Gareth von Kallenbach recently had the opportunity to sit down with producer Brian Volk-Weiss, the creator of The Toys That Made Us, now entering Season 3 on Netflix. The show examines many popular toy lines and talks about how they were created, marketed, and became famous.

Here’s how the conversation went:

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 eight months to do eight episodes, 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 they’re 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.

[Originally published on]

Gareth Von Kallenbach
Gareth Von Kallenbach

Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.