The Toys That Made Us is a documentary series that gives a behind the scenes look at the toys that for many of us helped define who we are and how we transitioned from children to adults. What was it that captured the imagination of all those kids and just how did ideas become reality.
Four episodes delve into some of the biggest toy properties that Generation X played with. The first episode tackles the monumental task of the story behind Star Wars toys. A toy line that nobody wanted.
Episode two gives a very good synopsis for the casual viewer of the genesis and incredible market dominance of the Barbie toy line.
Episode three covers the origins of another hot Mattel property, He-Man and the spin-off toy line it created called She-Ra.
Episode four reports for duty with the story of GIJOE from the sixties and seventies and the rebirth into a team during the eighties.
The series has a fresh take with a tongue in cheek approach, after all these are supposed to be fun things we are talking about. The narrator Donald Ian Black was an excellent choice for the subject matter. He gives the show that Wonder Years vibe and light hearted feel. Clips of various commercials, interviews with the creative and calculating minds behind those desks at Hasbro, Mattel, and Kenner, and bits of the cartoon and movie series spliced into the episodes bring about that warm and fuzzy nostalgic feel that only a 102 story plastic Chewbacca could bring about.
A very well done series for those who do not know the stories that we have all heard at conventions, through interviews and on podcasts. Maybe even some stories you did not know if you were not a die hard fan, like how Skeletor was based on an amusement park attraction, How Snake Eyes was a cost cutting measure, the number of faces of Barbie, or how the first Jawa cape was a brown sock.
If you love these toys you will love watching “The Toys That Made Us”. Did you enjoy the Show? Sound off with your thoughts AFTER THE JUMP!