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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 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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10 years after the events of Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, a new and even more fearsome alien threat has been unleashed upon the world in Pacific Rim: Uprising! John Boyega (Star Wars Saga) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous "Kaiju". Now Jake is called back into action by his former co-pilot, Lambert (Scott Eastwood), and a 15-year-old Jaeger hacker, Amara (Cailee Spaeny). Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale and now their adventure is coming home! The Rock Father™ and Universal Studios Home Entertainment have teamed-up to fight aliens to get five (5) lucky readers hooked up with Pacific Rim: Uprising on Blu-ray!

They say that history repeats itself, and likewise so do trends. One trend in play that's back with some serious bite this year is everything jurassic.  Yes, the dinosaurs are back, and at the forefront of popular culture that's being driven by the release of Universal Pictures' Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  While they might own the rights to certain stories, names and places, Universal can't lay claim to dinosaurs, and that keeps the gates wide-open for other toymakers to ride the wave of renewed excitement for the long-extinct (or are they?) giants that have been captivating imaginations for millions of years. For Playmobil, The Explorers are their new line of archaeological adventurers who are making their way into stores and playrooms with tales of a mysterious island called Roca, where dinosaurs continue to live peacefully thanks to a magical fruit. At the 115th North American International Toy Fair in New York, I had a chance to see the new collection first-hand, and the folks at Playmobil recently sent us the new Hidden Temple with T-Rex Playset for a hands-on review.

When it comes to summer toys for outdoor fun, it always seems that the simplest ones tend to be the best. One recent entry that captured the spirit is the Zoom Ball, something the folks at Goliath Games included in a  shipment of review materials that we received right around the time of the North American International Toy Fair this year. At the time, outdoor play wasn't the first thing on my mind (it was cold), but now it's prime time for warm weather fun, and Zoom Ball is a hit. As they say, you just "Zip it to Rip it!" Check out the video below to see it in action...

There's something very American about the internal combustion engine. We equate it with many things, from going places and getting the job done to horsepower, octane and speed. During the summer months, there's adventure that goes with it as families embark on the Great American Roadtrip to see the country by car. As habits, tastes and technology have changed, gas-power has started to make way for electric, and while there's something to be said about the rumble under the hood, the case for electric is an increasingly appealing one, and the old limits of cost, range and lack of style are getting tossed aside. Adventure? Yes, you can have adventure in an electric car, and the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a prime example of just how far things have come.

From the people who bring you the excellent Free Comic Book Day each May, Halloween ComicFest brings the fun into Fall during its annual event the Saturday before Halloween. For 2018, Halloween ComicFest is presenting a trio of PREVIEWS Exclusive (PX) collectible figures, available only at Local Comic Shops during the event on Saturday, October 27th. This year's event brings forth a special Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord Funko Pop! Vinyl, plus a couple a sweet Deadpool mini Egg Attack figures by Beast Kingdom. Check out the details below!

If you happened to have seen the recent documentary, Making Fun: The Story of Funko (now on Netflix), you probably caught the fact that Betty Boop was a very important license for Funko early on. In the 90s, nearly a decade or so before the Pop! Vinyl craze would begin, Funko was known for their Wacky Wobblers, and Betty Boop was a big fixture in that line. Now Funko is launching a full line of Betty Boop Pop! Vinyl Figures, and my friends at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate partner) have an Exclusive version, Black & White Betty Boop. But that's not all, because there's also a rare Chase version of the figure with red highlights. Which one will you get?

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