#2072: Kicking Woody

KICKING WOODY

TOY STORY (THINKWAY TOYS)

The latest installment in Pixar’s Toy Story franchise hits theaters today, and it’s a pretty big deal.  The end of an era.  Why, it’s almost as big a deal as the last time that they did this, back when it was Toy Story 3!  But, they’re way more serious about it this time, I guess.  We’ll see how it goes.  To get myself into that Toy Story mood, I’m doing the absolute most appropriate thing possible, and reviewing a toy, from the original movie no less!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kicking Woody was one of two Woody variants produced by Thinkway Toys for their 1995 Toy Story line.  They were denoted by their action features.  This one kicks.  I know, shocker.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation, though the articulation on his legs is slightly hampered by his action feature.  Unlike Buzz, whose design has built-in articulation (which his figure ignored a good bit of), Woody’s got, what, one point of articulation in the canon?  At the neck?  And that’s replicated here.  Beyond that, he’s changing up the material from cloth to plastic, meaning the articulation’s just sort of made up.  It’s really not bad, though, especially for the time this figure was released.  Woody’s sculpt is actually a pretty respectable offering.  The proportions match well with his film model, and the likeness is certainly there on the head.  The body is definitely on the smooth side, with no real texturing like he really should have, but we’re once again falling into the realm of “product of his time.”  All of the important details are definitely there, and there’s no denying who he’s supposed to be.  Woody’s sculpt is topped off with his signature cowboy hat, which is a nicely sculpted piece which sits quite nicely and snugly on his head.  Woody’s paintwork is pretty standard; it’s a decent match for the source material, and it’s bright and colorful.  The application is overall pretty good, with minimal bleed over and not as many fuzzy lines as were on my Buzz figure.  Woody was originally packed with a snake (presumably about to go into or just exiting his boot), which my figure no longer has.  He does still have his kicking action feature, though; press the button on his back and his leg swings upward.  Very exciting.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Much like Woody from the films, this figure’s been with me for quite some time.  Toy Story was the first movie I saw in the theater, which probably explains a lot about me when you really get down to it.  Woody was definitely my favorite character, so my parents made pretty quick work of finding me this figure.  He was the only one I picked up from the original line, and he’s been in my collection since his 1995 release.  I gotta say, he’s a really solid figure, and remains my favorite version of the character, despite being almost a quarter century old.  He’s one I’m really glad I hung onto.

#1669: Buzz Lightyear

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR

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.