Disney's Toy Story Collection: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command … Space Ranger!
Yes... I Am a Fan!
The Start of My Buzz Lightyear Collection
The date was 22 November, 1995. Went to see Disney/Pixar's Toy Story the first day it came out. I've been a fan ever since. The entire movie is a wonderful experience. Watched it 3 times in the theater. Bought it when it came out. Loved the whole experience. To me, it was the perfect movie - no wasted moments, every line, every look, every scene furthered the plot. The voice actors, led by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks, were all spot on. This is a movie that never bores me.
Toy Story 2… saw it 7 times in the theater. When 1 and 2 came out as a 3-d double feature, I was there. Toy Story 3? Yep… only twice though, just didn't have enough time to go back before it was gone. Own the first 2 movies on dvd. I'll buy TS3 when it's released.
Oh, the caricature to the side? Glenn drew that for my 50th birthday. He and Monique snuck an end run and totally surprised me. Wow, he really did a great job!
Buzz Lightyear - The Ultimate Toy
All this to say, I admire, enjoy, and respect everything about the 3 movies. Each was great in it's own right, but together the 3 create an even stronger story arc. It's rare to find sequels that actually improve a story! But… all that said… The greatest toy ever, for me, is Buzz Lightyear!
From the moment Sheriff Woody saw Buzz standing in HIS place on Andy's bed, I knew Buzz was the ultimate toy. (I guess it's only fitting, then, that there have been at least 2 "Ultimate" Buzz Lightyear toys.) Even Woody had to admit it… "Buzz, you've got wings! You glow in the dark! You talk! Your helmet does that whoosh thing! You are a cool toy!... What chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure?"
My collection - the first Buzz
Well, Woody is right. Buzz is the coolest. I've told Monique I want my gravestone to read "To Infinity... and Beyond!"
As a big kid that never grew up (Monique says my son is more grownup than I am!) collecting Buzz figures is right in character. My first one was the full-size (around 12 inches) original Buzz Lightyear action toy. A friend of mine had bought 2. When I did a rather large and risky favor for him, his wife put him on the spot to give me one. Since the figures were already all sold out, this was the only way I could have gotten my hands on one of the first ones. Pure luck, right time, right place… willing to climb tall trees with saw and rope in hand.
Around that same time, the cereal prize Buzz came out. I managed to get at least one of those. And the Burger King Buzz. Ever since then, I've either bought them for myself, or friends and family added to my collection.
The Original Ultimate!
The Original Ultimate Buzz Lightyear
One of my all-time favorites, the first Ultimate Buzz Lightyear, is really amazing. He was originally a Christmas gift that gave himself away. When someone picked the package up, still in Christmas wrapping, he announced "I am BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!" Talk about gadgets. He has multiple position sensors so he knows what direction you're holding him, and says things that are appropriate. I nearly fell out of my chair the first time I swooped him upside down in a steep dive - and he screamed "The feet!! The feet!! Always land on The feet!!" He knows when you put him down, pick him up, open and close his visor, or trigger his wings. Easily the most versatile Buzz I've got.
About a year ago, he fell from his stand, shattered his helmet, and broke his head completely. I was devastated. Ultimate Buzz Lightyear is way too complicated to just glue the head back on. All the sensors needed the head to move to trigger the right sayings. So, with huge regret, I retired him. I figured, as the coolest version of the coolest toy ever, it would be easy to order another one. Boy, was I wrong! It was like they'd never been made. I couldn't find any for sale, not even any reference to them ever being made. So, it was Monique to the rescue. She found one on eBay all the way over in England. The bidding was up to $76.00, and shipping overseas was probably $30.00. Did that stop her? No! She knew this was my favorite Buzz, so she stepped up and won that auction, paid the overseas shipping, and bought me a nearly new Ultimate Buzz Lightyear!
My Next Buzz Lightyear!
There's a wonderful detailed review on Amazon. Click this link to read it.
Thorough (long) review-spoilers if you like discovering his abilities for yourself
The New, Improved, UPGRADED Ultimate Buzz Lightyear
That made me really happy. Most of my collection goes on display all in the same place. I only keep 2 Buzz figures actually out by my computer desk… and he's one of them. But I keep him where he's safe from unexpected falls.
At least it looks like
he's back in production again... in an upgraded model with even MORE features! (See Amazon link to the side.) The new one is not quite the same, for the most part seems to be a major improvement. (Though mine has a few features not found on this new one.) This one aims high... to be as exactly like the first movie Buzz as possible. I think they come remarkably close.
If anybody's wondering, he's high on my wish list. (Hint, hint, Monique - I love you!)
UPDATE: I GOT HIM!! Actually, I got the newest one - to read about him in detail, click here:
I really enjoy all of my Buzz figures, even the duplicates. Each has his own special charm. My smallest is a VERY tiny metal one that came direct from the Disney Store. One of my best friends ever brought him back from a trip.
For years, he stayed in his box, which was a neat little Hexagon with a picture on the inside. It made a very good display right in the box. But then I traded cars, and decided to put a Buzz on the dash to keep me company. 'Tiny' Buzz was perfect. Very small, yet high quality. I put him on a small piece of velcro, and he's kept me company on the road ever since.
Best Friends Get Buzzed
Best Friends Love Buzz Lightyear Too
Then there's the Hallmark Ornament Toy Story Toy Chest, with Woody, Buzz, and Rex sitting in it. That was a gift from the same best friend, and her husband, who happens to be my other best friend. (My two best friends married each other… how perfect is that?)
By the way… he's a big
kid too… here you see him with a 'loaner' Buzz Lightyear. This was during my 50th birthday party, just hanging around.
Love the Reflective Look
There's a smaller Buzz done up in reflective silver, and a full-size one as well. Both stand out in the overall collection because of their coloration. I love their look!
While Buzz's original color scheme is excellent, there's something about an all chrome/mirrored uniform that just seems more high-tech. Kind of like Iron Man having different armors for different purposes, though I've got no idea what he'd need this one for. Maybe stealth - makes him invisible by mirroring his surroundings?
These two were unusual for me in that they were not gifts. Both of these struck me as different enough that they might quickly become unavailable forever, like the original release from the first movie installment. So I snatched them up the instant I found them.
The Compact Models
Toy Story 3
Smaller, but still fun
Some of the smaller Buzzes have different gimmicks. Several keychains, some with lights, some not. One where the wings fold down, and snap open sideways. Another that's a wind-up, 'walking' Buzz. He actually looks pretty clunky, but I still like him. Some of my newest Buzzes came from Buddy Packs, that included other figures as well. While I don't collect the others, I do have a few. Most notably a Toy Story 3 Woody the Sheriff action figure. (Toy Story 3 Buzz and Woody figures both given to me by still another great friend in my circle of friends - who's always been there for me!)
Catching a Wave
Surfing Buzz... Way Cool, Dude!
A very unique Buzz Lightyear is Surfing Buzz.
Again, he was a gift direct from the Disney Store by a cousin I grew up with, also right up there in my circle of best friends.
this Buzz Lightyear is classified as a 'bobblehead', but the spring is in his
waist, and he's riding a surfboard. So
any motion looks like he's balancing on his board. The art design is very in character, with a
very clean sweep for his stance. Makes it unique, not based on any movie scene, yet totally in keeping with how I can imagine Buzz.
Nobody gets by on MY watch
Dedicated protector - The Room Guard
Among the more complex full-sized ones, there's Room Guard Buzz. He's pretty cool, but takes his job very seriously. Takes no prisoners. I try not to set him off, because I've lost the password and he's very quick to fire his laser. Little ones can sleep safe on his watch. Just don't lose the password.
An aside here, Room Guard Buzz can be separated from his base. He can even be reattached to it from his back, so the base can be mounted on a wall. Now you've got a FLYING Room Guard Buzz.
Yard Sale Buzz
The Unknown Buzz
Then there's the
Buzz I affectionately refer to as 'Yard Sale' Buzz. He was bought in a yard sale. Missing his wings, a bit scuffed up. He was the Buzz we let other kids play
with. I don't know which Buzz he really
is, but since he has the anti-gravity belt from Toy Story 2, was probably
released with TS2. I felt bad for him, so he's recently been upgraded from 'visiting kids playtoy', to 'member of the collection'. Now he's on display with the others.
Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot - The Commercial
Ultimate Programmable Robot Buzz
Click on the Amazon link here to read all the glowing reviews for this spectacular Buzz Lightyear!
The Big Guy
Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot
Now for the big guy… the latest and greatest... Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot! This fellow stands head and shoulders above all the other Buzz action figures. Literally. He's about 17 inches tall, compared to the normal 12" full-sized ones. He's properly licensed, of course, but made by Thinkway Toys. In addition to being big, he's heavy. This Buzz weighs in at nearly 5 pounds!
Let me lead off by saying he's a serious battery hog. I wish he really did use crystallic fusion - he takes 3 AAA batteries in the chest… 4 AA batteries in EACH LEG! And 3 AA's in the remote control. Yes, there's a remote. There's a reason he needs so much power… he walks, and moves in many different ways. And shoving that 5 pounds around takes a lot of energy.
Nearly 5 Pounds!!
20 pages of instructions
Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot comes with a 20-page full color instruction book. He walks, moves his arms, face, and head, and talks in original voice (I assume this means Tim Allen's voice, it sure sounds like him!) There are two operating modes; in one, he thinks he's a REAL Space Ranger, and responds to everything accordingly. In the other mode, he knows he's a toy, and his responses are all based on that instead.
He speaks over 100
different sayings, and recognizes 6 voice commands (with different responses depending on which
mode he's in.) Powered by 7 motors,
using micro-chip processor and multiple sensors, the Ultimate Buzz Lightyear
Programmable Robot can do everything I've already mentioned, plus turn, salute,
fire his laser, and talk to his communicator.
When he talks, his eyes move and blink, and his mouth moves by flexing
the soft plastic of his face. It's
pretty amazing to see. Many Buzz figures are electronic, but he goes way beyond... as a matter of fact, "To Infinity and Beyond!"
Great Review of Ultimate Programmable Robot Buzz Lightyear
Remote control and Speech Recognition
You don't even have to get up to play with this Buzz. The infrared remote control operates up to 20 feet, and has 15 functions. Make him walk forward, backward, turn right and left. (He's a little challenged when it comes to turning… it takes him a while, and a pretty wide radius.) You can also use the remote to play an interactive shooting game with Buzz. Be warned, though- he's good, and doesn't take it easy on you!
Buzz has a level sensor, so if he falls over, he asks for help. When in puppeteering mode, his sensors record how you move him, for later playback. Plus there's a touch sensor in his right palm for 'gimme 5' action.
Speech recognition allows him to respond to specific keywords, depending on his mode - Space Ranger, or Toy. At times, his responses are nearly spooky… if not downright risqué. A friend walked into the room, saw him, and said "What a cool toy!" He responded to her- a little TOO enthusiastically, I thought - by saying "You look like a pretty cool toy yourself!"
Large and In Charge
In programming mode, he has a 64-step memory. He will record when you move his head, body, arms, and legs, plus speech and sound effects. When you press playback, Buzz will repeat all the commands you gave him.
Interactive game mode allows you to have a shootout with Buzz, but as I warned you, he's a very good shot- and hates losing.
Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot has the distinction of being the most sophisticated Buzz action figure ever. As far as I know, he's also the largest and heaviest production Buzz Lightyear ever made. He was a birthday gift from my son and daughter-in-law. They truly outdid themselves with him. Opening that gift up was seriously spectacular!
Never too old to play
To Infinity, and Beyond!
Falling With Style
I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my Buzz collection. If you collect Buzz as well, I'd love to see some pics of your collection. And if you don't collect, maybe this will get you started. After all, as Woody says, Buzz is not only a cool toy, he's 'too cool'! He's an inspiration for me -- Maybe I can't fly either, but I can always manage "Falling With Style!"
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Toys
Update: I recently decided to take my hobby to the next level. I started my own Buzz Lightyear Review site, where I post toys, collections, pictures, and generally anything to do with Buzz that catches my fancy. It'll take time to build into a nice site, but I'm enjoying it. If you're interested in related toys, reviews, and Buzz in general, click below and visit me:
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