Episode 13: The Toys That Made Us

I talk the business of toys and pop culture, and what goes into making a documentary series about their history, with The Toys That Made Us producer/director Brian Volk-Weiss. Brian has lots to say about the hidden world behind toys and popular culture, the critical quality of a successful toy, why failure is interesting, the way your past dreams and passions have a way of shaping your future, and more.

  • You can watch seasons one and two of The Toys That Made Us on Netflix. Season three is due for release sometime in 2019.
  • Discontinued was aired on The CW in the US, and its pilot episode is also available on Amazon Prime. (That's my affiliate link — so if you buy/rent the show or sign up for Prime, I'll get paid a small commission.) Look for the rest of its debut season on Prime early next year.
  • Most of his comedy specials are on Netflix, but his production company has done stuff for all of the big video streaming services. You can learn more about his work in the TV comedy business at his company's website, comedydynamics.com.

Ludiphilia is made possible by the support of my Patreon backers. Thanks especially Anuar Lequerica, who's been a patron almost since the beginning, as well as Torbjørn Vik Lunde and Nick — all three have stuck with their $5+ monthly pledge through a very inconsistent spell in my episode output (which will hopefully give way to a steadier release schedule now that I've re-committed to the show!).

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About the Podcast

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A narrative podcast about how and why people play

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About your host

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Richard Moss

Besides being the creator of Ludiphilia and its award-nominated sister show The Life & Times of Video Games, I'm an award-winning writer, historian, and journalist who has covered technology, games, and science for over a decade. My work has been published in Ars Technica, Polygon, Game Developer, PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, New Atlas, EGM, Mac|Life, and many other publications.

I am also the author of two books (with more to come!) — The Secret History of Mac Gaming and Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet — and a producer on the upcoming CREATORVC documentary First Person Shooter.