TOY STORY (THINKWAY TOYS)
“To infinity, and beyond!”
In the ’90s, it was easier to say what movies *weren’t* getting some sort of tie-in toyline. Surprising absolutely no one, Toy Story, a movie with “toy” in the title, got an accompanying toyline. Perhaps the most surprising thing about it was that the toys came from the relative unknowns at Thinkway Toys, and that there weren’t a lot more of them. Nevertheless, it served to give us basic figures of the two main players, Woody and Buzz. I’ll be looking at the latter today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Buzz Lightyear was part of the first, and only, series of Thinkway’s Toy Story line. There were actually two releases of this guy; one in his standard colors, and one with chrome sections in-place of the white. The white was of course the more common of the two, but at this point, neither’s particularly hard to find. I have both, because I’m me. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation. That’s still less articulation than the actual figure from the movie, but we’re not talking Small Soldiers levels of reduction or anything. The figure’s sculpt is actually pretty good for the time. It matches well with the model from the movie, and manages to be pretty well detailed and quite authentic for the time. It’s scaled down quite a bit, of course, and there are a few rather obvious points of construction, especially on the legs. Still, quite nice. His helmet is probably the most compromised piece on the figure. In the movie, it’s one solid piece, and it pops up or off completely. In the real world, that doesn’t work so much, so this figure has a segmented helmet, which pulls back from the front half of his face. It’s a little hokey, but it’s an okay compromise. His wings also don’t collapse like in the movie, since there’s not enough space for that. Instead, the pack just pops off his back, and the wings can be removed outright, thus recreating essentially the same look. Buzz’s paintwork is decent. The base application is decent enough, though both figures I have have some serious fuzz on the transitions between colors. There are decals for the more detail intensive parts, which is actually pretty accurate to the movie. This version of Buzz was advertised as having “Rocket Flying Action,” which refers to the rocket he gets strapped to him at the end of the movie. Said rocket is included and can be plugged into the figure’s back. There’s a zipline sort of a feature, which simulates flying, I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I had the Woody figure from this line as a kid, but I never got a Buzz figure. Both figures here were picked up from Lost In Time Toys, during one of their sidewalk sales last fall. They were cheap, and I’d never had them, so I figured, why the heck not? He’s actually a pretty good figure, especially for the time, and also when compared to the Mattel figures from Toy Story 2. This was a pleasant surprise.