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James Zahn

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur. 

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and 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 Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, June 27 2017 10:51

Disney's VAMPIRINA Gets a Voice Cast...

One of our most-anticipated new animated series' makes its debut this fall, and that's VAMPIRINA - from Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee. Today Disney hit The Rock Father™ with news that James Van Der Beek ("Dawson's Creek," What Would Diplo Do?") and Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls") will voice the roles of Vampirina's parents, Boris and Oxana Hauntley. Twelve-year-old Isabella Crovetti ("Colony") stars as the voice of Vampirina (aka Vee), a lovable young vampire girl, who is facing the joys and trials of being the new kid in town when her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania. The series will debut on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and the Disney NOW App.

I'm a big fan of Greenlight Collectibles, particularly their Greenlight Hollywood Series (see my hands-on features here). They've been busy this summer, securing new licenses, and that means there's some new rides in the pipeline, including some that you wouldn't immediately think of - which makes these even more fun. After the recent announcement that they've teamed with Stephen J. Cannell Productions to produce diecast toys based on The Greatest American HeroHunter, Riptide and fan-favorite, The A-Team, today brings a double-dose of news involving new deals with Lionsgate and SONY Pictures Television.

Last year, I lucked out as my oldest daughter and I happened to be at Nintendo of America HQ outside of Seattle on the very day that the much-anticipated NES Classic was released. We were technically there for a project related to the 3DS system, but the folks at Nintendo were kind enough to set aside a stack of Classics for folks in our group to purchase. Fortunately, I did grab the Mini edition of the famed 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, as the $59.99 item was quickly hard-to-come-by, and resellers were charging hundreds. When news came that the system was discontinued this spring (after failing to meet demand), rumors swirled that something new was in the pipeline... a Mini Edition of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Yesterday, the SNES Classic Edition was officially announced, and it's hitting the streets on September 29, 2017 with an MSRP of just $79.99.

Sponsored Content: This special feature is presented in partnership with Teletubbies...

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Teletubbies - Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - a quartet of colorful aliens with a childlike curiosity about the world around them. As I first wrote about earlier this year, the legend of the Teletubbies continues to grow as the series and characters have been updated for a new generation of tech-savvy tots, with new episodes airing weekdays at 9:47am on Nick Jr. There's the new toys from Spin Master, and from DHX Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the new "Big Hugs" DVD. With summer road trip season upon us, now is the perfect time to bring the Teletubbies along for the ride, ad we're gonna give you a shot at winning some new DVDs to take with you!

It wasn't long ago that we got our first-listen to the modern version of the classic DuckTales theme song, re-imagined for the 2017 series that's coming to Disney XD this summer. What a lot of DuckTales fans might not realize is that there was an extended version of the theme for the original series, one that added a full second verse that was seldom-heard back in the day. Keeping tradition alive, singer/songwriter Felicia Barton (Dancing with the Stars) has recorded an update of that as well, and it's now available as a digital single on iTunes, Amazon and more. Written by Mark C. Mueller, the new DuckTales theme song was produced by Emmy Award-winning Michael 'Smidi' Smith (Coldplay, Sia, Britney Spears) and composer Dominic Lewis ("Rough Night," "Fist Fight"). Check it out below!

I've never been much of a fan of motion control when it comes to video games (though I was a fan of the Power Glove in looks, not function), and the past decade or so proved that. The Wii felt gimmicky, and that thing that Sony made that looked like a massager with a ping pong ball attached was just goofy. Looks aside, the problem always was genuinely related to the fact that motion control just never seemed to work as advertised, and that stifled the intended fun. It's taken a lot of time, but with the Nintendo Switch, motion controls do work now, and with the release of ARMS, the full potential of the new Joy-Con controllers is front-and-center for a game that makes fighting more fun than it probably should be. In fact, ARMS is just fantastic.

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