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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, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and 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. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

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 Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, 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  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

I'm all about recognizing those that are doing good, and while I work on my own, hyper-local Rock Father Santa Holiday Toy Delivery Program during the Holiday season, it's always great to see what the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is accomplishing nationwide. Sadly, I've heard that their donations have been light the past few years (something I ran into here last year), but this year they're getting a big boost, and it comes from the good folks at Hasbro. For 2017, Hasbro has unveiled a new holiday matching campaign that will bring joy to even more children in need. For every new, unwrapped toy or game donated by individuals to any Toys for Tots local campaign through the 2017 holiday season, Hasbro will also donate a new toy or game as part of its BE FEARLESS BE KIND philanthropic initiative, up to one million gifts!

Back in the late 1980s - right around '88'-'89 or so, I spent a good deal of time trying to escape the "Co-Ops" in the town I was living in at the time, an armpit of America known as Park Forest, Illinois. As part of that escape, I would often walk across the street to the notoriously-troubled outdoor mall to visit the Aladdin's Castle arcade - a bright spot from a then-recent attempt at revitalizing the failing shopping center. It was significantly smaller than the location at the neighboring Lincoln Mall (also a memory), but they had some great games, and one I played often was RAMPAGE. In that game, players could take control of a giant ape, lizard or wolf, climbing buildings, eating people, and just creating general chaos. These creatures were formerly-human, mutated by some bad 80s stuff and hunted by the military. Fast forward three decades, and you wouldn't think they could've made a serious movie out of RAMPAGE, but that's what Warner Bros. just did... and it looks cool. Appropriately, the creatures are also loose in Chicago and throwing down to the music of the Smashing Pumpkins. Check this out...

A little while back, Entertainment Earth sent us a full factory display case of Cartoon Network "Cartoon! Cartoon!" Vinyl Figure Blind Boxes from TITAN Merchandise. Digging the 3" vinyl figures and knowing how much my little ones do as well, we opted to do an unboxing as opposed to a straight-up review. Thing is, as we filmed our video, I figured a bunch of diehard Cartoon Network fans were probably gonna beat me up about this. With few exceptions (Over the Garden Wall, for one), I haven't seen any of the shows represented in this assortment. Still, the figures are cool, and there's some chase options available. What did we get? Watch the video to find out, and to get your own TITANS in either display cases or single packs, visit my friends at Entertainment Earth!

More than 20 years into the game, and Pokémon seems bigger than ever... but now they're getting small! Micro-collectibles are one of the hottest trends in play today, and now Pokémon is in on the action thanks to a new line of toys from TOMY. The Pokémon Petite Pals are an all-new collection of micro-figures, and kids can create a complete world filled with colorful playsets and accessories. We recently received the Pokémon Petite Pals Escape in the Forest Playset for review, and it's a lot of fun. Let's take a look...

This Holiday Wish Guide™ Giveaway is brought to you by Gillette.

The members of the JUSTICE LEAGUE have a unique set of shaving and grooming needs. For example, how would razor burn feel for the Flash, a man who can approach speeds around Mach 25? Or how about Diana Prince, who tends to look perfect at all times, including in battle as Wonder Woman? Or then we have Arthur Curry (Aquaman), who has some unique needs when it comes to hydration. And those are just a few members of the team. I distinctly recall reading my favorite era of Superman comics - John Byrne's MAN OF STEEL, which DC Comics published back in 1986, in which Clark's shaving routine was famously documented. Yes, he was using his own heat vision, reflected from a mirror to clip his super-tough hair. Shouldn't it be easier? That's what Gillette has in mind, and having already developed a variety of products that are precision engineered to be “The Best a Man Can Get,” Gillette taken on the highly regarded challenge of uncovering what constitutes “The Best a Super Hero Can Get." Now, THE ROCK FATHER™ & Gillette have teamed-up for a Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway in which one lucky reader will receive a complete set of JUSTICE LEAGUE Limited Edition Gift Packs, perfect for holiday giving!

This Holiday Wish Guide™ feature is brought to you by The Salvation Army Chicago

The holiday season is an important time here at Rock Father HQ. I often write about holiday traditions, activities and of course, my annual Holiday Wish Guide™. For many families, their wish is simple - to have a roof over their heads and food on the table. The Salvation Army Chicago can help with that - serving communities in Chicago, Northern Illinois, and Lake County, Indiana by providing emergency financial assistance, grocery assistance through local food pantries; educational and recreational programs for children, adults and seniors; in addition to leadership training and character development programs for youth. One thing we make very clear to our daughters is that the season is one of giving, and whenever we see the familiar Red Kettle, The Rock Daughters™ drop some coins and often get a chance to ring the bell.

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