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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, has contributed to The Toy Book and 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.

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 As the summer movie season starts, we're starting to see a ton of glimpses into the future. It's been a massive week for movie trailers, and today we've got the first look at DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which doesn't hit theaters until March 1, 2019. The third big-screen Dragons film caps off the trilogy and the this first-look presents it as perhaps the best of the series. After showing this to my girls, we're all hoping that PLAYMOBIL continues their Dragons toy line (more will be released this summer) so that we can get Toothless's new friend! Check out the new trailer,complete with Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill" which also featured in the trailer for last year's Ferdinand...

The collectibles realm continues to expand, and this summer Spin Master is going POP!  The toymaker has just launched a brand new line of collectible dolls and accessories called Party Popteenies. There's 25 miniature dolls to collect from across three different themed parties – Winter Wonderland Surprise, Cutie Animal Surprise and Rainbow Unicorn Surprise. For the new collection, Spin Master is getting into the surprise/reveal/unboxing craze by giving kids a chance to have elements of each in every Party Popteenies toy - right down to the packaging which resembles gift boxes and party favors. Check out the first commercial and full details below, along with the debut Party Popteenies music video!

When I was in the Hasbro showroom at the 115th North American International Toy Fair back in February, one of the action figures highlighted as part of the relaunch of The Vintage Collection was Doctor Aphra. Ripped from the pages of Marvel Comics' Darth Vader series, Aphra turned heads and quickly became one of the most buzzed-about new figures from Hasbro. While she'll be available later this year as a single-carded figure at mass retail, her debut will happen at San Diego Comic-Con International, where the tradition of Star Wars "Special Action Figure Sets" will continue. Check out the details below!

This morning, I received an email that had started off with a very true statement: "Whether you're a true Phish fan or not, you've tried Ben & Jerry's classic flavor, Phish Food." I have, and I love it so much that at one point it was my favorite flavor from the Ben & Jerry's lineup, despite my not being a Phish Phan at all. Now, Ben & Jerry's has partnered with Phish for a third flavor to celebrate the 21st anniversary of The WaterWheel Foundation. It's Ice... Cream features a caramel malt ice cream with almond toffee pieces, fudge fish and a caramel swirl and was one of the original flavor concepts in the running back in 1997, to become Phish Food. Luckily, Ben & Jerry's Flavor Gurus never lose sight of a good flavor concept and have brought it to pints. A portion of all proceeds will benefit The WaterWheel Foundation.

This Incredibles 2 special feature is presented in collaboration between Clorox and The Rock Father™ #CloroxIncrediblyClean

Last summer, I found myself in Anaheim, California during one of the incredible adventures that I sometimes get to have as part of my work. Since our first daughter was born in 2009, I have largely been an “at-home dad,” shifting many of my powers toward domestic duties while my wife maintains a career outside the home. There are occasions, however, where I spring into action for a special mission, usually hopping on a plane and leaving our Third Coast home en route to the East or West Coast (mostly West). For the D23 Expo in Anaheim, I was working with Disney and wound up there in the room when a select audience got to see the very first footage from Disney•Pixar’s The Incredibles 2. Later, I called my wife in Illinois and told her that what I saw was like watching our lives unfold on-screen… maybe sans the laser vision, but definitely the messes. Oh yes, those incredible messes!

This is one of those things that can make certain members of the general public that are casual fans of things a little bit confused. More than one person has been Spider-Man, which means that the traditional story of Peter Parker sometimes gets thrown out the window. There's a storyline that's appeared in comics in which there have been many variations on Spider-Man (and not just "man"), perhaps most famously when a kid named Miles Morales dons the mask. This Christmas, that comes to the big screen in the animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," which comes to life from Sony Pictures Animation. Check out the new trailer and full details below!

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