Toy TV Shows: Toys That Transformed Onto The Small Screen

by 8Ball T Shirts Posted on May 17, 2016 0 Comments

Today it has been announced by Paramount Pictures that the official title for the next Transformers movie will be Transformers: The Last Knight. Now we know what you are thinking and yes this does sound very similar to a particular outing from our favourite caped crusader. But this is no Dark Knight this is the Last Knight and it will be hitting the big screen on June 23rd 2017!

But with all of the hype that surrounds each movie we seem to forget that the Transformers were originally a set of hard to sell robot toys from Hasbro that went on to become a loved TV show and a multi-billion dollar franchise.

With that in mind we are looking back at some of our favourite TV shows that were based on a line of toys.


In 1976 Mattel declined a deal to produce a toyline of action figures based on characters from the Star Wars franchise. As we all know Star Wars was a global success so to fill in the void of missing out on this opportunity Mattel needed something new and fast! He-Man: The most powerful man in the universe was actually a creation by Mattel designer Roger Sweet during the 1980s. Sweet went on to present three possible concepts to Mattel CEO Ray Wagner with the Barbarian design being the favourite, the others being a spaceman and a soldier.

He man went on to appear in movies, comics and best of all The Masters of the Universe TV show.


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were originally a line of toys created by Playmates Toys Inc. They were approached about making a line of TMNT action figures and requested a television deal be made first. The TV show aired in the late 1980s as a mini-series of 5 episodes and before long became regular Saturday morning viewing for children all over the world. With three animated series spanning two decades, a live action series, six movies and countless varieties of branded merchandise the TMNT has become a billion dollar franchise.

Care Bears

The Care Bears were originally created as characters on greeting cards in 1981. They were then developed into the plush bears with the different greeting card themes emblazoned across their bellies. The first television series came in 1985 along with the Care Bears Movie. Since it’s release we have seen the number of Care Bears grow from ten to over 50 bears and 11 Care Bear cousins (characters that feature but are not members of the original bear family).

GI Joe

Go Joe! GI Joe must be one of the most famous toys turned into TV shows and movies ever. The original Joe was created in 1964 by Hasbro and was entered into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2003. The GI Joe developers not only created the toy but they also coined the term action figure as a way to sell dolls to boys. Joe went on to appear in comics, TV shows and most recently a series of films featuring The Rock and Channing Tatum.

My Little Pony

The My Little Pony franchise originally started as a line of plastic toys created for young girls. Since it’s launch in the early 80s the original toy line and My Pretty Pony toys have inspired animated specials, an animated movie, four animated television series and an adult My Little Pony loving fandom!

Did you grow up watching any of these shows or can you think of better toys that were turned into TV shows? Let us know on social media or send us a comment below!

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