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.
The "action dolls" category just got a surprise addition - MARVEL RISING. Hasbro announced a new collaboration with Disney and Marvel for a nationwide rollout at Target stores for the new collection of 11" dolls and companion role play items. The animated Marvel Rising: Initiation shorts are currently available on Disney XD and Marvel HQ on Youtube, and the feature-length film Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors will premiere on Disney Channel and Disney XD on September 30th (see the new trailer here). The new toys feature Marvel’s next generation of Super Heroes including Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Quake, Patriot, American Chavez, Ghost-Spider, and more. These look great, and if you've seen Hasbro's recent line of Descendants dolls, these look very much in line with that... and there's also some fantastic apparel, Halloween costumes and walkie talkies in the mix. Check 'em out...
I've been playing Zen Studios' Pinball FX3 for about a year now, and with each new table pack the fun just expands. Of all the pinball video games that I've played, Pinball FX3 is the one that most captures the arcade experience, and they've also expanded upon that with some very cool licensed tables. Star Wars has been a big brand, with sets based on The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels in the mix and now Solo: A Star Wars Story is in on the action as well! Ahead of the film's in-home release this month, the Star Wars Pinball - Solo Pack comes to Pinball FX3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, Windows 10, as well as Zen Pinball and the Star Wars Pinball apps on mobile. This pinball pack contains 3 new digital tables inspired by the film itself and beyond featuring “Star Wars Pinball: Solo”, “Star Wars Pinball: Calrissian Chronicles” and “Star Wars Pinball: Battle of Mimban.” Check out some previews below!
It's going to be a magical holiday season, and today comes a look a nine new character posters from Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This epic reimagining of the classic seasonal tale will hit theaters on November 2, 2018, and today's poster drop features detailed looks at the main cast as they gear-up for adventure. Take a look...
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly five years since audiences first fell in love with Disney's Frozen. In the years since, the tale of two princesses from Arendelle has continued to be a growing legend - one that's moved from the screen to the Broadway stage and onto ice. Disney On Ice presents Frozen has been a big hit for Feld Entertainment, and later this month the magical production returns to the Chicagoland area for a 4-day extravaganza at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. The show opens Thursday, Sept. 27 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 30 with 8 sparkling performances in all. Check out a preview below!
Counterfeit toys are a big problem. While there might be the occasional "funny" bootleg like the infamous Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace knockoffs that labeled Darth Maul as "Dennis" and Anakin Skywalker as "Little Girl," counterfeit toys are no laughing matter. They put kids at risk by preying on the parents and grandparents who may accidentally buy them. The hottest toys are the most heavily-bootlegged, and that means that L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls are not only the #1 toy right now, but also the most faked. Around the world, reports have been coming in about shipments being seized and counterfeiters being prosecuted as MGA Entertainment continues to protect their patents by taking legal action as they can - with the ultimate goal of stopping them at the source: the Chinese factories that are quickly pumping out these low-quality knockoffs that wouldn't pass safety tests. In fact, many bootlegs test positive for high levels of dangerous chemicals. So what happens to the counterfeit toys once they're found? They have to be destroyed, and that's just what happened to a shipment discovered by authorities in Chile. MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian shared a video today via LinkedIn that I've been given permission with all of you...
The Battle Royale just gained another major player. Hasbro has entered the arena, announcing a partnership with Epic Games to introduce a range of Fortnite inspired play experiences, including a line of officially licensed NERF Fortnite blasters, and a MONOPOLY: Fortnite Edition Game. They join the likes of Jazwares (action figures), Moose Toys (collectible figures under 3") and Funko (Pop! Vinyl) in getting a piece of the expanding Fortnite action!