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.
Learn more here.
With Walt Disney Studios' Christopher Robin headed for theaters on August 3 (see the latest trailer here), the folks over at Funko are giving some characters from the film a Pop! Vinyl treatment. For the first wave, they're bringing Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore into the format, capturing the cinematic look, which itself is inspired both by Classic Pooh and Disney's previous designs on the animated versions. All of these are available for pre-order now from my friends at Entertainment Earth, while a special edition flocked Pooh Bear with a red balloon is available exclusively at Box Lunch stores.
Later this month, I will be back on the ground in Los Angeles, working alongside my friends at Walt Disney Studios for the launch of their new film, Christopher Robin. Today, tickets for the film went on-sale (get 'em via my affiliate, Fandango) and families will get their first look into the Hundred Acre Wood on the night of August 2, for preview showings ahead of its August 3 release. As those tickets went on-sale, Disney also just released a new "Adventure" sneak-peek and an all-new featurette about the legacy of the famous characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. Take a look!
This Christmas, Marvel and Sony Pictures Animation will enter a new dimension with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Of course, that does mean that the folks at Hasbro will be swinging into retail with a full assortment of new toys based on the animated feature. The details from Hasbro just arrived here at Rock Father HQ, and I've got all of them below. Everything from this collection should be available at major retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com. One of the most interesting pieces in the bunch is a "Countdown Calendar" - essentially an advent calendar that presents kids with a new toy each day leading up to the theatrical release of the movie. Check these out!
Back in April, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (reviewed here) roared into theaters, quickly becoming the #4 film of all-time. I was there for the launch, a guest of Marvel on the red purple carpet, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was changed forever. Now, as audiences await the release of Avengers 4 next spring, Infinity War is coming home Digitally on July 31 and Blu-ray on Aug. 14 with over two hours of bonus features! Check out all the specs below, and read-on because my personal adventure with the Avengers isn't over yet...
The retail life of Hasbro's Star Wars Forces of Destiny collection has been a strange one. Launched about a year and a half ago, Forces of Destiny hit the scene as a multi-faceted movement consisting of animated shorts on Disney Channel, a full range of "adventure figures" along with books, clothing and more. I've been told from some "folks who asked not to be named" that everything did very well... except for the toys. Very disappointing, since The Rock Daughters love the collection, but on the retail front it may have been too much too soon, with the wrong mix of characters, multiple styles right off the bat (Rey, Leia) and some that kids might not have been familiar enough with (sorry, Jyn Erso). Still, these dolls adventure figures are fantastic, and there is an audience that's been craving more, and that goes for kids and collectors alike. One figure we never found was Chewbacca, but he's back for Comic-Con this year, packed alongside some adorable Porgs for an SDCC exclusive inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take a look!
For a few years now, Paramount Pictures has been hard at work on a new animated film entitled AMUSEMENT PARK. Back in January, I made the announcement that the film would be getting a full line of toys from my friends at Funrise, but when I entered their showroom at the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York, they had a large standee touting the future arrival of Amusement Park toys - but didn't want pictures of the sign taken, despite the logo having already been out there for a good year. Cue the title change and Amusement Park is now WONDER PARK, a magical tale about a defunct theme park called Wonderland, "where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive." They're betting big on this one, with a companion animated series for Nickelodeon already in-production, but little was known about the project until today. Check out the teaser trailer below!