If, like me, you grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s, The Toys That Made Us is for you. It’s currently available on Netflix.
A documentary series, it focuses on the toys we grew up with. There are just 8 episodes as of this writing, and they focus on Star Wars, He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, Barbie, G.I. Joe, LEGO, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and Star Trek toy lines. ALL of these were very entertaining and informative, and I enjoyed them immensely.
Part of it is nostalgia. I grew up playing with most of those toys and have fond memories of them. I only had one Transformer – Megatron, and my brother claimed to have found him in a dumpster. When I asked for Transformers one year for Christmas, my mom rather famously bought me GoBots. And yes, GoBots are mentioned in the Transformers episode. For G.I. Joe, I had the rebooted, smaller action figures that were tied to the cartoon and comic book series – both of which I loved. Never had any Star Trek toys but I wanted them sooooo much when I saw other kids lucky enough to have em. Star Wars I got super lucky, and my mom bought me a lot of the action figures and even a couple of the big toys to go with them, like the AT-AT and the Falcon. He-Man I had both him and Skeletor, but that was it.
I loved the extras like the file cards that came with every Joe, or the mini-comics that came with He-Man and Skeletor. That stuff was awesome, and it’s all part of those episodes of the show.
Each show focuses on one property, and does a fantastic job of telling you the history of the toy and the impact it had on kids all over the world. It’s highly entertaining.