SDCC 2019 Interview: The Toys That Made Us Creator Talks About The Upcoming Season

The Netflix original hit series The Toys That Made Us will return soon for its third season this year and the show’s creator Brian Volkweiss has a lot of stories of the production of the third season. I got the chance to sit down and speak to him at San Diego Comic Con as he talked about the upcoming season, his toy collection, and much more in this exclusive interview.

Last year at San Diego Comic Con, it was revealed that season three of The Toys That Made Us will be out sometime within this year. Now that we are in 2019, we are not too far along away from the release date of Season 3. So tell me more about the third season and what could we expect?

Brian: It is definitely still going to air this year. I am waiting to get a date confirmed. But it is still airing. I have heard that we got canceled. That is not true. I have heard that we are having legal issues with one of the brands. That is not true. There are just logistical reasons for the delay. The third thing I would also say is you know we had similar logistical issues with season one, but nobody knew the show was coming. Nobody knew about the logistical issues. So we were supposed to come out in May of 2017 and we didn’t come out till December of 2017. So it’s just nobody knew about the show so nobody was you know freaking out. But I will say this and therefore, I shouldn’t say it, but I’m going to say 99.9% of the comments I read on social media complaining about us being late. I take it as a compliment for sure because if people didn’t care, they wouldn’t complain. I respect that. And by the way, the more delayed we are, the funnier the comments are getting subsidized by positive folks all the time. But it’s been about 20 months since we premiered. I’ve read one bad review out of probably over 300 reviews and probably reading over I mean at least two thousand comments and also messages. I would say less than 10 were bad. And I can appreciate that because many shows that I’ve produced are the opposite where if we got 300 reviews, one would be good, and two hundred and ninety-nine would be bad. So, to say that this is the most well received thing I’ve ever been a part of would be a tremendous understatement. 

I would also like to say that so far, the Transformers episode has been my favorite of the bunch!

Brian: that makes me very happy to hear because I don’t hear it very often and I love that episode. It took a long time to produce that episode So I’m so happy to hear you say that because I don’t hear very often.

The Master of the Universe series was also a featured episode. Are there any figures of that series that you personally own today?

Brian: When the show was greenlit. I owned zero of He-Man. In fact, I almost did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of Masters of the Universe. I was never ever into him ever while producing a show. While producing the show, I fell in love with him. And I now have a large He-Man collection. I probably have about a dozen figures and four vehicles of course including Battle Cat.

Do you keep your figures in the box?

Brian:I am 99 percent not a box guy. All I do is tell you since starting the show I definitely have been saving boxes which you know is funny. I get asked all the time you know “how does your wife feel about your toy collecting”. I always say you know [his wife] she’s supportive and doesn’t care at all. And it’s so funny she and I have never talked about this. But to your question, I think it drives her insane that I started saving the boxes. You know it’s weird man. Ninety five percent of the time, I don’t care about mint condition to me. But I really like for my toys for the most part, are to some degree, a symbol of something. And I just want to have that symbol in my collection because, the place in the world where I’m at peace the most is when I’m in my office which is where my collection is. There’s a bunch of toys out there that I love and I really want,and while I don’t understand their price, I do respect the price because it’s capitalism and it’s a fair market valueit’s capitalism and it’s fair market value and if people are willing to spend it, then fair enough. The price should be with the prices but there are certain things where I’m like I get a price. And then, there’s certain things or I’m like I don’t get that price.

At San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that WWE and Masters of the Universe will collaborate for the first time to release a line of MOTU themed WWE figures. What was your reaction to that news?

Brian: I’m shocked it didn’t happen 20 years ago. Everything moves in little pieces in business. If you’re making airplanes or toasters or toys and little steps along the way things have to get proven that something is OK that you’re not going to quote unquote hurt your brand. And I think you know there was a great line that came out last year you know combining Tron with goofy and I just remember looking at that being like if you had told me even five years ago that Disney would allow this to happen I say you’re smoking crack like that is what’s happening now where everybody has the competence to do things from the brand to the IP holder to the toy companies. There is a confidence like Diamond select is putting out these gorgeous black hole figures.

There will be one episode dedicated to wrestling figures in season 3. Which toy developer companies will be showcased for the wrestling figure episode?

Brian: It’s literally every single company that did wrestling figures going back to I mean like tonight 60s before the modern wrestling era even began. So it’s ever you name it such as LJN, Jacks Pacific, and more to be revealed.

Another episode of the newest season will focus on Power Rangers. Will the Super Sentai Warriors toys from Japan also be featured alongside with the Power Rangers?

Brian: Absolutely! To a certain extent, I would argue you can’t do one without the other.

Now you traveled all over the world interviewing many toy creators and publishers and also seeing a lot of rare figures from those toy developers out of a field in all those rare figures of first time as you feel for the first time?

I repeatedly have cried. I mean, I cried, and I cried when I was at Rancho. We were in the basement, and I saw the old car where there was a guy with a binder who had Polaroid pictures of the wooden models that would become Optimus Prime. Because the originals were all destroyed, you were just seeing the Polaroid. I started crying. So I cried repeatedly when we shot the opening for the Star Wars episode when we were at eye level. And you know, we were in the same building that the original Island was in. If you look at like the circuit breakers for the building, they’re still in black Sharpie written like model shop you know roto scope. Like there’s that still there. And I teared up when I saw that so seeing that, I saw some of the original G.I. Joe sculpts. That was unbelievable. Even seeing some of the pictures of the Boba Fett was amazing too.

What was the process of actually going get it to you though you had to go through a whole bunch of approvals from everybody else everywhere?

Brian: Every company was different. They all started the same where nobody believed us because a lot of people lie and say “I’m doing a documentary for Netflix or HBO”. And so nobody believed in this initially. They all asked for a letter from Netflix and Netflix gave me a letter a couple hours after I asked for it that said “to whom it may concern, We have hired Brian to blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at this number”. Everybody called him. He was like a lawyer and the Netflix guy named Tom. And once Tom confirmed that we were real, Every company we worked with was became supportive and wonderful and just a dream absolute dream to work with.We’ve been to Hasbro headquarters probably half a dozen times. We’ve been to Mattel’s headquarters half a dozen times. Almost nothing we asked for was refused as it relates to relics or interviewing people. They helped us find people. They helped us find relics.

Were there any figures or interviews that did not make the final cut?

Brian: There’s one we shot for the Transformers episode with Michael Bay. We did a deal with him that if he didn’t like the interview, we couldn’t air it. And unfortunately, he did not like the interview, and he didn’t let us use the footage. So that was a major bummer because it was a great interview and he explained a lot of things that I never understood. And a lot of people my age, don’t understand about why they made the choices he did for the movies and just watching the footage. I completely understood and felt better about his movies than I had. It’s a shame he didn’t let us use the footage. But no nothing we filmed others in that interview that we wanted to use did not make it into the show.

What about the plans for season 4 if it’s possible? Who do you want to be showcased?

Brian: I’ve got to be careful about this because due to our relationship with big companies, now they’re all over us like “hey, why don’t you cover them”. So I just want to be respectful. But it goes without saying, we would cover hot wheels. That’s the one I’m comfortable saying publicly. We would definitely do hot wheels. There’s really only about 10 more episodes that I really think for lack of a better expression need to get made. I’d love to make 20 more episodes, But I think it becomes a little bit too like people are like “you need to do The Mask”. And I’m like “Mask was a failure”. Then they say “you need to do Thundercat” and Thundercat was a failure. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a show about a failure, some of the best documentaries are about failures.But the problem with doing a show for Netflix without budget being what it is, you really need a constituency big enough for the episode. And Barbie has like 50-60 years of history. You got five year olds, you got 90 year olds that collect Barbie. You know I’m always honest but sometimes, it’s hard to be because you see people’s faces get so upset. But I also inspire them by telling them for them to make their own documentary. But yeah that’s that’s that’s the answer to your question a little long winded.

Follow me on Instagramand Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content and subscribe to The Wrestling Court as we talk about the latest in pro wrestling, pop culture, and comics along with our live watch reactions to past matches. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com.

Netflix will debut a new live-action interactive series, You vs. Wild, on April 10.

Netflix will debut a new live-action interactive series, You vs. Wild, on April 10.

In You vs. Wild, viewers join survival expert Bear Grylls on exciting adventures all over the world. Dense jungles, towering mountains, brutal deserts, and mysterious forests await, with tough decisions around every corner. In this groundbreaking interactive adventure series, you make all the decisions and whether or not Bear succeeds or fails is totally up to you.

Each episode features an interactive experience with multiple choices, where a user may direct the course of the story.

Quote from Bear Grylls: “I’m so proud to deliver this first-of-its-kind live-action interactive series, really giving viewers an all access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots. The stakes are high in this one!”

Episodes: 8

Executive producers: Bear Grylls, Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Ben Silverman, Howard Owens, Rob Buchta, and Delbert Shoopman

Director: Ben Simms

Production company: Electus, A Propagate Company, and Bear Grylls Ventures

Bear Grylls Bio

Bear Grylls has become known as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started on a small island off the U.K. coast, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Grylls spent three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces; it was here that he perfected many of the survival skills that his fans all over the world enjoy. Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, Grylls went on to become one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He went on to star in seven seasons of Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild,” which became one of the most watched shows on the planet. Since then, he has hosted more extreme adventure shows across more global networks than anyone else in the world, and is a #1 best-selling author, with over 85 books selling in excess of 15 million copies. He is an honorary colonel to the Royal Marines Commandos and the U.K.’s youngest ever chief scout, and is the first ever global Chief Ambassador to 50 million worldwide scouts.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 139 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Ava DuVernay’s WHEN THEY SEE US to be released on Netflix on May 31

In 1989, the Media Dubbed Them the Central Park Five and They Were Forever Linked Together By That Moniker

On May 31, their true story will come to Netflix as a four-part limited series from Academy Award® Nominee and two-time Emmy Award® Winner Ava DuVernay. Now titled When They See Us, the series is based on the stories of the five men who were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit.

Quote from Ava DuVernay: “In 1989, five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time. In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories. In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system. We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker.”

About When They See Us:

Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro from Tribeca Productions will executive produce the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Forward Movement. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrbury also serve as writers on the limited series.

The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

SOCIAL

#WhenTheySeeUs

instagram.com/WhenTheySeeUs

twitter.com/WhenTheySeeUs

facebook.com/WhenTheySeeUs

TV Shows to Binge Before The Winter Break Ends

Happy 2019 everyone. I hope that everyone that is reading this enjoyed their time off during the holidays. 2018 was a great year for television with current shows such as The Walking Dead, West World, Gotham, and Legends of Tomorrow and new shows that landed on television and the streaming services. Some are a hit or miss, but they are watchable during the winter break. When the winter break ends, it is back to reality for the world to get back to either school or work as the normal life resumes. But it does not have to be all normal as you can still do some activities after the day ends. Although there will be minimal time during the week, the weekend is where you can do whatever you want and one of those things is watching television. Gone are the days of sitting in front of your TV staring at commercials every seven to ten minutes as you can pause the show you are watching on your streaming account. Today, I will recommend a few shows to watch during the winter break. It is January now and many people will be inside (if you are in the northeast region) due to cold weather so why not binge a TV show.

Black Mirror (Netflix)

This series can challenge the viewer’s mind in many different ways and the best part about this show is that you can watch all of the episodes in any order that you want to. It is one of those shows where you do not have to watch the first episode since each episode has a different story. There are also mind bending plot twists on some of the episodes of this show that will have your mind blown. A perfect example is the ending of the episode “Shut Up and Dance”. I will not spoil the ending, but it makes you think of how far can you go to hide a secret. Give Black Mirror a chance and recently, a movie called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has made it’s way to Netflix and it is an interactive movie with five possible endings.

Everything Sucks (Netflix)

 

This show takes place in the year 1996 at Boring High School in Oregon (I am not joking, that is the name of the high school) and most of the show’s plot revolves around the A/V club in that school. The characters on this teen comedy has different personalities and one of them is also closet gay which becomes another sub plot of the show when the way it was revealed during the show. Another good aspect of the show is that it was not just about how everyone looked at the 90’s as it felt natural and not forced in your face. The acting of all of the characters during that time period fits the narrative of what the show was about. And this is the freshman year of high school so there is also drama with other students and parents as well. I recently found out that Netflix pulled the plug on this show due to high production costs and I was bummed to find out about that news. Take a chance to watch this show as I think that it is underrated.

Gotham (FOX)

The fifth and final season of Gotham premiers this week and this is another show where I feel that should have not ended this quick. Gotham showcases the characters of the Batman comic book series in their younger days as Commissioner James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are the main stars of the show. There is intense action in every episode that will keep you on the edge of your seat. We are also shown the younger versions of Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Penguin, Scarecrow, and even The Joker. There was a concern about continuity issues since most of the stoylines from the show that are in the comic happens when all of the characters are older, but it blended in well on the show especially The Court of Owls plot arc on the show. If you want to see a young Batman on television, then this show is for you. It is also not connected to the Arrowverse shows at all so you will not be confused with trying to catch up with the other shows at all.

Unreal (Lifetime/Hulu)

Another good show with an interesting concept as it is about a production of a “Bachelor/Bachelorette” reality show. This is not a reality show at all and I was intrigued about it. The head of the production is a woman named Quinn and her on and off again producer is Rachel and they have a team with them to produce the show. You will find out real quick who is the enemy and who is not and the show has many moments that will make you laugh especially when Quinn makes funny comments about the contestants as she sees them from her production room. I will not spoil too much about the show, but there is also drama with the cast and the contestants and it all makes up for good TV. If you are into TV production, I would fully recommend the show. Plus, I know that reality shows are over produced, but it was not until this show where it exposed how over produced those reality shows are.

You (Lifetime/Netflix)

If you want a psychological thriller that is based off a novel, then this show is for you. Taking place in New York City, This show is about a male that stalks his love interest with social media and he does everything he can to be in a relationship with her and to protect her. He does this by killing people that are close to her such as her boyfriend and her best friend. The best parts about the show is the narration sequences that blends in with the scenes to give the viewer what is on his (and sometimes hers) mind as the scenes go forward. The concept is interesting and this show took advantage of the use of social media the most out of any scripted show from the first episode, to the season finale. Good thing that Netflix picked the show up because season 2 is coming soon.

The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness (WWE Network)

Of all of the WWE Network original shows, this show I would recommend the most. Edge and Christian are a former tag team in WWE in which they have won the tag team championships together seven times. They would both have a successful careers without each other winning multiple World Heavyweight Championships on their own. The team was known for their highly praised comedy skits inside and outside the ring and a show about them doing comedy skits is so totally worth watching. There are great skits on this show that breaks the fourth wall such as “Will WWE Talk About It” which is the funniest part of the show. During the episodes, Edge and Christian go on a mini adventure and there are also sometimes Easter eggs that are included in their dialogue. For example, one of their most recent episodes, they traveled to a dark cave and everyone in the scene commented about how dark it is inside the cave. Then Christian says “are we in the impact zone?!” and I laughed to tears hearing that unexpected line. There are also game show skits within the show such as the “Chumpstain Challenge” as Charly Caruso is the host and Edge and Christian answers themed questions. This show has a mix of everything packaged into one show on the WWE Network.

 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content and subscribe to The Wrestling Court as we talk about the latest in pro wrestling, pop culture, and comics along with our live watch reactions to past matches.

Toy Fair 2018-McFarlane Toys Stranger Things

I had the chance to take part of the McFarlane Toys Showcase at Toy Fair NY and it was a great showcase. Here is the line of 7-inch figures of the Stranger Things line that are to come out this year.

Follow me on twitter @julianexcalibur

Follow me on instagram @jaxocalibur

Rhode Island Comic Con 2017-Luke Cage Panel

The cast of Netflix’s and Marvel’s Luke Cage stops by Rhode Island Comic Con over the weekend to discuss the second season of the show (spoiler free) and answer fan questions.

The panel featured Mike Colter, Theo Rossi (who also briefly mentions Sons Of Anarchy and whether if he will appear in the long rumored prequel), Simone Missick and Frank Whaley.

Follow me on Twitter @julianexcalibur

Follow me on Instagram @jaxocalibur

Beat Bugs Toys by Blip Toys

Thank you so much, Blip Toys, for these fantastic review samples of some of the Beat Bugs line, available only at Target. We had a blast reviewing these and hope your children will enjoy playing with The Beatles music being brought to life by imaginative play through these toys.

Beat Bugs: Lucy the Dragonfly

Beat Bugs: Fab Figures

Beat Bugs: Musical Submarine

Thank you for watching! Please follow Alternative Mindz on Twitter @AltMindz, Instagram: AlternativeMIndz, and please visit my YouTube channel for more content here.

BEAT BUGSTM HITTING THE GYM THIS SUMMER


Beat Bugs Is All the Buzz at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

May 2, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Beat Bugs, the preschool-targeted,

Netflix Original Series revolving around the lives and adventures of

five charming and funny child-like bugs who live in an overgrown

backyard, was all the buzz at the 44th Annual Daytime Creative Arts

Emmy® Awards. The animated program took home the gold for

“Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Series” on Friday at

the Pasadena Civic Auditorium celebration.

Beat Bugs is a family animated series inspired by the music of The

Beatles, and re-recorded by today’s hottest contemporary artists like

P!nk, Eddie Vedder, Rod Stewart, Tori Kelly and more.

“With ‘Beat Bugs’ we started with the greatest songwriting of all

time, and with a team of extraordinary writers, we tried to do it

justice. Thank you to the Academy.”— Josh Wakely, writer, director

and producer of “Beat Bugs”

Kids in United States, United Kingdom and Australia to Band Together for Beatles-Inspired Music Fun at My Gym Locations

Beat Bugs and My Gym have struck a chord to activate a musically-inspired promotion at 178 My Gym locations in United States, United Kingdom and Australia this summer.  In the months of June and July, children who attend classes at My Gym will enjoy Beat Bugs music, games and other fun activities, including coloring sheets and puppet shows.

Created by Josh Wakely, Beat Bugs, is an Emmy Award-winning animated kids series featuring music inspired by The Beatles.  Currently a hit on Netflix, the story revolves around the lives and adventures of five best friends; charming and funny childlike bugs who explore and learn in their suburban backyard home. Each episode ties in a Beatles song in an innocent and child-friendly fashion, sung by one of the characters or guest stars that include mega-musicians P!nk, Sia, Aloe Blacc, Rod Stewart, Jennifer Hudson and more. Beat Bugs introduces a new generation to the music of the most influential band in rock history, The Beatles.

My Gym’s facilities provide a local place where children learn and grow through unique and exciting activities. My Gym Kids worldwide develop healthy minds and strong bodies under the guidance of trained and loving instructors in a safe, clean and noncompetitive environment.  Find a location near you at www.mygym.com.

FOLLOW BEAT BUGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

www.Facebook.com/BeatBugsOfficial

www.Instagram.com/Beat_Bugs

www.Pinterest.com/BeatBugsOfficial

www.Twitter.com/Beat_bugs 

PLAYMATES’ VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER TOY LINE HELPS YOU PROTECT THE UNIVERSE

you haven’t watched Netflix new animated show based on the iconic 80s program, take time and catch up!

Not only have they green light a second season but now (Thanks to Playmates) we are getting a new toy line