Category Archives: Features

2019 Grammy Awards Full Nominees List

grammy awards logo

Good morning my friends and welcome to another rundown of an upcoming Awards Program. Yesterday we learned just who was being nominated for one of the 2019 Grammy Awards and as a diehard Metalhead, I really don’t pay too much mind to this broadcast and its winners outside of a select few categories. Truth be told, they often leave too much out but have hit a good mark every now and again for some of the things I write about over on PiercingMetal.com – Anyway, this is just a list of the whole shebang for those interested in the subject. We’ve been posting this kind of stuff for over a year now and many seem to like it. Here we go, the full nominations for the 2019 Grammy Awards. You’re going to want to get another cup of coffee and a comfortable chair since this list is long.

Album of the year:
“Invasion of Privacy” – Cardi B
“By the Way, I Forgive You” — Brandi Carlile
“Scorpion” — Drake
“H.E.R.” — H.E.R.
“Beerbongs & Bentleys” — Post Malone
“Dirty Computer” – Janelle Monáe
“Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves
“Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By” — Various Artists

Record Of The Year:
“I Like It” — Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
“The Joke” — Brandi Carlile
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino
“God’s Plan” — Drake
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
“All the Stars” — Kendrick Lamar & SZA
“Rockstar” — Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage

Song of the year:
“All the Stars” — Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears & Anthony Tiffith ,songwriters (Kendrick Lamar & SZA)
“Boo’d Up” — Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai)
“God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)
“In My Blood” — Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes & Geoffrey Warburton, songwriters (Shawn Mendes)
“The Joke” — Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
“The Middle” — Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski, songwriters (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey)
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Lady Gaga &Bradley Cooper)
“This Is America” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
Continue reading 2019 Grammy Awards Full Nominees List

Tumblr Is Cleaning Up Its Act!!!

Hey friends, just sharing the press release that was circulating yesterday about the Tumblr service which I know a lot of you still might be using to blog and share your photos outside of the confines of restricted mediums such as Facebook and Instagram. For those who are in the dark about the medium, it is essentially the place where one can post just about anything that they feel like posting and after December 17th that will still be possible – provided the “anything” is not viewed as Adult Content in nature. That means anything nekkid and for sure anything sexual in its post. Here is the press statement.

tumblr logo

The Press Release:
A better, more positive Tumblr Since its founding in 2007, Tumblr has always been a place for wide open, creative self-expression at the heart of community and culture. To borrow from our founder David Karp, we’re proud to have inspired a generation of artists, writers, creators, curators, and crusaders to redefine our culture and to help empower individuality.

Over the past several months, and inspired by our storied past, we’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward and have been hard at work laying the foundation for a better Tumblr. We’ve realized that in order to continue to fulfill our promise and place in culture, especially as it evolves, we must change. Some of that change began with fostering more constructive dialogue among our community members. Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).

Let’s first be unequivocal about something that should not be confused with today’s policy change: posting anything that is harmful to minors, including child pornography, is abhorrent and has no place in our community. We’ve always had and always will have a zero tolerance policy for this type of content. To this end, we continuously invest in the enforcement of this policy, including industry-standard machine monitoring, a growing team of human moderators, and user tools that make it easy to report abuse. We also closely partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Internet Watch Foundation, two invaluable organizations at the forefront of protecting our children from abuse, and through these partnerships we report violations of this policy to law enforcement authorities. We can never prevent all bad actors from attempting to abuse our platform, but we make it our highest priority to keep the community as safe as possible.
Continue reading Tumblr Is Cleaning Up Its Act!!!

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/

Here’s The Winners Of The 2018 American Music Awards

Last night, all the folks that you hear about on TMZ over and over again, assembled in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to watch their favorite musical talents perform and get some recognition for the work they did during the previous year. I’m talking about the American Music Awards and this post will showcase all of the nominated artists and albums along with the winners. I figured this might be something the readers of “The Chronicles” would like to see based on all of the other awards shows that I have done a rundown for over the last couple of years. Let’s take a look shall we?

ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Drake
Imagine Dragons
Post Malone
Ed Sheeran
WINNER: Taylor Swift

FAVORITE NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Khalid
Dua Lipa
XXXTentacion

FAVORITE COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR:
WINNER: “Havanna,” Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug
“Finesse,” Bruno Mars & Cardi B
“Rockstar,” Post Malone ft. 21 Savage
“Meant to Be,” Beba Rhexha and Florida Georgia Line
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST, POP/ROCK:
Camilla Cabello
Cardi B
WINNER: Taylor Swift
Continue reading Here’s The Winners Of The 2018 American Music Awards

Guidelines For A Seamless NY Comic Con 2018

As I’ve been going to the NY Comic Con for nine years now, I’m often asked by friends who are braving the teeming masses for the first time about some suggestions and necessary items to bring along to make their day a whole lot easier. Instead of repeating myself ad nauseum, I decided to throw some thoughts down on the web in this little post. It’s my hope that these tips add to your enjoyment of this sensory overloading event. Here is a quick laundry list of things I’d recommend that you have along with you.

The In General Stuff:
1. Decent Sized Bag: Bring a knapsack or schoolbag or a sizable messenger bag. You never know what you might purchase or be given depending on your discussions along the way. A schoolbag might be a little clunkier but I tend to prefer to have more room than less myself.
2. Empty Clear Sandwich Bags: Lots of the big booths do giveaways of buttons or stickets and assorted thingies. I’ve secured them for ease of finding once its all over by tossing them all into one of the clear baggies.
3. Sustenance Part 1: It doesn’t hurt to bring along a couple of energy bars or perhaps a peanut butter sandwich if you can eat peanuts. The Javits Center gets expensive and you might prefer your money go to vendors instead of concessions. I also have taken small baggies of honey nut cheerios, unsalted Saltines or peanuts along with me. Just to give a quick energy boost. Sure a candy bar might be fine but we don’t always need the empty sugar in our systems.
4. Sustenance Part 2: A single bottle of water will suffice because you can fill it up at assorted points during the convention. Maybe just bring one of the empty water bottles that you might use in the gym or on excursions during your normal day.
5. Hand Cleanser: Purell or something similar. It never hurts to be clean. Sometimes I’ve seen friends carrying a small packet of wipes. Those work too.
6. Aspirin: Just in case you get headaches easily or that the convention becomes too much for you.
7. Body Spray: Sometimes the heat of a place like Javits can find people feeling a little ripe. I mean no insult to say if this is you on a regular basis that you should bring along a spray of some kind to use just in case.
8. Technology Part 1: A fully charged mobile device. It doesn’t hurt to update it before you head into the convention either in terms of the apps you use all day. This same logic applies to your tablet or if you are bringing along a laptop.
9. Technology Part 2: The cords to charge said mobile device at one of the numerous spaces around the convention you can use should the juice run low. I also bring along an external battery which is wonderful since it let’s me also charge up my camera on the fly.
10. Camera: You don’t have to bring a big ole rig out with you but sometimes a small point and shoot will do the trick during the convention should you want to get more images and not have everything on your mobile device. Be sure to have this charged and with a clean SD card. Double check that you have the SD card in the device since the closest Best Buy is not too close at all in comparison.
11. Money. Need I say more? Most vendors accept credit cards so if you are points crazy like me just use that.
12. Umbrella: Hey if you have a schoolbag with you this is a non-issue and I always tend to carry one nowadays.
13. Comfortable shoes: Last convention it was tallied that I walked a sum total of 20 miles across the four days. It actually might have been slightly higher but I cannot locate my reference to this at the time of this posting. So with that said you are going to want to be good to your feet.
14. Reading Material: A comic book, a magazine or a novel will all suffice. You might want to take a break from the madness and sit down somewhere.
Continue reading Guidelines For A Seamless NY Comic Con 2018