When Marge and Homer leave Grampa to babysit the kids, some little green army men trigger a PTSD episode, sending the family on a journey to Grampa's past to when he was a post-war toy model.
Homer and Marge celebrate their anniversary, leaving the kids at home with Grandpa Simpson. Marge points out that Grandpa needs to be home in an hour, so she and Homer do all their activities as fast as possible.
At home, Bart and Lisa are bored and ask Grandpa if they can play a game. Bart finds some plastic army men toys in the basement, which causes Grandpa to panic.
The family takes him to the VA, but the doctor is unable discover what's wrong. Lisa notices that the molding of the soldier toys resembles Grandpa. Grandpa remembers modeling for the toy back in 1947, and being promised a royalty for every toy. Lisa then asks if the company ever paid him to which Grandpa replies they did not. Grandpa then realizes why he is getting the panics.
Grandpa ends up on Channel 6 news and shortly after reaches national headlines on NBC. After the headlines, the toy company invites Grandpa to visit their headquarters in New York City. The chairman tells him that he missed out on millions of dollars because he never signed his contract. Grandpa remembers running out of the shoot when the male photographer kissed him. The company found out and fired the photographer. Realizing that he may have ruined the photographer's life, Grandpa makes his next goal to visit him and apologize.
On a plane, Lisa finds out on an information website that the photographer Philip Hefflin lives in Marfa, Texas. The drive is long and the family encounters the Marfa lights and Prada Marfa. When they get to Philip's hometown, Grandpa stumbles into a gallery filled with paintings of him in his army uniform. Philip greets Abe, stating that he was better off being true to himself. They enjoy time together before Abe has to head back to Springfield.
In the backyard during the final scene, Bart, Milhouse, and Nelson are playing with the soldier toys. After Bart gets bored, he suggests melting them in the microwave, which the kids end up doing.
"Mad About the Toy" received mixed to positive reviews.
Tony Sokol of Den of Geek gave the episode 3 out of 5 points ranking, stating "The Simpsons' 'Mad About the Toy' plays too far to the inside and tries to have it both ways. Like Grampa's stories it takes a very circuitous road, but goes nowhere, besides Texas and New York. Grampa gets the last word, but like many of his never-ending asides, it is too much rant but not enough rave. That's what they used to say back in his day before raves were raves and Molly was just what you called a girl who went out with a gangster."
Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode B+ ranking, stating "It’s a risk—not for addressing homosexuality, but for putting the story in the hands of Grampa, a supporting character used most often for the sort of quick-hit swipes at reactionary codgery mocking internet memes were invented for. But few characters on The Simpsons exist just as their initial stereotypes at this point, and there’s a longer-than-most history of the show finding just the right touches of grudging humanity in the old coot to make 'Mad About The Toy' work."
"Mad About the Toy" scored a 0.9 rating with an 4 share and was watched by 2.33 million people.
The Simpsons Are On A Road Trip Season 30 Ep. 11 THE SIMPSONS
Grampa Simpson Gets Punched By A Nurse Season 30 Ep. 11 THE SIMPSONS