A new limited television series has just been announced by Amazon titled, “Toy Wars”, which follows the real-life battle between American toy giants Hasbro and Mattel in the 1980’s and 1990’s. If you’ve been living under a rock here’s a quick history lesson: Hasbro is the company behind toy franchises like GI Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony, while Mattel produces Fisher-Price, Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, Masters of the Universe, American Girl dolls and so much more. So how does Amazon plan to bring this battle to the small-screen. Find out more after the jump.
The Amazon mini-series, based on the non-fiction book Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them by G. Wayne Miller. Is an in-depth look at the companies high and low points, due to Miller’s 5 years of thorough access to everything and everyone in the company.
The following is a synopsis of the book:
This is the real toy story, an unprecedented behind-the-scenes journey through a world of influence, fantasy, and multimillion-dollar Hollywood deals, a world where the whims of children make millionaires and topple titans. This is also the story of an unusual man. Alan Hassenfeld, the chief executive officer of Hasbro, who never intended to run a Fortune 500 company. A free spirit who dreamed of being a writer and exploring Asia, was content to remain in the shadow of his older brother Stephen, a marketing genius who transformed a family firm established by immigrant Jews into a powerhouse Wall Street darling. Then tragedy struck. Stephen, an intensely private man, died of AIDS, and Alan Hassenfeld was named CEO, just as Hasbro was facing a daunting onslaught of challenges. Toy Wars is about Alan’s struggle to balance the demands of the bottom line with his ideals about the kind of toys children deserve, as well as the ethical obligations of management.
Actor/writer Josh Gad (Frozen, Jobs) is set to star in the upcoming series with Ryan Dixon (Triplets, Curious George) attached to co-write along showrunner Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck). Seth Gordon (The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters) is expected to direct the pilot episode.
Characters, from real life, that could make a potential appearance in the show are as follows:
- Stephen Schwartz:
- one of late CEO Steven Hassenfeld’s “Three Musketeers,” who helped turn Hasbro into the number one toy company in the world.
- Haim Saban
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers creator
- Steven Spielberg
- George Lucas
(just to name a few)
There is no other news on when the show will be released, but it will definitely be interesting to see the long and fascinating history between these two companies play out.