So... "Lego." That's actually happening. A "Lego" movie. A movie based on one of the most enjoyably versatile childhood toys of all time, yes, but also one that's completely devoid of story potential. Unless, of course, the film goes the route of medieval-era Legos. Or the space-set Blacktron Legos. Or the pirates.
Huh. On second thought, that actually sounds awesome.
If someone can make a "Lego" movie -- or "Stretch Armstrong" and "View-Master" movies, for that matter -- what other seemingly bland toy properties could get the big screen treatment? In the words of Mr. Owl, let's find out.
BUILD-A-BEAR: There are several approaches a filmmaker could take to the cute and cuddly, build-'em-yourself stuffed animals of Build-A-Bear. The easiest and most obvious route is to follow the "Toy Story" mold and focus on the store itself, where the toys come to life in all their mish-mash glory once the lights go out.
Or, you could go a little darker: take a cue from "Child's Play" and reinvent the murderous doll genre. It might not seem the most effective way to sell merchandise on the surface, but let's be honest... what small, meek child wouldn't want a kill-happy bear to serve their every whim? Sounds like box office gold to me!
CHECKERS: The epic struggle between good versus evil has been chronicled in many films throughout cinema's history. Why not boil the theme down to its bare essentials: light and dark? After all, there is no greater example of heroism versus villainy than Checkers -- except Chess, of course, but that's way too specific for our bland tastes. And moving that Knight is such a pain in the...
Imagine a world where every conflict, from a grand-scale nuclear showdown to the trivial "who gets the girl" competition, is settled by a simple game of Checkers. There's no best-of-three rule; every match is one-and-done, single elimination. You can almost taste the salty sweat dripping from the players' brow as they fight for their very lives -- or for who pays the dinner tab.
SILLY PUTTY: You can forget computers, paper, even Maui -- when it comes to printing important documents, there's nothing quite like Silly Putty. This stretchy substance is amusing enough in its most basic of functions, but it serves a greater purpose as well, a more noble one: copying top-secret printed information.
"Silly Putty" could well be the next "Mission: Impossible," the next "Bourne" franchise, perhaps even a throwback to "Enemy of the State." Our hero gets his hands on a stash of Silly Putty that happens to have sensitive national security intelligence printed on its ever-extending surface, bringing mercenaries and assassins to his doorstep -- or her doorstep!! -- at every twisting turn...
SLINKY: One of the greatest lines in "Ghostbusters II" belongs to Egon Spengler when asked about his childhood toys. "We had part of a Slinky," he states. "But I straightened it." Aha, but what if he hadn't straightened it? How different would the nerdiest of the specter-squashing professionals have turned out if he'd only preserved the Slinky's integrity?
That, my friends, could well be the spin-off sequel to the fabled "Ghostbusters 3," or even the very thrust of the threequel itself. A rift in the space-time continuum occurs when a time-traveling ghost urges Egon to keep that Slinky the way it is, and thus, the Ghostbusters are never born! Can Egon and his pals race back in time to prevent his younger self from this world-altering decision? Find out in "Ghostbusters: Slink-3!"
UNO: Don't be fooled by the vibrant colors, the wild cards, the reverses and the plus fours -- Uno is a deadly, addictive game that can keep you awake for days on end and deliver a significant blow to your bank accounts. But it can also provide a great source of income if you're smart, fast and lucky -- all of which is chronicled in "Uno: The Movie."
Following in the footsteps of "21" and "Rounders" before it, "Uno" tells the tale of a gambling addict who finds solace in the childlike game of Uno. Sick of stealing lunch money and Jolly Ranchers from his prepubescent opponents, this card-shark enters the World Series of Uno tournament in seedy Las Vegas, proving to all of his detractors -- especially his mother -- that he has what it takes to be a winner... that he has what it takes to be a man.
What other story-less childhood toys would make for a good, ridiculous popcorn flick? Give us your thoughts in the comments section!