Toy Story Characters

Toy Story Characters

'To infinity - and beyond!' That was the cry which echoed around school playgrounds many  years ago when Toy Story hit the screen.

Unforgettable, with great songs and, above all, a believable set of characters, Toy Story set new records, new standards, and made every animated movie that had gone before appear stilted.

Created by Pixar Animation, and distributed by Walt Disney, this film demonstrated just what modern computers were capable of; it was one hundred percent three-dimensional - and it showed.

The story, for anyone who doesn't know (can there be anyone?), centres around a much-loved cowboy doll called  Woody, whose nose is severely put out of joint when a brash, boisterous newcomer is installed in the playroom. The newcomer is Buzz Lightyear, a hip-talking, high-tech, spaceman toy who is convinced he's real, but finally comes to terms with the truth.

Toy Story Characters
Moral, zany, funny, and peppered with a host of great back-up characters including Mr. Potato Head, Slinky the dog, Bo-Peep, Hamm the pig, and Rex, a large Tyrannosaurus, this is a movie to watch over and over.

Naturally, the shops were full to bursting with the new toys, but soon a problem arose. Maybe no-one foresaw the spell that Buzz would cast over youngsters or perhaps the distributors believed that Woody (supposedly the favourite toy in the film) would be the kids' favourite in real life too; whatever the case, it was Buzz who took the nation by storm - and it was Buzz that the stores ran out of. Worse; it was almost Christmas - and guess what every child had put on top of the prezzie list?!

So, which Toy Story characters would be the best for a Disney   Doll Collection? Woody is a doll, so obviously he must be included. Woody is available in various sizes, from small action figures to talking doll-sized dolls wearing fabric clothes - yellow checked shirt, denim jeans, black and white 'pony skin' bolero, brown stetson and boots. Made by Thinkway Toys, he stands 11 inches tall, and has five sayings, including 'Reach for the Sky' 'Howdy, Partner' and 'Look!

Toy Story Characters

There's an alien!' The cute, green- headed triple-eyed alien could be construed as a 'doll', too. Thinkway"s version is great. Standing 12 and a half inches tall, he says The claw is my master', 'I have been chosen', and 'Ooooooooh' in his funny little voice when his tummy is squeezed.

Many of the other toys from the film, though super as 'background add¬ons', don't come under the doll category. They were produced as action figures, soft toys, Bean Bags or McDonald's giveaways. Bo-Peep, was available in the US as a collector's doll, dressed in her pink-spotted white frock and pink bonnet, and can occasionally be found in Britain. Ifs much easier to obtain the McDonald's plastic version. But it's Buzz who must surely be the epitome of the collection, though ifs difficult to decide which model to choose.

The original, talking Buzz (which caused the initial furore) is a good one to look out for. Moulded in grey plastic with green trim, he looks just as he did in the film and says such things as 'I'm Buzz Iightyear', 'I come in Peace', 'Buzz Lightyear to the rescue' and, of course, To infinity and beyond'. He's fully posable - even his fingers move - and he has light and sound 'laser' functions, and pop-out wings.

 His green trim glows in the dark. Another version is the Intergalactic Buzz, spectacular in a silver space suit. This Buzz has, amongst other delights, a detachable backpack with space disc firing mechanism and a flip-up light and sound arm communicator.

Toy Story Characters

If you're looking for something more unusual, then the Special Edition Holiday Hero Buzz, from the Disney Holiday Collection, is the one to buy - if you can still find him in the Disney Stores. Buzz looks very Christmassy in metallic green, red and silver. His helmet lights up and his spacesuit wings expand. Best of all, though, are his phrases -

To the North Pole and beyond', 'I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy lightyear,' 'I protect Christmas presents from the threat of invasion' and This is Buzz Lightyear. Come in Rudolf, come in!'

He has a sprig of mistletoe too.

For a while, Toy Story fever died down - but then it returned with a vengeance. Toy Story II, even more realistic than its predecessor, hit the screens.  

This time, though, it wasn't Buzz that everyone clamoured for. Instead it was a real doll, a cowgirl by the name of Jessie. Made by Mattel, Jessie has big green eyes, a snub nose and red-brown hair.

 She wears a white blouse with yellow trim   and red braid, 'pony skin' over-trousers topped with denim, and has a bright red wide-brimmed hat. Soon, the stores sold out of Jessie - it was a repeat of the earlier Buzz shortage.

Toy Story Characters

Disney also brought out a Jessie Bean Bag wearing a similar outfit to the doll. Other Bean Bags available include Stinky Pete the Prospector wearing a red shirt, denim dungarees and a hat, and Bullseye the horse. Dolls from Toy Story II include a singing,strumming Woody as well as new versions of Buzz Lightyear.

So, now that we're up to date with Disney Dolls, where do we go from here? Well, many other films have doll tie-ins too. More next time!

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