List of films based on toys

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This is a list of feature length animated and live-action theatrical, television, and direct-to-video films based on toys, tabletop games, and trading cards. Many of these films are based on dolls and action figures made by the toy companies Hasbro, Kenner, and Mattel.[1]

Prior to 1977, toys were released together with films as merchandising tie-ins. Films that were suitably toyetic spawned numerous licensed properties, often marketed heavily to children. Beginning in the late 1970s, this approach was flipped as films began to appear that were based on popular toys. In 1977, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure debuted as the first theatrical motion picture in which a consumer toy was the star.[2] During the 1980s, action figures got their own films, such as Masters of the Universe (The Secret of the Sword) and Transformers (The Transformers: The Movie), as did dolls, such as Pound Puppies (Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw) and My Little Pony (My Little Pony: The Movie). Also in the 1980s, the greeting card companies American Greetings and Hallmark Cards created popular characters that were made into toys, on which films were later based, such as The Care Bears (The Care Bears Movie), Rainbow Brite (Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer), and Strawberry Shortcake (Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie).

A resurgence of live action film adaptions of toy properties began in 2007 with the release of Transformers, the first film in what would become the Transformers film franchise. The first film in the G.I. Joe film franchise, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, was released two years later. In 2008, Hasbro Inc. entered into a deal with Universal Pictures to make at least four movies based on the toy company's products. In 2012, the poor performance of the first film from this partnership, Battleship, caused other projects in development to be shelved or sold off to other studios.[3] The success of The LEGO Movie in 2014 showed that even intellectual properties without an existing narrative, or even familiar characters, could be profitable and its success renewed the interest of toy companies and film studios in producing toy-related projects stuck in development hell.[4][5] On November 3, 2017, Hasbro Studios entered into a five-year production and distribution deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures to develop additional stories based on Hasbro properties.[6]

In addition to films, several animated cartoon series have also been created based on toy properties, often airing at the same time, or soon after, the toys were launched. The extension of toy properties into films and television, as well as video games, books, apparel, and other products marketed to children has allowed companies to build lucrative franchises around their most popular characters and brands.

Live-action films based on toys[edit]

Animated films based on toys[edit]


  1. ^ Peterson, Jeffrey (2012-05-17). "From toys to the big screen". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  2. ^ Heitmueller, Karl (2007-06-26). "'Transformers' Roots Can Be Traced To Care Bears, My Little Pony, In Rewind". Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  3. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (2012-02-06). "What Hollywood Can Learn From the End of Universal's Ill-Fated Hasbro Deal". Vulture. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  4. ^ French, Alex (2017-07-27). "How to Make a Movie Out of Anything — Even a Mindless Phone Game". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  5. ^ Miller, Daniel (2014-02-11). "Other toy makers are looking to build on success of 'The Lego Movie'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  6. ^ Lang, Brent (November 3, 2017). "Paramount, Hasbro Sign Five-Year Distribution, Production Pact". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2017.

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