If you’re looking for a fun, new show to watch with your family, you’ll want to tune in tonight for ABC’s “The Toy Box”. With a “Shark Tank” vibe, innovative ideas, comedic moments, and loads of entertainment, this show is undoubtedly going to be a huge hit! As a mom, I’m always looking for family shows that I can watch with my kids. I love that “The Toy Box” airs on Friday nights, or as we call family night. After dinner, we can settle in with popcorn or our favorite dessert, and tune into the new show.
Last week while in LA for an early Cars 3 press event, I had the opportunity to sit down with Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products, Jen Tan, to discuss the new show. Read on for more details!
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
About The Toy Box:
In each episode of “The Toy Box,” inventors present their toy concepts to a group of mentors that include Dylan’s Candy Bar owner Dylan Lauren, toy guru Jim Silver and Pixar creative director of Consumer Products, Jen Tan. If the toy maker gets past the mentors, they will move on to The Toy Box where a panel of young, no-holds-barred judges that include Sophia Grace Brownlee (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”), Aalyrah Caldwell (“Uncle Buck”), Toby Grey (“The Unexpected John Cena Prank”) and Noah Ritter (“The Ellen Degeneres Show”) decide which toy moves on to the finals and eventually crowned the winner. That winning toy will be sold exclusively at Toys“R”Us® after the series finale.
During our Q&A with Jen Tan, she mentioned “I always look for something that is not a one trick pony. So you can play with it multiple times and there’s various ways to play with it….something that allows a child to be creative, or allows them to have a lot of fun.”
We also asked her, “Is there anybody else that helps the toy makers, that don’t make it to the next phase?” Jen wasn’t sure, but shared “I think that it’s a good thing for them to have this kind of publicity. I’m hoping moms and dads and kids who watch the show will be like, ““Oh I totally would want that.”” I think just being on the show itself is a great benefit to them.”
We also asked Jen about her background in toys and how she came to be the Creative Director of consumer products at Pixar. She shared, “I went to school for toy design, actually. I went to FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology. They have a two year toy design program. I think there’s only two or three new programs in the country. So I started off as a toy designer, and I got a job at Disney Consumer Products, out of school. And then I worked at Spin Master for a little bit, and worked on some actual toy designs and I came [to Pixar] to work on more toys.”
About tonight’s episode:
“Episode 101” – The premiere of the ultimate toy-competition series, “The Toy Box,” airing on Friday, April 7 (8:00–9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, features five passionate amateur inventors who have put their hearts, souls and a lot of money into their unique toy concepts with hopes of impressing the mentors and making it to The Toy Box where young, no-nonsense judges determine if they will earn the chance to compete for the grand prize.
This week’s toy inventions include:
Arya Ball – a reimagining of the soccer ball with special surprises inside
Inventor: Babak from Carlsbad, California
Wacky Worm Racing Game – a racing game where players dressed in a worm costume race to cross the finish line
Inventor: Cedric from Orlando, Florida
Niya Doll – a multicultural doll collection who sings and speaks in multiple languages
Inventor: Darla from Columbia, South Carolina
Swurfer – a backyard swing inspired by a surfboard
Inventor: Rob from Charleston, South Carolina
Party Cannon – a party game that launches toys, prizes and candy
Inventor: Rick from Miami Springs, Florida
What I love about the show is the kids of course! Kids say the darndest things, right? There’s plenty of that on “The Toy Box”! If the amateur inventors make it past the 3 mentors, they go to a surprise round with the kid judges. I love seeing the reaction from the inventors when they realize it’s kids they have to impress! Now that’s a true “kid approved” moment, and why shouldn’t it be? Kids are what toys are made for, at least in most cases. 😉
As a mom and toy blogger I won’t be missing an episode! Tune in tonight at 8pm EST for the first episode, then catch all 8 to see which toy wins the competition and has toy company, Mattel, make their invention. The toy concept will be available for purchase exclusively at Toys“R”Us® after the series finale.
Check out The Toy Box trailer below for more info: