Scrolling through the options on the perennially popular Netflix, you have the ability to binge on the newest superhero show. You can easily choose to immerse yourself in the time period surrounding World War II. Ever so often, you’ll stumble upon some hidden gems of movies not quite afforded the big budget push of the Hollywood marketing machine.
Then, as though the powers-that-be at Netflix wanted to sucker punch you right in the ‘feels,’ you’ll find The Toys That Made Us.
The eight-part documentary series covers the history of the world’s most important, and influential, toy lines. From Barbie to Star Wars, the show gives the viewer an in-depth look at the creators and visionaries behind the toys that made so many childhood memories.
They focus not only on the successes of each individual company, but some of the colossal failures. The conversations are open and candid (some expletive-laden) but are incredibly genuine.
In a recent interview with Polygon, the series creator Brian Volk-Weiss gave incredibly straight forward answers to some tough questions surrounding the various companies and their failings/achievements.
Cited by Polygon as one of the most interesting answers was the story of Lego.
“Literally, Lego was three months from lights-out,” Volk-Weiss said. “They were actively engaging with Mattel about a takeover which, by the way, Mattel walked away from. … Everybody we talked to there, everyone talks about it all the time. It’s really in their culture and their DNA, the lessons they learned from almost going out of business.”
Slated to provide insight in an upcoming episode focused on Transformers, Volk-Weiss and his team were able to track down the designer who launched a million imaginations past the stratosphere all the way to Cybertron, Keiichiro Sakuma.
“We tracked down the guy who helped design the original mechanisms of Optimus Prime,” he said. “He’d never done an interview before. He didn’t speak a word of English and, you know, to describe his demeanor when he walked into the room, I think he thought he was having a practical joke played on him. He simply couldn’t believe Netflix wanted to talk to him.”
Volk-Weiss was able to get the first four episodes onto Netflix just in time for the holidays, re-igniting our nostalgic love for posable hunks of molded plastic that made our childhoods so incredibly awesome.
The second four episodes of The Toys That Made Us (Star Trek, Lego, Transformers, Hello Kitty) currently do not have an air date, however, Volk-Weiss and Netflix are confident they will drop within the next four months.
So what toys made you? Remember pitting Optimus Prime against Cobra? Did Barbie and G.I. Joe ever go grab a bite? Tell us in the comment section and remember to stay locked to BoomHowdy for all your entertainment info!