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.
Learn more here.
It was during Wizard World Chicago in 2016 that Jumpin' Jamie first hit my radar - performing pop culture and pop punk inspired family music to a live audience. Now, the New Jersey-based kindie rocker is readying his full-length debut album Kookie, a record that's inspired by some of the bands that shaped his own love of music - bands such as Green Day, R.E.M., The Beatles, Weezer, Ash and more. Today, The Rock Father™ is presenting the World Premiere of Jumpin' Jamie's debut single - "Back to the Future" - complete with a music video by artist Marie Chatelot, re-telling the events of Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future II (1989) in stop-motion cardboard animation. Crank up the speakers and fire up the Flux Capacitor, then hit "play" on the video below!
My wife asked me not to be a jerk about this, but there is no way I can let this one slide by. There are some properties out there where you have to just shake your head and wonder how their respective owners can keep running them into the ground, and Scooby-Doo is one of those. What makes it especially painful is that Warner Bros. is allowing a cherished franchise that's delighted millions of families for the past 50 years (2019 will mark the anniversary) to be marred by a string of sub-par spin-offs and re-imaginings. The 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo and its 2004 sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed were both written by a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn and both were pretty entertaining and well-received. Then there was the excellent Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated that ran from 2010-2013 - a series that served as a perfect entry to Scooby-Doo for my own daughters. And then the turn happened. A pair of not-great live-action "prequel" TV movies paired with the bizarre Family Guy-style animation of Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! would be followed by the announcement of a live-action Daphne & Velma movie. With that film hitting Blu-ray and DVD on May 22, 2018, the cast is starting to do press this week, and I feel for all parties involved when the interviews start rolling. The trailer that was released last month looks absolutely terrible, and the Blu-ray art is a horrible use of Photoshop in which the faces of the actresses look awkwardly placed atop equally awkward poses. See for yourself...
In honor of Star Wars Day, the team over at Lucasfilm has just unleashed a new clip from Solo: A Star Wars Story. In this new look at Ron Howard's upcoming film, we see Chewbacca and Han Solo taking control of the Millennium Falcon together as pilot and co-pilot for the very first time. Tickets for the film are also now on-sale via Fandango, so get yours ordered today!
There's 25 Wookiees in that photo above, and [SPOILER ALERT] one of them is The Rock Father™! While in Los Angeles last month, I stopped by Disney's Grand Central Creative Campus to meet with the team from Disney Consumer Products & Interactive. After taking a look at the full range of new products from Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story, each member of my crew donned one of Party City's Chewbacca masks for a photo celebrating the launch of Roar For Change - the next initiative from Star Wars: Force for Change, presenting fans with a new global challenge in support of UNICEF. Curious how this is gonna play out and how you can do some good by showing off your best Wookiee roar? Check out the launch video below!
Star Wars Day brings forth a ton of surprise announcements, and for 2018 one of those is a new addition to the ever-expanding world of 6' action figures issued by Hasbro as part of The Black Series. My friends at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate) just announced that they'll be stocking a "Fan Channel Exclusive" - the Star Wars The Black Series Admiral Piett 6" Action Figure. Based on Firmus Piett (performed by Kenneth Colley) who appeared in both The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), this new super-articulated action figure features a removable cap and blaster, and will begin shipping this June.
At the 115th North American International Toy Fair this year, I happened to come across the Imperial Toy booth and some of their latest offerings on the bubble front. For years Imperial's bubbles have been a staple of outdoor play, but one new spin on the classic is something that's been kicking around since 2015, gradually being improved and readied for its major public push. Created by a pediatrician and allergist,Lick-A-Bubble is a special solution that allows kids to create flavored bubbles from just about any drink (just stay away from dairy, pulps, and steer non-carbonated). And for the grownups, yes - you can use this with your favorite "adult beverage" - and that's exactly how I first tried them.