The Heart behind the Plastic

I’m not a huge fan of documentaries since they usually leave me feeling guilty and cynical about the future. But every now and then a show comes around that not only educates but somehow makes you feel better about the hobby you are already passionate about!
The Toys That Made Us a Netflix original doc about the toys and people that shaped our childhoods! Its so damn good!

The minds behind history’s most iconic toy franchises discuss the rise
— and sometimes fall — of their billion-dollar creations.

I had known about this show some time before it hit Netflix via the internets and of course I was instantly in love with the idea! I remember watching their Facebook page as they kept posting new pics and teasers of the episodes and what toys they are going to cover and thinking YES this is going to be amazing. And… it was. Is.

My only complaint is that they only gave us FOUR episodes! I need more dammnit!
The first 4 episodes and synopsis are as follow:

1. Star Wars
A small toy company in Cincinnati takes on its biggest licensing project ever, giving birth to the most profitable toy franchise in history.

2. Barbie
Inspired by a risqué doll from Germany, the co-founder of Mattel toys forever revolutionized the doll industry for young girls.

3. He-Man
Creators responsible for reviving a toy company’s struggling action figure line discuss the epic rise and fall of their billion-dollar empire.

4. G.I. Joe
Credited with coining the term “action figure” more than 50 years ago, a group of toy marketers reimagined a new genre of dolls for boys.

Each epsiode runs just under an hour and is just chalk-full of stories and interviews! I would have never guessed there was so much drama and heartache behind these toy lines! So many risks were taken! So many blunders! So many last second flying by the seat of their pants decisions! I know a bunch of guys skipped the Barbie episode because “I don’t care about Barbie.” But each episode was amazing in its own way and none should be skipped!!

I laughed. I teared up. I geeked out and cheered. Each toy is just a rollercoaster ride from inception to actual production and its about time a show came around and brought these stories into the spotlight!

Much like any good documentary aims to do, I was left with a hunger for more learning!
I want to know about everything about every employee they featured and everyone they interviewed! Yes we will be getting 4 more episodes down the road but I definitely need them to keep going!
I was just blown away by the series of events that led to what initially seemed like the simplest of design decisions!

If i had to choose a favorite episode among the 4 it would have to be He-Man, just because it really cracked me up with the way everything came together! Just pure magic!
And as previously mentioned… so much drama! Would have never guessed the Toy business was so ruthless!

Last but not least I loved how the show made me FEEL!
I’m not just some weird ‘adult’ that loves to collect toys! I’m one of many weird adults!
Its a huge beautiful community of passionate nerds! Always on the hunt for that holy grail, always expanding their never-ending collection! Its a wonderful thing!

Can’t wait for the next four episodes! Which I understand will be LEGO, Hello Kitty, Transformers, and Star Trek!

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