While this series isn't exactly brand new it only recently started to receive a high level of visibility. As a daily user of Netflix this was not a show that I would have even been able to find without a great deal of looking for it in the past.
The series focuses on the plastic toy craze, mostly of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, of which i think many of us were at least in some capacity a part of. While the show has its merits and is certainly a trip down memory lane for any older viewers and / or collectors, it is very lacking in some very key areas.
Initially released in 2017, the first 4 episodes focused on toy lines that shaped a good bit of my childhood and subsequently the throwing away of what I have to imagine was hundreds of dollars annually on the part of my parents and also at least 40% of my paper-route earnings: Star Wars, He-Man, and G.I. Joe (there was also a Barbie episode but I never had one of those because of the lack of weaponry.)
They focus on two aspects of each of the toy brands: How they came into being and also how collectors view the toys today. I had a great many Star Wars toys as a kid, some of which would be worth a butt ton of money if I hadn't been a kid at the time and immediately abused the hell out of them and subsequently destroyed them.
This side of things is quite interesting, especially when they get down to the brass tax and show that George Lucas, not knowing that this first film was going to go on to become the most valuable franchise of all time, was willing to allow the use of his visionary ideas for a mere 2.5% commission. Obviously later contracts would carry much higher percentage rates, but at the start the designers at Kenner didn't even know the significance of what the items were that they were producing.
Kenner was not told what the names of the characters and various vehicles were and had no idea what their part was in the story. You may recall that Lucas was incredibly secretive about his stories, not even revealing the plot to cast members until days or even minutes before shooting various scenes. Therefore, Kenner was given drawings and blueprints of various parts of the show and told to manufacture items such as "The Dark Lord" (Darth Vader), "the Farmer Hero" (Luke Skywalker), and later "Smuggler Spacecraft" (The Millennium Falcon) without having any idea in what way the various toys tied into the film or even what names needed to be printed on the packaging until after the film was released. There was some novelization of Star Wars before the film was released, but Kenner was either instructed to, or decided to not speculate on the names of anything.
Obviously, this would end up paying out bigly for Kenner in the end, but it wasn't without it's hiccups because they were not actually a very large manufacturer of toys at the time. They did however manage to make it work and also pull in a tremendous amount of money. It is said in the series that "Star Wars has made $7 billion at the box office and the toys, throughout the years, have sold twice that amount."
They visit various collectors who have impressive collections, including this fella who claims to have every single piece of publicly available Star Wars merch ever created.
He even has one of the Boba Fett prototypes that was never released to the public for "choking hazard" legal reasons. It is amusing to me that the Boba Fett was never released for this reason because I think that in the wrong hands, just about everything involved in all the toys was a choking hazard.
This part of the story is interesting but honestly, it is too long and even for a Star Wars nerd like me, I found myself getting bored because rather than focus exclusively on the toys themselves, they focus entirely too much on various executives involved in negotiations between various companies. I don't mean to be insensitive but I don't think the average viewer actually cares about who the CEO and lawyers were at Kenner - we want to know how the Millennium Falcon was made.
There is another key area that the show is severely lacking: They very rarely talk about what these toys are worth today and doing so would add a lot of entertainment value to the series. It is almost never mentioned at all and in my mind this is a critical mistake. Imagine if Pawn Stars just talked about how rare and sought after something was but never talked about how much it is worth?
While I realize that the major focus of the series is to be an "origin" show, certainly they are aware that their target audience is going to be collectors and fanbois, all of which would really like to have this information.
Example: The original Jawa with a cloth cape is today worth $10,000 and one has sold for over $50,000.
While I was a huge fan of this stuff as a kid and just happened to be the perfect age to be a primary recipient of this plastic garbage I found the show to be, sadly, boring. This could have been remedied by streamlining the content and having each hour-long episode at least 20 minutes shorter. I'm afraid that this show is plagued with what a lot of Netflix specials feature: A tremendous amount of filler for the sake of filling an hour.
My recommendation for my fellow nerds out there would be to load up the episodes, find the toy line that is most applicable to you, and watch that one. I would honestly be surprised if anyone were to find this interesting enough to watch all of them