The Lego Movie sneaked into theaters earlier this year and stole the hearts of everyone, Lego-fans and adults alike. It incorporated the humor of the Lego series of video games and showed us fun characters that are typically seen as cheap figurines. There are already plans of a Lego sequel following a big screen Ninjago movie in 2016. If they maintain the humor of this movie, they will be able to print money. In concept, this movie shouldn’t have worked but it showed us that everything is awesome. Similar to my list about possible board game movies, here is my list of toys from the ’80s and ’90s that could possibly see a big screen debut following the success of The Lego Movie.
5 – Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin is a terrifying and technological wonder. Teddy would read you a prepackaged book with the help of a cassette tape built within his chest. Children, nowadays, will never understand how cool it was that Teddy would move his eyes and mouth in a robotic attempt to read the story. Fun fact: Teddy Ruxpin was the “Official Spokebear for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”
Because the Simon touchpad game appeared as a makeshift Ouija board in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, it seems only rational that Teddy Ruxpin be featured in a horror movie of his own.
Everything seemed to be going fine in the Jensen’s new home. That is, until the youngest boy started hearing singing at night. Every night at approximately 3:13 AM, he would hear clicking followed by a soft droning voice singing “Your friend…is what I’d like to be…” Every night the singing would get closer. One night little Timmy looked at the foot of his bed and saw a dusty old wooly bear wearing a singlet and sitting upright. The boy was overjoyed to show his parents his new toy. They disregarded it, thinking it was a toy the old tenants left behind. However, after some time, the bear who usually only spoke in sync with the cassette, starting telling Timmy “Your house will burn.” and “Don’t tell your parents about me or they will die.” After trying to throw out and destroy the toy bear to no avail, the family figures out the only way to stop Teddy is by putting different tapes in his chest. His behavior reflects the style of music playing in his chest tape player. Sadly, the only two tapes the family owned were ABBA greatest hits and an Erasure tape.
Tagline: “If you build a bear, he will come.”
4 – Treasure Trolls
While Troll Dolls were originally created in the 1960s, they had a big resurgence in the early ’90s. They were heavily marketed towards boys with different troll versions of super heroes, battle trolls and the like. I never “played” with trolls, but did once create a troll movie with my friend back in 1995. We called it Ed the Troll. The overly complicated plots followed Ed as he would be jilted by Barbie and then he’d run over Ken and Barbie in his own dream car. I guess I had a few issues I needed to work out. He also commonly fought with the Ninja Turtles and the GI Joe armada. The Ed the Troll movies were all done in stop-motion.
I see the Troll Doll movie following the same format as The Lego Movie while spliced with the heavy themes of The Giver and Ayn Rand’s Anthem. The world of the Trolls is in black and white. Every troll must be nude at all times to avoid any type of difference. Their hair must be matted down at all times to repress individuality. One free-thinking troll is exploring some caves and finds a strange green-colored diamond. He attaches it to his stomach and instantly becomes unique. His hair stands straight up and turns green. The troll leadership captures him, shaves his head, and then has him drawn and quartered by the Hungry Hungry Hippos. A single tear rolls down this face of his widowed wife, while his son looks on, stone-jawed, silently vowing to avenge his father. He vows to find diamonds for the rest of the troll society. Green troll’s sacrifice changes the tide of the dystopia and creates a world of free and independent trolls.
Tagline: “Treasure the troll within.”
3 – Popples
Popples got their start in 1986. These marsupial-like pouch creatures were the forefathers of pillow pets and that ilk. My sisters had Popples. I don’t remember them actually playing with them. If anything, they became projectile weapons in extreme pillow fights.
Society has come to a point where industry has reached incredible levels of averageness. People have learned how to combine the structure of Construx with the height of Tinker Toys. A new skyscraper goes up every day. This all changes when the civilians start hearing rumbling from the mountains. No one is prepared for the arrival of rolling furry balls that decimate the city. Matters are made worse when glowing radioactive lights start appearing on the horizon. Bloodthirsty Glo-Worms slowly encroach on the city leaving a path of destruction in their sluggish wake. The Glo-Worms and The Popples battle for monster dominance in the broken city of Construx and Tinker Toys.
In Summer of 2017, “The Popples will topple the population!”
2 – M.A.S.K. and GoBots
I’m not sure why I owned so many of these knock-off toys. It may be that my mom saw higher-priced Transformers and G.I. Joe action figures and went with the generic cheaper brands. The characters of M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) were low budget G.I. Joe figures that appropriately came packaged with detachable masks (more like hoods). What made them unique is the vehicles they were packaged with. Each of them “transformed” into a war machine or flying vehicle.
GoBots were released in the same year as Transformers, but have always been seen as the poor-mans version. They just weren’t as complex. Instead of transforming from a semi truck to a sweet looking robot, the GoBots would sort of look like vehicles and you’d just extend the bumper to find the head and extend the arms and legs. They were very simple. They even had brilliant names like Cop-Tur, Leader One and Cy-Kill. It’s entirely possible that the GoBot developers were stoned.
In what will surely be the best B-list blockbuster of all time, the GoBots and MASK riders team up in a film directed by visionary Brett Ratner. This movie will also be produced by Michael Bay, because it just makes sense. It turns out that the the villainous Cy-Kill and the appropriately named V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem) have joined forces to take over the Canadian government. It’s an uphill battle for the good guys, until they get some last minute help from the Ghostbusters (the version with the ape).
Tagline: “Knock offs that will knock your socks off!”
1 – My Buddy
The My Buddy doll was introduced in 1985. I don’t actually remember anyone I know actually owning a My Buddy doll, but for the past 25 years I’ve been haunted by the chilling commercial jingle. Hasbro eventually discontinued the line of My Buddy dolls in 1990.
This thriller starts off with the kidnapping of Kid Sister by the nefarious My Pet Monster. As the kidnapping is taking place, My Buddy threatens My Pet Monster over the phone by saying, “I may be made of foam, but I have a special set of skills. This is your last chance to return Kid Sister because wherever I go, she goes!”