James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group 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. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 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.
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.
Back in April, I shared the news that Mattel and Mills Entertainment had teamed-up to bring characters from American Girl into the realm of live theatre with the launch of American Girl Live. Now comes news on the full cast for the debut performances, which will have their world premiere at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois, Dec. 21-23, 2018. The cast of American Girl Live includes Jenna Bruce as Rebecca, Ashley Diane as Luciana, Laila E. Drew as Melody, Shelby Lysette Miguel as Nanea, Monica Poston as Julie and Kelsey Elaine Pressnall as Maryellen. The cast also features Orisa Gutierrez and Mari Skoultchi.
Dumbo is a bit of a divisive figure in our house. The 1941 animated film falls into that "sad movie" category that my wife generally tends to avoid, so I'm the one that's introduced it to The Rock Daughters™ and got pretty excited when I first heard that the Batman Returns team of Michael Keaton (Batman), Danny DeVito (The Penguin) and filmmaker Tim Burton had come together to reimagine the tale for the big-screen. This coming March, Walt Disney Studios brings DUMBO into theaters, and now comes a new trailer and poster for the live-action adventure that picks-up where the animated version ended. Check it out...
Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds were both national treasures as far as I'm concerned. It looks like Midland would agree, and after ripping through a twanged-up version of Reed's "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and The Bandit on the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, a studio version of the cover was immediately released. Accompanying the YouTube stream (which you can check out below), the group issued the following statement: "Eastbound & Down is a balls to the wall, honky tonk, fast tempo tornado of a song that was a great challenge to master and to make some tweaks to make it our own...It’s now one of our favorite songs to perform live and we can only hope that The Guitar Man is smiling somewhere up above with approval." I do believe a tip of the cowboy hat is in order, now crank this one up!
It's been 25 years since Cypress Hill released their landmark, #1 album, Black Sunday, and to help commemorate the milestone anniversary, the group has collaborated with premium sneaker brand Six Hundred Four on an ultra-limited edition shoe collection. The "surprise-release" will be up for pre-order today.
As toymakers look to diversify, experiences are where it's at. Now comes news that Hasbro has just entered into a licensing agreement with Los Angeles-based Kilburn Live to to create, build and operate Hasbro-themed family entertainment centers across the US and Canada. In an announcement received at Rock Father HQ this morning, the two companies promise that "the indoor family entertainment facilities will take iconic Hasbro brands and create interactive, immersive and innovative entertainment experiences in a high-energy, gamified environment with multiple activity zones.
Getting an earlier release than previously-announced, the highly anticipated Netflix original, DreamWorks She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, is now available. The 13 half-hour episodes tells "the epic story of an orphan named Adora, who leaves behind her former life in the evil Horde when she discovers a magic sword that transforms her into the mythical warrior princess She-Ra. Along the way, she finds a new family in the Rebellion as she unites a group of magical princesses in the ultimate fight against evil." I haven't had a chance to dig in and show The Rock Daughters™ just yet, but I've always been a big fan of Hordak. Mattel's Fright Zone Play Set was a favorite for me as a kid, and in a new clip from the series, it seems as if this new-school Hordak as a very Darth Vader-eque vibe. Check it out!