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Thursday, December 13 2018 22:22

Chuggington Rides the Rails to a New Owner Here in the U.S.

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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.

“We are excited to welcome Chuggington into the Herschend family,” said Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises. “As the popular program prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary, our team has developed plans to extend the brand’s reach by leveraging both its global fan base and Herschend’s portfolio of media, themed entertainment and experience-based businesses. We look forward to creating new and meaningful ways for families to connect with the world of Chuggington.”

Based in the fictional town of Chuggington, the series follows a trio of young, trainee trains, the eager Wilson, loyal Brewster and daring Koko.  Under the guidance of their elder "Chuggers," the main characters embark on exciting adventures and learn valuable lessons about teamwork, friendship and fun. 

Herschend is known for live events and theme parks (such as Dollywood), but their entertainment division is growing, with their Splash & Bubbles (produced with The Jim Henson Company) airing on PBS Kids. The company has already promised a big investment in new original content for 2019.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He 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. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, 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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