If you saw the Netflix show The Toys That Made Us already, maybe you are wondering things like “What kind of stories were left off?” “Is my favorite toy appearing one day?” “How did they came up with the idea?”
Well, C506 had the opportunity to speak with Brian Volk-Weiss, producer and creator of the hit show. Brian has a long experience producing award-winning TV shows, movies and albums, mostly comedy related, but he came up with this show that took everyone by surprise.
Brian talked to us about everything, from his childhood to some EXCLUSIVES about upcoming 3rd season. So, shall we start? Come with us!
C506: What are the toys that made you?
Brian Volk-Weiss: There is one toy that is different from all the others and then there are the other toys. So, the main toy that changed everything about my life is Star Wars, that’s pretty much a category by itself. I still my original R2-D2; I still have my original die cast Millennium Falcon and Star Destroyer. Star Wars changed my life in every way, I am sure I would be a banker or a lawyer in New York without Star Wars, so, that is a category by itself.
Under Star Wars there would kind of been a tie between GI Joe and Transformers and then the other toy, even though it is a toy buy I still feel it is a category by itself would be Legos. Interestingly enough, I buy many toys now and I collect them and I put them on my shelves, but Legos are the only toys I still buy and play with the same way I did 35-40 years ago.
C506: How did you decide to create “The Toys That Made Us”?
Brian Volk-Weiss: Well, as a producer you always want to make shows you are excited about, I have always been a toy collector, and I love toys so, I created a show about toys that I would enjoy watching. I tried selling it for about 7 years and I was never able to sell it, I came very close a few times like, History Channel and National Geographic but I never sold it. I was very lucky that Netflix bought and it did very well on Netflix.
C506: What were the reasons the other channels give you for not buying the show?
Brian Volk-Weiss: With History Channel, they did not believe that a show about toys would appeal to their audience, of course now they know it would. With Nat Geo, they wanted to do a version of the show with big Movie Stars so like; the Transformers episode would have had Michael Bay or somebody like that and that just did not work put. Netflix allowed me to make the show exactly I thought it should be.
C506: What are the most Bizarre stories that you have not included or did not make the cut for the episodes?
Brian Volk-Weiss: That is a good question! The #1 thing that did not make the cut, I cannot tell you what it is because it is crazy, but it is related to Hello Kitty. That is the #1 thing and it is so crazy I cannot even tell you (we insisted but he was hard to convince). However, the one I will tell you is that a lot of people we interviewed, especially people from the nineties, have been fired for reasons they do not thing were fair. We interviewed them a lot of people got very angry, started crying, it was very very emotional and very very powerful, even though it happened like 25 years earlier.
I decided even though it was powerful not to include it in the show, because that just was not the show I wanted to make, I wanted to make a fun show about toys that fathers and sons and mothers and daughters and everybody could watch.
C506: What are your favorite episodes?
Brian Volk-Weiss: My favorite episode, and again, in my mind it is a category by itself, is Star Wars. We got to rebuild ILM (Industry Light and Magic) from when they used to be in California, in LA. We shot in the same building where ILM used to be in 1974. That is the greatest moment of my career.
If you removed that, I loved the Transformers episode, I loved the He-Man episode and I was not a He-Man fan at all, before the show, I am now. The He-Man episode really surprised me because of the great story it was. Also, I really loved the Transformers episode because we had a lot of trouble finding an interesting way into the show, really. We had several cuts that I just thought were kind of boring like “heeeeey, they turned trucks into robots!” It took us a while to find a story like the tuna fish can. Once we found the story and based the opening of the episode about the tuna fish can, that allowed us to find a very interesting way into the show. I am very proud of that episode, because it was the hardest to crack, but by the time we cracked it, it worked. That is my opinion.
C506: Any sneak peek or anything that you can tell us about the new season that is coming?
Brian Volk-Weiss: I will tell you something that you are the first person I am telling this to in an interview. I cannot tell you the date for season 3, but I can tell you it will be before October.
C506: What can we expect from this season?
Brian Volk-Weiss: One of the major changes that we made is, as you know, in the first 2 seasons every episode had a reenactment at the beginning and what we found, based on the feedback we got, was that people did not really care about the reenactment and just cared about the story. Sometimes had to leave out important stories because we did not have enough time.
A great example is Star Wars, we did not cover the nineties Star Wars. In Transformers, we did not cover Beast Wars. We made the decision, which is painful but I know it is the right decision, of not doing the reenactments and that gave us another 3 or 5 minutes to tell the story better. That is the biggest change from seasons 1 and 2.
C506: How many seasons are expected? What Toys are you planning?
Brian Volk-Weiss: I cannot talk about it yet because it is very complicated and very confidential with Netflix but what I will say is there is a couple of obvious toys out there and I can assure you at least two of the toys we cover will be the obvious ones.
C506: Back to your childhood and teenage years. What was that toy that you always wanted and were never able to get? I don’t know if you got it now you are an adult and you can afford it but what was that Holy Grail?
Brian Volk-Weiss: There were two. One of them I got finally 2 years ago and one of them I got about 6 months ago. The first one was the Cobra Hydro Foil. I got it less than 2 years ago in beautiful condition, I always wanted it. The second one was the GI Joe hovercraft, which is called “The whale”; I got it like 3-4 months ago.
There is still one left that I do not have and I want, which is the “Micro” Line Star Wars Millennium Falcon, I really want that and I do not have it yet, that is still out there. Last week I got something else, my friend Rich picked it up for me: the Matchbox SDF-1 from Robotech, not the big one, I still do not have that one but I got the little one finally and I always wanted it. I love Robotech.
C506: With the DVD completely sold out. When can we expect a Blu-Ray release?
Brian Volk-Weiss: The DVD came out a month ago and it completely sold out, so we are making more. You can get it printed on demand from Amazon, but it will be back in Walmart or Target in about 6 weeks.
In November, the Blu-Ray is coming out, if you did not buy the DVD, I would wait for the Blu-Ray, there is a lot more on it than on DVD. It is for both seasons too.
C506: Any exclusive or things not showing on DVD?
Brian Volk-Weiss: Yes, a lot. The DVD has only a few extras, the Blu-Ray has, I do not want to say the wrong number, but I think it has more than 10, maybe way more. I do not want to give a wrong number and get everyone mad. In addition, the Blu-ray comes with a pretty cool surprise, I do not.
Just to let you know, we will be at San Diego Comic-Con again and we will be announcing a couple surprises there.
C506: We will be waiting to hear them. We really appreciate your time for this interview
Brian Volk-Weiss: (Speaking Spanish) Muchas Gracias por tu tiempo
C506: You should come to LATAM and Mexico, maybe do some research about those plastic Luchadores, I don’t know if you are familiar with them.
Brian Volk-Weiss: I am, I love Mexico, I have been in love with Mexico for 25 years.
C506: There are several conventions over here, I am pretty sure they will contact you to come here.
Brian Volk-Weiss: Well I tried to do one of them but I could not because of schedule, the Unboxing thing (maybe referring to Unboxing Toy Convention), but maybe next year.
C506: We hope so. Thank you so much.
We appreciate the time given by the team from The Toys That Made Us, how the show works. It was a pleasure to meet you all.
We hope (Luis, Johann and the C506 Staff the best for Season 3, We can’t wait). – Johann Morales.
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De Guadalajara. Fan de los cómics, los videojuegos, los deportes y mi gran pasión: el cine. Editor reciente del sitio. Odio el Aguacate.