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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.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

Last month I previewed for you the L.O.L. Surprise! House, the long-awaited residence for MGA Entertainment's smash hit L.O.L. Surprise Dolls. Based on my own internal tracking (article views + reader search + the number sold thus far through affiliate links), as of September we have an early leader for 2018's hottest holiday toy. The activity is unusually high, and in that I mean that it's so far out in front right now, it's an absolute monster! While we don't have one here in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father™ HQ, the girls on MGA's L.O.L. Surprise! YouTube Channel have posted an official unboxing. This comes alongside the release of an official 30-second television spot, which I just added to The Rock Father Channel. This is an early reveal from my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™, so if you want one of these - and at list price - you have to get it now! Pre-order via Amazon or Walmart, both priced at $189 as of this writing. See the new videos below...

Last month we met Team Fireball, and now it's time to meet the elite crew of ace pilots hired to serve and protect the Colossus platform in the upcoming animated series, Star Wars Resistance. In a new behind-the-scenes featurette, more members of the cast are revealed as the voices behind Team Aces. The one-hour series premiere of Star Wars Resistance will make its debut on October 7th on Disney Channel (10 p.m. ET/PT) and DisneyNOW. Two additional new episodes will be available via the DisneyNOW app and Disney Channel VOD, giving kids and families access to the series wherever and whenever they want to watch. Check this out...

It's a big day for Transformers as new toys from Paramount Pictures' Bumblebee Movie just hit pre-order (see them all here) and a whole bunch of new items from Cartoon Network's Transformers: Cyberverse just hit the streets. But that's not all - as some other items got into the mix including new plush keychains and an anticipated addition to the preschool-geared Rescue Bots line. My friends at Entertainment Earth just put them up for pre-order, so lets take a look...

A whole bunch of new toys from Hasbro's Transformers: Bumblebee were revealed today, and many went up for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth. One of the hottest items in the bunch is Transformers Studio Series Deluxe Bumblebee and Charlie which was originally intended to be a Toys "R" Us Exclusive, prior to the retailer's sudden collapse. This new figure set is available for pre-order right now, but if you're at all wary of potential "spoilers," beware that the product description and photos might reveal a few surprises when it comes to 'Bee's alt modes...

We're just a few months out from the Christmas release of Paramount Pictures' new Bumbleebee film, and now Hasbro is gearing up to start rolling out the companion toys. A sizable assortment of Transformers just went up for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth and among the new items are the following from the new Bumblebee line.  While the traditional transforming action figures are the core of the collection, Hasbro continues to emphasize role play, large-scale feature figures and their Vision AR line that first surfaced as an Iron Man helmet during the product launch for Avengers: Infinity War. Check out the new toys below, and note the character names alongside their pre-production code names (used to prevent potential spoilers during the pre-announcement stages). See a full gallery of photos on The Rock Father™ Facebook Page, and get all of the details below...

This story is brought to you in collaboration with Mitsubishi Motors USA...

This summer, some Nashville flavor came to Illinois in a pretty unique way. No, I'm not talking about that "Nashville Hot" chicken (though that's picking up steam in the north as well), but my sister's country wedding. Though she grew up in Illinois as I did, Nashville has always been in her sights, and that's where she ended up. But for her wedding, she was back up north for a barn wedding in Hebron, Illinois. What was unusually cool is where some of the decor came from... not just from City of Nashville, but from the television series. After a six season run across ABC and CMT, Nashville came to an end this summer, which meant that the time had come for the production to wrap things up with a three-day "Set Decoration Public Sale." Actor Charles Esten even shared a video preview of the event some months back, and as luck would have it, decorations that may have dressed the set when Rayna Jaymes (Connie Brtitton) and Deacon Claybourne (Esten) tied the not wound up as part of the atmosphere for a real-life wedding.

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