The Toys That Made Us (2019): S01E01 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


The Toys That Made Us is an American documentary web television series created by Brian Volk-Weiss.


In 1984, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird released the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. Their self-published work quickly grabbed the attention of Surge Licensing President Mark Freedman, who saw a potential gold mine in the characters. After being rejected by LJN, Mattel, and Hasbro, Freedman got Hong Kong-based Playmates Toys to pick up the Ninja Turtles license for US$150,000. Once the violence level was toned down and the characters were given a lighter, more humorous tone, a five-episode animated series debuted on December 28, 1987. The cartoon’s popularity prompted the huge demand for Ninja Turtles action figures in 1988, as toy stores had difficulty keeping them in stock. At the height of the franchise’s popularity in 1990, a successful live-action film was released and over 100 million toys were sold. Eastman and Laird later split over creative differences, and the franchise was eventually purchased by Nickelodeon in 2009 for US$60 million.

Special Guests: Kevin Smith, Rob Paulsen, and Vanilla Ice.

The Toys That Made Us Series

You can find a full index and overview of The Toys That Made Us here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator(s): Brian Volk-Weiss.
  • Narrator(s): Donald Ian Black.
  • Director(s): Brian Volk-Weiss and Tom Stern.
  • Producer(s): Brian Vol-Weiss, Tom Stern, Cisco Henson, Anne Carkeet, and Edwin Zane.
  • Writer(s): Nicholas Ferrell and Benjamin J. Frost.
  • Cinematography: Samuel Brownfield.
  • Editor(s): Benjamin J. Frost, James Anderson, Dan Cerny, Nick Ferrell, Dan Cotter, and Doug Nolan
  • Production: The Nacelle Company.
  • Distributor(s): Netflix.
  • Release Date: 15 November 2019.
  • Running Time: 43-51 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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