Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hasbro's Transformers Construct-Bots Review and Giveaway

When it comes to my kids, there is more than meets the eye. Toys have to be smart nowadays to keep their interest. So why not combine what kids like to do the most into one great toy?

Hasbro has done exactly that with their new line of Transformers Construct-Bots by supplying the parts needed to create Autobots and Decepticons and letting young minds create with the pieces.

Each Construct-Bots set comes with the pieces necessary to build a certain figure. Once you have built the robot there are instructions on how to convert the robot into a vehicle.  Some of the transforming was hard for my son though the toy is aimed at Ages 6 and up and I ultimately had to do the conversions for him.

Hasbro is offering a variety of levels of action figures including the Scout Class and Elite Class. We received a Scout Class Ironhide (Approximate retail value $9.99) and an Elite Class Wheeljack (Approximate retail value $14.99)  to play with. The latter comes with a storage tray for all the parts which is helpful. There is nothing worse than losing a bunch of parts to your new toy.

My son and I built the Wheeljack with no problem starting out together and me later becoming the parts supplier and him the builder.  After building the robot, we did the vehicle conversion.

After he had the hang of it, I let him loose with the Scout Class Ironhide which he assembled in minutes after having the experience earlier. My only criticism was that the parts were a little challenging to manipulate and at times certain pieces definitely needed adult supervision and assistance.  Smaller kids may get easily frustrated with these sets and the transforming part was almost too hard for me!

The nice thing about the toy is that the robots are structurally the same with different parts. Thus, when you have multiple sets, you can interchange the parts to create your own robot creations.  Adam and I took apart both sets and mixed and matched the parts to create: Papa Wheelie and Punch Punch!

This part of it was our favorite part and I could see how fun having three sets would make building and playing providing hours of entertainment.  It seems like the perfect Christmas or holiday present if you ask me! 

ATTENTION: Want to win A Transformers Construct-Bots Triple Changer Figure Assortment?
Use the Rafflecopter entries below. Winner can only be a U.S. Resident and must be 18 years or older. Winner will be chosen at random on December 2nd. Winner will receive an email confirming mailing address to claim the prize. In the event that the first winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Triple Changer Figure Assortment  (Approximate retail price: $24.99; Ages 6 and up)
Build YOUR Bot - then convert between three different modes! Kids can customize BUMBLEBEE like never before - with CONSTRUCT-BOTS Triple Changer that can quickly convert from robot to race car to jet!  Includes robot frame and lots of armor, weapons, and accessory parts so you can construct, customize, and convert BUMBLEBEE or BLITZWING - plus mix and match with parts from other figures (each sold separately) so there is almost no limit to what you can create! Also includes dual firing weapon launchers! You can also store your figure in the included re-sealable case! Each sold separately.

FTC DISCLAIMER - The toys in this review were provided to me by Hasbro to review. The opinions expressed are solely those of DadNCharge and his little elf. Hasbro is providing the prize for the giveaway. The winner will need to provide a mailing address within 24 hours of being notified by email. Otherwise, a new winner will be selected.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dad Bloggers Rap For Donations to Movember

As you may know from my constant facial hair updates on Facebook and Twitter and my blog about why prostate cancer hits home for me, Dads and Bloggers everywhere have teamed up to raise money for Movember. I wrote about why I am doing it for my dad.  We have endured the strange looks, the disdain from our spouses, and the laughter of our co-workers all for the sake of men's health including mental health, testicular cancer,  and prostate cancer.

Last week we had a Twitter Party hosted by Life of Dad, NYC Dads Group, Dad 2.0 Summit, and The National At Home Dad Network who have all teamed up with Dove Men + Care which generously matched our donation bringing us to over $13,000.  #MovemberDads was trending in the U.S. thanks to all great dads and bloggers involved.

With only a week left, we needed something to propel us to the next level of mustached mischief.
Making our final push to our goal of $30,000, 12 Dad Bloggers including myself have teamed up and done a remake of the Macklemore "Thrift Shop" song, Movember Style.

Please share this link: http://youtu.be/OoutQIwdFKM everywhere you can to help us out and go to the Dads/Bloggers Movember page to donate. 

Today, I have reached my goal of $500 or over with five days left to make our mark. Please help spread the word and DONATE TO ME or my MO Mates.

It feels like fire ants but I am doing it for #Movember

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Scream

Why is it that my daughter's response to any hardship is a piercing squeal? My son does not do this. I have only witnessed it in both my girls. It doesn't stop when they are older either as my time as a freshman girls basketball coach can attest.

From another room this sound could mean that

A) She is running around and having fun with my older son
B) My older son just did something to tick her off
C) She just cut off a limb.

See the dilemma? You can’t rush into the room every five minutes looking panicked only to find that she is actually having fun and that the squeal was one of delight.

If you do this most likely she has spotted you and now you will have to play with her when she was perfectly fine using her own imagination only moments ago. You can’t go back. Trying to convince your kids to “Resume play, nothing to see here” is really hard.

 I have literally pulled up, tried to hide behind the cat's scratching post, and tried to Scooby Doo walk (a slow backwards walk as to not attract attention) out of the room before she spied me.

It has to be genetic. Maybe it is based on female hormones but I supposed it is one that carries on later in life.   Go to a concert and guys are screaming “yeah” and probably some expletives. Women however, are screaming at the top of their lungs…that long piercing “Woooooooo” that seems to go on forever.

Clearly it is to get attention, but I thought women are better with words than guys are? Scientists have tried to explain why women, who speak 20,000 words per day to a man's 7,000 by blaming it on the proteins in our brain. But isn't this just another stereotype that we use to explain why women are just more effective at communicating than men?

I Googled “Why do girls scream so much?” and I found that women said that they scream as a release for some anxiety they have faced. Screaming is a safety valve when they are frustrated and can't use their words to express themselves. Then why all the screaming when they are playing and having fun?

They scream when they are proposed to, they scream when a huge spider is in the bathroom, they scream when they are reunited with long lost girl friends or if their sister borrowed their favorite jeans and ruined them.

Basically, anything is scream-worthy. Don't get me wrong though, screams can be great especially later in life.  I just hate not knowing if it is a good or bad scream now.

So for now, I guess I just have to screen the screams. Maybe one day I will know if it is a good or bad scream. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a hankering for some ice cream.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Leaving It Behind

Dear leaf,

You are truly one in a million. There are no other leaves like you and no leaf that looks exactly like you. Everything about you is special and is what makes you special.

You were created for a purpose; to give us life and through your life, give us new hope for the future.

It is amazing what you have done already in your short time with me.  It has been fun watching you go through changes. You started out so tiny and insignificant that it is hard to fathom how much you have changed.

You budded, grew,  and here we are still holding on to each other. I have held on to you so tight through storms and sunshine. I have watched you glimmer with each rising sun and have enjoyed the way you glow when the brightest of you shines through.

You have braved every cold night when you thought that sun might never return. I have tried to tuck you between my limbs to hold you close and keep you safe and sheltered from the world.

As the seasons changed, so did you. You have thrived and grown into a one in a million leaf.  No matter how small you may feel, you are a giant part of me.

You have changed in so many ways but your color is what is striking. Your true colors shine through the murk and mire of this world and help me search for all that is good instead.

Your colors have become so vivid and vibrant. It's a sign to me that every year I must let you go a little more.

Sometimes when I let you go, you hurtle to the ground with reckless abandon and sometimes you flitter to and fro and let the breeze just take you. Sometimes the wind will twirl you in circles and it will feel like you are getting nowhere.

There will also be times when something will hold you back. You may feel stuck or trapped. Rise above it and let the obstacle fall by the wayside so you can be on your way. Do not dwell on trivial things. You have somewhere to be, a great purpose.

Just know, that I am still here, rooted to his spot but always watching. Watching you make your way amongst the masses, fighting for your place among them.

Remember who you are leaf. Remember that you are special and you are not alone. You are going to stand out and make people take notice you among all those others.

Embrace the wind when you can and let it take you where it may. Despite others wanting you to dull you down, be yourself and let your colors shine! I'll be right here where you left me.

Love always,

The tree

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mo Money, Less Problems

My wife hates facial hair, so I am growing a full mustache. It's not because I am trying to spite her. It is because I joined a group of dads and bloggers who have combined forces to raise money and awareness of men's health issues for Movember.  

The Dad 2.0 Summit, The National At Home Dad Network, Life of Dad, and #CityDads from L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and the NYC Dads Group are creating a powerhouse collection of Upper Lip Plumage for the sake of men's health. Check out our Dads/Bloggers Team HERE.

The last time I grew out facial hair was in 2005, the first time we had a child. My son and wife were terrified by it.  I have already seen some guys getting The Heisman from their wives who are against the Flavor Savers.  

But, I told my wife, despite her hating it and the fact that I can't grow a substantial mustache that I was dedicated to doing it. She thinks I am going to look like Morgan Spurlock. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing since she first referred to him like this: "You are going to look like, you know, that guy who ate all the McDonalds".

The Dad 2.0 Summit just added extra incentive to create my best Face Furniture by teaming with Microsoft as a sponsor. They have agreed to give the top fund-raiser a Surface 2 tablet. The top fundraiser and the two runners-up will also receive free tickets to the Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans, January 30th to February 1st, 2014. 

Even if I am not the top fundraiser, I will still get a chance to win a Surface 2 if I have the "Most Stylish Mustache" among my other Mo Bros. The top Cookie Duster and the runner up will also win a free ticket to Dad 2.0. What's not to like?

If your wife is putting a stop to your Mouth Merkin or you just can't muster a mustache, you can still help by DONATING TO OUR PAGE. If you are a woman then you can also help by becoming a Mo Sista and grow with us!  Movember is raising funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. 

As I learned at the convention this year, men struggle with these issues but mainly struggle with getting help. We don't like to ask for it or directions though we should. If you need help Dr. Rich Mahogany can help at Mantherapy.org. It may help to get information and do his breathing exercises if you are feeling stressed. 

Behind every Mo is a reason to participate. My dad is a prostate cancer survivor. Through screening and early detection, they found it in its early stages and took it out. I am dedicating my MO to my dad this year.  So men, put down your razors and join me this month and grow your own Dirt Squirrel. You can donate to me on MY MO SPACE HERE. It's November 1st and I am ready to MO!