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Movies based on toys: Do they live up to the nostalgia?
The G.I. Joe sequel hits theaters tomorrow, and producers hope it'll bring back fond memories of smashing action figures together
Channing Tatum and The Rock in, G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Channing Tatum and The Rock in, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Facebook/G.I. Joe
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omorrow, G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits theaters, in a belated attempt to right the wrongs of 2009's misbegotten G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. According to The Village Voice, this new G.I Joe offers "an honest and accomplished dumbness" that attempts to recreate what it felt like to smash a couple of G.I. Joe action figures together while you watched the G.I. Joe cartoon on Saturday mornings. But the G.I. Joe movies are just the latest in a growing trend. In recent years, toys and board games have frequently been used for big-screen inspiration — bringing about more than a few dismal failures. Can any movie really capture the magic of playing with one of your favorites toys? Here, nine films that have tried:

1. The Care Bears Movie (1985)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
Actually, it's pretty accurate. The Care Bears are just as cuddly/insufferably preachy on the big screen as they are in stuffed animal form.

2. Clue (1985)

Does it feel like playing the board game?
Only if you're playing with a bunch of hyperactive maniacs. But props to the filmmakers for attempting to capture the game's open-ended nature by releasing the movie with three separate endings. 

3. Masters of the Universe (1987)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
Yes — if your Skeletor action figure got all melty after sitting in the sun for too long.

4. Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

Does it feel like playing the game?
Not even a little. There's not a single multi-sided die to be found in the film, and even the lamest Dungeon Master could craft a better story than this.

5. Bratz: The Movie (2007)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
Pretty much. The movie's characters are just as vapid and fashion-obsessed as the dolls, with perfectly bland actresses selected to match. 

6. Transformers (2007)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
This might seem familiar if you periodically punctuated all your Transforming by yelling "No no no no no no no!"

7. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
Not really. American Girl dolls are less about solving quaint mysteries and more about buying absurdly overpriced accessories.

8. Battleship (2012)

Does it feel like playing the game?
Just in its sheer, utterly predictable monotony.

9. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

Does it feel like playing with the toys?
Absolutely. This movie's storyline is crazier than anything an 8-year-old could imagine.

Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticOutside Magazine, and Think Progress.

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