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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 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.

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When it comes to classic play, you just can't beat a great wooden train set. While there's a number of companies producing similar sets with interconnecting tracks, BRIO has been leading the charge by moving beyond the track with BRIO WORLD. While the trains are still at the center of the action, BRIO WORLD includes six themes that feature vehicles, figures and playsets as part of a "a playful interactive system so that you can ride, drive, run or fly between them!" Geared toward kids ages 3-99 (sorry to the older folks), BRIO WORLD now has Smart Tech, which adds interactive smart technology to select trains and accessories. The BRIO WORLD Smart Engine Set with Action Tunnels is a 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ Pick, and now BRIO and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to showcase this great new set and give you a chance to win one! Two (2) lucky readers will receive a set, perfect for holiday giving! Welcome to BRIO WORLD...

When it comes to having creative fun with color, nobody beats Crayola! If you've paid a visit to the Crayola Experience at any time, you may have seen first-hand just how much fun kids can have when those broken crayons get melted down to create entirely new creations. Over the years, Crayola has worked to bring that experience home in a few different forms, and for 2018 that's become the all-new Crayola Crayon Melter! Another one of the hot toys that The Rock Daughters™ and I first experienced hands-on at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite this past summer, the Crayon Melter is the perfect gift that allows new creations from melted crayons, giving a whole new life to those boxes and bins of broken crayons. Now, The Rock Father™ & Crayola have teamed-up to highlight the Crayon Melter for Holiday Wish Guide, and we're also giving you a chance to win one! Check it out...

Do you have some curious creators in your house? We certainly do here at Rock Father HQ, and one of my Holiday Wish Guide™ picks is something that my oldest daughter first went hands-on with at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite this past summer in New York City. Part of a new STEAM by Crayola Scientists collection, the Crayola Color Chemistry Lab Set is packed with 50 different color-riffic experiments and activities to test out, but the best part in my opinion is that it actually includes all the required supplies to do 16 of them... right out of the box! In the spirit of the season, Crayola and The Rock Father™ are giving you a shot at winning one for the little scientist at your lab, but first let's take a look at one of 2018's hottest holiday gift ideas...

One of my favorite new toys of 2018 was something that The Rock Daughters™ and I first experienced at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite in NYC this summer... Pop-Oh-Ver! It's an innovative new collection of toys that foster imaginative role-play in a remarkably space-saving design the completely solves one big issue for space-challenged families: no place to put a play kitchen. These are high-quality canvas and fabric slipcovers that can transform a standard chair into a play kitchen or counter top. As they say, kids can play all day, then put it away! There's also plenty of accessories like food and dishes - all of which make great gifts and land Pop-Oh-Ver a spot on the 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™. Now, The Rock Father™ & Kangaroo Manufacturing have teamed-up to showcase Pop-Oh-Ver and give you a shot at winning a set! Check out the video and details below...

The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and break out the board games! While the old classics are great, there's a lot of new fun to be had this year, including some new games from SmartGames USA. Among their new titles are Sleeping Beauty (ages 3+), Cube Puzzler GO (8+) and the Cube Puzzler PRO (10+). These Holiday Wish Guide™ picks make for great gift ideas, and now The Rock Father™ and SmartGames have teamed-up to highlight these fun new games while also giving you a chance to win your choice! Check out the videos and details below...

There's no disputing that there's a lot of bricks and blocks on the market, "compatible" brands that all essentially do the same thing. So how do you build upon that without doing the same old thing? With E-Blox, that means bringing some real tech into a system of bricks and modules that are indeed compatible with many major brands of bricks and blocks, but with the additional plug-and-play ability to add lights, sounds, motion and more to their creations. An independent company based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, this father and sons operation has gained major ground in just two years, and for 2018 their Story Blox sets are a Holiday Wish Guide™ pick. These new sets let kids learn by building as they build creations that are featured in a series of original books. The Rock Father™ and E-Blox have teamed-up to showcase these new sets and give you a chance to win the Story Blox set of your choice - a perfect holiday gift 

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