Bootleg Baby Yoda Dolls Will Empty Your Wallet and Haunt Your Dreams

Bootleg Baby Yoda
(Twitter/BonerWizard)

Everybody is looking for a good deal, especially around Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season. But be careful. Some deals aren’t worth it. Some deals might actually ruin your kids’ Christmas.

With the launch of Disney+ and the debut of The Mandalorian, there’s one new character who is just screaming out to be merchandized in time for Christmas. If you’ve seen the show, you know who I mean.

Disney hasn’t yet gotten Baby Yoda (for lack of a better name) into stores, so some enterprising individuals took the matter into their own hands. It sounds like a good idea: bootleg Baby Yodas are sure to fetch a pretty penny on the black market or the dark web or in the alley behind target, and it’s Disney’s fault that they didn’t anticipate the demand.

Baby Yoda has been a sensation – just look at the memes! – since he made his debut at the end of the first episode of The Mandalorian, they had to know what they had.

Well, they didn’t, and they left the door open for others to jump on the opportunity just in time for the Christmas season.

Unfortunately, those others were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

This is NOT the doll you’re looking for.

I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m ever more sorry you have to learn that that nightmarish vision is being sold online for $599.

That abomination is being peddled by a company called KooKoo Brights, and kudos to them for seeing a gap in marketplace and jumping to fill out. It’s sort of impressive. Demented and sad, but impressive.

Apparently, despite what Master Yoda says, there is a try. And Kookoo Brights needs to try a lot harder.

Twitter Users Shared Old Childhood Bedroom Photos on Thanksgiving

Posters on Childhood Bedroom Wall
(Twitter/puregonzo)

Going home for the holidays can be a lot of fun. You see your family for the first time in a few months or longer, you reunite with old friends who’ve also traveled back home, catch up on your live, reminisce about old times, and generally enjoy each other’s company.

Of course, going back home again doesn’t always dredge up good memories. Sometimes your past can come back to haunt you.

That’s what happened to Twitter user @alexaldolang, who tweeted a photo of some ancient artifacts she found in her bedroom, and unwittingly ignited a firestorm of tweets from others who’d rediscovered their pasts in the form of some mortifying bedroom decorations and accessories.

Alexa escaped largely unscathed. After all, who doesn’t have some old technology lying around? That’s nothing to be ashamed of. But a wall of wrestling posters?

A 90210 pillow?

Your old Zelda poster?

Some bad-ass Star Wars wallpaper is nothing to hang your head about:

Neither is a solid collection of Harry Potter accessories:

Or skateboards:

At least they had a childhood room to go back to. Some parents converted their kids’ rooms to guest rooms. And others did this:

What old artifacts did you find in your childhood home? I may or may not have found my old collection of Garfield books and I do NOT want to talk about it.

E.T. Returns and Reunites With Old Friend In New 4 Minute Ad

E.T. Returns in Ad
(YouTube/Xfinity)

I’m just glad it wasn’t a full-fledged remake. Though that may yet be coming, especially after the positive reaction to this.

On Thanksgiving day, people watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade were treated to a fun new ad from Comcast Xfinity, in which everyone’s favorite friendly alien returned to Earth to visit his old friend Elliot.

In the commercial, two young kids – looking, and dressed, suspiciously similar to the two young kids from Steven Spielberg’s 1981 blockbuster – stumble upon the kind-hearted extraterrestrial in their backyard. Which is also Elliot’s backyard.

That’s right, E.T. returned to visit the boy he befriended when he was stranded on Earth 40 years ago, only to be discovered by Elliot’s kids, and discover that Elliot himself is now a full-grown man with a family of his own.

“E.T. is back on earth for a surprise visit with Elliott, who now has his own family. Although technology has changed our world since they’ve last seen each other 37 years ago, their connection and friendship remains strong and is a touching reminder of how important reconnecting is during the holiday season,” reads Xfinity’s statement on the ad.

Hi-jinks ensue as E.T. is reintegrated into Elliot’s life (no stealing any beers from the fridge this time, though) and quickly bonds with his old friend’s kids. Eventually, the four-minute ad shows E.T. revealing he has a family of his own to whom he wants to return, to which end he takes the young kids on another flying-bike ride before his bittersweet departure.

You may recognize Henry Thomas as Elliot, reprising his role decades later. Steven Spielberg had nothing to do with this brief remake/sequel to his beloved movie, although he did give Xfinity his blessing, and the company clearly made the ad with care.

“The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits that could destroy the beauty of the original and the special place it has in people’s minds and hearts,” said Thomas, in a statement provided by Comcast.

The messy bits, like: Did E.T. get accidentally stranded again? How did he even find Elliot’s new house? The VR unit fits on his enormous face?

Of course, those are but minor quibbles with a fun, heartwarming ad. Certainly better than the so-called “evil E.T.” sequel that was rumored when I was a kid!

Father Figures: Coach

“I have been a coach for a long time. I have coached teams from ages 4 to high school I love doing it. I coached my oldest son since he was 4 and he is 11 now. It’s the most fun I have ever had in my life.

Two years ago, my body started feeling like it was shutting down. My hands stopped working and I couldn’t extend my arms. After four hospital stays, I was finally diagnosed with Lupus; the body that I thought was invincible had turned on itself.

I went into a deep depression.

My youngest son started playing baseball and asked me why I couldn’t coach him, I honestly couldn’t give him a answer that would make sense in his little 5-year-old head.

With help from my wife. I started doing rehab on my own to try and get to a point I could coach my son. Not only did I coach but his team won the championship. I am now on season four of Coaching my second son as well as coaching my oldest in his first year of Baseball.

I’ve always thought my dad was Superman, I just want my kids to see me the same way. Keep fighting through dads, our kids are watching.”

– Eduardo Solis

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Dad Completely Unravels After Losing Daughter’s Hamster

Dad Loses Daughter's Hamster
(Twitter/stephyj725)

When his daughter went off to college, a single dad became the sole caregiver to her hamster. He didn’t think much of the ‘rodent’ at first, but he quickly grew to love and dote on little “Chester.” And one of his most traumatic days came when he had to call his daughter and break the news that Chester had escaped from his cage.

His daughter revealed her dad’s struggle through a series of sceenshotted text messages she posted on Twitter. It’s a roller coaster of emotion that reveals just how much this dad loved his hamster, and what it meant to his daughter.

It started with one of the most terrifying messages you can get from a parent, “Please call me as soon as you get this it’s an emergency.” He then explained the situation, and his daughter tried to calm him down. He then said, “Oh my god I’m so sorry honey I’m so sorry I’m looking everywhere.” And then “I’m so wicked sorry I’ll keep looking all day.”

At one point, he says he’s going to skip work the next day to look for Chester. His daughter responds “Dad you shouldn’t skip work you are a lawyer and he is a hamster.”

He pulled out all the stops to find him, including setting out some food with a ring of flour around it so he could try to follow the footsteps. Of course, you know how this ends. You wouldn’t see it on The Dad if the conclusion was the hamster being lost and the family being shattered by the tragedy. The dad came through and was reunited with his furry buddy.

“I’m an empty nester now. I don’t have a lot to take care of, and I almost screwed up the one thing I have,” he told TODAY Parents. He said the only thing he could think as he walked around on his hands and knees with a flashlight looking was how he was going to explain it to his daughter.

“I had a meltdown,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I was having a freaking heart attack.”

And now that he’s reunited with his little pal, he’s going out of his way to spoil him.

“I went to Petco and cleaned the place out,” he said. “He’s going to look like Santa Claus just in time for Christmas.”

DC is Ramping up its Extended Universe and R-Rated Content

DC Logo
(DC)

Despite the fact that Joker made a bajillion dollars and will likely net some Oscar nominations, and in spite of the fact that The Dark Knight remains, in many eyes, the preeminent superhero movie of all time, and despite the fact that Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are among the most recognizable characters in the world, the DC Extended Universe as not exactly been setting the world on fire.

But that doesn’t mean they’re done with it.

Chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, Shawn Robbins, thinks he knows where the movies went wrong. And it doesn’t take a genius to agree with him, that they tried to replicate Marvel’s formula only without replicating one of Marvel’s key ingredients: laying the groundwork. “Their initial mistake was that they tried to do too much, too fast. They were trying to copy the Marvel model, but that took time and years of building up characters. You can’t start with a big ensemble movie. You need to earn that.”

Have they learned their lesson? Let’s see. In a recent piece in Variety, the trade laid out all of Warner Bros’ plans, both solid and less-solid, for their stable of DC characters. Some of those plans are already in the works, like the Wonder Woman sequel that will land next summer, Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey movie comes out in the spring, the Aquaman sequel starts filming next year.

Also gearing up is The Batman, which is still finalizing an exciting cast, several of whom have deals to appear in other movies (though where and how The Batman fits in with the rest of the DCEU, let alone where Joker fits in with The Batman, if at all, is yet to be seen). The article explains that despite some rumors, only a few scenes will take place in Arkham Asylum (and still may or may not deal with the Long Halloween storyline from the comics).

The last big gun (after Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman) is Superman, last seen being portrayed by Henry Cavill in Justice League. The studio, having botched their last few attempts at the Man of Steel, is skittish. Michael B. Jordan, aka Creed and Killmong (and Wallace), approached the studio with his own pitch for the character but backed off when he learned a movie was still years away (2023 at the earliest).

In the meantime, we’ll be getting a Suicide Squad sequel which, along with Birds of Prey, will sport an R-rating, probably thanks to the success of Deadpool and Joker.

“There’s a huge appetite for R-rated superhero movies and if Marvel isn’t going to step up, that presents an opening for DC to tap into that audience,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, told Variety.

Never mind that going too dark is where Zack Snyder went wrong in his last few attempts. Also probably not ideal for an R-rating are both the “Green Lantern Corps” movie, which is getting a script before 2020, and the long-gestating Ezra Miller starring Flash flick, to be directed by IT’s Andy Muschietti once Miller wraps on the next Fabulous Beasts movie.

This is a lot of hopeful guessing, and despite some recent success with fare both light (Shazam, Aquaman) and dark (Joker), it seems like DC still hasn’t settled on a tone. Sounds to me like they’re still throwing darts, despite Robbins’s confidence that Warner Bros is “on the upswing. They had a rocky period, but they’re starting to find their footing.”

We’ll see. But what we won’t see is the fan-demanded Snyder cut of Justice League. In an article full of speculation and rumors and optimism, one insider shuts the door on ever seeing the director’s true vision of his maligned movie.

“That’s a pipe dream. There’s no way it’s ever happening.”

Color Blind Boy Sees Color for the First Time and Bursts Into Tears

Colorblind Boys Sees Color
(Twitter/BenJones_5)

A severely color blind 12-year-old boy in Minnesota got the shock of a lifetime when his principal, who also suffers from severe color blindness, let him wear a special pair of glasses to see color for the first time.

The 7th-grade class was learning about color blindness when the principal came in to show the boy, Jonathan, a whole new way of looking at the world. When Jonathan swapped out his regular glasses for the specialty pair, he immediately let out a laugh and a smile. He was quickly overcome with emotion, though, and immediately burst into tears.

The principal comforted the boy with a hug and told the boy to keep the glasses for a few days to experience a world of color. Jonathan keeps a smile plastered on his face as he explores the classroom in a new way in a now-viral video posted by his brother.

His mom started a GoFundMe to raise money to buy him a pair of the glasses, which cost nearly $350 per pair.

“After posting a video on social media of Jonathan seeing color for the first time, we have been overwhelmed by how many kind, generous people have wanted to help him get a pair of his own color blind glasses,” his mother wrote.

“Thank you all for your love and compassion. We are overwhelmed and encouraged to know there are so many amazing people in this world who would help a young man they have never met.”

Days after starting it, they have raised more than $27,000. The boy’s mother said all of the extra money raised will go towards purchasing pairs of glasses for other kids suffering from colorblindness.

“We are BLOWN AWAY with the generosity you have all shown Jonathan,” she said.

That definitely is up there with some of the other great fundraisers we’ve covered here before.

Mall Santa Calms Boy With Autism Who Was Too Nervous to Meet Him

Mall Santa Calms Boy With Autism
(Facebook/Sheila Weidner Seelye)

Tis the season for heartwarming Santa stories, which, if you’re not on board with this time of year, we cannot help you. This one comes to us from the mother of Baiz, an 8-year-old with autism. For years the boy desperately wanted to meet a Santa but had never been able to overcome his anxiety to follow through.

When the mom took her daughter to meet Santa, Baiz stayed back with a relative, waving from afar. Then he started crying because he wanted to meet Santa but couldn’t get over his nerves to finally go through with it. The mall Santa saw the boy’s tears and walked over to console the child.

We’ll let his mom take it from here.

“He was just so slow and so sweet with him,” she wrote on Facebook. He quietly calmed the kid, and offered him a candy cane, and talked with him for a while. The boy’s smile never left his face, and he was overjoyed. “By the end of Santa talking to him he was crying the happiest cry I’ve ever seen from him. He had a smile while crying!!!”

“Such a touching moment.”

Mall Santa visits can go one of two ways, with the child overjoyed at the magic of Christmas, or with the child utterly terrified of a stranger in a red suit sitting in a throne. Both are understandable and reasonable reactions. But huge props to the Santas that go the extra mile, and help a kid who truly needs it.

There’s no question he left the child with a special memory, as that night, before bed, the boy told his mom “I believe that was the real Santa mommy, I feel it in my soul.”

Which is exactly where you’re supposed to feel a story like this.

73-Yr-Old Dad Inspired by Son With Autism is Running 3k For Awareness

Adam and Nick Nickerson
(Facebook/3000 Miles for Autism)

Being a dad comes with several responsibilities and obligations, but it’s when fathers go above the call of duty that they can truly have a major impact on their kids. Nick Nickerson is one such father who goes the extra mile… ok… 3,000 miles. The 73-year-old Chapel Hill father is running for a reason: raising funds and awareness for autism research.

It’s an issue close to his heart as Nick’s son Adam lives with Autism. Adam works at Extraordinary Ventures, a company founded with a goal of creating more neuro-diversity in the business world. They work to connect differently-abled individuals with real workforce opportunities such as pet care, office work, and sales. The goal being to provide needed services while creating paid job opportunities for people who may have not otherwise had an option.

After seeing his son achieve so much, Nick decided to find a way to not only raise funds for autism research, but to share Adam’s story, and the story of so many other Americans who only wish to be included and contribute.

Refusing to let his age be a factor, Nick found a way to reach his incredible goal of 3,000 miles by entering several 5k and 10k races, many of which benefitted Autism research organizations. Often Adam is right with him, running alongside his proud father and reminding us how incredibly out-of-shape most of us likely are in comparison. 5k? I’d personally be lucky to finish a 100 meter these days.

Now those races have seriously stacked up. It has taken Nick almost three years, but he now has the finish line in-sight, marking his official 2,910th mile recently in the Autism Society of NC Raleigh 5K. While his run is now nearly complete, Nick, and advocates like him, know they have much further to go in the race to understand autism.

The CDC estimates 1 in 59 children are now diagnosed on the autism spectrum. It’s a staggering number considering many Americans had only even heard the word autism a few decades ago. Nick telling local affiliate WRAL recently “If we don’t research autism, it’s just going to become the disability of the century.” Thankfully, individuals and organizations are working each and every day to find the answers.

Cheers, Nick, and every other dad who steps up in a big way.

To follow Nick’s finish or to donate to the cause, visit 3000milesforautism.org.

Dad Pranks Son By Stuffing Hen Inside Cooked Turkey

Parody of Gender Reveal Parties Shows One Going Horrifically Wrong

Gender Reveal Goes Horribly Wrong
(YouTube/Lauren Andrews)

If you’re anything like me – and I wouldn’t wish that on you – you’re probably a little sick and tired of all the elaborate ways parents and people, in general, use social media to make a big deal out of things that really only matter to their own friends and family.

From pregnancy announcements that are clearly engineered to go viral, the college admissions announcements that often only serve to display gross levels of entitlement and privilege, social media has become a repository of videos of desperate people looking for attention. Gender reveal videos are perhaps the most egregious example of this trend.

We’ve all seen dozens of these videos by now, some of which are clever, most of which are not, and a few of which have caused actual disasters.

One couple just shared their gender reveal video, and though I’m as sick of these things as a person could possibly be, I did enjoy their version:

Okay, so it’s clearly not real. But kudos to this couple – if they even are a couple – for finding a clever way to both upend our gender reveal expectations and viciously mock everyone who has ever shared one of these kinds of videos online. Instead of revealing the gender of their forthcoming baby via an adorable tuft of blue or pink powder, their gimmick backfires, unleashing a deadly toxin that immediately afflicts everyone in the vicinity.

As the crowd screams in terror and agony and many of them collapse to the ground – DEAD – the dad can be heard yelling “I’m sorry, God! WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!”

The video was created on TikTok by @thismightbefunny, where it has more than 47,000 likes and a thousand comments, and on Twitter, it has over 70,000 retweets and almost 300,000 likes.

Dwayne Johnson Sings Encouragement to 3-Yr-Old Moana Fan With Leukemia

The Rock Sings to Hyrum
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Instagram/therock)

In addition to being the highest-paid actor of 2019, it turns out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is also just a pretty all-around awesome human being.

On November 18, the studly superstar went to Instagram to give a special pep talk to a 3-year-old superfan who’s battling cancer. When the story of the pint-sized “rock” star, Hyrum Harris, reached Johnson, he was understandably emotional.

“The request came across my desk and punched me in the gut a bit,” he wrote on the post.

Johnson explains in the video how Hyrum is afflicted by “acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is complicated by Down Syndrome.” While fighting for his life on a daily basis, Hyrum apparently keeps his spirits up “by watching Moana up to 10xs a day because the character he loves, Maui, makes him feel strong.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

There’s a little 3 year old boy out there named, Hyrum Harris. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia which is complicated by Down Syndrome. In the fight of his life right now and doing his best to stay strong – by watching MOANA up to 10xs a day because the character he loves, MAUI makes him feel strong. According to Hyrum’s mama, his most important thing to say now is, I STRONG. Yes you are big man. Yes you are. Hyrum, I know I’m a complete stranger to you – who sounds a lot like your hero, MAUI (only with a very large head), but myself along with millions of other strangers who will watch this video are sending you so much love, strength and mana your way. I STRONG. Love, the Rock aka the dude who sounds a lot like Maui.

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

“I don’t know Maui but, like you, I love Maui,” Johnson explains to Hyrum, clearly trying to retain the magic of his favorite fictional character. “I love Maui so much, I know a little bit of his song.”

Johnson proceeds to jump into an acapella rendition of Maui’s iconic song, “You’re Welcome,” and even though it’s a ballad focused heavily on Maui’s cockiness, the title is still remarkably appropriate for this situation. In fact, it’s this character’s mighty persona that inspired the 3-year-old’s current mantra: “I strong.”

(Damn it, who’s cutting onions in here??)

The story doesn’t end there, either. A friend of Hyrum’s family, Micaela Brown, discovered Johnson’s video response and forwarded it to Hyrum’s mom, April Harris, who has been sharing her son’s journey via social media. According to April, the video came at the perfect time and Hyrum’s response was “beautiful.”

“It was 3:30 a.m. We had only received the video two hours earlier. His port was not working to draw blood and two nurses were attempting to help by repositioning him in an effort to allow it to flow smoothly,” April told Scary Mommy, emphasizing how the video was a delightful distraction during an invasive procedure.

“Hyrum watched intently. Every time Dwayne mentioned Hyrum’s name, Hyrum pointed to his chest and, in his soft sweet voice, repeated saying ‘Hyrum’ — as though he knew this was special for him. At the reference of a head being compared to the size of a rock, Hyrum giggled. When Dwayne began to sing, Hyrum’s eyes got very wide. He looked at me. Smiled so big. Sang ‘you’re welcome’ right along with the video. It was touching,” she shared.

While the resounding response and support was wonderful, April says that she is not necessarily surprised folks have fallen in love with her special boy.

“Hyrum’s smile is infectious — healing to those that serve him and love him. We were all touched that night. And we continue to be astonished and amazed at the outpouring of love and support my little fighter is receiving.”

If you’d like to follow Hyrum’s journey to health, check out the #HopeForHyrum hashtag across social media. His family is also in the process of setting up a GoFundMe for their strong little man.

R2-D2 Can Finally Serve You Chili Thanks to Star Wars Instant Pots

Star Wars Instant Pots
(Williams Sanoma)

With Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker on the twin-sunned horizon, it’s no surprise that companies are doing everything they can to license their own products with themes from a galaxy far, far away.

Williams Sonoma already announced a partnership with Le Creuset to bring us high-end Star Wars cookware, but they clearly aren’t done yet. Now the kitchen furnishing company teaming up with Instant Pot to bring us even more Star Wars merch.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Instant Pots. They make cooking formerly complicated meals a breeze, but I’m not so sure about these (and it’s not because they’re a blatant cash grab).

(Williams Sonoma)

Okay, let’s break these down.

I’m on board for the R2-D2 and BB-8 pots – they’re droids, after all. I’m sure, in the Star Wars universe, there is a droid whose sole purpose is to make delicious soup in his weird electronic head, so these actually kind of make sense. Hell, they might even be canon.

But then we get to the others…

(Williams Sonoma)

The stormtrooper and Darth Vader machines are boring and forgettable.

You’re telling me they’re just going to take a neutral-colored Instant Pot, slap a decal on the side, and charge me double for it? Not today, buckaroo.

I mean, the least they could have done is make the panel on the Vader pot look like the buttons and switches on the Sith Lord’s actual chest piece.

(Extra points if it made the sound effect of his helmet being attached when you lock the lid).

And then we get to the Chewbacca pot.

Even if I wanted to cook something inside a beloved Star Wars character’s chest, why a Wookiee? Not only am I going to unconsciously be worried about finding a hair in every single bite of my meal, but Wookies are notoriously tall and lanky—the exact opposite of the short, barrel-like Instant Pot. That’s clearly more Ewok territory, you guys.

Oh well. I guess I should just be glad they aren’t making us cook in a Tauntaun pot. They smell bad enough on the outside.

(Williams Sonoma)

If you’re interested in grabbing this limited edition run of Star Wars Instant Pots, they range from $79.95 to $119.95 on Williams Sonoma’s website.

(Williams Sanoma)