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 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, 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.
As we roll into Toy Fair in New York, news is hitting hard... you could even say that we're slammin' over here. One tidbit of data comes from what's no doubt one of my favorite aisles - the action aisle, with news that The NPD Group reports that WWE had the #1 selling action figure in the U.S. in 2017, surpassing all action figure sales of other major entertainment brands and blockbuster films.* On one hand, that seems a bit surprising, but I have seen quite a few of my daughters' friends with WWE figures on a regular basis, and Mattel's new line of Superstar Dolls has also been a big hit here at home. Check out more from this morning's joint press release from WWE and Mattel...
Gentle Giant Ltd./3D Systems is a name that's been respected for a very long time, but the one problem for many has been that their products haven't really been attainable to a mass audience. For nearly 20 years, they've become famous for their high-end collectibles rooted in their pioneering digital scanning process, but now they're about to go mass-market with six new collectible toy lines and the return of an old favorite. At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York, Gentle Giant Toys will launch as a new division separate from Gentle Giant Ltd, and they're looking to bring their famous level of craftsmanship into toys that almost everyone can afford.
Ready for a Chia PREDATOR? While we don't know if that will be a thing, a surprising announcement arrived just before the start of New York Toy Fair this weekend - National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) has acquired the company behind Chia Pet and The Clapper. NECA has taken control of both Joseph Enterprises, Inc. (JEI) and Joseph Pedott Advertising and Marketing, Inc. (JPAM), which join the NECA family of specialty entertainment companies. NECA promises that these are "poised for cross-company collaboration."
As of this writing, the 115th North American International Toy Fair hasn't even opened its doors yet, but toymakers are getting out in front of things with a ton of pre-show reveals. One of the latest is from IAmElemental, dropping the curtain on their newest female action figure: the Series 2/Wisdom Warrior Core Power Figure, inspired by Alexandrian STEM pioneer Hypatia. Announced earlier this month, the latest offering joins IAmElemental's groundbreaking line of female action figures designed specifically for children. The strong, healthy female figures invite girls and boys to develop their character by playing with “The Elements of Power.” The company’s Series 1/Courage figures, modeled on Joan of Arc, were launched on Kickstarter to worldwide acclaim in 2014. Series 2/Wisdom followed in 2016, with ancient Alexandrian STEM pioneer Hypatia as the muse.
The time has come - the much-anticipated eighteenth film in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived! Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER is now playing in theaters everywhere, and for kids and families looking to bring the Kingdom of Wakanda to life at home, there's no better destination than Disney Store and ShopDisney.com. In addition to a full range of Black Panther toys and apparel from licensees such as Hasbro and Our Universe, they also have some exclusive offerings inspired by the King-turned-Avenger. The crew over at Disney just sent a surprise package to Rock Father HQ that contained a few of them for review - here's some highlights...
Winning Moves Games USA is rolling into the North American International Toy Fair with some new games that will be introduced February 17-20, 2018 in New York City. Among the latest offerings is the RUBIK'S TOWER puzzle. Like the original RUBIK'S CUBE, the RUBIK'S TOWER is an intriguing mechanical puzzle. Imagine two 2x2 Rubik's Cubes on top of one another that are able to rotate around a central axis and you've got the RUBIK'S TOWER.