Toys that made us

Merry Christmas Week, 

I watched Netflix’s brilliant “The Toys That Made Us” with my 6-year-old the other afternoon.

It’s a show that combines nostalgia, business case studies, toys, office politics, and family appeal.  It’s basically the perfect holiday show for a career advice newsletter author!

My daughter and I enjoyed “My Little Pony” and it was a great chance to talk about what adults do at the office, and how kids who draw, or craft, or dream, can grow up to become adults who draw, or craft, or dream for a living.

As the modern workplace is all about teamwork, the “behind the scenes” look at the creative process is an awful lot of fun.  The disagreements, the fights, the collaborations, all come through as very human stories.

Human, too, is the truism that “success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan.”  The squabble for credit for the act of creation here is as endearing as it is typical.

The hero of the story is the fangirl who comes in to take over the brand 30 years after launch.  Stick through the final scenes, when her lifelong attachment to the brand is revealed. For someone who writes career advice for a living, it brought smiles, and tears to my eyes.

Additional episodes cover Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man, Transformers and others.  No better way to spend the holiday week than watching these shows with the kids.

And in the new year, perhaps you can find your dream job at Hasbro, Mattel, Lego or Spinmaster, and help make the toys that make childhood dreams.

Whatever tradition you’re celebrating this December, Readers, I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

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