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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, more of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels rides started to make appearances in Drive Ahead! - the action-packed gladiator-style car-battling mobile game. Downloaded over 100 million times, Drive Ahead! is available for iOS and Android devices and turns players into arena superstars, where they go to battle with off-road vehicles, garbage trucks, racing cars and more. Now the game is getting infused with more Hot Wheels action on a regular basis with Hot Wheels Wednesdays - a brand-new weekly event introducing collectible new Hot Wheels cars into the Drive Ahead! arena. During Hot Wheels Wednesday, players battle over 24 thrilling hours to beat the boss and fight for the chance to win exclusive Hot Wheels die-cast cars. This brand new feature introduces an exciting new way to play and progress in Drive Ahead! Use Hot Tickets to play events, win Hot Bolts to craft cars or purchase exclusive Hot Wheels items. During the October update (issued just before Halloween), players also got their first taste of the new Nemesis Arenas that will be introduced each month, and these are locations familiar to many kids... because they're based on real-world Hot Wheels City toys! Now, Drive Ahead! and Hot Wheels have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give you a chance to win the actual Spider Park Attack Play Set - the inspiration for the first new Nemesis Arena in Drive Ahead!

This Incredibles 2 Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Disney•Pixar. Incredibles 2 is now available Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD,™ Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand  - a Holiday Wish Guide Pick as a perfect gift!

A year before Disney•Pixar's Incredibles 2 hit theaters, I noticed a familiar family dynamic at play. I'd been invited to attend the D23 Expo in Anaheim, and it was inside the famed "Hall D23" that members of the audience got their first-look at some footage from the long-awaited sequel.  By the time the film hit theaters this summer, it had been 14 years since the original - with enough time having passed that the world had become a very different place. One big change: I'd become an at-home dad, and so did Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible). To put it lightly, there were adjustments to be made, and the experience has been a rollercoaster. For our family, I became the at-home parent for financial reasons - my wife, my own "Mrs. Incredible," makes more money than I do and has the stability of a great job (21 years and counting!) with essential benefits like health insurance that are often unaffordable for hired gun contract guys like myself. For the Incredibles, the reasons were a bit more complicated, yet entirely similar. Helen Parr (Elastigirl) was offered a gig outside of the home that would support her family, yet even she was conflicted in a way very similar to my wife, stating "in order to help my family, I have to leave it." Bob thought that staying home with the kids would be "easy." If you've ever been responsible for a small human being, I think we can agree that it's never easy. Still, in the years that I've had the good fortune to do what I do, part of which includes running this very website, some (a very select few) have deemed me a "parenting expert," and that is a falsehood. Being "The Rock Father™," I do have some tips, but they're more like reminders... for myself. How to be an Incredible dad...

October 31, 2009. It was on that night that Slipknot would bring the touring cycle for All Hope is Gone to a close by performing to a sold-out crowd at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort as part of FANGORIA's Trinity of Terrors. No one knew it at the time, but that Halloween night concert would be the final time that the band would perform with bassist Paul Gray, who died in the spring of 2010. I was at that show - a memorable highlight of my short tenure working for FANGORIA magazine, serving as the Director of New Media for the event and co-hosting live webcasts throughout the weekend, including installments with Slipknot's Sid Wilson and Corey Taylor. Oddly enough, early this morning, Facebook memories surfaced a few images from that event that led me to dig into the archives to take a look at some never-before-seen photos and video that I was tempted to share... pausing and considering that sharing them next year on the 10th anniversary would be more appropriate. And then something unexpected happened: Slipknot released a surprise new single and music video... "All Out Life."

When it comes to Rides for the smaller kids, VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels® has been a go-to gift that my wife and I have given on several occasions. Geared towards children ages 1-5, these vehicles and playsets have been fostering imaginative play that's enhanced by VTech's award-winning technology, and this year Disney entered the mix! As part of my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™, The Rock Father™ and VTech have teamed-up to highlight a couple of these great new toys - and we're also giving you a chance to win some! One (1) reader will receive a prize pack that includes the fan-favorite Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch & Chase Police Tower and the all-new Go! Go! Smart Wheels Mickey Silly Slides Fire Station! Take a look...

When our kids were smaller, some favorite learning toys here came from LeapFrog. Classics like the learning table and My Pal Scout come to mind, and now as we give gifts to others with a new generation of little ones, it's always fun to see the new stuff that's been coming out. Two Holiday Wish Guide Picks this year are the LeapFrog Scout's Get Up and Go Walker (ages 3-36 months) and the Target-exclusive Water & Count Veggie Garden (ages 9-36 months). Now, The Rock Father™ and LeapFrog have teamed-up not only to showcase these great new toys as holiday gift ideas, but we're also giving you a chance to win the pair! One (1) lucky reader will receive both!

Simple play. It's right there in the name, and with toys like the new Garden View Cottage children's playhouse from Simplay3, your little ones will experience countless hours of pure, unguided imaginative play! Made in America by American workers, the first playhouse from Simplay3 features a whimsical design with some fun nuances that you might not notice at first... such as some design cues inspired by classic gingerbread houses. A 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ Pick, The Rock Father™ and Simplay3 have teamed-up to give readers a chance to win one of these beautiful playhouses. It's the perfect gift for any special little ones ages 1.5 and up!

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