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.
The spirit of true American metal is coming to Comic-Con International in San Diego this summer. In collaboration with AXE HEAVEN, makers of cool, miniature replica guitars, War Machine Marketing will bring an officially-licensed limited-edition set of PANTERA guitars to SDCC. Based on the titles of PANTERA albums and inspired by Dimebag Darrell's iconic "Dean from Hell," these will be extremely limited with just 30 sets of all 5 guitars available and 36 each of the 3 main guitars available each day. Due to the extremely limited nature of these guitars, a raffle will be held each day to determine the order of who can purchase them.
Now here's a new toy line that could stir up some serious debate. Announced a few weeks back, Figures Toy Company will soon roll out the first wave of their "World's Greatest Presidents" series of retro-styled action figures. So who are the "World's Greatest Presidents?" For starters, they're all American - having held the office of the President of the United States of America. And aside from Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, they're all of a pretty recent lineage. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all reporting for duty in that old-school cloth-outfitted style that was popular in the 60s and 70s, before the Kenner Star Wars collection hit the scene and made 3.75" action figures the norm.
Despite my massive love for Star Wars, I'm always a little bit glad that I don't cover all-Star Wars, all the time. In recent years, the hardcore fans have become a fickle bunch - particularly when it comes to collecting action figures and vehicles produced by Hasbro. With the much-requested relaunch of The Vintage Collection this year, even that has come with some gripes questions, and thus the folks at Hasbro have been attempting to keep an open conversation with fans, and the Hasbro Pulse Instagram account has been one way to do that. Last week, Hasbro's Steve Evans put out a call for questions, and today several have been answered. Check out the video below and stay tuned for more answers, now on Instagram TV (IGTV).
The world of Alexa is still somewhat foreign to me as our family does not yet have an Alexa enabled device. For those that do, however, there's some fun new content - particularly if you have kids who are Disney fans. Launched this week, Disney Dailies is a new kids skill for FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa with jokes, fun facts, and all-new sketches set in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ award-winning film Zootopia. Disney Dailies delivers new content every day, building an amazing collection of voice-enabled experiences. Kids will hear knee-slapping jokes with Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck, learn brain-teasing fun facts that intertwine Disney stories with science, art, and history, and will be treated to a huge suite of all-new sketches and stories that show kids “What’s up?” with their favorite characters. But that's not all...
The year was 1980. Charles Lazarus had been crowned "The Toy King," with his retail empire having grown from its modest beginnings as the Children's Bargain Town into a household name as Toys "R" Us. What started in 1948 as a place to buy baby furniture had evolved into a place that kids across the country would dream of - a rainbow-striped paradise of toys and games stacked floor-to-ceiling. His mascot had become an icon, and Geoffrey the Giraffe would soon start a family of his own, with wife Gigi, son Geoffrey Jr. and daughter Baby Gee entering the fold. Of course, a growing family will often prompt a search for a bigger ride, and for Geoffrey that search led a meeting between The Toy King of the East Coast and The King of the Kustomizers on the West Coast - legendary car builder, George Barris. It was time to build "The Geoffreymobile."
For a series than began as a Frankenstein'd story crafted by combining several Japanese series' from Toei Animation, Voltron has certainly come a long way in the past 34 years. Already popular in Japan, Beast King GoLion is what most Americans would come to recognize as Voltron: Defender of the Universe, while the Armored Fleet Dairugger XV became the second iteration of Voltron to hit the 'States, though a vehicular version that's oft-forgotten in favor of the lion-based counterparts. Since the launch of the Netflix Original Series, DreamWorks' Voltron: Legendary Defender in 2016, renewed interest in the character and it's past (fueled largely by the reissued Voltron '84) has led to it becoming a staple of Comic-Con. For this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, there's a huge amount of Voltron goodness coming into play - you could even say that it's an unusually large amount this year, packed with reveals and SDCC exclusives. It started with Playmates Toys' Voltron: Legendary Defender Hyperphase Voltron that Entertainment Earth will be selling, but now there's so much more...