On a break from a Narcos binge, Billy Langsworthy stumbled across Some Assembly Required on Netflix. Here he ponders why more kids TV doesn't focus on the world of toy invention.

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Some assembly required

Like many of you I’m sure, I’m currently in the grip of a Netflix addiction.

After the likes of House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil and Bloodline had their wicked way with me, my latest obsession is Narcos, a crime drama based on the DEA’s hunt to take down Pablo Escobar.

It’s brilliant, but to stop myself from succombing to three episodes on the trot, last night I ventured into the kids section of the service. I was initially looking for the always amazing Adventure Time but instead stumbled onto a show called Some Assembly Required.

It’s a Canadian kids’ sitcom that follows a teenager who sues a toy company over a defective chemistry set and becomes the CEO of the company. The rest of the series follows him and his friends as they’re given free rein to create whatever toys they like.

It’s a great concept and the children’s TV has genuine power to shape a kid’s passions and interests, which can then of course feed into career choices and the like (I was obsessed with Goosebumps as a kid and I’m sure that has something to do with my love of horror movies today).

The idea of a show based around toy designers is great, and should hopefully encourage youngsters to embrace the notion that with the right skills and training, they can actually play and make toys for a living.

Unfortunately, Some Assembly Required isn’t great, and I’m not claiming that because I’m not the target demographic.

I’m not saying a show like this has any sort of duty to faithfully convey the life of an in-house toy designer (just think of the swearing), but, well, just watch the opening clip below and you’ll know what I mean.

We now have shows like MGA Entertainment’s Project MC2, also on Netflix, encouraging girls to embrace STEM subjects (which is really good as it happens) and I think there’s scope for more shows promoting the creative side of the toy industry. It might attract more kids and teenagers to look for careers in toy and game design and that can only be a good thing.

Us grown-ups have shows like Quest TV’s Toy Hunter and documentaries like Channel 4’s The Secret World of LEGO to show how exciting and special this industry really is.

It’s about time kids got the same treatment.

Now, I’m off to watch One Day at Horrorland (the greatest Goosebumps episode of all time in my humble opinion).

Also, the team is off at Brand Licensing Europe next week, so there won’t be a Bulletin running on Thurday but we’ll be back to normal on Thursday, October 22nd.


Right, in a strange twist of fate, something has popped up just after this went online that is quite relevant.

Renegade83, the US TV production company behind shows like Fat to Fit, 100 Miles From Nowhere and the amazingly titled Naked and Afraid, has dropped the ToyNews team a line to say it’s launching a show about child toy inventors called Kid Toy Show.

The firm wants kids that have ideas for toys, as well as toy inventors and potential hosts, to get in touch.

Maybe they were spying on me last night while I was writing this, sizing me up for the next series of Naked and Afraid. Either way, it could be interesting.

Details below:

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