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James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He 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. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, 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.

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This Santa HQ feature is brought to you by HGTV & Macerich Shopping Centers in collaboration with The Rock Father™

Following an inaugural season that brought magic to families from coast-to-coast, HGTV presents Santa HQ again this year! Back for 2018 at The Fashion Outlets of Chicago and a total of 15 Macerich Shopping Centers nationwide, a new tradition continues as an all-new experience aimed at bringing holiday magic to kids and grownups alike with some flourishes that have been upgraded and expanded for the social media age. Santa HQ welcomes families for the traditional photo with Santa (online reservations available, but not required), upping the game with the Elf Academy in which kids can experience the latest in Elf fashion; take an Elfie Selfie; of check out the latest in Elf-Ray Vision - an AR experience in which families can see just what the Elves are up to. Of course, Santa HQ still serves-up an incredible light show with over 10,000 individual lights synchronized to the "Carol of the Bells."

Party City's Toy City concept is something I've been covering for a few months now, and now that the holiday shopping season is truly upon us, it's time to get serious about toys! With over 50 temporary Toy City pop-up store locations now open throughout the U.S., Party City today unveiled its Black Friday ad and 2018 Top Toys List! There's familiar picks (including some from The Rock Father's Holiday Wish Guide™) and some unique ones as well, from Rainbowcorns and robots to Hatchimals, dinosaur slime, Harry Potter, and everything in between. Let's take a look!

A familiar green villain is currently back in theaters, reimagined in Universal and Illumination's animated picture, THE GRINCH. But that's not the only place to see the tale come to life as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical brings magic to the stage in select cities for 2018. Madison Square Garden's touring production is the big one, featuring Tony-nominated Gavin Lee (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Mary Poppins) in the lead role as The Grinch. Kicking off at The Chicago Theatre (November 16-25) before heading off to Boston and New York, my family and I were guests at the opening night performance in Chicago as holiday cheer took hold to a sold-out crowd.

The adoption process has been a part of play going back decades. From the Cabbage Patch Kids craze of 1983 to Build-A-Bear Workshop and the recent success of Distroller's Neonate Babies, kids have been loving the experience of becoming parents to a snuggly new friend. Now, just in-time for the holiday season comes some squishy new friends from Bulls-i-Toy. Squish 'Ums Pet Boutique Adoption Kits will hit stores as a Target Exclusive (avail: 11/22/18) in the U.S. Recommended for kids ages 6 and up, these new sets feature a trio of all-new super-soft slow-rise Squish 'Ums plus an Adoption Certificate!

Do have a Siwanator on your holiday shopping list? If so, you're gonna want to be on the lookout for the new JoJo Siwa Mini Myster Bow Box collection, set to hit Target stores beginning 11/19/2018. From Bulls-i-Toy, these new Bow Boxes each feature 1 Exclusive Mini Bow plus 4 Mini Mystery Bows for a total of five bows in each box for just $9.99. A 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ Pick, the folks at Bulls-i-Toy sent us a couple of Bow Boxes to check out, and they've become wholeheartedly-approved by The Rock Daughters™!

The Hess Corporation knows Christmas, and following-up the incredibly fast sell-out of their most-limited toy ever, the Collector's Edition First Hess Truck, they've issued their annual Holiday Hess Toy Truck. Officially released on November 1, the 2018 Hess RV with ATV and Motorbike is a beautiful, 3-in-1 set that kids and collectors will love, packed with cool features and 73 LED lights - the most ever offered on a holiday Hess Toy Truck. The folks at Hess sent us a review sample again this year, allowing The Rock Daughters™ and I to go hands-on with the latest addition to a rapidly-expanding fleet. Let's take a look at this Holiday Wish Guide™ pick below!

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