Playmobil: The Movie becomes the latest toy franchise to make it to the big screen, joining such hits as The Lego Movie, Transformers, and Battleship. It’s not clear yet if Playmobil: The Movie will be remembered as an all time cinematic great, but for fans of the toys it’s sure to please. With so many toy franchises in existence with fans waiting for their favourite childhood past-times to make the leap to the big screen, we wondered – what could be adapted next? Here are 5 suggestions.
Kids love cars. It’s one of the things that is always a certain. The bright paint jobs, the fast speeds, and the run of the races – cars appeal to kids and adults alike. Which makes it an ideal toy to make the switch to the big screen. There are a number of options open for a film based on Hot Wheels, any of which would work.
It could take inspiration from the Disney Cars movies, where the vehicles themselves are alive and have their own personalities. The film could be a story that focuses on the drivers, focusing on an up and coming young racer trying to break their way into the sport, or a rivalry between two racers as they compete for a championship. It could even make itself a kid orientated Fast and Furious film, with crazy stunts and big action sequences. As well as the previously released animated TV movie, there is, apparently, a Hot Wheels film in development with Warner Bros, but no details about what it’s going to be like have been released yet, other than that it is set to be live action.
One of the most iconic toys for the last twenty years, Furbies, if we’re being honest, are pretty weird: mechanical ‘pets’ that speak gibberish and sing to each other. A lot of people in their twenties and thirties probably had one growing up, and their kids might even have one too. Furbies have appeared in film before, in a television movie from 2005 called Furby Island. Being a TV movie it kind of slipped under the radar, and the cheap CGI actually makes the film scary more than anything else. The Furbies in that film are the stuff of nightmares, so they could really do with another crack at it.
Taking a leaf from popular animation such as My Little Pony, a Furby film could be quite a cute little adventure, featuring magic and mystical creatures that inhabit the world of the Furbies. You could even address the fact that there have been multiple versions of the toys, and feature the original Furbies, Furby Babies, and the Crystal Furbies, helping to ignite interest in the franchise as a whole and getting people wanting to collect as whole range of toys.
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Okay, Teddy Ruxpin is creepy as fuck. I think it’s important to get that out in the open straight away. My husband has one, and it has to be shut away in the attic because I’m convinced it’s haunted. And that’s totally my pitch for a Teddy Ruxpin movie.
Haunted and possessed dolls and toys have been a thing that’s been around for decades. Whether it’s Chucky from Child’s Play or Annabelle from the Conjuring universe, kids’ toys coming to life and trying to harm people has been a very popular niche. Let’s put Teddy Ruxpin into this category too. For a start, he already looks pretty creepy, and the fact that the toy speaks and has cassettes in its back could make for some great scary moments too. I’m 100% convinced that my husband’s one is haunted, and a film that highlights this possibility would do a lot for my argument that we should get rid of it. This film would have to be a separate entity from the upcoming Teddy Ruxpin televison series in development from The Jim Henson Company, as I doubt that they’d want to scar their pre-school audience that much!
This one was actually a pitch my husband made, and I think if done right it would make a great film. Monopoly meets The Wolf of Wall Street. It could be about a young, up and coming businessman who has to navigate his way through the world of property management whilst competing against others who are trying to get rich and screw him over. I can see it as a film that tries to get the idea across to the audience that capitalism is a bad thing, something that exploits people, punishes those who get bad breaks, and ultimately corrupts. Then again, it could go full on The Wolf of Wall Street and be a bizarre comedy that highlights the ridiculous lives of the super rich. Plus, I’ve got the image of the Monopoly Man snorting cocaine off a hooker’s tits in my head now and kind of want to see it on the big screen. The fact that the film is already in development with Kevin Hart set to star means that there’s no telling what direction it’s set to go in, though it’s sure to contain some comedy.
This one kind of has had a movie (aside from animated and direct-to-video), as Action Man was the UK reworking of the original G.I. Joe way back in the 1960s, but the two franchises have evolved over the years to become completely different entities, so I’m pretty confident in saying that the G.I. Joe films don’t count at all. To be fair, they struggle to count as good G.I. Joe films either, but that’s a different point.
Over the years Action Man evolved to become less of a soldier and more of a super spy, complete with an arch nemesis, Dr. X. A lot of the Action Man toys and characters became a little goofy and over the top, especially during the 90s and early 2000s, and I’d propose a movie that would lean into this.
Have Action Man be this super spy, part of Action Force fighting against Dr. X, a cybernetic mad scientist. Action Man travels the world, taking part in crazy missions to thwart the plans of Dr. X, but then discovers that it’s all fake. There is no such thing as Action Force, and Dr. X is made up. It’s all been done by Action Man’s parents to let him have his childhood dream of being a super spy. The outraged Action Man turns his back on this fake life and tries to become a real secret agent, but discovers that the weird gadgets aren’t real, the bad guys don’t have elaborate plans, and people will try to kill him.
Part Archer, part Mission Impossible, have the film be this silly, over-the-top super-spy thrown into a very real and grounded world where his crazy way of doing things just won’t work. James Bobin, a director on the cult hit comedy series Flight of the Conchords, was announced to direct an Action Man movie over a year ago, so my hopes of a film that would contain some comedy are high; but unfortunately there’s been no news on the film since it was announced over a year ago.
Whilst I wanted to keep this list just at five, there are so many toys that would make for great films, especially from the 80s and 90s, where toys had such mad designs, and usually an awesome television series to accompany them. Give us films based on Mummies Alive, Visionaries, Sky Commanders, Micronauts, Brave Starr, Dino-Riders, Mighty Max, Street Sharks, and M.A.S.K. to name but a few of the amazing toys that made up our childhoods.