The Toys That Made Us: Season 1 – Review

The Toys That Made Us is now streaming on Netflix.

By Michael Keskeys

As a generation, children of the 1980s are largely defined by the toys we played with. So much so that Hollywood has or will be turning most of our collective childhood into movie franchises. We all know He-Man, G.I.Joe, and Barbie, but where did they come from? Who were the minds behind our imagination?

The new Netflix series, The Toys That Made Us, offers us a look into answering just that question. Over the course of four highly bingeable episodes, this documentary series takes us behind the scenes into where these toys came from.

From Star Wars to G.I.Joe , we learn how these toys came to be. The Star Wars episode that starts out the show sets up the rest of the series nicely, as we see how a merchandising deal and clever marketing changed the landscape for the movies and toy industries forever.

It’s an eye opening and very nostalgic trip down memory lane for children of the 1970s-1980s, as the show blends interviews with creators, collectors, and vintage commercials to bring our memories of our favorite toys back to life.

The season also dispelled some myths long held about toys, such as the infamous jet firing Boba Fett figure, or that the 1980s G.I.Joe relaunch was initially going to be a Marvel series featuring Nick Fury’s son and an elite team of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents battling the forces of Hydra. Though, with that one, the truth is far more random… and disappointing. That it was always going to be G.I.Joe, and their enemies Cobra was thrown out offhandedly by Marvel editor Jim Shooter and it stuck.

This is a fantastic series where you’ll likely go through all four episodes in a single binge, and then be wanting more. I can only hope our next trip to the toy box isn’t too far off from now.

I give The Toys That Made Us an A.

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[Visit Reel Geek’s Guide for more of my writing!]

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