The Toys That Made Us continues to be one of the most insightful and entertaining series on Netflix. The nostalgic Netflix series has captured the hearts and minds of many subscribers, and the nostalgic trip down memory lane is very entertaining. The first season of The Toys That Made Us featured four episodes focusing on toys from Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man, and G.I. Joe. This installment of the Netflix show reveals enthralling stories centered on the toys from Star Trek, Transformers, LEGO, and Hello Kitty.
All four episodes feature tons of information and laugh-out-loud moments, and perhaps the most interesting episode is that of the Transformers. As any child or parent of the ’80s know, the Transformers figures are some of the most all-time popular toys to ever hit the market. These figures started in Japan, and Takara licensed G.I. Joe from Hasbro and used them to create transforming figurines in their line of Diaclone and Microman toys.
But it was three individuals over at Marvel Comics who influenced the U.S. version of the Transformers. Hasbro saw the popularity of the toys over in Japan, but knew that an American audience would want a story behind the various characters. Marvel’s Jim Shooter, Denny O’Neil, and Bob Budiansky were behind the brilliance of the Transformers as they are known in pop culture today. Budiansky had the task of creating most of the names and stories behind the first 24 Transformers, so, he’s pretty much a legend. And it was O’Neil who came up with the name Optimus Prime, again, another legend.
The Netflix series also featured commentary from voice actor Peter Cullen. The legendary voice actor has provided the voice for many iconic characters, including Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, Monterey Jack from Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Nemesis Enforcer and Zandar in G.I. Joe, KARR in the 2008 Knight Rider series, and Optimus Prime in both the cartoons and the live-action movies.
The fascinating series on Netflix also covered 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie. Fans were thrilled to see their favorite characters arrive on the big screen, but the film was a bit of a letdown; mainly because Optimus Prime was killed off by Megatron less than halfway through the film. Every commentator on the Netflix show featured in this segment all agree that this was a stupid idea. Some may recall the famous deathbed scene where Optimus Prime passes the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus, thus passing the torch. But of course, fans didn’t buy it, and he would later be resurrected.
The Netflix series has a ton of Transformers trivia, like how Megatron wasn’t a villain in Japan, and it is well worth the watch for any fan of the toys, comics, series, or movies, or any fan of the ’80s for that matter.