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.
May 25, 2017 marked the official 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, and the folks at Funko marked the occasion by making their latest Smuggler's Bounty Box a themed affair to celebrate the big birthday. Since launching alongside The Force Awakens, each box (shipped on alternating months) has borrowed a theme based on a particular film (like the recent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), location (Jabba's Palace) or show (Star Wars Rebels). Over the past year and a half, the contents of the boxes has been a bit of a mixed bag, with certain months being fantastic, and others feeling sorta empty. It's unfortunate, but the 40th Anniversary Box hits on the latter note for us, which I will explain. First, check out our unboxing video...
Baseball season is in full-effect, and here in the Chicago area, there's some rumbling coming out of the South Side. Guaranteed Rate, the eighth largest retail mortgage lender in the nation, and the Chicago White Sox recently announced the Guaranteed Impact contest, which will honor kids and teens who are making a positive difference in their communities or schools. The Guaranteed Impact winners will be recognized at a home White Sox game with a shout-out from announcers with their photo on the videoboard and provided a suite including food and beverages to enjoy the game at Guaranteed Rate Field with up to 15 friends and family members. There will be 10 winners throughout the 2017 season, all celebrated at different home games.
There's some mischief afoot over at Super Impulse. While numerous super villains have tried and failed repeatedly to craft a "Shrink Ray" as part of their nefarious plans, someone over at Super Impulse has created one, and yes - it works. I first featured their line of World's Smallest toys here on the site as part of my annual Holiday Wish Guide in 2016, but apparently the evil geniuses weren't satisfied at simply shrinking the likes of Fisher-Price classics, Rubik's Cubes and Polaroid Instamatic Cameras. Nope, now they've managed to shrink Hasbro's G.I. Joe (the 60's style 12" "Man of Action") and Mattel's Hot Wheels. Now these classics are small enough to be toys for your toys. They were so proud of their shrinking technology that they had to send me one of each just to brag about how awesome they are. I dig it.
Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father, BOSEbuild and Life of Dad
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “summer slump” - that mid-year break between the end of one school year and the beginning of another. While I’ve long-said that kids don’t have enough of a summer break, even a matter of weeks is enough to break the cycle of learning, and that can be troubling. As parents, it’s up to us to make sure that those curious young minds are still learning during the summer months, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities are a great tool to have. For those with kids curious in how things work, BOSEbuild has just the project - and it’s so much more than simply “building a speaker.”
As of this writing, Paramount Pictures' big-screen BAYWATCH has just hit theaters for Memorial Day weekend, ushering in summer with a new spin on the syndicated TV favorite. With Dwayne Johnson stepping into David Hasselhoff's iconic trunks as lifeguard Mitch Buchannon, a new generation is getting a taste of slow-mo beach running as Mitch and the crew (which includes Jon Bass as Ronnie, Alexandra Daddario as Summer, Zac Efron as Matt Brody, Kelly Rohrbach as CJ Parker, and Ilfenesh Hadera as Stephanie Holden) take down some baddies that threaten the bay. For the new BAYWATCH, the coast is flipped - with Los Angeles County out, and Florida's Broward County in. While you might not think that an R-rated BAYWATCH screams "toys!," the folks at Greenlight Collectibles are here with a 1:64-scale offering as part of their Greenlight Hollywood series.
With the amount of options available for kids in the diecast aisles, it's often easy to overlook some of the most creative ones in the mix. From Mattel's Hot Wheels Super Rigs Collection comes the Pencil Pusher, a removable cab semi-truck that's inspired by the creativity of a child. This isn't just a toy truck, though - it comes packed with a gold chrome edition of the famed "Hot Wheels High School" bus, and the truck itself is sized right to haul crayons. But that's not all...