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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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If you don't want to terrify your children, don't mention the prospect of recycling toys. Not long ago, I happened to be watching a video about a company that recycles broken plastic toys into children's furniture. My girls came into the office while I was watching it, and within minutes they'd created an entire story about "the toy stealers who come at night," subsequently starting to hide their own toys for fear of recycling. In reality, it's not a bad idea, and while I don't really know the data on it, I can only imagine the massive amount of toys and games that wind up in landfills each year. Now, ahead of Earth Day, Hasbro announced earlier this week that they're launching a toy and game recycling pilot program with TerraCycle. During the pilot program, consumers can collect and send their well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, who will recycle them into materials that can be used in the construction of play spaces, flower pots, park benches, and other innovative uses. In 2018, Hasbro is piloting the program in the contiguous U.S.

The Toy InsiderAs of this writing, we're closer to May than April and it's currently snowing where I sit here in Illinois. From what I've heard, it's not much better for my friends on the east coast, like my colleagues at The Toy Insider who've just launched their 2018 Spring & Summer Gift Guide. Technically, it's spring, and here at Rock Father™ HQ we have some of the items featured in The Toy Insider Gift Guide... we just haven't had the proper weather to use them just yet. Never separated by gender, the Toy Insider’s gift guide is broken down by age group and play category - with each category featuring a variety of products across a wide range of price points. Check out the links and details below!

We're gearing-up for another massive summer at the movies, and on June 22, 2018 the Jurassic Park franchise continues with the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Today the final trailer has arrived, and it's the first big look we've had at the true plot of the film - one involving use of the creatures for nefarious purposes. I call it two-and-a-half minutes of dino-fueled badassery. Check it out below!

It was on April 18, 1938 that the world first discovered the exploits of Superman - the iconic creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first hitting the public eye on the cover of ACTION COMICS #1 (cover dated June). Some four decades later, the "last son of Krypton" would come to life on the big screen with the release of 1978's Superman: The Movie, fueling kicking off another generation of heroics that caught the eye of many - myself among them. While my childhood was filled with superheroes, it was Superman that really grabbed me and pulled me into the medium where it all began - comics. Specifically, it was John Byrne's 1986 mini-series, The Man of Steel that did it (a series I've since shared with my daughters), and for the Christmas of 1987 I asked for one thing: the collected trade paperback edition, which I received and still have. Byrne's run on Superman introduced me to the countless spinoffs and made me a regular reader of Action Comics during an era where you had to buy three books (Superman, Action Comics, Adventures of Superman) to follow a complete story arc. From there I discovered the back issue bins, eventually delving into the five decades of storytelling that came before. Fast-forward another three decades and Superman is turning 80 - and as part of that celebration, Action Comics becomes the first superhero title to reach an incredible milestone - the publication of its 1000th issue. 

The age of REPENTANCE is upon us, and today the band formally reveals themselves ahead of their live debut this May in support of TRIVIUM and TOOTHGRINDER. For the past several months, REPENTANCE has been feverishly writing music at Chicago’s Superior Street Studios, keeping a relatively low profile as the project took shape. Robby J. Fonts will be handling vocal duties, joining a lineup that includes guitarists Shaun Glass and Markus Johnsson, drummer Anthony Lien and bassist Mike Sylvester.

It's the most-condensed promotion for a Star Wars film that we've ever seen, and personally - I dig it. Due to the close proximity to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, promotion for Solo: A Star Wars Story had been held back a bit but now it's kicking into hyperdrive! A new TV spot just arrived and it showcases the crew of scoundrels about to pull of a job as we look into the early adventures of Han Solo and his new friend, Chewbacca. What's unique about this spot is that it might be the first example of a Star Wars spot using music from a popular artist alongside the typical score and trailer music elements. AWOLNATION's 2015 track "Run" is featured heavily in this one. Check it out...

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ROCK FATHER™ TV: New Videos from YouTube