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TechnologyIamA 15 year old boy and owner of an bionic forearm worth 30.000€ AMA!

Jan 12th 2018 by Woodpeckerfpv • 16 Questions • 114 Points

Hi Reddit! Brian Volk-Weiss here to chat about The Toys That Made Us, and much more.

I am an avid toy collector but also run the entertainment company, Nacelle Company which owns and operates the company Comedy Dynamics.

The Toys That Made Us premiered on Netflix on December 22nd. Netflix gets on the nostalgia-train with this eight-part series focused on iconic 1980s toys, including Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Barbie, He-Man, Star Trek, Hello Kitty, and Lego. The documentary includes interviews with some of the most important people involved with making the icon toys that we all know and love.

The second part of the series will premiere this Spring. Watch the first four parts on Netflix here.

And you can learn more about the series here.

Read more about me and how the show was created: Brian Volk-Weiss's Mount Rushmore of Toys.

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So, Ask Me Anything!

Thnak you for all your questions!! Was a lot of fun!!

Q:

Have you ever thought about taking the casing off of the arm, putting in some robotic looking contact lenses, repeating some morbid phrase and scaring the shit out of people?

A:

What was up with that thing in the background of the interview on the Barbie episode? You know the one.


Q:

The casing is clued on so I can´t take it of :(

A:

:) It's a piece of art work Jill had in her office when we shot her interview.


Q:

A little glue never really stopped anyone.

A:

Hi! Do you have any plans to cover Japanese kaiju / monster toys?


Q:

But 30000€

A:

If we get more episodes ordered then there is a very good chance we do that. we went to japane for our transfomers and hello kitty epsiodes and would love to go back!


Q:

How long did it take you to learn how to use your bionic arm? Can you use it just as well as your right hand?

A:

When will you do an episode on Kenner's The Real Ghostbusters toyline? It has to be one of their most unique runs ever made. Iconic with the purple packaging as well.


Q:

I ahd a less funktional prostehtic befor that helped me a lot. Within a week I was able to use it fluent.

A:

If we get more seasons green lit then yes; it's VERY possible!


Q:

I bet you're used to it already, but do u find it heavy? I mean, it bothers you? and how's the precision?? How do u feel about the future of this technologies? It's good enough already? or not even close??

A:

Absolutely love the show! So glad Netflix picked it up. How did you pick which toys to investigate? I can think of so many! (I would love to see Cabbage patch dolls, Polly Pocket, TMNT My Little Pony). Would a second series be on the cards?


Q:

Afte wearing it for a while the wight is not a problem. The hand is about 300g if you are interested. The precision is not really grat because I ahve no feelins in it and that mekes it not even close to a normal hand.

A:

Thank you!! We had four criteria that we used as a ROUGH guage to figure it out: has the toy been in production non stop since its inceptuion? is it iconic enought to be on a mount rushmore of toys? is the actual story good? and does the toy ahve a ravbid fan base?

and we absolutelt want to do a MLP epsiode if we get more seasons!!!


Q:

how does it know how your brain wants it to move?

A:

Any modern toy lines that you enjoy collecting?


Q:

I have two muscles left that would tilt my hand forward and backward. In my prosthetic I have two metal plates that detect a tiny electrical potential, if I contract one or both of my muscles. One muscle opens the prosthetic hand the other closes it. If the hand is already open it switches between two grid patterns. Pressing the button on the back of the hand enables two more grip patterns to switch in between. Rotating the thumb enables 4 more grip patterns.

A:

I love almost everything that NECA makes!


Q:

Can you do anything cool or weird that others physically can't?

A:

Hey Brian! Absolutely loved the show. As an aspiring toy inventer myself, this series was a huge inspiration for me. Spring can't come soon enough. Fingers crossed for season 2 as well. I'd like to learn more about the toy industry in general. Could you suggest some websites or books / reading material about the toy industry?Thanks.


Q:

I still have my left elbow and I can bend it like 20° backwards.

A:

Thanks! DM us on face book and we can send you a list of the books we read to help make the show! and good luck w your invetions!


Q:

As a 15 year old, what are your plans for college/future? Are you thinking about working on smart prosthetics too?

You would have the motivation to create something better considering you have a personal benefit.

A:

Any possibility doing an episode on Playmobil?


Q:

Thought about going into the prosthetics industry but my dream job is aero and space engineering

A:

It's possible for sure!


Q:

Do you ever arm wrestle with it? And if so how does that go?

A:

I'm eagerly awaiting the Transformers show, and would like to know how in depth with regards to the variants you go into? Transformers as a toy brand have many international incarnations, and variations from all over the world created fans the same way they did here in North America.


Q:

I'm not wrestling with it. It's way to dangerous.

A:

We went to japan and interviewed a lot of the Takara team that created what would become the G1 line roughly 35 years ago, and we got very indepth on that. we cover mostly the 80s era but do get into the 90s and 2000s transformners a bit, but not as indepth as some people would have liked. we will release cut scenes on face book about once a week so people can see the cool stuff we saw.


Q:

How did you afford it?

A:

Are there any current toy trends, like Pop Vinyl figures or smart toys, that you feel share similarities to the types of iconic lines you cover in the show?


Q:

100% German health insurance

A:

What i personally find very interesting about POP and a few other similar lines is that it's a real trend that's been going on for YEARS. i'd love to know more about how and why it started and what the future holds for this type of toy.


Q:

Mein gott. To this American that's more of a superpower than the bionic arm.

Follow up question: are you allowed to decorate/modify it? Maybe some kickass decals?

A:

What is your opinion on art toys like Kidrobot?


Q:

My prosthetist is open for design changes because he makes the arm and the hand gets clicked onto it.

A:

Love them because they're so original and in many ways trend setting.


Q:

Interesting but I meant you personally.

Like can you paint it?

A:

Would you ever consider doing an episode on my absolute favorite toy line of all time --- DC's SUPER POWERS?


Q:

I could but I don't want because I like the design as it is.

A:

If we get a second season then that's very likely! :)


Q:

How do you clean the device?

A:

Would you ever consider doing an episode on my absolute favorite toy line of all time --- DC's SUPER POWERS?


Q:

I can wash the part that hold on my arm. The rest is not water tight.

A:

That is a piece of art that she has on display in her office.


Q:

do you type with one hand or the bionic one as well?

A:

When watching the Barbie episode viewers must bare witness to what has been simply called "The Chair". What exactly is this chair, and was there ever a discussion about removing it from the background of the shot?


Q:

I have learned to type with my elbow before I got the bionic arm.

A:

That was a piece of art in her office and no, we did not discuss removing it because a big part of my theory in producing/interviewing is that you film people where they are most comfortable, as that says many things about them as well as the words that come out of their mouths.


Q:

With your bionic arm, how many words can you type per minute, on average?

A:

Great series! Any plans for season 2? I'd love to see an episode on TMNT or the WWF wrestling figures of the 80s. Thanks for your response!


Q:

Haven't tested that

A:

Thx! We have a lot of ideas for season 2, and tmnt and wwf are at the top of the list, tied a MLP!


Q:

Hi Brian,

Fun show! Have you given any thought to an ep on AHI (Azrak Hamway International), the company that also operated as Remco and made licensed toys from 1973 up that were the "runner up" figures to popular toys lines from Mego, Kenner, Mattel, Hasbro? I'd love to know how the story behind their almost knock-off quality items.

Thanks, keep up the good work and good luck with continuing seasons.

A:

We have an idea for a show that would incorporate much of what you're talking about, but we need to get a second season green lit before we can actually do it.


Q:

Awesome! I love that movie. I've always been intrigued by the never-released sequel.

A:

Agreed!!