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.
On August 9, 2019, Sony Pictures will release the ninth feature film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino. Today comes the first official photo from the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor...Sharon Tate.
One of my favorite things of 2018 so far has been Nintendo Labo. I first played it at the 115th North American International Toy Fair in NYC, and upon launch we had a set delivered direct to Rock Father HQ from my friends at Nintendo. Labo is something that's hard to really grasp without playing it hands-on, and as we now know, it's an experience that Nintendo intends to have around for a long time to come. The possibilities are unexpected, and perhaps endless, and this week one of the most popular games for the Switch just became Nintendo Labo compatible. Ready for a whole new way to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Grab the Toy Con motorbike handlebars and get ready to race! Check out the video below...
I have a t-shirt that I wear on occasion that features Mattel's iconic He-Man riding the mighty Battle Cat atop the curve of a gleaming rainbow. Why rainbows and He-Man? I'm not entirely sure, but I've always thought that it had a nice thematic tie-in to that 2010 viral video of Prince Adam (poorly) singing a dance version of 4 Non Blondes' 1993 hit, "What's Up?" So now comes the question, "what's going on" with Prince Adam and Comic-Con this year... specifically with Super7? Well, in the midst of all of their fantastic SDCC exclusive reveals for 2018, Super7 is rolling into San Diego with Prince Adam rockin' a massive smile on a new headsculpt inspired by that epic video of internet infamy. Check this out...
The demise of Toys "R" Us has an unexpected upside - other retailers are starting to get more creative and enthusiastic about the business of play. Following rumors of adding an expanded selection of toy offerings in their Party City stores, Party City Holdco Inc. has announced the company’s strategic decision to expand its temporary store offerings through the piloting of approximately 50 new ‘Toy City’ pop-up stores. Party City will launch the new, temporary Toy City locations alongside its Halloween City pop-up stores in select markets across the U.S.
Cool Kickstarter Features are promoted/sponsored looks at crowdfunding campaigns of note...
The 90s were a strange and wonderful time, and for me, the highlight of my personal music growth. While I've always considered myself to be "musically schizophrenic," the 90s are largely to blame - an era when grunge, industrial, the big band revival, nu metal and "third wave" ska came into play. The latter is being explored in a new documentary, Pick It Up! - Ska in the '90's, and film that's already building excitement by becoming fully-funded on Kickstarter in just 7 days (121% funded with 27 days to go, as of this writing). Check out the trailer and details below, and if you dig it - you can still get involved. They've opened up new perks and goals that will help the filmmakers craft the best film possible.
With summer officially here, that means a lot of wet fun for a good percentage of the population. Personally, my family thinks I'm a party pooper since I don't particularly care for swimming, and like Anakin Skywalker I'm not a big fan of sand either so that makes me a ton of fun at the beach. But my kids love the water - in fact, they've been in swimming lessons since shortly after birth and they make me pretty proud. Where I draw the line is with putting a pool here at Rock Father HQ (I love our big, solid yard). Fortunately, Grandma has one, and that's been the perfect spot to enjoy some of the new inflatables from the folks at Swimways (a subsidiary of Spin Master). After seeing a few at Toy Fair, we received a few for review, and the ones that they sent are pretty appropriately themed for my areas of expertise - they're Star Wars and Marvel.