11 Toys That Deserve Their Own TV Shows
As if we need another reason to revisit the ’80s, Popples are getting their own TV show on Netflix. Popples, for those who don’t know, were brightly-colored teddy bears with pompom tails, that you could roll up into a ball should you so desire. The new show they’ve inspired, according to Entertainment Weekly, “follows the adventures of the five Best Popple Pals in the ‘colorful world of Popplopolis.’” These good-natured stuffed toys mean well, but they apparently cause a lot of “mayhem” wherever they go. (As much mayhem as a teddy bear with a pompom tail can cause, anyway.)
That, folks, is all you need for an awesome TV series based on an ’80s toy. So which other childhood toys should get their own shows? We found some pretty deserving candidates.
1. Girl Talk
Our world was changed in the late ’80s, when suddenly everyone got Girl Talk for their birthday. Then, it was heartbreaking when we played it so many times we ran out of zit stickers. This was most certainly the predecessor to Dream Phone and Mall Madness. Girl Talk: The Show will be set up like The View, or even MTV’s own Girl Code, but strictly focused on discussing early ’90s nostalgia and New Kids On The Block. Eh?
2. Dancing Cans
Useful? Not really. Great for hours of enjoyment? Maybe. Completely necessary? A thousand times, yes. Whatever happened to all those dance shows of the early ’90s? Bring back one of those, and instead of having the DJs played by Daft Punk, they are played by Dancing Coke cans wearing sunglasses who always takes song requests.
3. Food Fighters
Anthropomorphic food dressed in military gear? Ok, sure. The entire idea of this toy was that they were literal food fighters. They had names like Burgerdier General, Private Pizza, and Lieutenant Legg. The question is not, “Why do these toys exist?” but rather, “Why don’t they have their own HBO mini-series yet?” Game of Thrones will end eventually, and when it does, the animated epic saga of Pizza trying to save his homeland should take its place.
4. Kitty and Puppy Surprise
What child won’t jump at the chance to own a pet that you can help assist through its birth? Even as children we knew the struggle of First World Problems when we got a Kitty or Puppy that only had two little babies inside, when we could have had four. The horror! Think of a show for these Surprises like, Modern Family: we can see what it’s like to raise a litter of puppies in this ever-changing world.
5. Pillow People
Why at any point in time were these necessary other than to give small children nightmares? They had detachable arms and legs so you could mix and match, but like you were going to own multiple pillows that kind of resembled people who looked like they were going to kill you in your sleep. I remember having one of these, and I always slept with its face towards the wall, because at 1AM, after a bad childhood dream, the last thing I wanted to see was Mr. Thunderclap staring back at me. If recommendations for next next season of American Horror Story are allowed, these pillows seem like a prime choice, Ryan Murphy.
6. PJ Sparkles
PJ Sparkles came with a made-for-TV movie, that starred Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid) in the title role. It was a story of an orphan who wishes for someone to love her, and she winds up in Twinkle Town. Twinkle Town is full of nameless orphan children, and PJ gives them all names and becomes their leader. Also, PJ’s horse, Blaze, can now talk in Twinkle Town, because. . . magic. Commercial tie-ins were weird in the ’80s, no? Also, Ms. Sparkles, true to her surname, lit up. With a crazy origin story like that, PJ would make a great future superhero on the CW. She’s already got the talking horse sidekick!
7. Fluffy My Come Here Puppy
Kind of like Teddy Ruxpin, in the sense that Fluffy was actually a moving doll, but fifteen times better because Fluffy was a dog. For any child who wasn’t allowed the joys of a puppy as a child (aka me), Fluffy came in a close second. The name says it all: Fluffy was always there for you. We don’t necessarily need an entire series about Fluffy, but how about just a live Fluffy Cam on the Interwebs?
8. California Raisins
This was started as a marketing campaign to get people to eat raisins. I really don’t think anyone expected raisins’ popularity to skyrocket so much that it spawned raisin action figures, clothing, costumes, and bedsheets. But the California Raisins were pretty cool as far as dried fruits went. I still remember their cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which is funny because, you know, they’re raisins. Robot Chicken continues to be a success after all these seasons, so they could easily gain a new cult following with a California Raisins stop-motion spin-off.
9. Beanie Babies
There is a small army of Beanie Babies underneath the bed I sit atop right now. Who was it again who told us that these small stuffed animals filled with tiny goya beans would be worth money one day? Why did we believe them? Could they get their own TV show, so then maybe we won’t feel so guilty for continuing to own so many? Aw, shucks, they are kinda cute, though. Considering how often we still discuss DuckTales, Beanie Babies would seamlessly fit right in with other Saturday morning cartoons.
10. Lisa Frank
Not so much a toy, but rather a way of life. Lisa Frank actually founded her gigantic neon corporation in 1979 when she was only 24 years old (!!). Her popularity took off from there, and you couldn’t go back to school without one, or fifteen, different Lisa Frank folders with a tiger or a polar bear or a unicorn on it. BoJack Horseman is such a success, that maybe Panda Painter isn’t too far off.
11. Creepy Crawlers & Easy Bake Oven
For the boys, there were the Creepy Crawlers, and the girls got the Easy Bake Oven, and everyone got to bake strange concoctions in their own tiny little ovens. Maybe you were lucky enough to have a brother who had a Creepy Crawlers set, so you got double the enjoyment. Or maybe you were like me, and even at a young age couldn’t understand why there were “boy toys” and “girl toys” (ugh, gender stereotypes!) so your parents bought you both and you used to put the Creepy Crawlers ON the tiny little cookies from the Easy Bake Oven. With all the other cooking shows on TV, why can’t we get one for these?