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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.

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I first highlighted World's Smallest as a Holiday Wish Guide™ pick last year, and after seeing them continue using their mysterious shrink ray to zap other classic toys into miniature size, I'm also calling them out for 2017. After tackling more "simple" items like Mattel's Hot Wheels, the Fisher-Price Little People School Bus, Polaroid Camera and Hasbro's legendary G.I. Joe, now they're cranking up the shrink ray for a more difficult project... electronic games. If you recall the old Mattel Electronics handheld games of the late 1970's, you're on the right track. While their full-size counterparts were reproduced by The Bridge Direct not long ago, now the classic Electronic Football, Electronic Baseball and Electronic Basketball have been brought down to palm-size by Super Impulse under their "World's Coolest" moniker.

This holiday season, (RED) and Amazon are teaming-up for (SHOPATHON)RED – a special shopping experience offering people a selection of exclusive (RED) products that raise money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. From now through the end of December, shoppers can choose from more than 150 (RED) products including fashion, cosmetics, kitchen goods, tech and more at Amazon.com/RED or via the Amazon App. On December 1st, World AIDS Day, Amazon will highlight (RED), the Global Fund, and (RED) products to bring awareness to the fight, and throughout the campaign special video content from (RED) celebrity supporters will encourage people to shop (RED) and save lives this holiday season.

Anthony Vincent of Ten Second Songs is back with a new video, and this time he's putting a metallic spin on ten pop songs. "10 Songs in the Style of METALLICA" pairs Vincent with guitarist EROCK for a quick blast of what some famous tunes would've sounded like, had they been penned by James Hetfield and Co. So who gets the 'Tallica treatment? Taylor Swift, Outkast, Alanis Morissette, Abba, Toni Braxton, Britney Spears, Nickelback, Seal, Juvenile and Darude are on-deck. Check this out...

This Holiday Wish Guide™ Giveaway is brought to you by GameStop & ThinkGeek in collaboration with The Rock Father™.

With the holiday season in full-swing, kids and families are making their wish lists, and crossing their fingers in hopes of snagging the perfect gift. For Pokémon fans, 2017 has been a big year, with plenty of new games like Pokkén Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch and this month's Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon for the 3DS family of systems. Beyond the games, there's always some cool Poké-merch to be had, and like the saying goes, fans just "gotta catch 'em all," and now there's a new place to do that. Pokémon Center has opened at GameStop and ThinkGeek, and it's the perfect place to find an awesome gift for the Pokémon fan on your list! Pokémon Center products come direct from The Pokémon Company, lovingly-designed in Japan and brought to the U.S. for the very first time, exclusively at GameStop and ThinkGeek. Your local store has a new Pokémon Center section—fully stocked with everything a budding Pokémon trainer could want! To celebrate the opening of Pokémon Center, GameStop and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to give you a shot at winning a Pokémon Center Trainer Pack that features a few brand-new items!

Sunday, November 19 2017 19:06

THE TOY BOX Crowns a Second Season Winner...

The second season of THE TOY BOX has come to a close on ABC, and now we know which new toy the judges have crowned champion. For the past eight weeks, the kid judges have come face-to-face with hopeful toy inventors, each competing for a shot at having their creation mass-produced by Mattel and made available for sale exclusively at Toys "R" Us. The winner this time around? Hydroshield aka Water Dodger! But that's not all, as Toys "R" Us chose Eardorables as a runner-up, and host Eric Stonestreet's personal favorite,  Wobb-Ball (seen as Flexxball) s a reality as well. See the winning toys below...

In doing what I do, I've been fortunate to see a lot of great toys cross my path over the past few years. For 2017, there's certainly been some highlights, but one of the best new toys was a late entry, and one that had escaped me until its makers hit me up earlier this fall and sent over one for review. When it comes to playsets, I grew up in an era that had a bunch of them - iconic sets from Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe, to name a few. While there's no doubt that kids want the biggest and best, the grownup mentality is that there's a real problem with those awesome playsets... storage. Our girls have some incredible sets here, ranging from the Barbie Dream House to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Lair. They're massively fun, but also massive in size... big, bulky plastic sets that aren't easy to store in-between adventures. Now, the makers of ReadySetz have emerged with their first playset - one that both provides a fun environment for imaginative play and solves the space problem. It's one of 2017's coolest new toys, and one you've likely never heard of.

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