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Toy TV: Nostalgia Streaming Everywhere
From:
Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Monday, January 17, 2022

 

The proliferation of streaming services and unwavering interest in nostalgia are fueling a new crop of programming focused on the toy industry. The last two months of 2021 alone saw new toy-influenced shows from HBO Max, the History Channel, and Amazon Prime.

BEANIE MANIA – HBO Max

The Beanie Baby craze of the 1990s has inspired many writers, including Zac Bissonnette, author of The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute. HBO Max’s documentary, Beanie Mania, premiered on December 23 with a fresh look at the speculative toy investment frenzy that saw the plush dolls from Ty Inc. become a form of currency.

Over the course of 80 minutes, director Yemisi Brookes delivers a fast-paced look at the fascinating backstory of the fleeting fad and many of the personalities who became consumed by it.

Spoiler alert: the reclusive Ty Warner is nowhere to be seen in the documentary’s flurry of in-person interviews and media coverage, but a former FBI employee singing the “Beanie Rap” is, and that alone makes the show worth watching!

THE TOYS THAT BUILT AMERICA – History Channel

Season 1 of The Toys That Built America premiered last November on the History Channel. The four-part docuseries is another spinoff of the network’s popular “That Built” franchise.

Through a combination of archival footage and dramatic re-enactments, each one-hour episode tells the story of the cultural and economic impact behind some of the country’s greatest toys and their inventors. Topics include Ruth Handler and the rise of Mattel, accidental discoveries that became toys like the Slinky and Silly Putty, and the competitive rivalry between the Matchbox and Hot Wheels brands.

THE TOYS THAT BUILT AMERICA: SNACK SIZED – History Channel

This past December, History Channel followed up its initial Toys That Built America programming with five new “snack-sized” episodes. Each 30-minute episode highlights the story behind a toy, game, or company that “shaped American history.”

Season 1 profiles the industry altering work of Nintendo, Mattel, Hasbro, Parker Brothers, and Milton Bradley.

A TOY STORE NEAR YOU (SEASON 4) – Amazon Prime

Season 4 of Nacelle Co.’s A Toy Store Near You debuted on Christmas Day. Director, Brian Volk-Weiss, released five new episodes that continue to profile vintage toy stores, the personalities behind each retail business, and how they’re innovating to survive throughout the pandemic.

Season 4 profiles include Super Happy Incredible Toys in Houston, Texas; Dr. Tongue’s I Had That Shop in Portland, Oregon; Toy De Jour in Chicago, Illinois; Toys From The Past in Lincoln, Nebraska; and Totally Rad Toy House in Nashville Tennessee.

All four seasons of A Toy Store Near You can be viewed on Amazon Prime.

MODERN MARVELS: CLASSIC TOYS – History Channel

The History Channel’s Modern Marvels recently featured two toy-themed episodes. Released last November and December, each episode sees host, Adam Richman, delve into the history behind American toys and games like Silly Putty, Frisbee, Monopoly, Masters of the Universe, and Hot Wheels.

Todd Coopee is Editor-in-Chief of Toy Tales, an online publication that covers toys and games past and present.

Richard Gottlieb

Global Toy Experts / Global Toy News

646 675 3019

richard@globaltoyexperts.com

 

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