Are you looking for something to watch this weekend? Then, look no further than The Toys That Made Us! That's right, the fun-filled documentary series about the toys that we all know is back with four brand new episodes set to explore some of the biggest names in pop culture history. From Star Trek to Transformers, LEGO to Hello Kitty, the series returns ready for a trip into the deep end of nostalgia - one that we're certain fans will want to take part in once again!
For the first episode, The Toys That Made Us boldly goes where no man has gone before with an entertaining look at the many ups and downs of Star Trek toys. Featuring interviews with everyone from Rod Roddenberry, former MEGO president Marty Abrams and sculptor Steve Varner, the episode explores the successes the brand enjoyed during the 70's and 90's, but is not afraid to pull a few punches in the process- even going so far as to admit that Trekker toys have been forced to live in the large shadow cast by Star Wars for the last forty years.
Still, it's an absolutely fascinating episode, and easily one of our favorites to date. Interestingly, when we interviewed Brian Volk-Weiss late last year about the show, he was not afraid to express his love of Trek. And we've got to admit, the amount of care and love that went into crafting this particular episode is a true testament to just how passionate Star Trek fans can be!
For the second episode, The Toys That Made Us rolls out with one of the biggest toy brands to come out of the 1980's - Transformers. And they cover everything! From the brand's humble beginnings in Japan, to the eventual partnership between Takara and Hasbro, and the final evolution of the line into what we've come to know and love today.
As with past episodes, the Transformers one is crammed full of nostalgic goodness that offers an in-depth look at the creation of the Marvel comic, to the debut of the hugely popular cartoon and, of course, the eventual live-action film franchise from Paramount Pictures and director Michael Bay. It's a fascinating look at the evolution of one of the pop culture world's biggest toy brands and is the one that really hits closest to home with all of us here at Infinite Earths! We all grew up during the heyday of the Transformers, and they were one of the toys we remember playing with most as kids.
Additionally, the episode holds a special place in our hearts due to the plain and simple fact that our love for all things Transformers has remained a constant over the last three decades - a love that, like us, grew and changed with the passage of time - but still remains as strong as ever today. To watch the evolution of one of the biggest influences of our childhood within this new, and truly engaging, episode is nothing short of thrilling as we wax nostalgic for our favorite Robots In Disguise!
For their third episode, The Toys That Made Us take fans to Denmark for an in-depth look at LEGO. While the Star Trek episode was the most entertaining, and the Transformers episode the one that hit closest to home for all of us here, it was the LEGO episode that we found to be the most informative. There was no shortage of these colorful building sets available to us growing up, so we always assumed that the European based company was always at the forefront of profitable business. However, as this episode shows, that wasn't always the case.
In fact, the LEGO episode takes a long and hard look at the many hardships that faced the now world renowned company over the last six decades- and it's a real eye-opener. The episode features some truly interesting interviews with several members of the LEGO family as they recount the many pitfalls that almost took the manufacturer down once and for all - however, things eventually take a rather inspiring turn thanks in no small part to such things as the Bionicle line, and the choice to turn things around at LEGO by going back to basics and embracing the original vision of their ingenious founder. The episode comes off as almost Rocky Balboian in nature as the company desperately fought to get ahead on numerous occasions, but it wasn't until they buckled down and got back to basics that they were able to rise up and emerge as one of the heavyweight champs of the business world. It's rather poetic, and we think that even Mr. Stallone himself would be proud of the tale!
Rounding out the newest batch of episodes, The Toys That Made Us returns to Japan for an in-depth look at one of Asia's biggest success stories - and no, we don't mean Pokémon. No, we're talking about everyone's favorite feline, Hello Kitty.
The episode takes us behind the doors of the Sanrio company for a chat with Yuko Shimizu, a man whose obsession with small gifts gave the world one of its most loved characters. Along the way, we learn of some of the pitfalls overcome by the company as they worked to deal with something more popular than they ever could have imagined, and it offers a very interestingly look at how one company rose up to meet this challenge.
Yes, The Toys That Made Us is here, and it's ready to hit the ground running with its four most entertaining, and toyetic, episodes to date. Each one offers a truly unique viewing experience that is sure to captivate both diehard fans and casual viewers alike as the Netflix documentary series returns ready to showcase even more plastic creations that last for generations!
Thanks for the memories! We can't wait to see what's next!
The Toys That Made Us is streaming now on Netflix!
Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!
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