On my recent trip to San Francisco I got a chance to check out the new series from ABC TV “The Toy Box” and not only is it hilarious, it’s creative and extremely hard to stop watching, I am already excited for the upcoming episodes!
The Toy Box is hosted by Eric Stonestreet (from Modern Family) and it’s the ultimate toy competition series that features five passionate amateurs to the world of creating toys.
The first episode of the Toy Box Premieres on ABC Friday, April 7th at 8pm to 9pm EST!
The winning toy at the end of the series will have their toy made by Mattel and it will be sold exclusively at Toys“R”Us® after the series ends. Competitors will have the chance to present their toys to a group of mentors that include Dylan Lauren (Owner of Dylans Candy Bar), Jim Silver, the toy guru and Jen Tan, Pixar creative director of consumer products. If their products make it past the judges they will then move onto the next round for a no holds barred round with judges Sophia Grace Brownlee (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”), Aalyrah Caldwell (“Uncle Buck”), Toby Grey (“The Unexpected John Cena Prank”) and Noah Ritter (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”). The judges then decide which toy moves onto the next round and competes for a place in the finale.
What I enjoyed most about The Toy Box is learning how the creators came about making the toys, their own personal stories, what they invested, what they could lose and it amazes me how much these inventors put on the line to create something they truly believe in. The first round of toys amazed me and the one that I thought was going to get through from the start ended up winning the rounds (I won’t spoil it by saying which one but it’s amazing!).
The First Episodes Toys Included
Arya Ball – a reimagining of the soccer ball with special surprises inside by Inventor Babak from Carlsbad, California
Wacky Worm Racing Game – a racing game where players dressed in a worm costume race to cross the finish line by Inventor Cedric from Orlando, Florida
Niya Doll – a multicultural doll collection who sings and speaks in multiple languages by Inventor Darla from Columbia, South Carolina
Swurfer – a backyard swing inspired by a surfboard by Inventor Rob from Charleston, South Carolina
Party Cannon – a party game that launches toys, prizes and candy by Inventor Rick from Miami Springs, Florida
Meet The Judges
The Toy Box was just what I expected, super funny with a few moments that made me feel a little sad for the inventors who didn’t make it through after seeing what they go through to make the inventions that they love and believe in. I found The Toy Box to be exciting, I love to learn about new inventions and toys and I was also pretty excited to see how children could judge a show. What I got from the judges is that they were excited about things kids would normally be excited about but in the end they put their minds together and picked the best invention of the bunch, the one that stood out the most and the one that was unique and something I hadn’t seen before. The show is exciting, it’s something new and the judges are hilarious!
Photo Credit: ABC
We also got a chance to interview the lovely Jen Tan and when I say she is lovely, she really is, she had so much great information to share with us all and I was so happy to learn about everything and get all of our questions answered!
Here are some Highlights from our interview with Jen!
How did you pick the kids?
I wasn’t involved in the picking of the kids. But, they picked some really great kids. I think ABC was involved in that. – Jen Tan
Are you in every episode, and how did you come to be involved in the show?
I’m in every episode. And I came to be involved because they reached out to Pixar and asked if there’s somebody who could possibly be a mentor on a show about toys. So they reach out to me and I said, “Okay, that sounds fun,” I’ll try it out.
Did you have a background in toys before you came to Pixar?
Yes. I went to school for toy design, actually. I went to FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology. They have a two year toy design program. And it’s very specific. I think there’s only two or three new programs in the country. And so I started off as a toy designer. And I got a job at Disney Consumer Products, out of school. And then I worked at Spin Master for a little bit, and worked on some actual toy designs and I came here to work on more toys.
The first episode of The Toy Box Premieres on ABC Friday, April 7th at 8pm to 9pm EST!
Disclosure: I was a part of this Disney event, all opinions are that of my own.