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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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The power of SLIME has been compelling kids for the past few years, and what I thought might be a passing fad has shown no signs of letting up - especially here at Rock Father HQ. In our house it's 9-year-old Addie who holds the position of resident slime enthusiast and chemist, and because of that she's been asking for months if she could create her own "Slime Channel" on YouTube. Since I'm not a big fan of many elements of the YouTube culture (despite being a creator on the platform), I said she could have a "show" on my channel: Addie's Slime Videos. But I actually launched it on Facebook first (where it's actually done better), and this week the initial episode went live. For its debut, Addie cracks into a box of Super Cool Slime from the folks at Kangaroo Manufacturing - an assortment of ready-mixed slimes that I pegged as potential stocking stuffers for my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™. Check this out!

Coming off an epic World Premiere for the film this week, WaterTower Music is making a splash with the release of the AQUAMAN - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. From director James Wan comes a new adventure based on the iconic character from the pages of DC Comics, one that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas. Aquaman features an original score by multi-award-winning composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman, Hotel Rwanda, Hacksaw Ridge), includes a track by composer Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and debuts the new songs Ocean To Ocean” by Pitbull Feat. Rhea (a riff on Toto's oft-covered "Africa"), and the end title song “Everything I Need” by Skylar Grey.  

While the world awaits news on what the next installment of the long-running James Bond franchise will be, the first-ever official James Bond experience to take place in New York City is taking shape. SPYSCAPE, the experiential spy museum in NYC has partnered with EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM) to collaborate on a new 007 exhibition at the SPYSCAPE headquarters in Manhattan. Set to open in early 2019, registration for early access to tickets has already opened.

As my girls get older, I do find myself occasionally missing certain things from "simpler times" that weren't all too long ago. One of those things is Chuggington, a series I'd written much about a few years back - a hit from UK-based Ludorum that had been airing here in the States on Disney Junior before quietly building more of a YouTube presence. Now comes news that Ludorum has sold the popular franchise, and the Chuggers have rolled into a new station right here in the States with Herschend Entertainment Studios taking ownership.

The holiday spirit is infectious and there's nothing better than seeing joy brought forth to kids who don't see enough of it. The latest news to roll in comes from Massachusetts, where more than 250 deserving children were able to enjoy a "winter wonderland of play" at a special Play Your Part event hosted by The Toy Foundation (TTF) in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) – Local 103 in Dorchester, MA.  

As we roll toward the end of an unusually challenging year for many, there's some bright spots to be seen, one of which is shining in California tonight. MGA Entertainment and the Marine Toys for Tots program have been working together in order to brighten the holidays for some of the many children whose families were affected by the devastating wildfires that ravaged parts of both Northern and Southern California last month. The team at MGA will be providing more than $5M in new toys that are expected to bring joy to an estimated 300,000 kids in California and in other parts of the country where disaster has struck.

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