In this segment, we look at business-themed documentaries, biopics, podcasts and TedTalks that are worth your time in the weekend.
And now, as a blast from the past, Netflix has unveiled a documentary that gives audiences a sneak peek into the creative and commercial trials and tribulations that preceded this global phenomenon. For starters, did you know that He-Man as a franchisee was born after the toymaker Mattel decided to forego an option to build an entire range of toys for George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise, a mistake they would never allow themselves to forget? Or the fact that He-Man was built only as action figures to start with – the comics and the animated TV shows and live action film only followed later.
Some of the most interesting moments in the documentary involve interviews with creators and former executives who explain in painstaking detail – the process of creation and the market forces that drive such creation. Like for instance, how young American schoolboys had grown tired of Post War GI Joe action figures and were looking for the next big kick. The market researchers stumbled upon the notion of giving power back to the kids – at least in the context of play, something they could never do in real life.
The feature focusses on the canvas of US toymakers, and the focus of market researchers in the early 80s who employed everyone from toddlers to teenagers as test subjects. The quantum of psychological profiling and detailing that goes into the drawing board before a final toy makes it to the assembly line is staggering. This is a single sitting weekend rush of nostalgia – we suggest you stop reading and get to the job right away. It’s a trip worth the price of admission, guaranteed to bring you back for more.