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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.

A new year brings new entertainment, and tonight comes the first-look at Netflix are already on fire, breaking out some new trailers for 2018's original series. The End of the F**king World is a dark comedy from across the pond, touted with a simple dangle that "this isn’t your usual boy meets girl tale." Based upon the graphic novel by Charles Forsman, this series first arrived in the UK this past fall, a story of "a budding teenage psychopath and a rebel hungry for adventure." See the U.S. trailer below.

This morning I woke up to an email from Mattel with news that I knew would be just around the corner - the reveal of American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year. What I didn't expect was that 2018's GOTY, Luciana Vega, would be perhaps the most perfect doll ever... at least in our house. As our girls often look to and reach for the stars, Luciana becomes a new example for them - the latest in American Girl's long line of inspiring characters that encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world—no matter the challenges they may face. Vega is described as "a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. And, while she has the skills and smarts to achieve her goals, she also learns that being a good leader and team player right here on Earth is the best first step." This sounds very, very familiar...

Zicam Cold ConnectionsTHE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd

As we reach the end of one year and turn the calendar to another, we make our way through the crowded holiday season and into the open waters of what lies ahead. It's a time to show appreciation for those who do for us, but also a great reminder that it's worth showing appreciation throughout the year - not just during the festive season. The Zicam Card Creator at Card Isle is an easy way to send a digital greeting card to provide a message of thanks, some get well wishes or to simply let someone know that you're thinking of them. Here's one that I made for Santa. Yes, the Mighty Santa Claus!

Since 2014, The Rock Father™ Santa Holiday Toy Delivery Program has been something that I've looked forward to every year. It's an opportunity to give back to my community through a hyper-local, extremely focused effort to provide holiday gifts for the children of families that could use a hand. For our fourth annual run, I changed things up a little bit - reacting to a sub-par effort in 2016 (donations were way down) by starting preparations earlier. The ultimate goal is simple: to provide toys to as many local children and families as possible, as served by our local township. While there's plenty of bigger organizations that do great work, I wanted our families' efforts to have an impact on our immediate community - friends and neighbors that we may not really know, but people we may be crossing paths with every day. For Avon Township, which serves the villages of Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Heights Grayslake, Hainesville & Third Lake, Illinois, a recent estimate was that 4,000 people were being served by Avon Cares Food Pantry each month. I have no idea how many children are in that number, but if I could help all of them, I would. This year, we provided gifts for 72 of them.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

It's been more than eight years since my wife and I first became parents, and despite writing about gaming often, it wasn't until this year that I finally got to start spending some real time blowing up some pixels again. I upgraded from the Xbox 360 (which I still have) to the Xbox One S, promptly jumping right back into the kind of military-themed action I used to enjoy. After all, when it comes to fall, that means Call of Duty Season is open, but when I bought my system it came with Battlefield 1. Thing is, it's difficult to blow stuff up good when there's two little girls and a wife sleeping upstairs, and that means headphones. For the task at hand, I've got the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Netflix #StreamTeamDreamWorks Trollhunters Part 2 is now streaming on Netflix, and not long ago I was out at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, California to get an early look at the new season, along with a sneak-preview of what's on the horizon as the Tales of Arcadia expands. Fans of the series have been looking for more ways to enjoy it, and that brings us to the merchandise, which the folks at Funko (an affiliate) have been rolling out over the past few months. In addition to some fantastic 3.75" action figures, characters from Trollhunters have made their way into Funko's signature POP! Vinyl line under POP! Television. Available now through Funko Shop, Target and coming soon to Entertainment Earth, the team at DreamWorks sent over an assortment for review here at Rock Father HQ. Let's take a look...

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