Nostalgia

The Best TV Shows Based on Toys  

Ranker TV
1k votes 99 voters 1.1k views 36 items

List Rules Vote 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!

list ordered by
1
G.I. Joe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Jackson Beck, Chris Latta, Michael Bell
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a half-hour American animated television series based on the successful toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. The cartoon had its ...more
2
He-Man and the Masters of the ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series produced by Filmation based on Mattel's successful toy line Masters of the Universe. The show, often referred to ...more
3
The Transformers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Frank Welker, Chris Latta, Peter Cullen
The Transformers is an American animated robot superhero television series based on the Hasbro toy line. The show depicts a war among giant robots that can transform into vehicles and other
4
ThunderCats is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Alex Funk added Bob McFadden, Larry Kenney, Earl Hammond
ThunderCats is an American animated television series that was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions debuting in 1985, based on the characters created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf. The series, ...more
5
She-Ra: Princess of Power is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Melendy Britt, George DiCenzo, John Erwin
She-Ra: Princess of Power is an American animated television series produced in 1985 by Filmation. It is a spinoff of Filmation's highly successful He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, ...more
6
He-Man and the Masters of the ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Christopher Judge, Cam Clarke, Kathleen Barr
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series. Developed for television by Michael Halperin, who created the original series, it was animated by Mike Young ...more
7
M.A.S.K. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Alex Funk added M.A.S.K. Doug Stone, Brian George, Mark Halloran
8
Pound Puppies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Danny Cooksey, Frank Welker, Ruth Buzzi
Pound Puppies is a 1986 animated series made by Hanna-Barbera Productions, based on the famous toy line by Tonka. It is the sequel to the 1985 television special. The show was broadcast on ABC ...more
9
My Little Pony is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Madeline Kahn, Danny Cooksey, Rhea Perlman
My Little Pony is an American animated television series produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions based on the My Little Pony toys released by Hasbro. The series featured as the ...more
10
Transformers: Animated is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
David Kaye, Jeff Bennett, Bumper Robinson
Transformers Animated is a Japanese/American animated television series based on the Transformers toy line. The series has 42 episodes across three seasons, with many fanservice references to ...more
11
Dino-Riders is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Dan Gilvezan, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker
Dino-Riders is a cartoon television series that first aired in 1988. Dino-Riders was primarily a promotion to launch a new Tyco toy line. Only fourteen episodes were produced, three of which ...more
12
Hot Wheels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Albert Brooks, Casey Kasem, Michael Rye
Hot Wheels was a thirty-minute Saturday morning animated television series broadcast on ABC from 1969 to 1971, under the primary sponsorship of Mattel Toys.
13
Jem is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Samantha Newark, Patricia Alice Albrecht, Cathianne Blore
Jem, also known as Jem and the Holograms, is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 to 1988 in U.S. first-run syndication. The series is about music company owner Jerrica ...more
14
My Little Pony: Friendship Is ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Tara Strong
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series produced by Hasbro as part of its My Little Pony toy franchise, which is tied in with the 2010 launch of dolls and play sets, ...more
15
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
John Stocker, Will Ryan, Rick Jones
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin is an American animated television series based on Teddy Ruxpin, an animatronic teddy bear created by Ken Forsse and distributed by toy manufacturer Worlds of ...more
16
Bionic Six is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Alex Funk added Norman Bernard, Carol Bilger, Bobbie Block
Bionic Six is an American/Japanese animated television series from 1987, produced by TMS Entertainment and distributed, through first-run syndication, by MCA TV, years before the latter company ...more
17
BraveStarr is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Pat Fraley, Erika Scheimer, Susan Blu
BraveStarr is an American Space Western animated television series. The original episodes aired from September 1987 to February 1988 in syndication. It was created simultaneously with a ...more
18
Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinj... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Ian James Corlett, Brian Drummond, Michael Kopsa
Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is an action comedy family animated TV series that centers on the adventures of five ninjas. The series is based on the Lego toy series of the same name. Two ...more
19
MoonDreamers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Tress MacNeille, Peter Cullen, Clive Revill
Moondreamers is an animated television series that aired in 1986 as part of the My Little Pony 'n Friends lineup. My Little Pony aired the first 15 minutes, and the second half rotated among ...more
20
The Magilla Gorilla Show is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Allan Melvin, Don Messick, Howard Morris
The Magilla Gorilla Show was an animated series for television starring Magilla Gorilla. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera for Screen Gems between 1963 and 1967, and was originally ...more
21
Ever After High is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Erin Fitzgerald, Kate Higgins, Jonquil Goode
Ever After High (Netflix, 2013) is an animated series based on the fashion doll franchise by Mattel. The students of all the fairytale characters attend Ever After High, where they are either ...more
22
She-Ra and the Princesses of P... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, AJ Michalka
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix, 2018) is an American animated web television series developed by Noelle Stevenson. A reboot of the 1985 Filmation series She-Ra: Princess of Power, ...more
23
The Glo Friends is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Frank Welker, Nancy Cartwright, Don Messick
The Glo Friends is a television series based on the Glo Friends toyline, originally aired in 1986 as a segment of My Little Pony 'n Friends, that only lasted one season. My Little Pony aired the ...more
24
Pound Puppies is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Betty White, Michael Rapaport, Tom Kenny
Pound Puppies is an American animated series that premiered on The Hub Network on October 10, 2010, in the United States. Pound Puppies also aired on YTV in Canada and on Boomerang in the UK and ...more
25
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Toys
Darrin Baker, Jean Chalopin, Gilles Guillot
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is a French/North American animated TV show which was first broadcast on September 16, 1985. It was produced by DIC Entertainment and animated by the Japanese ...more