G.I. Joe, TMNT, Transformers, The Lego Movie — when it comes to putting toys on the big screen, Hollywood's done it all. If Michael Bay's schedule is any indication, the toy-to-movie bandwagon isn't stopping anytime soon. It's only a matter of time before all of our toys start staring back at us from movie posters. The question is, which of them really deserve it?
I present to you 10 toys that we'll get as movies sometime soon, whether we like it or not — and some ways to make them great.
1. The Rubix Cube
The Toy: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love Rubix Cubes and people who hate them with a vengeance. The multicolored cubes seem simple — you rotate their inner parts to get a single color on each side. You either spent five minutes or five weeks wrapping your head around the billions of possible combinations to get the solution or end up with a very big headache.
The Movie: A toy this complex needs an equally complex mind behind it, namely Christopher Nolan's. His film Rubix would be a head-spinning thriller exploring a man trapped inside of a giant Rubix Cube designed like the dream rooms from Inception. All he can do is keep turning his colorful world inside out and escape before he loses his mind.
2. Nerf Bow-and-Arrow
The Toy: Bows and arrows are all the rage in movies, but it was probably Nerf that fueled our own Robin Hood daydreams in our backyard. They sure hurt less than real steel-tipped arrows, but didn't get you in any less trouble with your mom if you hit that vase of hers.
The Movie: I can't imagine a movie about Nerf arrows being anything but a dumb comedy and sadly, I can't imagine any dumb comedy without Adam Sandler's name attached to it. Nerfed would follow a band of modern-day Robin Hoods — one of which inevitably would be played by Kevin James — as they terrorize their childhood bullies with the weapons of their youth. It would be weird, it would be awful, and it would be Adam Sandler. And more of us would see it than we would like to admit.
The Toy: We may have to go way back into our parents' toy boxes to remember the Etch-a-Sketch, but before video games and the Internet, this was it for handheld entertainment. It allowed you to draw virtually anything you wanted with the bulky little knobs at the bottom. It may have been in black and white, but it was all yours until you gave it a good shake.
The Movie: Rather than star in its own feature-length movie, the toy could sure make an endearing short film from Pixar, Sketch Me Something. A heart-breaking look at all of the people and places that exist inside an Etch-a-Sketch could have us sobbing in seconds as they disappear in the shake of a wrist. The perfect Pixar tribute to growing up, growing old, and moving on.
4. The Super Soaker
The Toy: A lot of us can remember spending lazy summer days soaking our friends with Hasbro's super-sized water guns from hell. Every shot you took was the definition of a clean hit and a shot to the face didn't cost you more than your pride.
The Movie: Super Soakers would feature a platoon of screwballs out on a mission to defend their home from an alien invasion. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the aliens in question would be pyromaniacs vulnerable only to homemade super-giant, super-soakers. Let the chaos ensue.
5. The View-Master
The Toy: Ah, the View-Master: the toy that let you see the world straight from the comfort of your couch.
The Movie: As far we're concerned, the idea of images dancing in front of your eyes could be terrifying under the wrong circumstances. What if a View-Master let you see disasters before they happened? Think Rear Window meets Minority Report.
Just imagine it: flash floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, the end of the world itself, all courtesy of cursed slides you don't remember loading. I present View-Master, directed by Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli. It would be amazing until the fifth entry, anyway.
6. Hot Wheels
The Toy: Years before you drove a car, you played with Hot Wheels. Their garage was your living room floor and their race track was your kitchen table. They were as fast and furious as your imagination would allow — as long as someone didn't step on them first.
The Movie: Hot Wheels has plenty of direct-to-video movies already. What if it deserved a blockbuster? What about a movie that featured a life-sized Hot Wheels track that covered the entire planet? It could be an extreme stunts movie in the vein of The Fast and The Furious only with the cartoon spectacle of Speed Racer. Beat that, Hollywood.
The Toy: We'll never know how many hours we've spent trying to actually finish a round of Monopoly, unless we've been playing it wrong like some would suggest. Board game or toy, I doubt Hollywood would care if it meant making some serious money.
The Movie: A Martin Scorsese-directed Monopoly movie would be right up Scorsese's alley. Picture Daniel Day Lewis as the terrifying incarnation of "The Monopoly Man," a '30s mobster straight out of Gangs of New York and Boardwalk Empire with the business acumen of The Wolf of Wall Street's Jordan Belfort. Give him a glass eye monocle, a script, and let him go. I know, I have shivers too.
The Toy: Jenga is a game about building a perfect tower of little wooden bricks and taking it apart piece by piece until it all comes tumbling down. You watch as minutes or even hours of careful precision pay off or end in defeat.
The Movie: Jenga sees an adventurer scaling a life-sized Jenga tower to save his family before it all falls apart. There's peril, there are heights, there are thrills, all directed by James Cameron. The concept of a big-budget disaster movie speaks for itself when you bring in Cameron to blow something up, much more with a climactic set-piece.
The Toy: The favorite food of 1st-graders and sculptors in the making, there's nary a classroom without a pile of Playdough. Its rainbow of colors just scream creativity or a bad stomach ache.
The Movie: Directed by J.J. Abrams, Play Dough sees a city-sized Playdough monster engulfing San Francisco after a government experiment gone wrong. A team of scientists plans to blow it up from the inside. But they have another force to face when they could become Playdough zombies themselves.
10. Simon Says
The Toy: Yes, there was a time when Simon Says was the talk of the town. Its four colors (green, red, blue, yellow) would flash and you would press them in the sequence they appeared — just as "Simon" told you.
The Movie: In a post-apocalyptic future where society completely collapsed, humanity is ruled by a shadowy man, Simon, who commands the world's citizens through a deceptively simple color code. That is, until one man fights back with all the colors of the rainbow.
We'll just have to see what the next few decades have in store for your childhood toy box. Anything that can happen will happen eventually if you make enough movies.