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.
Learn more here.
One of my favorite places in the world is Legends Plaza on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. The first time I visited the studio lot, I had my picture taken right next to the famous "Partners" statue by sculptor Blaine Gibson. There are five versions of the statue, and visitors to Disney Parks know it well - a perfect vision of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, looking proudly in the distance, perhaps at what's been accomplished, but more intriguingly at what is yet to come. When I saw the latest catalog for Hallmark's Keepsake Ornaments (a tradition in our family) ahead of the annual July release, many items caught my eye, but one stood out - a version of "Partners" set for release this fall.
The biggest event in pop culture happens this week, and for the first time ever, I will be making the trip to Comic-Con International in San Diego. After "covering from home" for the better part of a decade across several sites, I'll be appearing as a program participant for a special panel on Saturday, July 21, 2018. I'm a late addition to the lineup for Living in a Post-Toys 'R' Us World: Navigating the Future of Toy Retail. Having written at length about the collapse of Toys 'R' Us, this will be an exciting chance to take part in a discussion about what the future might hold! Details below...
With Walt Disney Studios' Christopher Robin headed for theaters on August 3 (see the latest trailer here), the folks over at Funko are giving some characters from the film a Pop! Vinyl treatment. For the first wave, they're bringing Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore into the format, capturing the cinematic look, which itself is inspired both by Classic Pooh and Disney's previous designs on the animated versions. All of these are available for pre-order now from my friends at Entertainment Earth, while a special edition flocked Pooh Bear with a red balloon is available exclusively at Box Lunch stores.
Later this month, I will be back on the ground in Los Angeles, working alongside my friends at Walt Disney Studios for the launch of their new film, Christopher Robin. Today, tickets for the film went on-sale (get 'em via my affiliate, Fandango) and families will get their first look into the Hundred Acre Wood on the night of August 2, for preview showings ahead of its August 3 release. As those tickets went on-sale, Disney also just released a new "Adventure" sneak-peek and an all-new featurette about the legacy of the famous characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. Take a look!
This Christmas, Marvel and Sony Pictures Animation will enter a new dimension with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Of course, that does mean that the folks at Hasbro will be swinging into retail with a full assortment of new toys based on the animated feature. The details from Hasbro just arrived here at Rock Father HQ, and I've got all of them below. Everything from this collection should be available at major retailers and at HasbroToyShop.com. One of the most interesting pieces in the bunch is a "Countdown Calendar" - essentially an advent calendar that presents kids with a new toy each day leading up to the theatrical release of the movie. Check these out!
Back in April, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (reviewed here) roared into theaters, quickly becoming the #4 film of all-time. I was there for the launch, a guest of Marvel on the red purple carpet, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was changed forever. Now, as audiences await the release of Avengers 4 next spring, Infinity War is coming home Digitally on July 31 and Blu-ray on Aug. 14 with over two hours of bonus features! Check out all the specs below, and read-on because my personal adventure with the Avengers isn't over yet...