (MGA Entertainment)
Pop Oh Ver Stove Set (Kangaroo Manufacturing Inc.)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy

Massive Monster Mayhem Bash Weapons (Alpha Group US)
Match the Baby Puzzles (Banana Panda, Inc.)
Monsters Lock Box (Tender Leaf Toys)
Ollyball – The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball! (VICTURY Sports)
Tic Tac Tongue (Yulu)
Turing Tumble (Turing Tumble LLC)
What The Film?! (Lethal Chicken Games)

SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers and are not sold at mass

Betrayal at Cloud City™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Chickapig (Buffalo Games, LLC)
GeoSafari® Jr. Talking Telescope™ (Educational Insights)
GUND Super Pusheenicorn (Spin Master)
HEXBUG Ring Racer (HEXBUG)
LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Castle (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Marbles Otrio (Spin Master)
Pepper Mint in the Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure (Thames & Kosmos)

TECH TOY OF THE YEAR
Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smart-phone, tablet or gaming device

Arcade1Up (Tastemakers LLC)
Creative Coder (Tech Will Save Us)
Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit (Kano)
Kids First Coding & Robotics (Thames & Kosmos)
LeapStart® 3D Learning System (LeapFrog)
Really Rad Robots: MiBro (Moose Toys)
VEX Balancing Boxing Bot 2-Pack (HEXBUG)

VEHICLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that are powered or non-powered vehicles, and their playsets/accessories

Automoblox BR100 Hercules (PlayMonster)
LEGO® Technic® Bugatti Chiron (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Nerf Nitro Doubleclutch Inferno Blaster (Hasbro, Inc.)
PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck (Spin Master & Nickelodeon)
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Tank (Playmates Toys)
TerraSect RC (Alpha Group US)
VEX Robotics OffRoad Truck (HEXBUG)

*** end of list ***

Piercing Ken Thoughts: Historically speaking, I’ve been going to Toy Fair since 2011 for my PiercingMetal.com website and have expanded that coverage over here on “The Chronicles” for a number of years as well. It’s an event that I love sharing with the readers of the two websites and I will be casting my votes for the TOTY by the end of the week. I won’t share what I am selecting because I don’t want to affect your decision about an item. You as consumers and parents or relatives of those who are enjoying these items should be your own so I hope that you will CLICK HERE and let your voice be known on the public voting. This is very important and could help influence future products so take a few minutes and sound your voice. See you next time.

Official Website: https://www.toyassociation.org/

Disney’s “Dumbo” Official Trailer (2019)

The folks at Disney have sure been keeping me busy with trailers and posters to share since we’ve seen “Incredibles 2”, “Aladdin” and even “Mary Poppins Returns” over the last few months. Now its time for another animated classic to get a live-action presentation with “Dumbo” and the just released full trailer. As I’ve mentioned, this film is a new take on the classic character from the animated feature that bears the same name and comes to us care of the imagination of the great Tim Burton. Let’s take a look shall we?

The Premise: Holt was once a circus star, but he went off to war and when he returned it had terribly altered him. Circus owner Max Medici hires him to take care of Dumbo, a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him the laughing stock of the struggling circus troupe. But when Holt’s children discover that Dumbo can fly, silver-tongued entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere, and aerial artist Colette Marchant swoop in to make the little elephant a star.
Continue reading Disney’s “Dumbo” Official Trailer (2019)

Now Playing: “The Grinch” in Theaters Everywhere (11/9/2018)

the grinch logo

Hey there my friends, we are here once more to share news about an exciting movie opening. We’ve talked about this one already with the trailer posting but today is the day that “The Grinch” opens in theaters everywhere. This is the third telling of the time honored story featuring the beloved Dr. Seuss character who just wants a little peace and quiet on Christmas and how he hopes to get it. The poster, brief premise and voice casting for this computer animated feature are below. Dig in.

movie posters, universal pictures, the grinch

The Premise:
The Grinch hatches a scheme with his trusted canine Max to ruin Christmas when the residents of Whoville plan to make their annual holiday three times bigger that year. Meanwhile, Cindy Lou Who plans to seek out Santa Claus to thank him for helping her widowed mother every Christmas, but little does she know she is trying to blow the Grinch’s cover.
Continue reading Now Playing: “The Grinch” in Theaters Everywhere (11/9/2018)