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The Best TV Shows Based on Toys

Updated December 9, 2020 1.9k votes 148 voters 2.2k views40 items

List RulesVote up the best TV series based on children's toys and action figures. Only shows that had the toys come out first or simultaneously with the show.

Back in the 1980s, it seemed that no new cartoon could hit the Saturday morning lineup without first having a toy line to back it up. This wasn't a "chicken or the egg" kind of scenario either; television studios paired up with toy companies to animate their creations so each could promote the other. "Why not play with those adorable characters you see on screen" was just as good a question for the people behind hits like the Transformers and G.I. Joe: The Real American Hero as was "Why not watch your favorite characters on TV?"

Looking back, there were a ton of animated series created from toys, but not every one of them was good. The toy inspired cartoons that make it to the top of lists like this one had something special. They weren't simply 22-minute-long commercials about toys... well, they were, but they also had amazing stories, great characters, animation, and voice actors working behind the scenes to bring our favorite toys to life! Some came long after the '80s and some right at the beginning, but they were all fun and entertaining! Many of these toy series were so beloved they've been rebooted for the next generation, bringing My Little Pony and She-Ra to the children of millennials - right along with the toys they were made to sell.

Don't forget to vote up your favorite TV show based on toys, and if any of your favorites are missing, make sure you add them as well!

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  • The Transformers1
    97
    27

    The Transformers

    Frank Welker, Chris Latta

    Premiered1984

    The Transformers is an American animated robot superhero television series based on the Hasbro... more on Wikipedia
  • G.I. Joe2
    89
    24

    G.I. Joe

    Jackson Beck, Chris Latta

    Premiered1983

    G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a half-hour American animated television series based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe3
    99
    32

    He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

    John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer

    Premiered1983

    He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • ThunderCats4
    61
    13

    ThunderCats

    Bob McFadden, Larry Kenney

    Premiered1985

    ThunderCats is an American animated television series that was produced by Rankin/Bass... more on Wikipedia
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe5
    58
    25

    He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

    Christopher Judge, Cam Clarke

    Premiered2002

    He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series. Developed... more on Wikipedia
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power6
    59
    35

    She-Ra: Princess of Power

    Melendy Britt, George DiCenzo

    Premiered1985

    She-Ra: Princess of Power is an American animated television series produced in 1985 by... more on Wikipedia
  • M.A.S.K.7
    39
    15

    M.A.S.K.

    Doug Stone, Brian George

    PremieredSeptember 30, 1985

  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin8
    46
    25

    The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin

    John Stocker, Will Ryan

    Premiered1986

    The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin is an American animated television series based on Teddy... more on Wikipedia
  • My Little Pony9
    42
    30

    My Little Pony

    Madeline Kahn, Danny Cooksey

    Premiered1984

    My Little Pony is an American animated television series produced by Sunbow Productions and... more on Wikipedia
  • Pound Puppies10
    30
    19

    Pound Puppies

    Danny Cooksey, Frank Welker

    Premiered1986

    Pound Puppies is a 1986 animated series made by Hanna-Barbera Productions, based on the famous... more on Wikipedia
  • Dino-Riders11
    32
    24

    Dino-Riders

    Dan Gilvezan, Peter Cullen

    Premiered1988

    Dino-Riders is a cartoon television series that first aired in 1988. Dino-Riders was primarily... more on Wikipedia
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic12
    34
    27

    My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

    Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain

    Premiered2010

    My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series produced by Hasbro as... more on Wikipedia
  • Jem13
    29
    23

    Jem

    Samantha Newark, Patricia Alice Albrecht

    Premiered1985

    Jem, also known as Jem and the Holograms, is an American animated television series that ran... more on Wikipedia
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power14
    33
    30

    She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

    Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara

    Premiered2018

    She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix, 2018) is an American animated web television... more on Wikipedia
  • Transformers: Animated15
    28
    25

    Transformers: Animated

    David Kaye, Jeff Bennett

    Premiered2007

    Transformers Animated is a Japanese/American animated television series based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • Pound Puppies16
    26
    23

    Pound Puppies

    Betty White, Michael Rapaport

    Premiered2010

    Pound Puppies is an American animated series that premiered on The Hub Network on October 10,... more on Wikipedia
  • BraveStarr17
    25
    22

    BraveStarr

    Pat Fraley, Erika Scheimer

    Premiered1987

    BraveStarr is an American Space Western animated television series. The original episodes... more on Wikipedia
  • Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu18
    23
    21

    Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu

    Ian James Corlett, Brian Drummond

    Premiered2011

    Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is an action comedy family animated TV series that centers... more on Wikipedia
  • Hot Wheels19
    24
    24

    Hot Wheels

    Albert Brooks, Casey Kasem

    Premiered1969

    Hot Wheels was a thirty-minute Saturday morning animated television series broadcast on ABC... more on Wikipedia
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy20
    2
    1

    Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy

    Philip Bache, Edward Bosco

    Premiered2020

    Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy (Netflix, 2020) is an American animated robot... more on Wikipedia
  • My Little Pony: Pony Life21
    1
    1

    My Little Pony: Pony Life

    Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman

    Premiered2020

    My Little Pony: Pony Life (Discovery Family, 2020) is a animated fantasy television series and... more on Wikipedia
  • Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors22
    17
    17

    Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

    Darrin Baker, Jean Chalopin

    Premiered1985

    Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is a French/North American animated TV show which was first... more on Wikipedia
  • Bionic Six23
    16
    16

    Bionic Six

    Norman Bernard, Carol Bilger

    Premiered1987

    Bionic Six is an American/Japanese animated television series from 1987, produced by TMS... more on Wikipedia
  • MoonDreamers24
    18
    19

    MoonDreamers

    Tress MacNeille, Peter Cullen

    Premiered1986

    Moondreamers is an animated television series that aired in 1986 as part of the My Little Pony... more on Wikipedia
  • Ever After High25
    15
    17

    Ever After High

    Erin Fitzgerald, Kate Higgins

    Premiered2013

    Ever After High (Netflix, 2013) is an animated series based on the fashion doll franchise by... more on Wikipedia