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 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.
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is roaring into theaters (read my review here) as the largest and arguably most epic superhero film of all-time! Serving as the third Avengers film and the 19th film in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Infinity War closes out the first ten years of Marvel Studios while throwing open the door for what's yet to come. When viewing a film like this for the first time, the only way to see it is on the big screen, and The Rock Father™ Magazine and Fandango have teamed-up to get five (5) lucky readers hooked-up with limited-edition Avengers: Infinity War Iron Man-themed Fandango Gift Cards. Each $25 Gift Card is good toward seeing Infinity War in the participating theater of your choosing or for checking out something at home via FandangoNOW.
This #AlienDay 2018 feature brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Entertainment Earth.
It was last Halloween that Funko dropped the curtain on their first offering of 8-Bit Horror Pops - an assortment of Pop! Vinyl figures that put a retro video game spin on iconic characters like Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) and the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott's ALIEN. As for the latter, the 8-Bit Alien has been issued a couple of times thus far in standard and blood-splattered editions as a complement to a larger line of ALIENS Pop! Vinyl. Now comes the time to add a third variant to the mix with the surprise release of the Entertainment Earth Exclusive "Video Game Deco" 8-Bit Xenomorph. This is the most colorful variation yet, taking inspiration from the famed ALIEN 3 video game with accents of blue and red. The figure is available to pre-order right now (while supplies last), but I've already got one and can give you an exclusive hands-on look right here!
Ten years. Eighteen movies. Never before in the history of filmed entertainment has there been such a complex, interconnected "cinematic universe' that carries so many stories across so many planes. Through individual franchises and multi-hero team-ups, there is no argument that Marvel Studios has created the model that many studios wish to emulate, though few, if any, will ever manage to find the type of success that Marvel has. From 2008's Iron Man to 2018's Black Panther, everything has been leading to this - the third Avengers film and a piece that serves to re-shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by laying the groundwork that will close the books on the first decade of storytelling by firmly throwing open a door - or portal - to what may come next. Avengers: Infinity War is the biggest superhero film in history, the MCU's nineteenth film landing in the unique spot of being a new hub from which many spokes will soon spawn. When asked to provide a "two-word review" shortly after leaving the film's World Premiere in Los Angeles, my response was "still absorbing."
I've been out in Los Angeles for the past few days, working with The Walt Disney Company on a few things, but most importantly to attend the World Premiere of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (film reviewed here). Today, however, I had an unexpected detour - a brief meeting with the folks at Disney Consumer Products & Interactive, specifically to check out the latest offerings from Marvel and Lucasfilm ahead of Avengers and Solo: A Star Wars Story. While many of the items have been seen before, there's some additional product in the pipeline, and I'm pleased to reveal a couple of new cars from Mattel's Hot Wheels Star Wars Character Cars Collection. I've been writing about that line for four years (see my checklist here), and with Solo there's new offerings, including Qi'Ra and the Imperial Range Trooper. These were photographed with permission in a private showroom this morning...
After a surprise announcement and months of hype, Nintendo Labo has finally arrived. This new system links the physical and digital realms of the Nintendo Switch in ways that most would've never imagined, allowing players to "make, play and discover." It's such a unique experience, it's somewhat hard to describe without actually playing it, and I had a chance to do just that during an hour-and-a-half session behind closed doors with Nintendo at the 115th North American International Toy Fair back in February. But there's also a lot to be gained by watching others and seeing what their creations are all about, and for launch Nintendo has teamed-up with a guy that knows a bit about labs... Bill Nye. Check out the video below to see what The Science Guy whips up, then get creative and start sharing your own ideas.
The Toys "R" Us saga continues, and while this week hasn't been as explosive as some in recent months, there has been some activity worth noting. Earlier this week it was reported that the bid for pieces of Toys "R" Us operations in the U.S. and Canada by MGA Entertainment's Isaac Larian has been rejected for "not meeting the threshold" - a statement that left many to question what exactly that threshold would be. For Canada, we now have a number, and it came via a filing of notice for a stalking horse bidder. Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has entered into an agreement to buy the Canadian operations for $300M in Canadian dollars - equivalent to about $237M US. Larian's bid for Canadian stores was $215M.