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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.

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On November 2, Danny Weinkauf is back with his Red Pants Band to deliver a fourth album of family-friendly jams when Inside I Shine hits the streets. The familiar bassist of They Might Be Giants recently issued a new single off the record, and it's one I agree with wholeheartedly. "Pumpkins (Are My Favorite Fruit)" holds a lot of appeal for yours truly (pictured top), an October baby that was born into the crisp autumn air of America's #1 pumpkin-growing state, The Land of absurd property taxes, massive corruption and other baffling facts  Lincoln, Illinois. Featuring Tina Kenny Jones on vocals and horns with Steve Plesnarski on drums, check out this new ode to the greatness of the gourd below!

This December, a familiar nanny will be back on the big screen in an all-new adventure from the folks at Walt Disney Studios. Tonight a new "special look" at the film has arrived, and while it's a short clip, it's a fun one that pulls back the curtains just a tiny little bit for a taste of the music and magic that awaits when MARY POPPINS RETURNS on December 19th. After making its debut on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, the new spot can be viewed below. Check it out!

Last week, Jimmy Kimmel returned to his hometown of Brooklyn for another string of shows. While there, the mighty Wu-Tang Clan showed up to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by performing a few tracks  (watch: C.R.E.A.M., Protect Ya Neck) after which RZA and Method Man sat down with Jimmy to answer some "ridiculous questions" over CÎROC Black Raspberry cocktails. Check out some video below...

For years, tales of haunted toy stores have spread as urban legends, like the fabled Toys "R" Us in Sunnyvale, California - one said to be so frightening, it's inspired decades of theories and once appeared on an episode of Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories, directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) and narrated by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy. While the iconic retailer closed its doors here in the U.S. back in June, there is a chance for you to take a stroll through a Toys "R" Us once more, but not one of the many currently inhabited by pop-up stores like Spirit Halloween or Party City's Halloween City / Toy City combos... a haunted Toys "R" Us. For one month only, those who are brave enough have the opportunity to visit ZOMBIES 'R' US - "A New Haunted Experience" located inside the former Toys "R" Us location in College Point (aka Flushing, NY) Queens. 

What are you doing on New Year's Eve? Well, if you're near Los Angeles and enjoy the metal, I'd suggest getting tickets to see OZZFEST. For the first time since its 1996 debut, OZZFEST - the sometimes-annual musical event that celebrates hard rock and heavy metal - has created a special one-night-only New Year's Eve celebration to ring in 2019. It's all gonna go down on Monday, December 31 at The Forum in L.A., and Ozzy Osbourne will headline an incredible evening that also features Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Jonathan Davis (of Korn), along with the OZZFEST debut of Body Count featuring Ice-T. The New Year's Eve party will include an outdoor stage, along with other holiday festivities, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Over the years, Hasbro's Transformers have appeared in other forms well beyond the typical realm of vehicles and beasts. Almost since the beginning, we've seen these Cybertronian warriors become consumer electronics like radios and cassette tapes, microscopes and even tablets. In the Michael Bay Transformers films, we even got to see them adopt forms like vending machines and toy cars. So what if there was an entire sub-race of Transformers that's always been hiding in plain sight? That's where Hasbro's new collection of Transformers BotBots come in - they're "mischievous little robots who came to life from everyday objects inside a shopping mall!" Officially launched today with a first-wave of 61 unique 1-inch characters to collect, this marks new territory as the Transformers enter the micro-collectibles craze, but like all Transformers, the characters change from an ordinary object into a little robot in just 3-5 easy steps. Check out all the details below, and see a full product gallery on The Rock Father™ Facebook Page.

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