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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 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.

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It's awards season, and one of the most buzzed-about films is THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. Now comes word that the film will come home this month, available for your digital collection on Movies Anywhere beginning Feb. 13; and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 27. Award-winning actress Frances McDormand (Fargo) delivers a stunningly powerful performance in this darkly comic drama that has been hailed as one of the year’s best films. A murdered girl’s defiant mother (McDormand) boldly paints three local signs with a controversial message, igniting a furious battle with a volatile cop (Sam Rockwell) and the town’s revered chief of police (Woody Harrelson). Check out the trailer and pre-order info below...

On February 13, 2018, PBS Distribution will release two all-new themed DVD collections featuring episodes of their hit PBS KIDS series. PBS KIDS: Outer Space Adventures and PBS KIDS: Ocean Adventures each feature 10 stories at a value price. No word on the exact episode listings for these just yet, but you can see the cover art and included series listed below...

I've mentioned this before (just ask my friends at The Toy Insider), but I need to make something very clear: I cannot find one thing that I like about SpongeBob SquarePants. Not a single thing. In fact, I'd call him my nemesis, but since I have a few, let's just say that SpongeBob is one of my  nemeses. Perhaps it's because his whole existence is a "Millennial" thing (his show debuted in 1999 - the year I got married), or maybe I'm still bent out of shape that I actually rented 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, only to be disappointed to find out that the legendary David Hasselhoff was given just a small (yet still heroic!) role in said film. Even when we took The Rock Daughters™ to visit Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, I had to play nice as the girls just loved meeting Mr. Squarepants. That said, next year is the 20th Anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, and the cool folks at The Alpha Group (Super Wings, Screechers Wild!) are picking up the torch as master toy licensee for SpongeBob. The brand-new product line, which will include toys, collectibles, plush and novelties, is expected to debut worldwide in 2019.

When it comes to toys, after years of growth the construction/building category took a hit in 2017, with sales falling 6%. As Toy Fair approaches, toymakers will no doubt be looking to rebound from that, and one way to do that is to innovate. Strictly Briks is bringing the iconic Rubik's Cube into the brick construction universe, reimagining it as four-sided bricks across three distinct product lines geared toward kids aged 4-7, 5-12 and 10+. RUBIK'S BRIKS will debut with sets that go beyond typical building by challenging kids with 3D Modeling, colorful pixel images and Puzzles. Here's a quick look at some of the sets they'll be offering beginning in the fall of 2018...

It seems like everything in entertainment is divisive these days. If you keep things the same, it's too much like what's come before it. Change things up and go in new directions, and you've ruined a franchise. At least, that's what certain very vocal fans tend to say. The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES franchise to me is a lot like BATMAN (who they've actually teamed-up with before). Since 1984, it's seen constant reinvention with different looks and new takes on familiar characters that sometimes inhabit an unfamiliar form. Most of the time, it works. Now, after running nearly six years in a CGI incarnation on Nickelodeon (which ran parallel to a vastly different-looking live action film series), the TMNT crew is being reinvented once more for RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

This Sunday, the Super Bowl or "Big Game" (for companies not paying the license fee) is taking place, and for football non-fans like myself, the most important part isn't the game - it's the commercials. Of course, they tend to make their way online early these days, and that's the case with the latest offering from the folks at Kia, who've brought a true rock icon into the mix. To celebrate the launch of their long-awaited Kia Stinger GT (I really need to get behind the wheel of one), Aerosmith's Steven Tyler hits the track as the notes of "Dream On" begin to play in reverse as he de-ages in the spirit of the vehicle's tagline: Fueled by Youth. Meanwhile,  two-time Formula One and Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi looks on approvingly as Tyler rediscovers his 25-year-old self. Check this out...

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ROCK FATHER™ TV: New Videos from YouTube