The Revenge of Retro: How Toys from the ‘60s and ‘70s Are Affecting Film and TV Today

The Revenge of Retro How Toys From the ’60s and ’70s Are Affecting Film and TV TodayMany adults are delightfully surprised to discover that some of their favorite toys are finally making their way back into mainstream media. Television and film producers today are realizing the power that comes with nostalgia, and they’ve started to put together impressive scripts that bring back that feeling that you might have enjoyed as a kid. While you might not have ever thought that characters like the Transformers or G.I. Joe would dominate the screen again, they are here. The exact same toys that you might have played with in the ‘60s and ‘70s are now influencing television in the following ways.

Enjoy the Rise of the Reboots

You can turn on the television and find just about any show that featured the characters that you loved as a child. In addition to showing reruns, many networks are also creating reboots. These often start with the spark of what made the show great in the first place with a few twists added. For instance, there may be more modern features included in the reboot plots such as robots or advanced weapons that add to the plot. For example, the new Netflix She-Ra has been garnering accolades for its fresh reimagining of characters, detailed plot, and fun designs that appeal to a new audience.

Indulge a Sense of Nostalgia

TV and film producers are well aware of the effects that bringing back old favorite toys can create in the audience. While there used to be more of a taboo against adults indulging in comics, action films, and toys, today, more people than ever are allowing themselves a bit of nostalgia and fun as adults. You can now find vintage toys and enjoy decorating your room or office with some nostalgia. Although you might have grown up, there’s something comforting about having your favorite action figures decorating your home theater or bedroom.

Be Impressed by Carefully Designed Sets

Set designers are now in the market for vintage toys that they can use as decor for their film sets. Whether that includes the toy Millennium Falcon in Stranger Things or a transformer toy for sale, set designers seek out the best and most authentic retro toys. They know that people love watching retro shows and movies to see the things that they remember from when they were a kid. Try keeping an eye out for authentic elements in the set design of your favorite shows and movies that let you know that some serious effort went into making everything feel like the characters are living in the past.

Watch the Past Blend with the Future

You’ll also notice that some shows take a hint from the past and add on to it to take viewers into the future. For instance, you might see new characters introduced to your favorite show while the former leading ones take on a mentor role. The past and future mix up also applies to special effects. Some directors choose to use special effects that make it seem as though the show or movie was filmed in the past, yet they may switch to modern CGI for action scenes. The new Mandalorian series on Disney + has been charming viewers with its retro, traditional style, puppetry, and of course, toy line up.

As an adult, it is exciting to watch your old favorite characters come back in new ways. While you enjoy watching your shows, you can just bet that a lot of work went into creating that sense of nostalgia that reminds you of your favorite toys.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Jocie McKade
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.

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