It’s really amazing how much time we spend talking about things that don’t exist. It’s equally amazing how passionate about those things we manage to get. I mean, let’s talk about some of the most iconic pop culture deities out there for instance. He-Man never existed. Barbie was never real. Star Wars didn’t happen in a galaxy far far away. G.I Joe’s are probably the closest thing to “real” we have out of the 4 iconic properties mentioned, but the “Real American Heroes” version certainly didn’t come close to actually saving anyone.
But that doesn’t keep children or *ahem* grown children from obsessing over them to this day. And this is where The Toys That Made US comes in. It’s a Netflix show whose first season has set the Geekosphere on fire by illuminating the inception of 4 properties that have dominated pop culture for a while. You probably guessed that those properties are Star Wars, Barbie, The Masters Of The Universe, and G.I Joe, in that order.
And a truly wild ride it is. They begin with Star Wars, which didn’t just change movies, but changed toys as well. It then discusses Barbie and her stranglehold on young girls psyche, and so on and so forth. And sure, it’s all great how children enjoyed these things, but is really fascinating is the business side of things. The marketing decisions, the sales pitches, the build process, and then the rampant success. It’s a view behind the curtain that could have dissipated in the sands of time but instead get’s lovingly presented in amazing, and at time heart wrenching, detail.
It’s a must watch for anyone who has a love for pop culture or wants a lesson in the business of entertainment.