Barbie, what actions have you taken? The potential nightmare of Hollywood’s future in toy-based films.


One of the highlights of the Barbenheimer hybrid event this summer was the stark contrast between Oppenheimer and Barbie. While one was vibrant and lively, the other was somber and serious. One showcased strong and active female characters, while the other focused on Oppenheimer. However, looking back, it may be possible that these films had more similarities than we initially thought. After all, Oppenheimer also delves into the consequences of decisions and an impressive achievement that has brought fear to the world for over seventy-five years. In essence, it is similar to Barbie.

Barbie, although successful and entertaining, has had alarming repercussions. Recently, Hasbro’s entertainment division released a statement revealing their plans to enter a new phase of content creation. Essentially, this means that due to Barbie’s success, we will be bombarded with countless toy-themed films for the foreseeable future.

According to the key statement in the press release, Hasbro Entertainment is currently working on and creating more than 30 projects, with a particular focus on their top brands such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, TRANSFORMERS, GI JOE, NERF, PLAY-DOH, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, PEPPA PIG, and MY LITTLE PONY. It’s hard to imagine anything more discouraging than a movie based on Play-Doh.

Some of the suggested films do have valid reasons behind them. Peppa Pig has been a highly popular TV show for a long time and has a rich and complex world to draw inspiration from. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves was a pleasant surprise this year, a light-hearted fantasy movie that didn’t take itself too seriously. My Little Pony has already produced two films, four specials, and 366 episodes across five different platforms – so it’s not a stretch to add more to the mix.

Consider the scenario where Play-Doh was chosen as the next property to be adapted into movies by Hasbro. One can imagine the struggle of the individual tasked with finding a new intellectual property, searching through the company’s resources and feeling a sense of defeat when realizing that only a tub of dough remained. The fear of presenting this idea to superiors and the potential for ridicule and shame must have been intense. Yet, to one’s surprise, the executives at Hasbro actually agreed to not just one movie, but an entire cinematic universe based on Play-Doh, set to be released in 2023.

Rollin’ … a Hot Wheels movie is in the works.

Hasbro is only one of the many companies involved in this trend. Mattel is also jumping on the bandwagon and plans to capitalize on Barbie’s popularity by creating movies featuring other popular brands such as Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Major Matt Mason, Boglins, Matchbox Cars, Uno, American Girl, Bass Fishin’, Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, and the Magic 8 Ball. It’s worth noting that before Barbie’s success, the highest-grossing film of the year was Super Mario Bros, a movie based on a Nintendo video game. In light of this, Nintendo is rumored to be in the works for creating movies based on The Legend of Zelda, Luigi’s Mansion, Donkey Kong, and a sequel to Mario. This idea stemmed from the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, which prompted Sega to reportedly start developing films based on other popular games such as Streets of Rage, Altered Beast, Crazy Taxi, Shinobi, Virtua Fighter, House of the Dead, Comix Zone, and Space Channel 5.

It seems that this is the current state of things. Every movie we watch from now on will either be a toy or game adaptation. We can forget about seeing serious, mid-budget independent films. This situation even makes us miss the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At least those movies are based on comic books with a rich history of storytelling. Although they may be convoluted and unappealing at the moment, and the franchise appears to be falling apart, they still seem like works of art compared to the endless stream of films based on merchandise.

Simply put, the future looks bleak and Barbie is to blame. She has transformed into death, the bringer of destruction.


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