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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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If you love board games and travel, then the ICECOOL Antarctica Challenge should be right up your alley. We see a lot of contests and sweepstakes getting pitched around these parts, but never before has a board game company served-up a chance for an adventure to Antarctica! With a "main prize fund of $18,000 USD," Brain Games will launch a global ICECOOL trickshot contest on October 1st, the winner of which will score a two-person voyage to Antarctica to meet real penguins.

It's been awhile since I've featured Kia in the virtual pages of Rock Father™ Rides, but today's news brings a throwback to my top picks for what to see at the Chicago Auto Show back in 2016. One of the concept vehicles that I photographed and very much enjoyed was the Telluride SUV - touted at the time as an idea of what a modern, full-sized SUV from Kia might be... but one "not intended for production." In recent weeks, however, spy photos have been traveling in the automotive circles of pre-production Telluride vehicles that were barely disguised. Now comes the semi-official debut, the first public appearance of Kia Motors America’s "largest and most refined SUV" – the all-new 2020 Telluride, and it happened during fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s New York Fashion Week show. Created by Kia’s U.S. design studio in Irvine, California, the customized Telluride that appeared on the runway drew influence from Maxwell’s inspiration for the Spring Summer 2019 collection: Texas. This special preview comes ahead of the Telluride's "official" debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Updated: Codes for Playstation 4 have been distributed. If you would like an Xbox One code, you have until 9/14 to enter!

How would you like to be among the very first players to experience the new Blackout mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4? Well, you could be, as Activision has hooked-up The Rock Father™ with a handful of codes that will allow you to take part in the excitement when the Private Beta launches first on Playstation 4 on Monday, September 10th, or on Xbox One beginning on September 14th. The Private Beta will provide valuable user feedback and data as Activision and developer Treyarch prepare to release what's been touted as "the deepest, most engaging Call of Duty game ever." Those who participated in the multiplayer beta automatically have access to the Blackout beta, and if you can't wait to see if you've won a code, pre-order the game for access!

It's time to game for good, and for the sixth year in a row, GameStop has teamed up with Make-A-Wish to help make more wishes come true for children with critical illnesses. Adding even more power to the mix for 2018, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) has joined the collaborative effort to help local kids get back to being kids. So now it's our turn to help make some wishes happen! I invite you to join me, The Rock Father™, in helping to spread the word about this awesome effort. In return, you can earn chances to win a $100 GameStop Gift Card, right here from The Rock Father Magazine! While the entire month of September supports this initiative, Wednesday, September 12 is a very important and special day... in honor of National Video Games Day, GameStop will match its donation to Make-A-Wish when they hit the $10,000 mark on that day only! If you want to pick up some awesome games and help grant wishes at the same time, September 12th is the prime day to do it!

As the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter in the United States continues, the wizarding adventures continue to grow with an even broader assortment of fun products for kids and grownups of all ages. The folks at JAKKS Pacific are all about the magic, entering The Great Hall with a new collection of Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands (each casting 11 different spells across five modes of play) and an assortment of blind-bagged diecast wands. This Friday, you're invited to join The Toy Insider & JAKKS Pacific for a magical #JakksHarryPotter Twitter Party - an hour full of fun, trivia, and giveaways! The action happens on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT. You MUST RSVP and participate in the party to be eligible for prizes, so hit this link to get your name into the sorting hat! Check out The Toy Insider's Play by Play video below to see these awesome Harry Potter wands in-action...

For those that missed it this year due to its "hiatus," Chicago Open Air will be back in 2019 presenting a new event called "A Day in the Park." The event will take place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois during the weekend of May 17-19. Danny Wimmer Presents revealed the news in an announcement that I received this morning along with details on their spring 2019 music festivals - including the debut of the new Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Ohio and a new "destination" musc fest that will be coming to North Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as I have it...

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