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James Zahn

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur. 

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.

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, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

When you pair my favorite vocalist of all-time, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) with one of my favorite drummers of all-time, Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Fantomas) I'm interested, and thus DEAD CROSS has been firmly on my radar. Today, the band which also features Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer) have announced their first North American tour dates.

The Rock Father™ has collaborated with the DIYZ® app and Life of Dad for this Home Improvement feature. All tools and materials have been chosen by The Rock Father. Opinions are that of James Zahn. #GetWise

As I am writing this, my wife and I have now owned our house for seven years. In fact, after twelve moves in my life, the home that has become known as “Rock Father HQ” will soon become the one that I’ve lived in the longest. With homeownership comes some challenges, and while we’ve tackled many with the #RockFatherRemodel project (the goal is that the house will get nicer as it gets older), others have been more daunting. Often they’re projects that don’t need to be.

The Fidget Spinner craze is something I imagine will start to slow pretty quickly. It seemingly came out of nowhere, with dozens of different Fidget Spinners, Fidget Cubes, and Fidget Dies hitting the market almost simultaneously, and the variance in quality is astounding. We were a little late to the party, but after a special trip to Learning Resources a few weeks back, we returned home with a metal, light-up Fidget Spinner, and a 12-Sided Fidget Die. My wallet was $50 lighter, annoying as we're starting to see these pop-up much cheaper everywhere, but the big bonus is the fantastic set of instructions that came with the 12-Sided Fidget Die. Labeled as the "Holy Crystal Decompression Magic Cube" (what does that even mean?), this thing came packed with detailed descriptions for each of the 12 sides, presented in classic, poorly-translated English. This is "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" territory, so I decided to pay a visit to The Toy Testing Facility here at Rock Father HQ™ to read the instructions on video, just for you. Check it out!

The Toy InsiderIt's time for another great Twitter Party with The Toy Insider, and I'll be there as a Panelist during the #MyLilButter Twitter Party, sponsored by Snaptoys, on Thursday, May 25 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EST. We'll be talking toys for a full hour full of fun, trivia, and giveaways, all in celebration of Lil' Butters - a new collection of 4" "Social Butterflies" - awesome collectible figures, each with a unique personality and look. I'll have a review up here on The Rock Father Magazine shortly, but in the meantime, check out what Marissa at The Toy Insider had to say about Lil' Butters Series 1 and Series 2, and be sure to RSVP and join us this Thursday!

Starting with a preview post in which I took an early look at the series alongside Mentor and Pixar Consumer Products Creative Director Jen Tan (read it here), each week for the past two months, I've been following ABC's THE TOY BOX. Last night, the eight-episode competition series wrapped it's first season, with hopeful toy inventors vying to have their creations produced by Mattel, and the winning toy to be sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us. If you pay attention to details like episode production numbering, you may have noticed that THE TOY BOX aired out of order, which is something easy to do with series' that don't carry a narrative. In this case, THE TOY BOX played with audience anticipation by introducing two important entries in episode 106 - which actually aired as episode 7, the final episode before the grand finale. Now, the judges - Sophia Grace Brownlee (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”), Aalyrah Caldwell (“Uncle Buck”), Toby Grey (“The Unexpected John Cena Prank”) and Noah Ritter (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”) - have spoken, and a winner has been crowned. As of today, the winner is available at Toys "R" Us, but that's not the only toy from THE TOY BOX that's hitting shelves this year. In fact, one popular finalist has a link to the past... specifically, Mattel's past, and now it's coming back. 

Even though Disney XD's DuckTales hasn't even made it's season one debut, the series already has a season two pick-up, and now it's getting bigger. Multi-hyphenate entertainment badass Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Moana, Mary Poppins Returns) has joined the series as Gizmoduck, "a Duckburg hero whose true identity is Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, a brilliant young intern working for Scrooge McDuck's personal mad scientist, Gyro Gearloose." 

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