Hasbro and Mattel, widely considered to be the two juggernauts of the American toy industry all throughout the ’80s and ’90s, will underpin the new limited series that’s just set up shop at Amazon Studios.
Hailing from Pixels star Josh Gad, Josh Schwartz and director Seth Gordon, it’s aptly called Toy Wars, and is to be based on the non-fiction novel penned by G. Wayne Miller, Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them.
As the title suggests, Amazon’s new property will chronicle the real-life tussle between the two industry giants, after Miller – a journalist and writer – was given unprecedented access into My Little Pony conglomerate Hasbro, before shedding light on the company’s mantra as it sought to fend off heated competition from Mattel. Deadline reveals that Alan Hassenfeld, a free spirit who would go on to become the chief executive officer at Hasbro, will anchor much of Toy Wars, as Amazon’s series goes about charting his relationship with Stephen, his older brother who helped cement the company as a bona fide powerhouse.
Gad, Schwartz and screenwriter Ryan Dixon will together hash out the screenplay for Toy Wars, with Gordon tentatively attached to helm the pilot episode. This is very much considered a passion project for Schwartz, though; not just because he’s primed to take point as showrunner, but also because his father, Stephen Schwartz, was instrumental in Hasbro’s growth during the company’s formative years. Going one step further, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are just some of the real-life characters to feature across Miller’s insightful novel, and it’ll be fascinating to see whether Amazon open up the field for cameo appearances. Stay tuned for more.