Be A Kid Again – Top 10 Toy Podcasts to Follow in 2020

Retro toys

Toy podcasts have been gaining a lot of traction over the last 10 years, as well as podcasts about hobbies and memorabilia, in no little part due to the Toy Story franchise. In particular, toys hold a special place in the memories of toy collectors. Gen Xers are extremely interested in reliving their time when they discovered new toys and games from the 80s and 90s, while their children enjoy learning about retro toys via the podcasts.

Galaxy of Toys

#1 Galaxy of Toys: Podcast Review

Galaxy of Toys is a rather long-running podcast focused entirely on Star Wars toys and action figures. If you are a toy collector who lived through the 80’s and love the Star Wars movies, or are just a fan of toy history overall, you will find something to enjoy in this podcast.

The Host(s):

Jason Luttrull started Galaxy of Toys back in 2013, and has since produced scores of episodes of this highly specialized podcast. Fans of Star Wars toys or even just the movies will appreciate Jason’s unbridled enthusiasm as he offers his honest take on Star Wars toys new and old. He is joined by a regular rotating crew of equally engaging co-hosts, including Matt Fox known from the This Week in Star Wars podcast.

The Guests:

Jason welcomes a varied group of fellow Star Wars toy collectors and toy industry insiders as well as personal friends. These include Bots and Shots’ Mike Kaess, Jayson of Yakface.com, Star Wars Collecting Cosmos’ Amy, Star Wars Action News’ Jerry, and even the author of The Ultimate Guide to Vintage Star Wars Action Figures 1977–1985, Mark Bellomo.

Highlights:

In Episode 66: Solo Toy and Movie Review, Jason and his podcast team tackle one of Disney/Lucasfilm’s modern and extremely divisive releases. Not only do they share opinions on the movie Solo, they also discuss the toy tie-ins to that oft-maligned film. While the crew is quite unimpressed with the movie overall, it is fun to find how much love they find in the toys that resulted.

Listen to Galaxy of Toys

Must Listen Episodes:

Episode 84: International Con Reveals Fall 2019

The Lost Episodes (Volume One)

Episode 25: Kenner Star Wars Figures 1981 + Yoda

Rating: All Ages

Major Wrestling Figure

#2 The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast: Podcast Review

If you are into toys, and especially action figures, you certainly know about the popularity of wrestling toys. Throughout the history of boys’ toys, a huge proportion of boys have gravitated toward the muscular figures that once lined shelves at places like Toys R Us and KB Toys. Wrestling toys tie into the real world in a way that other action figures rarely do, and therefore become an intimate part of collectors’ lives. The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast covers it all.

The Host(s): Two actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness wrestling stars from the WWE have joined forces to produce this podcast. Brian Myers (AKA Curt Hawkins, AKA “Broski”) and Matt Cardona (AKA Zack Ryder) are both WWE Superstars. They bring the energy you see in the ring, on TV or at live events, to the audio world of podcasts in an unforgettable way. The comradery, bickering, joking and raw enthusiasm for what they do is a powerful combo as they hunt for and unbox toys.

The Guests: Guests on TMWFP range wildly from the professional to the personal, and have included the likes of Cardona’s fiance Chelsea Green (also a fellow pro wrestler), well-known toy collector “Pixel Dan” Eardley, wrestling toy designer Jeremy Padawer, fellow wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson, and the creator of the Jakks Bone Crunching action figure collection. You will also find other WWE wrestlers like the Miz popping up on a regular basis.

Highlights: For the Holiday Q & A Bonanza episode, listeners submitted hundreds of questions. Myers and Cardona tag team the huge list, answering over 60 of them. The hosts dive deep into subjects like past wrestling regrets, their favorite toys as kids, fantasy matches they would love to see in the ring, and way more.

Listen to The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast

Must Listen Episodes:

Miz and Morrison INVADE the Major WF Pod!

Major Pod Crew to the RESCUE!

Complete History of WWF LJN Action Figures

Rating: Teen+

Talking Toys

#3 Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff: Podcast Review

With over 120 main episodes in the can, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff is a vintage toy fan’s dream come true. The podcast takes a look at different toy lines in every episode, so this a show made to appeal to the general toy collecting fan. If you find yourself searching through your own collection that goes back to the 70’s and wondering about just where some of those toys came from or what they might be worth, this is your podcast.

The Host(s):

Jeff McGee and his longtime friend Taylor created this podcast years ago with the simple mission of sharing his own love for vintage toys. The two are easy going but fearless when it comes to arguing over the finer points of toy design, collector culture, and the merits of American vs. Japanese toy invention.

Format:

Taylor and Jess have been joined by a few guests over the years. These have included a handful of friends and fellow podcasters. However, the vast majority of episodes feature the two hosts alternately gushing, pontificating, and commiserating about the many toy lines that shaped their childhoods as well as new toy lines that are either delightful or cringeworthy.

Highlights:

The podcast moves between 3 episode types: the main show which focuses on a different toy line, “minisodes” that look at a special topic (such as “best of” lists), or “Action Figure Exclusives” which dive into a single especially impactful action figure. Episode 80 – Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is one of the most nostalgic episodes of the series, finding the guys in full-on throwback mode as they chat about a show and toy line near and dear to their hearts.

Listen to Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff

Must Listen Episodes:

Episode 88 – She-Ra Princess of Power

Episode 83 – Steel Monsters

Episode 74 – Captain Planet (Part 1)

Rating: All Ages

Podcasters of the Universe

#4 The Podcasters of the Universe: Podcast Review

Over the course of 60+ episodes since 2017, The Podcasters of the Universe podcast has been filling the airwaves with warm reminisces of Orkos, Battle Cats, Sorceresses and Skeletors, combined with funny hot takes on both the original run of figures and the newer lines. This is THE podcast if you’ve ever wondered just how rare an original Trap-Jaw or Man-e-Face might be.

The Host(s):

Steve Biesiada and his buddy Jeremy really know how to keep their mix of friendly banter and loving criticism of one of the toy world’s most collectible action figure lines interesting. These two truly “have the power” to make their listeners feel like they are sitting in their studio alongside the hosts while they dish out their innermost feelings about overly-muscular, fantastical heroes, villains and sidekicks.

The Guests:

Jeremy and Steve have enough chemistry to keep The Podcasters of the Universe moving along at a breezy pace, but they love bringing along guests to share the limelight. These have included their wives, fellow geeky podcasters Matt Rodriguez, Joe Amato and Travis Bolles, childhood friend Ryan Lake, and many more over the years.

Highlights:

It’s not often that the pair of extremely knowledgeable and gung-ho hosts Steve and Jeremy are outshone by their guests. However, in Episode 62, that’s exactly what happens when Danielle Gelehrter shows up. AKA Penny Dreadful XIII, Danielle is a horror show host on local cable in New England as well as for cons, and a professional writer for the Master of the Universe toy line.

Listen to The Podcasters of the Universe

Must Listen Episodes:

Episode 62

Episode 51

Episode 37

Rating: Teen +

Toy Power

#5 Toy Power Podcast: Podcast Review

From McFarlane Toys to Masters of the Universe, Transformers, DC, TMNT and Lego, Toy Power Podcast covers the entire gamut of the toy world. The hosts present their opinions on widely renowned toy lines as well as older and lesser-known brands, review new products from events like the New York Toy Fair, and unbox a variety of novel and collectible items.

The Host(s):

Frank, Darren, Ben and Trent are four pop culture and toy nerds that don’t know how to quit when it comes to spreading the gospel about just how cool all those colorful plastic things are lining the shelves. There is never a dull moment because so many points and counterpoints are made at such a rapid clip.

The Guests:

While the hosts’ varied personalities make this podcast an interesting listen on their own, their guests add some excellent new perspectives. They include Rob McCallum (filmmaker known for Nintendo Quest), John Caulfield, Sam Cripps, and even Bilsy from Legomasters. With over 160 weekly episodes, there have been many fun personalities on display.

Highlights:

#102: Biker Mice from Venom? is a real showstopper of a throwback podcast. The crew examines one of the most notorious “knockoffs” of the powerhouse TMNT brand: the Biker Mice from Mars! Even the most jaded pop culture and toy geeks will get a thrill out of the nostalgia generated by this episode.

Listen to Toy Power Podcast

Must Listen Episodes:

#158: Lords of Power & Wisdom

#132: Flying Dolphins and BIG Dumps!

#81: Here Come the Micronauts!

Rating: Teen +

Building Up To It

#6 Building Up To It: Podcast Review

If you’re someone who has ever whiled away long hours on a cold winter evening or on a rainy Saturday afternoon deftly and carefully fitting together hundreds of colorful interlocking blocks in order to realize the completion of an intricately themed playset featuring knights, superheroes, or spaceships, then consider yourself in good listening company with the Building Up To It podcast.

The Host(s):

Matt, Chris, Ralph, Paul, and sometimes Andrew, are friends who put this podcast together to benefit casual LEGO fans from all generations. Their love for the toy world-changing little bricks shines through in every set review, unboxing, and interview. While there are a lot of other LEGO-themed podcasts out there, this one is aimed a little more at adult collectors, and so the hosts sometimes head into more adult territory in their humor and language.

Format:

Actual special guests are rare, as the main attraction in the lively interaction between the hosts. However, other friends sometimes join in to round out occasional discussions.

Highlights:

Question: How much strife can a discussion over a tiny piece of plastic cause amongst our hosts? Answer: A bunch! In Building Up To It 111, the gang gets brutally honest about their feelings on the LEGO minifigures: how they began, where they’ve been, and where they’re headed, as well as just how much they add to, and detract from, the LEGO brand as a whole.

List to Building Up To It

Must Listen Episodes:

Building Up To It 121

Building Up To It 114

Building Up To It 107

Rating: Teen +

#7 This Week in Marvel: Podcast Review

While not strictly a toys-only podcast, This Week in Marvel still scratches the itch for action figure collectors when it comes to characters from the “house that Stan Lee built”. This podcast dates back nearly a decade, and in that time has covered nearly every major event from Marvel comics, toys, TV shows, and the MCU.

The Host(s):

This podcast benefits by having two true Marvel insiders as hosts, who both have complete love and devotion to the brand. Lorraine Cink, author of Powers of a Girl, and Ryan Penagos, Executive Editorial Director for Marvel Digital Media Group and Marvel.com, really click when talking about their favorite comic book properties.

The Guests:

Being an official Marvel production, this podcast is chock full of special guests that most independent podcasters would have a very tough time landing. These have included legendary artist Alex Ross and even stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Tom Holland.

Highlights:

In episode #437 – Marvel Studios’ Black Widow Trailer Breakdown, Cable, and More!, our hosts put on a spectacular show as they demonstrate just how varied the Marvel brand can be. In a single episode, they cover a new film trailer, pontificate over the good, bad and ugly of X-Men movie action figure lines, and review new comics.

Listen 20 This Week in Marvel

Must Listen Episodes:

#437 – Marvel Studios’ Black Widow Trailer Breakdown, Cable, and More!

#382 – The Wonders of New York Toy Fair 2019 and Ironheart

New York Toy Fair 2018

Rating: All Ages

#8 The Meeples & Miniatures Podcast: Podcast Review

Coming up on almost 300 episodes, Meeples & Miniatures is a UK-based podcast that is tailor-made for fans of tabletop gaming and the tiny figures that go along with that hobby. These miniature figurines enhance gameplay and have also become a collectible among toy aficionados in their own right. Dwarves and elves and dragons, oh my! 

The Host(s):

Mike Hobbs and Neil Shuck have been tabletop gamers their entire lives, and have been extolling the virtues of the hobby and all of its trappings for over a decade via their website and podcast. The two British gents take every bit of gaming seriously but have no issue with having a jolly old time gabbing about collecting, painting, and caring for the miniatures that help bring the countless campaigns they (and their fans) engage in.

The Guests:

From Gav Thorpe (game designer and author of   ) to miniature sculpting pro Tom Mason, and fellow gamers TomMason and Shaun Randall, Neil and Mike enjoy the company of guests on the majority of their podcast episodes. There is a rich sampling of folks intimately involved in everything from playing tabletop games to creating minis.

Highlights:

In Episode 278: PSC Games: Snog, Marry, Avoid, guest Dave “the halfling” Hickman–a regular opponent of the hosts in many wargaming campaigns–shows up to help review some recently released games (in late 2019). The episode evolves rather quickly into a raucous two hours of friendly competition to see who among them has the best story about their hobby. 

Must Listen Episodes:

Episode 281: Gaming With the Next Gen

Episode 259: Crusade & Mega-gaming

Episode 188: Dr. Harry Sidebottom

Rating: Teen +

#9 The Dice Tower: Podcast Review

While the podcast listed at #8 is all about tabletop miniature gaming, The Dice Tower is a podcast that spreads its wings even wider to encompass the entire world of games. This show has reviews of board and card games, worldwide gaming news, and interviews interspersed with a variety of fun special segments with great names like “Tales of Boardgaming Horror”.

The Host(s):

Another podcast with a large regular cast of hosts, The Dice Tower proves that more heads are better, especially when it comes to such a deep and broad subject as games. The regular group consists of Tom Vasel, Suzanne Sheldon, Eric Summerer and Mandi Hutchinson. These four trade friendly jabs while bantering happily as if they were four siblings battling it out over a long game of Monopoly.

The Guests:

Over the course of nearly 15 years and 650+ episodes, founder Tom Vasel has brought together a veritable army of co-hosts and guests. Guests regularly include many fellow gaming enthusiasts and podcasters, game designers, as well as celebrities like Jorge Garcia, Rebecca Thomason and Rich Sommer.

Highlights:

Episode #508: Ghooooosts! is dedicated to discussing all manner of games that revolve around the idea of ghosts and the paranormal. The gang’s centerpiece focuses on the best ghosty games to play with your kids. It’s a real “Halloween in June” episode!\

Listen to The Dice Tower

Must Listen Episodes:

Episode #607: D is for Dragons

Episode #519: Popsicle Sticks & Wizardly Workers

Episode #294: All About Catan

Rating: All Ages

#10 Knockback: The Retro & Nostalgia Podcast: Podcast Review

Imagine living in writer/director Kevin Smith’s shoes for a while. That’s what this podcast is: a never-ending whirlwind of pop culture mixed with the weird, wacky and off-kilter entertainment creations going back to the mid-20th century.  Knockback: The Retro & Nostalgia Podcast covers everything from toy and games to movies, comics and everything in-between.

The Host(s):

Two real-life brothers, Dagan and Colin Moriarty, have published over 110 weekly episodes of this podcast over the last few years, and show no signs of stopping. Their pure joy and love for the colorful paper, plastic and celluloid products many of us take for granted is guaranteed to make you yearn for the days when getting just the perfect new toy for your birthday meant the world to you. Working in the video game and animation industries, the two provide some insider views that add more layers to their topics.

Format:

The Moriarty Bros. are the two-person equivalent of a one-man-band, generally being the only voices in this podcast. Their whip-smart commentary, shared experiences, and spats of sibling rivalry prove to be more than enough to keep the rather long podcast episodes from ever being a bore.

Highlights:

In episode #11: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the brother dig into an entertainment property that epitomizes the power of cross-channel content creation. TMNT remains to this day a touchstone of the 90s for so many, still living on in the form of movies, comics, animation and, of course, toys.

Must Listen Episodes:

#65: Star Wars Toys (1977-1985)

#22: Transformers

#5: We Love G.I. Joe (and other 80s toy talk)

Rating: Teen +

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About the author

Summary

A connoisseur of pop culture, science and tech subjects, A. Deller still manages to spend most of his time playing with his children and doggos.

Education

He majored in Film Production and Anthropology at Penn State University.

Work History

A. Deller is a software product manager, having worked in video games and television data for 15 years. He also writes nonfiction science and tech articles and science fiction novels.

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