We're still six months away from the release of Disney's Real Steel, but Disney is so convinced that it'll be a hit that they've started work on a sequel. If this Rock-Em, Sock-Em Robots rip-off can make it, what other toys deserve a shot at the big time?
Admittedly, Real Steel isn't officially a Rock-Em, Sock-Em Robots movie - I guess they couldn't get the rights - but there's no way that a movie about robots that box could have taken its inspiration from anywhere else. Now that Disney has decided that audiences are eager not only for one of these movies, but also a sequel, we thought that maybe it was time to see what other gems might lie inside the toybox...
Connect FourThe toy: A game of strategy, in which two players try and outwit each other in a 3D version of tic-tac-toe.The pitch: A noir spy thriller in which two countries' top agents have to race to contact four specific operatives to prevent war between their homelands. Each is acting against the other, not knowing that they share the same goal. Will the world be brought to the brink of armageddon if they can't... connect four?!? Get Matt Damon to play one of the spies.
Major Matt MasonThe toy: A 1960s line of action figures, based upon the pre-moon-landing romantic image of a hero who lives on the moon. Besides Matt and his fellow astronauts, there were also aliens with names like Captain Lazer and Or. Yes, one of them was called "Or."The pitch: Seth Rogen is Major Matt Mason in a Venture Bros-esque comedy showing the more mundane realities of life on the moon, especially, complete with disappointingly human aliens and a mission that seems to literally be going nowhere. Think Moon, but with broader comedy and less Kevin Spacey and existentialism.
GonkThe toy: Admittedly, this may be me showing my Britishness, but the Gonk was this surreal shapeless soft toy made out of, essentially, scraps of material with eyes sewn on. Surreally, these were extremely popular in the 1960s for some unknown reason that may be connected to the rise in drug use among the counter culture kids. The pitch: I'm think Smurfs meets the hyper-cultural-commentary of Josie And The Pussycats, with a dose of Austin Powers 1960s retro-ridiculousness for taste. Use the weird lack of immediate appeal as a way of commenting on pop-culture's appetite for creating and then destroying fads with no rhyme or reason, centering around the strange, unknowable beast called the Gonk. Bonus points if Parker Posey and/or Richard E. Grant make appearances as corporate ad people.
Space InvadersThe toy: It's Space Invaders. How could you not know about Space Invaders?!? Here, this is all you need to know:
The pitch: Scientists around the world agree on one thing: the Earth is in danger from some mysterious invasion from space. But there's one problem - the aliens are invisible to the naked eye, and can only be picked up via crazy outer space radar. With traditional space dogfights out of the question, there's only one way to defeat them: One man, in NASA's most technologically-advanced lab, one joystick, and every single missile at humanity's disposal. Otherwise... it's game over.
...Worryingly, I almost like that idea. I'm seeing John C. Reilly for some NASA scientist who thinks it'll never work, and maybe Harrison Ford for the President of the United States.
Magic 8-BallThe toy: It's pretty much what the name suggests: A ball that "magically" gives (very limited, somewhat repetitive) advice when you ask it a question and shake it a few times.The pitch: Eight balls containing the spirits of ancient mystical beings are banished from another dimension into our own. As various nefarious organizations race around the globe trying to find them, one all-American child discovers the final ball, little knowing that he could hold the key to the survival of both dimensions in his very hands - if he just asks the right questions. Doctor Who's David Tennant can play one of the people looking for the balls, but he's got a heart of gold even though he's working with the bad guys.
What do you think, Disney? Have we got a development deal waiting to happen? I think you know where to reach us. If not, our email addresses are just to the side...