Top 6 Toys That Need To Be Turned Into Big-Screen Movies Now!

With the huge success of Barbie this past summer, The Illuminerdi thought it was time to take a deep dive into the top toys that should make their transition to live-action film. Let's dig in...
Top 6 Toys

With the huge success of Barbie this past summer, The Illuminerdi thought it was time to take a deep dive into the top toys that should make their transition to live-action film. Mattel, the toy company responsible for Barbie, has already been rumored to produce a handful of toy-to-film projects. This includes Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Magic 8 Ball, Polly Pocket, and Major Matt Mason, just to name a few.  

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It’s no secret that Barbie is not the first toy to have box office success. G.I. Joe, Ted, and Clue have all come to life on the big screen. However, none of these compare to the Transformers series which has been a global juggernaut for almost two decades. Bumblebee and the gang have done 7 features to date, but audience members are starting to get fatigued. So let’s take a look at some fresh ideas for toys that could (some already rumored to) walk the red carpet.

Top 6 Toys Ready For The Big-Screen

1. Hot Wheels

As mentioned, Mattel has already started the process of converting their most popular toys into screenplays. At the top of their list are the mini car toys, Hot Wheels. These hot rods drifted onto the scene in 1968 and they have been pivotal to car and pop culture ever since. As a kid, you built insane race tracks to watch these whips fly. As an adult, you’ve preserved them perfectly in the box, culminating in a proud collection. 

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Hot Wheels is already tied to J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot. Goodbye Fast & The Furious, hello Hot Wheels….too soon? Maybe, but with a veteran like Abrams behind the project, the stock is high and there’s a great chance audiences are going to have a fun time with this one. 

2. Tamagotchi

A lot of 90’s babies are parents now, but they didn’t forget about their first true child; Tamagotchi. The digital pet keychain was released by Bandai (makers of Power Rangers) in 1997 and became an instant hit. It got to a point that kids were so hooked some would become “severely depressed” when their Tamagotchi “died.” These egg-shaped toys not only launched the “digi pet” genre into new heights, but they are also the root creation for Digimon.

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A Tamagotchi animated film was released in 2009, but what does the live-action movie look like? I love the concept of these digital aliens coming to life and a group of kids having to help them find their true home. Like a modern-day E.T. with a Stanger Things twist. Who doesn’t love some good 90s nostalgia?

3. Beyblade

3, 2, 1…Let It Rip! Beyblade is no stranger to crossing over to different platforms. Since Takara Tomy’s release of Beyblade in 1999, it has been accompanied by a manga series, anime television show, and video game. With Hasbro and Takara Tomy being long-time partners, it’s around the corner before our minds are blown with a Beyblade live-action trailer. In 2022, it was rumored that Jerry Bruckheimer was going to take on the Beyblade live-action project, but it has since been quite.

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I’ll be honest with you, growing up I never got invested in Beyblade. These epic spintops were quickly banned from my elementary school. I remember classmates would hide in the bathroom or behind play structures to battle, but I was too scared and not ready to join the rebellion. After doing some research, this fandom runs deep! It’s only right that they get a proper theatrical release.   

4. UNO

Another one of Mattel’s rumored projects is UNO….yes, the card game. There is a history of iconic board games getting screen adaptations. Battleship, Dungeons & Dragons, Clue, and Ouija have all seen a degree of box office success. We’ve even seen card games in movies like 21, Rounders, and Molly’s Game


However, UNO is a card game catered to children and could be a tricky script to tackle. With that being said, if done right, I truly believe this could be a hilarious comedy. I say give it the same treatment as 2018’s TAG. A group of adults that take a child’s game way too seriously. Have you seen a grown man get hit with a “Draw 4” when on UNO? It’s gold.

5. Street Sharks

Street Sharks are a must for this list. These shredded mutant sharks had a solid few years of success in the mid-90s as a toy collection and animated series. I remember as a kid I loved my Street Shark action figures. They were a bit darker-themed than most toys then, and it honestly made me feel like such an 8-year-old badass. 

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Street Sharks’ best commercial featured a young Vin Diesel. In 2021, Diesel was rumored to play a major part in another Mattel toy; Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Diesel, the epic voice of Groot, could easily star in a Street Shark film and we all know he has the power to create a major franchise. Think T.M.N.T meets King Shark from The Suicide Squad…just weird and awesome.  

6. Bionicle

We all have that one book, TV show, character, game, or toy that we passionately scream to see made into a movie. Bionicle is it for me, and that is why I wanted to write this list in the first place. Lego launched Bionicle in 2001 and quickly these cyborgs with elemental powers flew off the shelves. The franchise had four animated movies between 2003 – 2009, but never a live-action film. 

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Maybe this never came to light because Lego stays in the animated lane. Or maybe it’s because there were too many similarities to Transformers, which in 2007 was not a franchise anyone wanted to compete with. Regardless I would love to see a Bionicle comeback. The concepts of universal peace, the elements, the insanely cool swords, and all the different origin stories are all too perfect to make up a successful toy-to-film hit. Make it happen Lego! 

It looks like Hasbro and Mattel will be seeing a lot of dollar signs in the near future. Maybe we will get a new cinematic universe built out like the MCU. Whatever the case may be, I’m pumped up to see some of my childhood favorites become larger than life. 

What’s your favorite toy or game that you want to see on the big screen? Who will have the better cinematic universe, Hasbro or Mattel? Do you think animated or live-action is better for toy adaptations? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more movie and list content. 

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SOURCE: Screen Rant, Smithsonian Magazine


Picture of Gabe Rios

Gabe Rios

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Gabe Rios spent his youth in the blue-carpeted aisles of Blockbuster. He rented stacks of DVDs with his father every weekend. Favorites included The Matrix, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Seven, and The Big Lebowski. This passion soon became an obsession with film, writing, and all things pop culture. Today, Rios writes for The Illuminerdi, has been a casting director for a handful of indie projects, and is in the process of creating a feature film.