HISTORY® is unveiling the next installment of its popular “That Built” franchise with the new four-part “The Toys That Built America” docuseries premiering on Sunday, November 28 at 9 p.m. ET / PT.
Watch a promo for the new series below!
“The Toys That Built America” tells the story of the toy titans whose imaginations soar to build multi-billion dollar empires, the rivalries that gave birth to the modern toy industry, and the history of visionaries behind iconic products like Monopoly® and GI Joe®. Additionally, through its award-winning “Mission To Honor” public awareness campaign, the network is partnering with Blue Star Families in an extension of its long-standing commitment to give back to those who have served and are serving in the military with a donation of toys and educational items during the holiday season.
Set against the backdrop of major events in American history such as the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II, “The Toys that Built America” tells a story that puts nostalgic toys at the forefront as as incalculable engines of cultural and economic change. The four-part docuseries explore visionaries such as the Parker brothers, Milton Bradley and Ruth Handler who transformed a small toy company into the billion dollar empire known as Mattel®. It reveals little-known details behind groundbreaking innovations like the Frisbee®, and accidental discoveries like how the Slinky® was created. Additionally, docuseries unveil competitive rivalries between iconic brands that have forever changed the fabric of our nation. Blending dramatic re-enactments and archival footage with interviews from experts, biographers and more, each episode brings to life the startling stories of the men and women who created some of the world’s most beloved and enduring toys. America including Silly Putty®, Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox Cars®, and other famous classics.
“Toys teach us to imagine, have fun and, most importantly, dream big,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for The HISTORY® Channel. “In ‘The Toys That Built America’ we learn the fascinating story of the inventors of some of the greatest and most ingenious toys of all time – many of whom shaped our childhood. As toys continue to grow. ‘Encouraging a new generation to dream bigger, we are proud to continue our commitment to honor and support military families by partnering with Blue Star Families in thanking and giving back to those who sacrificed themselves to serve our country. ”
The HISTORY® Channel is continuously committed to mobilizing support for veterans and military families through the award-winning “Mission To Honor” public awareness campaign. The initiative recognizes the vital contributions of military personnel and women by sharing their stories and works with leading veterans organizations across the country to educate military families who give back to their communities through service.
In partnership with Blue Star Families, The HISTORY® Channel is flooding veteran and military families with toys and educational items during a “Mission To Honor” philanthropic event on Monday, November 22 at the B&O Railroad Museum, the birthplace of the American Railroad, in Baltimore, MD. The CSX 1776 Pride in Service locomotive and holiday helpers are giving these gifts in style to military families in attendance. The network also pledges to donate $ 1 for each social media post, up to $ 25,000, to Blue Star Families by encouraging viewers to share a photo, video or nostalgic memory of their toy. favorite childhood using #ToysThatBuiltAmerica and tagging @HISTORY.
The notoriety of the “Mission To Honor” initiative is fostered by promotion on linear platforms, social media and the network’s digital platforms. Generous donations of toys and educational supplies are made possible by the following brands: deuter, Basic Fun !, Educational Insights, Radio Flyer, Silly Bandz, Funko and the Sydney Paige Foundation. The Sydney Paige Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing children in underserved communities with equal access to the tools and confidence to learn and thrive in school and in life. To date, Sydney Paige has provided over 1,000,000 new, high-quality backpacks and school supplies to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. Blue Star Families Founder and CEO, Kathy Roth-Douquet: “After having had a very successful welcome week last month where we created a welcome moment for these 600,000 military personnel who relocate each year, we continue to WELCOME military families to their communities through exciting events like this! “
The November 28th episode 1 of “The Toys That Built America” features the stories of several iconic and creative novelty toys like Silly Putty®, Slinky® and Frisbee® with surprising details of their creation, inspiration and of their continued relevance. Did you know that the idea of the Frisbee® started in 1957 when former Air Force pilot Fred Morrison and his girlfriend threw his mother’s pie pan on the beach? Viewers will hear other surprising facts behind these toys and their makers, including Richard and Betty James, Peter Hodgson, Richard Knerr, and Arthur Spud Melin. A nostalgic journey through the decades, additional episodes explore inventors Milton Bradley, the Parker brothers, Jack Odell, Merrill Hassenfeld, Ruth and Elliot Handler and more.
“The Toys That Built America” is produced for The HISTORY® Channel by Six West MediaTM. Steve Ascher, Kristy Sabat, Matthew Pearl and Keith McKay are executive producers of Six West MediaTM. Jim Pasquarella, Brooke Townsend and Mary E. Donahue are executive producers of The HISTORY® Channel.
A + E Networks owns the worldwide distribution rights for “The Toys That Built America”. The series is available worldwide under the name “The Toys That Built the World”.
Watch a promo for the special here: