The Toys That Built America

Season Finale Sun., Dec. 11 at 9/8c; Stream Next Day
Season 2 (7)

2 Seasons | 11 Episodes, 6 Unlocked

 10 Gross Out Icons
S 2 E 10

Gross Out Icons

Premieres on Dec 11, 2022

Gross-out humor is as old as human society itself, and so are the toys designed to capitalize on it. From a 1st century Roman Emperor who created an early version of the Whoopee cushion, to cutting edge, modern materials that emulate human body fluids, gross equals big bucks for toymakers. These are the stories of America’s most innovative, groundbreaking, and profitable toys designed to shock–and how they grew to claim a bigger piece of the 100-billion-dollar toy industry than you would think.

 9 Christmas Crazes
S 2 E 9

Christmas Crazes

Premieres on Dec 11, 2022

The Christmas crazes that helped transform holiday shopping into the frantic, no-holds-barred $1.1 trillion frenzy that it is today. From a hit doll in the Great Depression, to a $5 plush reselling for a thousand times its value, each season’s ‘must-have toy’ makes the top of Santa’s list for its own improbable reason… and sends desperate shoppers to unbelievable lengths just to buy it.

Preview 8 Plumber Bros vs. Hedgehog
S 2 E 8 PREVIEW

Plumber Bros vs. Hedgehog

Premieres on Dec 11, 2022

After the U.S. videogame crash of 1983, a Japanese electronics company single-handedly resurrects the industry with a game featuring a jumping plumber. But a rival rises to challenge their dominance, setting off a two-way war between video game superpowers. In the process, the two companies will humiliate a third, transforming the fight from a two-player matchup into a three-way brawl…that will change the video game industry forever.

Episode 7 80's Tech Toys
S 2 E 7

80's Tech Toys

Aired on Dec 04, 2022

In the 1980s, groundbreaking technology doesn’t just improve adult life, it redefines classic toys. For the first time, childhood staples are reimagined by innovators pushing the boundaries of entertainment technology. A former amusement park employee combines his animatronic knowledge with the cassette tape to create the world’s first realistic talking toy, while a NASA engineer invents an entirely new toy segment stemming from the boring old squirt gun. It’s an era when technology redefines how we live, and these toy innovations are at the forefront.

Episode 6 Cabbage Clash
S 2 E 6

Cabbage Clash

Aired on Nov 27, 2022

In the midst of the 1970s folk art movement, art student Martha Nelson creates a one-of-a-kind doll to sell at local Kentucky craft markets. She has no idea that a visionary young entrepreneur will use her artwork as inspiration for a mass-produced doll that will spark a multi-billion-dollar toy craze. They will make him rich, but first he must fend off challenges to his empire from Nelson… and from a baseball card company looking to lampoon his dolls to make a fortune of their own.

Episode 5 Order Out of Chaos
S 2 E 5

Order Out of Chaos

Aired on Nov 20, 2022

Hungarian professor, Erno Rubik, ignites “Cube Mania” with his 3-D puzzle that takes the world by storm. Hot on his heels, Leslie Scott will stop at nothing to bring an iconic building block board game to market. And, working deep behind the Iron Curtain, Alexey Pajitnov, risks everything to launch a video game obsession based on a puzzle, and it will become one of the biggest-selling video games on the planet…if he can ever get it out of his country. Together, they revolutionize the puzzle industry and stump some of the world’s greatest minds.

Episode 4 Brick by Brick
S 2 E 4

Brick by Brick

Aired on Nov 13, 2022

At the height of the industrial age, as America’s cities go vertical for the first time, a Yale educated medical doctor and Olympic gold medalist turns his attention to toys. Leaving his profitable magic business behind, he goes all in on his revolutionary steel building toy that will inspire generations of Americans to build bigger. Creating the first-ever national ad campaign for a toy, he’ll go head-to-head with a British rival who sells a remarkably similar building kit. But after decades at the top, a struggling Danish Carpenter emerges, whose passion for innovation leads him to a new building material–plastic. With it he’ll create the biggest toy empire the world has ever seen.

Episode 3 The Idea Man
S 2 E 3

The Idea Man

Aired on Nov 06, 2022

A visionary named Marvin Glass oversees the creation of many of the most iconic toys of the 20th Century. From chattering teeth to a legendary game based on a mouse trap, Glass pushes the boundaries of what a toy can be, and inspires generations. From his windowless fortress in Chicago, Glass reinvents the way toys are imagined and invented…building himself a toy empire. But his tyrannical style will set him on a collision course with his own designers–in a clash for control of the most important element of the toy universe: ideas.

Episode 2 The Birth of Video Games
S 2 E 2

The Birth of Video Games

Aired on Oct 30, 2022

Defense contractor Ralph Baer invents the world’s first home video game console. But it is soon eclipsed by a new table tennis game that becomes one of the most famous video games of all time. And when a third pioneer, Jerry Lawson, creates a console featuring swappable games, the fledgling video game industry explodes into an epic contest for control of what will become a multi-billion dollar market.

Episode 1 Masters of the Toy Universe
S 2 E 1

Masters of the Toy Universe

After passing on the biggest deal in toy industry history, Mattel President Ray Wagner finds himself a step behind former colleague-turned- rival, Bernie Loomis. Loomis leads a small-town toy company to record heights and revolutionizes the entire action figure market. But Wagner refuses to back down and steals a page from Loomis’ playbook to create the next blockbuster toy that will put Mattel back on top.

Create a Profile to Add this show to your list!

        
Already have a profile?