Interviews

Published on November 14th, 2019 | by gareth

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Talking The Toys That Made Us With Show Creator Brian Volk-Weiss,

Recently I got a chance to speak with Brian Volk-Weiss, the creator of “The Toys That Made Us” which is about to air Season 3 on Netflix. The show examines many popular toy lines and talks about how they were created, marketed, and became famous.

What had you done peior to this series?

I’ve done shows like Kevin hart’s Guide to Black History for NETFLIX, Discontinued
for the CW, Coming to the Stage, Join Or Die for History Channel, Animal Nation with
Anthony Anderson for Animal Planet, just to name a few.

How has working with Netflix compared/ contrasted to other studios?

They’re absolutely wonderful, supportive, and really trust the creator to implement
their own take on the material.  A dream come true.

How did the idea for the show come up?

I was in a book store about 8 or 9 years ago and realized there were no books about
the origins of Transformers. Hoping to right this wrong is how it all started!

How do you go about selecting which toys to feature?

To be honest, I went with a combination of my gut and also wanting to do toys that
had a multi-generational audience.

How long does it take to do each episode?

We make all of them simultaneously for the most part, so pretty much takes about 8
months to do 8. Roughly.

Have there been toys you wished to include but were unable to?

Not so far.

What have been some of your biggest obstacles?

Really haven’t been any that we couldn’t manage.  At first people had trouble
believing that NETFLIX had agreed to make this show, because a lot of people like
and say that they’re making a show for NETFLIX or HBO, but then it turns out their
not.  But once we proved to them that it was really we pretty much had great support
from everyone that we needed it from.

Any plans to do a segment on the Micronauts toy line?

Highly unlikely I am sorry to say.

What were some of your favorite toys?

Star Wars, Star Trek, G.I. JOE, Transformers, and LEGO.

What do you have upcoming?

Right now we’re in deep production on a series about all the Disney parks that we’re
making for Disney+, we’re also working on additional Discontinued episodes, we’re
delivering a show with Zac Efron that will be announced in 2020, and we just started
working on a series for BET+ that I can’t say too much about right now.

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