The Toys That Built America | Source: History Channel/A+E Networks

A new, four-part docuseries from the History Channel will delve into the stories behind some iconic, American toys and games.

The Toys That Built America premieres Sunday, Nov. 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT with an episode that explores the history behind Slinky, Silly Putty, and Frisbee. The series blends dramatic reenactments with archival footage and interviews with experts, including our own Laurie Schacht, President and Chief Toy Officer at Adventure Media and Events, publisher of the Toy Book, the Toy Insider, and the Pop Insider.

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In the tradition of other installments in the “That Built” franchise, The Toys That Built America weaves its stories amid key events in American history, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. Over the course of the series, audiences will learn the true origins of G.I. Joe, Barbie, Monopoly, Hot Wheels, Matchbox Cars, and more alongside the stories of the companies and creators behind them, such as Mattel, Hasbro, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, and more.

Additionally, History Channel will continue its Mission To Honor campaign in partnership with Blue Star Families to provide toys and educational products to the families of those who have served in the U.S. military. The donations are made possible through the support of Basic Fun!, deuter, Educational Insights, Funko, Radio Flyer, Silly Bandz, and the Sydney Paige Foundation.

“Toys teach us to imagine, have fun and, most importantly, dream big,” says Eli Lehrer, executive vice president and head of programming for The History Channel. “In The Toys That Built America, we learn the fascinating history behind the inventors of some of the greatest and most ingenious toys of all time — many of which shaped our childhoods. As toys continue to encourage a new generation to dream bigger, we are proud to continue our commitment to honor and support military families by partnering with Blue Star Families to thank and give back to those who have sacrificed to serve our country.”

To celebrate the release of the series and the start of the holiday season, Blue Star Families and The History Channel will hold a Mission To Honor philanthropic event at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore on Monday, Nov. 22. U.S. military families and veterans will receive an assortment of toys and educational products at the event.

The Toys That Built America is distributed internationally by A+E Networks as The Toys That Built the World.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.