There's an article that just ran in TheWallStreetJournal that pretty much broke down every film or television show being developed that is based off a toy or board game. From Ridley Scott directing Monopoly, to James Lassiter producing a TV show based on the Big Wheel, and proven blockbusters like Transformers and G.I Joe, toys have become the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Though we have covered all the other projects, we had no idea that J.J. Abrams in discussions to produce a movie about Japanese toy line Micronauts which Hasbro just acquired.
The toys were first released in Japan in 1974 as "Microman," when imported to the U.S. by the Mego Corporation in 1976, the name was changed to Micronauts. The line consisted of 3.75-inch tall action figures, as well as vehicles, robots, play sets, and accessories which used a universal five millimeter inter-connective design. Mego cancelled the Micronauts line in 1980. In 2002, Palisades Toys bought the rights to reproduce Micronauts.
Like the Transformers, The Micronauts used comic books to expand their origins and popularity. They were published by Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and Devil's Due Publishing. Their first comic appearance was in "Micronauts #1" (Marvel, Jan. 1979) with characterizations created by Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden.
Abrams explained this to all the naysayers who don't think board games or science-fiction toys should be accorded star status:
Sometimes, when someone is not a celebrity and you are casting them in a role, everyone who is in a seat of authority voices questions about that actor's talent, sex appeal, looks, ability -- their everything. But then they get the role, and suddenly they are on the cover of every magazine, and nobody questions those things again. In retrospect, everyone says, 'Of course that person is a star.'
So this is still in the negotiation stages. But out of all the properties being eaten up, Abrams believes this is the horse to put money on. I only vaguely remember Micronauts. I can't recall if that's because I'm too young to remember... or if the toys weren't that fun. I'll chalk it up to a generation thing, and I'll let those who played with the toys and/or read the comics be the ones to weigh in.
But is a toy with an interlocking system all that special nowadays? When I was a kid, all my toy accessories were "universal." In my head it made perfect sense that every action figure could wield a light saber... Star Wars character or not. I'd put marvel action figures in the Ghostbusters' Ecto 1 all the time.
What do you guys think of J.J. Abrams possibly producing a Micronauts movie??? Does your memory need some help. Here's a Micronauts commercial from 1978: