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James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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Johann Schmidt. A brilliant scientist, but one that's been terribly misguided over the years, becoming obsessed with world domination and falling into a leadership position in the HYDRA-Abteilung division, a secret unit that specialized in artillery and harnessing the power of the Tesseract to create super weapons back in WWII. Of course, back then the Tesseract was known as the Cosmic Cube, and while pursuing its ultimate power, Schmidt injected himself with an early version of the Super Soldier Serum and was deformed, ultimately becoming RED SKULL. Now, straight from the screen and into toy collections, Hasbro is kicking-off it's all-new Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years Collection with Set #0 - the Marvel Legends Series Red Skull and Electronic Tesseract SDCC Exclusive, inspired by Captain America: The First Avenger! I received one for review, so let's take a look...

As I type this, Comic-Con International (SDCC) is currently underway in San Diego with the biggest names in pop culture coming together for their annual gathering.  On the toy front, the exclusives are many, and Hasbro has some stellar offerings - a few of which they sent to me for early review here at Rock Father™ HQ. One of the biggest and most-anticipated is the MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES DEFENDERS RAIL AUTHORITY 5-PACK. This set brings together five characters from Marvel Studios' Netflix Original Series, The Defenders, each presented in super-articulated 6" format. Packaged in a box that's made to look like a NYC subway car, this thing is a sight to behold with JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE, DAREDEVIL, IRON FIST, and COLLEEN WING all ready to defend the residents of Hell's Kitchen and beyond!

The 2018 edition of Comic-Con International (SDCC) is underway in San Diego, and today The Rock Father™ and Entertainment Earth have joined forces to reveal another shared exclusive with the folks at Funko! The Looney Tunes Playboy Penguin Pop! Vinyl Figure is a 2018 Summer Convention Shared Exclusive that's available at the show from either Entertainment Earth Booth #2343 or Funko Booth #5341 or online exclusively through Entertainment Earth. While I won't be hitting the ground in San Diego until Saturday morning (catch my panel Saturday night!), Comic-Con has come to me and I've gone hands-on with this awesome new Playboy Penguin Pop! Animation figure! Check out some pictures below, and be sure to order yours from my friends at Entertainment Earth!

The 2018 edition of Comic-Con International (SDCC) is underway in San Diego, and today The Rock Father™ and Entertainment Earth have joined forces to reveal another shared exclusive with the folks at Funko! The Hellboy in Suit Pop! Vinyl Figure is a 2018 Summer Convention Shared Exclusive that's available at the show from either Entertainment Earth Booth #2343 or Funko Booth #5341 or online exclusively through Entertainment Earth. While I won't be hitting the ground in San Diego until Saturday morning (catch my panel Saturday night!), Comic-Con has come to me and I've gone hands-on with this awesome new Hellboy Pop! Comics figure! Check out some pictures below, and be sure to order yours from my friends at Entertainment Earth!

The unboxing phenomenon continues to grow and with no signs of slowing down, toymakers are becoming more innovative in finding new ways to bring the elements of surprise and discovery home. From Moose Toys, makers of Shopkins and The Grossery Gang, comes Treasure X, - "the ultimate unboxing experience!" Combining several play patterns into one all-new experience, Treasure X gives kids the opportunity to rip, dig and fizz their way through 10 layers to discover the secrets hidden within - and there's a chance to find real gold-dipped treasure! It's excavation, unboxing, sensory stimulation, action figures and surprise play all in one, and ahead of the national debut of Treasure X in the U.S., The Rock Father™ and Moose Toys have teamed-up to premiere the Treasure X movie trailer! A great toy lends itself to a great story, and today we've got your first-look!

One of the highlights of my visit to the 115th North American International Toy Fair this past February was a meeting at the DC Collectibles booth. If you haven't seen what they're doing, the folks at DC are offering up some stellar toys and collectibles "direct from the source" - meaning their in-house team. First-announced back in May of 2017, the DC Collectibles Artists Alley collection was on-display at Toy Fair and this summer they're finally hitting the streets. These PVC figures are inspired by the Artists Alley experience of a comic convention, in which fans can ask their favorite artists to craft reimaginings of popular characters infused with their own unique style. Among the figures in the first wave, the DC Trinity - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as designed by artist Chris Uminga and sculpted by Joe Menna. At Toy Fair, I was presented with an early sample - one of just 300 exclusive Batman figures created just for the event. Now they're available to the masses, but just like their comic counterparts, the Artists Alley collection is being offered in variant form, with wave one available now in Standard Edition, Black & White Variants and the Hot Topic-Exclusive Zombie Variants - the latter of which I received for review here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...

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