Disney Pixar Buzz Lightyear Widgets

 Buzz Lightyear  Comments Off on Disney Pixar Buzz Lightyear Widgets
Feb 222014

Wind-up Buzz Lightyear

Wind-up Buzz Lightyear

Subheadered: The key to fun!   That’s kind of a cute pun, since this Buzz comes with a key to wind him up with.  I love Buzz Lightyear toys, and my collection is very large by now.  Often Buzz is the de facto gift when family members are choosing Christmas or Birthday gifts.  Lucky for all of us, I like duplicates, so it doesn’t have to be unique… but sometimes someone finds one that’s completely unique, and that’s even cooler.

This year, my John and Anita (my son and daughter-in-law) found something really unique.  A small (about 3 inches tall) wind-up Buzz Lightyear toy.  It’s a spin on the old wind-up toys.  They’ve been around for years, you wind them up, they wobble back and forth while moving forward.  What makes this one different is his wings.  Rather than go with ‘always open’ or ‘always closed’, the wings are spring loaded.  After taking a few steps, they pop open on their own.

Yes, I’m easily amused.  Still, that’s a neat twist.  So is the key.  The ones I’ve seen before usually have a wind-up knob on the side or back.  Buzz’s is on his left side, actually embedded into his elbow.  You can wind it by hand, but it’s easier to use the key.  He gets a reasonable amound of travel on a good winding, maybe a couple of feet.  That may reduce some after I’ve played with him a while.

The color scheme is good, though not as crisp as usual.  His arms are fixed in place.  They’re molded as part of the body, no detachment at all.  The left arm doesn’t even have a shape or outline to separate it from his body.  That’s fine with me, most small wind-up figures lack detail.  It’s probably to keep the overall weight down.  Too heavy with detailed parts and he wouldn’t be able to walk much.

The last element is his face.  Buzz Lightyear’s face feels just a little bit off in the sculpt.  Again, I can live with that.  But the eyes are disappointing.  They didn’t paint his eyes properly, they’re all black with a white reflection.  This is the only part I’m not happy with, and fortunately, a tiny dab of blue paint should fix that.  I build and paint model kits for a hobby, so touching up his eyes won’t be any problem.

In a nutshell:

  • Mechanicals: 5/5 (love the wings popping open)
  • Paint:  3/5 (the eyes are my only real complaint)
  • Sculpt: 4/5 (for a small wind-up toy, it’s typical)

You can see his movement in the video up above.  Overall, he’s a good piece to add to my display collection, but he’ll probably wear out or break easily if treated as a toy.

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Buzz is On A Mission – Toy Story Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

 Buzz Lightyear, Buzz Lightyear Ornaments, Hallmark  Comments Off on Buzz is On A Mission – Toy Story Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Feb 092014

It’s been ages since I’ve written here, but I’m finally back.  This is the first of 4 Buzz Lightyears that are waiting on reviews.  The rest will follow as time permits.  For now, let’s take a look at “Buzz is on a Mission”:

It's a Buzz in a box!

It’s a Buzz in a box!

The box he comes in is typical Hallmark design, and about 5 ” tall.  Buzz himself is 3.5 ” tall, and is wrapped in lots of white tissue paper for protection.  The batteries are the kind you see in cameras, and come included in the package.  No installation instructions because, really, why would you need them?  :^)

There’s one shiny silver screw holding his jetpack in place, and what better place could you possibly find for power cells?  I grabbed a tiny phillips head screwdriver and went to town.  Two things caught my attention here.  First, the screw is finely threaded, so it takes longer than you’d expect.  Second, the fit is very tight, and it took a while before I realized it was ready to be opened.

The sculpt is exactly what you’d expect for a Disney/Toy Story product.  High quality all the way.  The detailing is great, right down to the open wrist communicator.  It even has a color decal, which is kind of overkill since the angle makes it unlikely that anyone will see it.  The paint job is sharp and the edges clean.  The colors are a bit muted.  Rather than the very bright colors most Buzz Lightyear toys have, his colors here are more pastel.  If you look under his feet, he has the trademark “Andy” signature.


No moving parts (except for the voice button).  He’s very sturdy, and has a solid heft for his size.  The wings do NOT pop open… “Not a flying toy”.  Buzz’s balance is excellent.  He stands firmly on is feet, with plenty of stability.  There’s no helmet, but that’s an acceptable design choice.  I’d have liked him either way.

The voice is awesome.  Clear, crisp, and very understandable.  I love how high-quality the sound is.  He’s even got more than one phrase.  It’s the voice that led me to make a video of him.  This was originally going to by picture-only, but with audio, he really deserves video.  Plus it provides a chance to show battery installation.

Hallmark plus Disney plus Toy Story is a winning combination.  Just remember if you’re buying for kids, this is a display figure, not an action toy.  As such, and with the built-in speech, this Buzz is a winner.

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Buzz Lightyear Disney Forever Stamps

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Buzz Lightyear Disney Forever Stamps
Jul 212013

BuzzForeverStampsBuzz Lightyear Forever!  Or, at last on a Forever Stamp.  I’ve never noticed these before- the USPS has been doing it’s “Art of Disney” stamps since 2004.  This particular stamp is part of a pane full of Disney characters, from “Cars”, “Ratatouille”, “Wall-E”, and “Up”.  And of course, Toy Story.  I’m not a stamp collector, so I guess somehow this just zoomed right past me.  Until Monique ordered a sheet for my collection.

The plate I’ve got, showing Buzz Lightyear surrounded by LGM… Little Green Men… was first released in 2011, according to a post on the Los Angeles Times blog.  It’s news to me.  Not sure exactly how they came to Monique’s attention, but she saw them recently, and knew I’d enjoy the Buzz stamp.

She’s right.  And I’m on a roll right now.  Before this it was the promo poster of Buzz and Woody for Peachtree Playthings.  Now it’s the stamps.
Now I’m in a bind.  Being an avid Buzz Lightyear collector, the stamps could just stay in the acetate sealed wrapper, and go on display.  Or, they could get peeled up and stuck somewhere appropriate.  It would look nice having one of these stuck somewhere on my computer monitor.  I don’t usually worry about keeping my toys in the original container.  Normally they just go on display in whatever way seems most fun.  But in this case, I kind of like the whole sheet.  If I open them and stick the individual stamps all over the place, they may not get enough appreciation.

Overall my preference is to keep the stamps in their original sealed bag.  Maybe they can be like a wallpaper background behind some of the figures on display.

She also found some Tarzan stamps, too.  Those appeal to me a lot.  As a Tarzan fan, these are awesome.  But I don’t have a website about Tarzan, so he’ll just have to share this short mention on Buzz’s site.  :^)

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PeachTree Playthings Buzz and Woody Poster – My 69 cent Treasure

 Buzz, Buzz Lightyear, Disney, Toy Story  Comments Off on PeachTree Playthings Buzz and Woody Poster – My 69 cent Treasure
Jun 202013

Buzz Lightyear and Woody PosterIt’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.  Haven’t given up on Buzz, just ran out of time in the daily grind.  Keep hoping to re-prioritize, but you know how that goes.  Today was different.  My job at the paper is full time now (as with so many things, that’s good and bad, depending) and I actually get a lunch break.  So today, went home for lunch like usual.  Made one of my favorite meals, cottage cheese with grapes and bananas.

Sat down at the computer to eat and play a little.  Then Mom came home.  She’d been out.  Running errands, shopping, just going about her usual Friday stuff.  She unlocked the door, came into the living room, walked down the hall, and when she turned the corner into our room… she had this great Buzz Lightyear and Woody poster!

Gotta love her!!!  She knows how much I enjoy Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear.  This poster is maybe 18″ x 12″, and made out of a thin plastic.  The images are form-shaped, and follow the contours of the characters.  It has some aging, and a little wear, but is in perfectly useable condition.  The art is Disney-accurate.  Correct colors, proportions, facial expressions.  It was made by Peachtree Playthings.  This was probably a promo poster for a toy display somewhere.  I’m just glad it’s mine now!

She found it at the Salvation Army for .69 cents…  I told her what’s important is not how much the poster cost, it’s how much the poster is worth.  To me, it was really awesome.  My first thought was to add it to the Buzz Lightyear display cabinet out in the exercise room.  But Monique and Mom both took note that Buzz (and Woody) will fit on the wall just behind my digital piano.  So without even having to be devious about it, I get to hang my new poster on the wall right by the Marvel PVC figurine collection!

For now, it’s just … up there.  Propped on top of the piano.  Later, I may frame or matte it.  Either way, it’s a great and unique Buzz Lightyear wall display.

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Fisher-Price Imaginext Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 Tri-County Landfill

 Buzz Lightyear, Fisher-Price, Imaginext  Comments Off on Fisher-Price Imaginext Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 Tri-County Landfill
Feb 202013

Click pic to see Amazon listing

Based on possibly the scariest scene out of all three Toy Story movies… but made cute and colorful.  Now your child has the chance to rescue Buzz Lightyear for himself.  This brightly colored playset features Buzz, Lotso, three LGM’s (little green men), a small green/red bulldozer, and some assorted play pieces.  Plus, of course, the landfill.

The art has Fisher-Price’s usual Imaginext style applied.  Buzz doesn’t have his normal looks.  He’s a bit more cartoony, and bit simpler in design.  The proportions are more exaggerated, with narrow waist and wide shoulders.  The hands and feet flare out to give him a streamlined feel.  The face is recognizable as Buzz Lightyear, but again, more cartoonish.  It’s not bad, but has a very specific “Imaginext” feel to the style.

The differences from Buzz’s normal art style will only matter if you’re a purist.  If you happen to be a child looking for a great playset, it’s perfect.  All the pieces have a friendly, childish feel to them.  All in good fun.  Given the intensity of the movie scene that inspired this set, I could see this being a good way to make that scene less frightening to the very young children.  Heck, I’m over 50 and found some of the imagery disturbing.  On a par with Woody’s nightmare of being thrown away in Toy Story 2.

This set is a reversal of my typical reviews.  Mostly I view toys with an eye to whether they’d fit my own collection, and secondarily as to what kind of actual toy they are, and how playable they might be.  The Tri-County Landfill looks far more suited to be a child’s play toy rather than a collectible.  I still like it.  Fisher-Price is a quality company, and my experiences with them have always been good.  The Imaginext line brings it’s own unique sensibilities to the table.  All in all, a very cool toy set with plenty of scope for fun and playability.

Probably won’t be adding this one to the collection.  But if I was buying for a young Toy Story fan, it would be an easy choice.

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The Worlds Most Perfect (Buzz Lightyear) Valentines Day Card

 Buzz Lightyear, Hallmark  Comments Off on The Worlds Most Perfect (Buzz Lightyear) Valentines Day Card
Feb 152013

00BuzzValentineYou’ve got to love a wife who tolerates my crazy hobbies.  Monique doesn’t just tolerate them… she encourages them!

Case in point:  My Buzz Lightyear craze.  With a bit of luck, this blog makes enough to pay for it’s own upkeep.  Which comes to about $12 per year.  I spend an inordinate amount of time building my collection, reading and writing about Buzz and Toy Story in general.  Some spouses would feel I spend too much time playing with children’s toys.  Not Monique.  She buys me Toy Story Valentines Day cards.  And Toys.  Wait till you see the Buzz Lightyear light-up helmet she got me!!!  (Sorry, not here… it’s worth a post all by itself.  Going to do a video review soon.)

Using cool Hallmark online technology, she actually customized my card.  It’s actually got my name right on the front:  “Alan, I looked all over for the perfect valentine for you…”

And of course, the punch line inside is awesome.  “But they don’t make candy hearts that say: Our love will last to infinity and beyond!”

That’s just cooler than cool.  She actually got 3 different cards for me, but the other two have nothing to do with Toy Story.  (One’s a Superman card, and the other is more like ‘normal’ people give each other – I love all three!)  But since this is a Buzz Lightyear website, that’s the card I’m showing here.

Okay, maybe you’re thinking this is just silly.  Disney and Hallmark over-marketing at it’s finest.  Too hokey for adults.  I say, we need to be kids at heart!  Sure, I can point out bad things, get cynical and depressed.  I could be a downer to all my friends and family.  And I’m human, so sometimes that happens.  But the best things in life happen when you open yourself up a bit.  Let the inner kid out, and remember what plain old, simple FUN is.  Adults have a way of messing things up.  Learn from the children.

The coolest thing about Monique is her appreciation for my childish side.  Years ago I was playing Runescape (Thanks, Josh!!) and she walked by my computer, stopped, and said “That looks like fun.”  Now, some 8 years later, she’s a player mod, we’re both maxed combat players, and some of our most fun comes during our weekly “Penguin Hunt” date night.

Another example… A couple of years ago, she wanted to do something different and unique for an anniversary.  Something together, that we could share in.  So… my answer?  I went out and bought some plastic models.  We spend the entire day building models.  Me with a Dragon that needed a repaint.  Her with a Revell Dracula model kit.  She’s come a long way from that first kit.  I usually build super-heroes, she usually builds monsters, though that’s not set in stone.  Or resin.

How many wives would be willing to do that?  I used to work at Blockbuster, and we rented a lot of games to young men.  They thought it was awesome that my wife didn’t get jealous of my games… she joined in and excelled at them!

So is she on the same page when it comes to Buzz Lightyear?  Well… no.  But that’s okay.  She has her own collections.  You should see our computer room.  The walls are full of shelves full of her Lord of the Rings collection.  Except where our model collection is.  Or my super-hero figurines are.

Getting a Buzz Lightyear valentines day card?  That just says it all.  There are many things that make us right for each other.  But the fact that we have fun together?  Too cool.

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Buzz Lightyear Toy Story Villains Figurine Playset

 Buzz Lightyear, Disney, Fisher-Price, Imaginext, Toy Story  Comments Off on Buzz Lightyear Toy Story Villains Figurine Playset
Feb 112013

I wound up opening the package after all. I know, I’m a big kid! (Click for Amazon Link)

This is a pretty unusual set for me. On more than one count. First, my collection is almost exclusively good guys. Yet here’s Buzz included  in a Villain’s set of figurines. It kind of hurts my feelings to find Buzz cast as a villain. After all, he didn’t KNOW he was joining the villains. They seemed so nice at first.

Click to see at Amazon


I typically only collect Buzz Lightyear. But when a whole set drops into my lap, and Buzz is one of the set characters, I’m not going to turn it down. Though I really tried this time. Monique and I had an opportunity to buy several random sets of Disney and Marvel characters for our eBay business. It was fully my intention to ‘be good’, and sell these.
That intention faded away when it was time to take pictures for the listings. A bird in the hand is worth more… or maybe a Buzz Lightyear in the set is worth more than an unsold listing on eBay.

The entire set contains Buzz Lightyear, Lots-O’-Huggins Bear, Big Baby, Twitch, Chunk, Stretch, and Sparks. The packaging is nice enough to display as is. No need to remove the characters from the box.

These are not toys, strictly speaking. They’re figurines. Small PVC characters, around 3.5 inches tall. No joints, no articulation, no movement. They make great display pieces. Excellent cake toppers. Decent toys. Just understand up front, they’re strictly figurines.

Quality is good. The painting is clean and simple, the colors just right for the characters. The villains are nicely represented, though of course my emphasis is on Buzz. The painting and the sculpt do a good job capturing his character. His colors lean toward ‘pastel’. I prefer bolder colors personally, but that’s just a minor note.

If you’re like me and prefer Buzz, this set might not be to your taste. But if you want a unique collection of Toy Story characters, this hits the spot. Buzz Lightyear in a villains collection. That makes it different enough to justify keeping the whole set.

Given how nicely they’re packaged, the whole set will go well as is. I may take off the top plastic bubble. Or not. It depends on whether my goal is to see them clearly, or keep dust off them.  (Edit:  I wound up opening the package to take a clearer picture.  For dust protection, I can leave the cover back on, though.)

Either way, as PVC collectible Toy Story figures, this is a great set.

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Real Life Buzz Lightyear Space Suit- NASA Tests the Z1 Prototype

 Buzz Lightyear, Costume  Comments Off on Real Life Buzz Lightyear Space Suit- NASA Tests the Z1 Prototype
Jan 122013

Life imitates art.  Sometimes with a little nudge.  I only recently found out, but NASA’s new prototype space suit, the Z1, bears a striking resemblance to my favorite space ranger…
Source credit: NASAThe Z1 is the first major revamp of our space suits since 1998, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) units. Aside from just looking cool and stylish, one of the  biggest changes  is much greater flexibility.  Plus, the suits act as their own airlock.
I can easily understand the need for flexibility, but the airlock?  That’s pretty clever.  In the current suit, the design is top/bottom, and the two halves are sealed together for air integrity.  With the Z1 prototype, there’s a big hatch in the back.  The astronauts just climb in and close the door.
Current airlock technology is reported to be slow and tiring.  (Not that I’d actually know from personal experience…)  The new systems would have the suit hung on a wall, with a hatch through the wall leading directly into the suit. My first thought was “So, they’ll be hanging the suit outside the spacecraft, like a laundry line?”  There could be all kind of risks involved!
In actuality, the suit would be stored in a small anteroom.  Once someone is wearing it, and the back hatch is closed, then they can walk outside.  Sounds a lot better than what I was thinking!
EDIT:  It turns out, the plans actually DO call for the suit to be stored outside.  The small anteroom is a simple rectangular box, sealing the outside away from the inside.  So, I guess if the suit is damaged and can’t hold pressure, the door won’t open.  Looked at from the other point of view, what if there’s a micrometeor storm, and the suit PLUS the hull are damaged?  Then you’d have no safety net.  You know in the movies, when the alarm is blaring, the ship has been holed, and everybody is rushing for their space suits?  Forget about that.  Okay, that’s movies.  In real life though, I have to wonder how vulnerable such a system is.
The suit isn’t a perfect match for Buzz Lightyear’s.  But with the green accent stripes, and the flat-pack look of the suit backpack, it does bear a striking resemblance.  Since the Z1 is a prototype space suit, there’s likely to be a Z2, Z3, and maybe more.  Whoever designed the original must have children… or a sense of whimsy.  I just hope the future versions maintain that same Buzz Lightyear feel!

Image Source: NASA

Oh… and if it ever becomes publicly available… you might see me dressed up for Halloween.  :^)

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How Many Buzz Lightyear Toys Do You Need?

 Buzz Lightyear Ornaments, Disney/Pixars Toy Story, Hallmark  Comments Off on How Many Buzz Lightyear Toys Do You Need?
Dec 032012

My favorite Buzz Lightyear ornament. Click the pic to see at Amazon!

My nephews Trevor and Chauncey were visiting yesterday.  Chauncey had seen it all before, but Trevor was entranced by my own personal ‘magic kingdom’.  I took him to my private domain in the second floor of our shed.  All my best toys are on display up there, including a home-built cabinet chock-full of my favorite space man.  He asked, “How many Buzz Lightyear toys do you need?”

I answered “More.  Always more.”

It’s the truth.  I don’t even mind duplicates.  We all have our quirks.  So what if I’m a 50-something man who’s hero is a a toy from a cartoon?  To me, he stands for something.  He believes in right and wrong, knows which side he’s on, and is quick to take action when he sees the need.  And he’s the coolest toy ever.

Monique and I sell on eBay, and I write a blog about our store and eBay in general.  This being the end of November, it seemed a good time to mention Christmas Ornaments.  One thing led to another, started talking about my Buzz and Toy Story ornaments, so of course I had to look and see what’s new in the way of Toy Story ornaments.

Turns out it’s pretty easy to find ornaments for Buzz Lightyear.  Considering I’ve only got two so far, there’s plenty of room there for expansion.  I’ve currently got the Toy Chest with Buzz, Woody, and friends in the chest and looking out.  I also have the one where Buzz and Woody are flying, like the final scene in the first Toy Story movie.  I’ll have to say, that’s probably my best ever ornament.  (And that’s saying a lot… Monique and I used to sell ornaments, we had thousands to choose from!)

I’m not much of a Christmas tree fan.  Too commercial, a ton of aggravation to set up and tear down, and it makes my allergies act up something fierce.  I’m getting all sniffly just thinking about it.  Yet, even as I grump about it, I always go along with the tree.  But I’m thinking, you know, if I had a Buzz Lightyear Christmas tree this year, and could fill it with Toy Story ornaments, that would be pretty darned awesome.  Enough to make me actually like Christmas Trees again!!

My Newest Buzz- a Hallmark Ornament!

I’ve got three ornaments now (just bought a new one last night)!  Told Mom it was going to be our tree-topper; it wouldn’t really work, he’s only 3 1/4 inches tall.  But I’m off to a good start…  surely it wouldn’t be that hard to find a tree-full by Christmas time?

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Buzz Lightyear Disney Toy Story Cupcake Stand – My Mini-Buzz Display Case

 Disney, Disney/Pixars Toy Story, party favors  Comments Off on Buzz Lightyear Disney Toy Story Cupcake Stand – My Mini-Buzz Display Case
Nov 302012

Cupcakes? What cupcakes? This is my mini-Buzz display stand! (Click the pic to see at Amazon)

The Disney Toy Story Cupcake Stand is made out of cardboard, with designs featuring my favorite spaceman and friends.  Even though Buzz Lightyear isn’t part of the official title, he’s got prominent placement through the design.

It’s true, a cupcake stand isn’t part of my normal interests, but in this case, there’s a certain space ranger that makes it fun.  Besides, you may not believe it but I actually have this!  Mom got it for my big 50-year blowout birthday party.  It did fine with cupcakes, but the real reason I have still have it is because it makes a great display stand for my smaller Buzz figures.

The stand… stands… 12 inches tall, with a bottom base of 9 inches.  As far as cupcakes go, my impression is that it’s a bit small.  I suppose smaller child’s cupcakes would work fine.  The height isn’t so bad, but you just can’t fit that many cupcakes on the platters. It worked really well as the cupcake centerpiece display, and room for the rest all around it.

Also, the stand is not extremely sturdy.  A few careless children all reaching for a cupcake, it seems highly likely someone’s going to knock some cupcakes to the floor.

Do I recommend this one?  Kind of a hard call to make.  If you’re going to use it for actual cupcakes, then I recommend you keep the cupcakes small, and the stand somewhere visible so they’ll enjoy it, but out of reach, so it won’t be knocked over.

If, like me, you want it for a display stand, then yes, I’m more comfortable recommending it.  Put it on a stable shelf somewhere, artfully pose a few Buzz Lightyear mini figures around it, and it’s a winner.

Price is where I have to draw the line though.  For a few pieces of lightweight cardboard, the current price is $7.84.  That’s marginal already.  If you have to pay shipping too, then it’s a deal-breaker.  If it was a better price, or had free shipping, I’d be happier.

What it really boils down to, is how much of a die-hard Buzz fan is it for?  If you’re doing a full Buzz/Toy Story themed party, then by all means, go for it.

You see why I’m having a hard time making the call here.  I like it… but not for cupcakes… and not at the current price.  Try Wal-Mart, if you have the option.  I’ve heard it’s less than $5.00 in-store.  That’s where Mom got mine from.

If you do get it, at least it’s got some after-the-party usefulness!


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