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.
The retail life of Hasbro's Star Wars Forces of Destiny collection has been a strange one. Launched about a year and a half ago, Forces of Destiny hit the scene as a multi-faceted movement consisting of animated shorts on Disney Channel, a full range of "adventure figures" along with books, clothing and more. I've been told from some "folks who asked not to be named" that everything did very well... except for the toys. Very disappointing, since The Rock Daughters love the collection, but on the retail front it may have been too much too soon, with the wrong mix of characters, multiple styles right off the bat (Rey, Leia) and some that kids might not have been familiar enough with (sorry, Jyn Erso). Still, these dolls adventure figures are fantastic, and there is an audience that's been craving more, and that goes for kids and collectors alike. One figure we never found was Chewbacca, but he's back for Comic-Con this year, packed alongside some adorable Porgs for an SDCC exclusive inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take a look!
For a few years now, Paramount Pictures has been hard at work on a new animated film entitled AMUSEMENT PARK. Back in January, I made the announcement that the film would be getting a full line of toys from my friends at Funrise, but when I entered their showroom at the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York, they had a large standee touting the future arrival of Amusement Park toys - but didn't want pictures of the sign taken, despite the logo having already been out there for a good year. Cue the title change and Amusement Park is now WONDER PARK, a magical tale about a defunct theme park called Wonderland, "where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive." They're betting big on this one, with a companion animated series for Nickelodeon already in-production, but little was known about the project until today. Check out the teaser trailer below!
Back in February, one of the most buzzed-about new products at the 115th North American International Toy Fair was being shown behind closed doors in a private viewing room. Wow! Stuff had created the most realistic Golden Snitch that anyone had ever seen, and a few folks were lucky enough to see it in-action, and some, like my colleagues at The Toy Insider, were able to catch some video. Today, The Rock Father™ can exclusively announce that the Mystery Flying Snitch will make its debut first from Entertainment Earth at Comic-Con this month where it will be offered alongside a few incredible Harry Potter products from Wow! Stuff. Available now for pre-order, check out all the details below... but stay tuned! I'll be catching up with the crew from Wow! Stuff at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite 2018 in New York City later this week and will be sharing more. This new collection of must-have Harry Pottter items is going to be hot, and you can get them first from Entertainment Earth!
This Hotel Transylvania Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ Magazine, Pollinate Media Group® and Snyder’s-Lance Inc.
With summer in full swing, we've entered the big summer movie season both in theaters and at home. For regular readers, it should be no secret that we're big movie fans, and while the traditional cinema experience can be a cool break from the hot summer temperatures, our family loves going to the drive-in, and we also love showing movies in our backyard theater right here at home. Backyard movies are a great way to bring the neighborhood together, and depending on what you're showing, it can also lend itself to some fun themes. Since Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is arriving in theaters on July 13, here's five essentials for throwing a Hotel Transylvania double-feature to get re-acquainted with how the story of Dracula and Mavis began. You'll be all caught up before Drac's pack sets sail on a monster cruise ship helmed by a Captain who holds a mysterious secret that could threaten them all!
When I was out in L.A. working with Disney and Marvel Studios on the premiere weekend of Avengers: Infinity War, I had a chance to check out a showroom at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive with a whole bunch of new action figures for Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years - many of which that weren't shown back in February at Toy Fair in New York. Now they're rolling out, and one of the hottest comes from Captain America: The First Avenger, and it's making its debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Check out the MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RED SKULL & ELECTRONIC TESSERACT!
Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode IX should start filming later this summer, and one new addition to the cast just might be an old collaborator for Writer/Director J.J. Abrams. Variety broke the news that Keri Russell, who famously worked with Abrams as the title character on Felicity, will join the final chapter in the Sequel Trilogy in an "action-heavy" role. According to the trade, Lucasfilm and Abrams met with several actresses for this role over the past few months, eventually locking in Russell right before the 4th of July.