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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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It's officially happening. On August 1, 2018, the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios. J.J. Abrams has returned to direct the final installment of the Skywalker Saga from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Chris Terrio. The official news hit the inbox here at Rock Father HQ just moments ago, and the list of new and returning cast members is both expected and surprising. See all the details below!

I have a little confession. Despite all the awesome that comes out of Funko, there has never been a Pop! Vinyl figure that I took one look at and said, "I absolutely must have that!" And believe me, I own hundreds of them and there's many more that I'd like to own. But until today, there has never been a single figure that I've absolutely just thrown money at the screen for... until today. The undisputed Greatest Television Series of All-Time™* is finally getting the Pop! Vinyl treatment, and it's coming through the Pop! Rides line. The KNIGHT RIDER  Michael Knight with K.I.T.T. figure pays tribute to the excellent 1982-1986 NBC television series that brought audiences along for "a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist." It also let kids like me know that "one man can make a difference," while inspiring much of the automotive and AI technology that exists in the world today. Available for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate) for an August/September delivery, this is sure to become a sought-after addition to any Pop! Collection, and one desired by all with good taste.

The first season hasn't even premiered yet, but Nickelodeon is betting big on RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. News just hit Rock Father™ HQ that the reimagined 2D-animated series just got the greenlight for a second season of 26 episodes. Having seen a preview alongside the new action figures and playsets from Playmates Toys (which are fantastic) at New York Toy Fair earlier this year, I don't think that Nick is out of line by doubling-down on this new telling of the TMNT legend. The action-comedy follows the band of brothers, Raph, Leo, Donnie and Mikey, as they discover new powers and encounter a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. Season two will begin production this fall at Nickelodeon’s headquarters in Burbank, Calif.

The Nintendo Labo continues to be one of 2018's biggest surprises, and today comes news that there's yet another kit on the way. Starting September 14, kids can buckle up for a new adventure while sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, a submarine and a plane with the Nintendo Labo: Vehicle Kit. It's officially bringing Rides into the Labo experience, designed to work with the Nintendo Switch system (sold separately). The Toy-Con 03 kit contains materials to build a variety of customizable cardboard creations called Toy-Con, including a Car, a Submarine, a Plane, a Pedal, two Keys and more. By inserting one of the assembled Keys into any of the vehicles, players can enjoy a variety of fun games and activities. Changing between vehicles while adventuring is a cinch – simply pull the Key out of one and slot it into another to transform from an airplane pilot to a submarine captain! Check out the trailer below...

The Rock Father is part of #TeamJurassic - presented in collaboration with Universal Studios Home Entertainment

65 million years in the making, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom burst into theaters this summer with the biggest array of dinosaurs ever realized on film! The sequel to 2015's Jurassic World brought audiences into a new realm where Jurassic Park is finally gone, but the adventure - or threat - has just begun. Now, families looking to experience the excitement once more can own the film when it comes home on Digital HD on September 4, followed by the Blu-ray & DVD release on September 18 (pre-order here). Pack with exclusive bonus features, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom arrives just in-time for the perfect late summer/early fall movie night!

Winnie the Pooh is a very important character around these parts. Sure, my wife and I grew up on the famous stories from A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard, but there's also a connection that's a little more recent. Back in August of 2009, we were living in a one-bedroom apartment in northern Illinois when the birth of our first daughter took place on the exact date of our 10th wedding anniversary. That bedroom was unusually spacious, the same length as our living room and kitchen combined, and thus it became half-nursery, with the decor themed as "Classic Pooh." Nine months later, we bought the house that would become "Rock Father HQ," and soon after little Addie would discover a particular depiction of that silly little bear in the form of a stuffed animal that I'd bought for my wife many years before... Poopsie Bear. Nine years later, we have two daughters who love the stories from the Hundred Acre Wood, but it's still Addie who's been enchanted by them. Poopsie is still her most prized possession and companion, and above her bed hangs one reminder of that nursery in the apartment where it all began: a picture of Piglet and Pooh. This is why my next adventure in Los Angeles is so special, and why walking the red carpet at the World Premiere of Disney's Christopher Robin is something that I'd quietly hoped for since the film was first announced.

This week, I will embark on my latest adventure with The Walt Disney Company - my 10th trip on Mickey's dime (disclosure and all) - as part of a that will work on promotion for the theatrical launch of Christopher Robin (#ChristopherRobinEvent), along with the in-home release of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (#InfintyWarBluRay) while gearing-up for the November release of Ralph Breaks the Internet (#RalphBreaksTheInternetEvent), the 57th feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios

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