Is ABC’s ‘The Toy Box’ The New ‘Shark Tank’?

Imagine that the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank were children and all of the sales pitches were for toys or games and you have the basic premise of the network’s new reality competition show The Toy Box.

Hosted by Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, The Toy Box will feature amateur inventors (who all think that they have come up with the latest and greatest children’s toy or game) as they try to impress three adult mentors and four very opinionated child judges. The winner of this first round will go to the finals, where the lucky winner will find their winning product on the store shelves of Toys R Us and manufactured by Mattel.

The Wacky Worm Racing Game
Cedric presents The Wacky Worm Racing Game. [Image by ABC]

The toys to be judged on the show’s premiere are as follows.

  • Arya Ball – “A reimagining of the soccer ball with special surprises inside.”
    Invented by Babak from Carlsbad, California
  • Wacky Worm Racing Game – “A racing game where players dressed in a worm costume race to cross the finish line.”
    Invented by Cedric from Orlando, Florida
The Niya Doll
Darla present the Niya Doll. [Image by ABC]
  • Niya Doll – “A multicultural doll collection who sings and speaks in multiple languages.”
    Invented by Darla from Columbia, South Carolina
  • Swurfer – “A backyard swing inspired by a surfboard.”
    Invented by Rob from Charleston, South Carolina
  • Party Cannon – “A party game that launches toys, prizes and candy.”
    Invented by Rick from Miami Springs, Florida
The mentors for "The Toy Box"

Each contestant will show their product first to the three mentors.

  • Jim Silver – Silver is the CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More or TTPM for short, a website that combines third-party reviews with “live price comparison, sales notifications, one-click purchasing, and product availability information at major retailers.” His website was the first to review toys online and currently reviews more than 5,000 products each year.
  • Dylan Lauren – Self-titled the “Candy Queen,” she is the founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar, a store that blends candy with fashion, art, and pop culture. There are 16 locations with more planned worldwide. As the daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren and author Ricky Lauren, Dylan is also the author of the book, Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life.
  • Jen Tan – Talk about your fun job, Tan is the creative director of Consumer Products for Pixar Animation Studios where her main job is to work with various manufacturers to ensure every Pixar-related products is authentic to the Pixar brand.

If the toy invention gets the “thumbs up” from the mentors, they will then go up against four pint-sized judges who will not hold back on their opinions.

The judges of "The Toy Box"
Sophia Grace Blownlee, Aalyrah Caldwell Toby Grey and Noah Ritter. [Image by ABC]

Here are the judges.

  • Sophia Grace Brownlee – Sophia and her cousin Rosie McClelland are from Essex, England who became popular when they made regular appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Sophia is a singer who has released three singles, including her most recent song, “Girl in the Mirror.”
  • Aalyrah Caldwell – Aalyrah is an actress known for appearing on the short-lived ABC sitcom Uncle Buck. She has also appeared on Code Black, The Fosters, Key and Peele and the movie, Cardinal X.
  • Toby Grey – Toby is a comedian who got his start reviewing movies for Fandango’s “Reel Kids.” He has since been since online in videos featured on Buzzfeed, Funny or Die, College Humor, and A Little Advice. He will appear in the upcoming movie, Airplane Mode.
  • Noah Ritter – Noah became an internet sensation when he was interviewed at a local fair by Sofia Ojeda for Newswatch 16. After using the word “apparently” several times throughout the interview, the clip has been shared on local news programs and went viral shortly thereafter. He has appeared in TV commercials for Liberty Mutual Insurance and Visa as well.


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The Toy Box debuts on Friday, April 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

[Featured Image by ABC]