SMALL FRY Buzz Lightyear and Zurg Action Figures

Just when I think I have found every version of Buzz Lightyear I could possibly find, another one appears on a store shelf. This time it’s Mini-Buzz from the Pixar Short, Small Fry:

Small Fry Title Card

Here is the condensed synopsis: At a fast-food chicken restaurant called Poultry Palace,  Mini-Buzz Lightyear complains that he will never be played with because he’s just a display toy. Mini-Zurg (who actually prefers to stay) wants nothing to do with any attempt to change the way things are.

Small Fry Display

Bonnie is playing with the real Buzz in a ball pit when Mini-Buzz secretly climbs in and pulls the real Buzz underneath the balls so that Bonnie ends up picking up Mini-Buzz when she leaves the restaurant. Once Mini-Buzz gets home, he explains to the other toys that the balls in the ball pit shrunk him, and proceeds to generally annoy the whole gang.

Small Fry Confrontation

In the end, the real Buzz makes his way home, where his friends have already subdued the annoying Mini-Buzz.

Small Fry Buzz and Buzz

He is returned to the restaurant and all is back to ‘normal’. Of course, lots of other stuff happens along the way!

The Toy Story franchise has teased us with many toys within the movies, especially Toy Story 2, that you just can’t buy in the real world. So it was thrilling (yes, I’m that big of a Nerd) to find these fictitious fast-food toys in my local Toys-R-Us!

Small Fry Toy Set

2.5″ of Fun!

I love my full-sized Buzz Lightyear action figures (yes, I have more than one, and yes, I’m still that big of a Nerd) but I just can’t resist these little versions! They came in a companion pack:

Small Fry Package FrontSmall Fry Package Back

Let’s look at Buzz first:

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Small Fry Mini Buzz Posed

And He’s Posable, Too!

Now let’s have a look at Emperor Zurg:

Small Fry Zurg Front

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Only His Arms are Posable

So these guys may be Small Fry, but are they awesome, or what?

Now we all know that Buzz Lightyear is a Space Ranger (at least, I think that’s the term we’re looking for). But would you like to meet The Original Space Ranger? Just click the link!

Anna from FROZEN Disney Infinity Figure

The Disney Infinity gaming system is no more but merchandise from the line is still lingering on store shelves. Drastic price reductions makes filling out your 1.0/2.0/3.0 play pieces easier on the pocket book, restricted only by the remaining stock. I just picked up the last Anna 1.0 figure (from FROZEN) at my local Toys-R-Us.

Anna Figure Front

Ready for Action!

I am on record for really hating the Disney movie, FROZEN. It failed on so many levels, but the one shining light that broke through the disappointment was the character of Anna! Rather than making a fuss over The Snow Queen, Elsa, I believe Anna to be the one true hero of the movie and the one that should be looked to as a role model.

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Packaging

Elsa may have the cool powers, but it’s Anna who has the responsible, loving, go-getting attitude that should be admired.

Anna Figure Side left

Rope at the Ready

Actually, Anna does have a ‘power’ in the Disney Infinity universe. Her climbing hook conquers heights and helps her swing past danger.

Anna Figure Back

Practical Hair Braid

I love the detail of Anna’s costume. The little flowers around her skirt are beautiful!

Anna Figure Side right

What’s in the Bag?

Nice detailing on the boots, too! Each Disney Infinity play piece is mounted on a base, usually specific to the character. Here, Anna is standing on a snow flake.

Each figure comes with a card with a code to unlock on-line extras:

Anna Figure Card

Code on Back

I haven’t checked, but one may assume that such codes are useless now that Disney has abandoned the franchise.

So are/were you a Disney Infinity fan? How do you feel about Disney’s decision to discontinue the gaming system after only three years?

For more gaming figures, see Yoda and Han Solo, Darth Vader and Baloo, and my picks for Disney’s Top 5 Worst Decisions, which includes ending the Disney Infinity gaming system.

Beta Baymax 6″ Action Figure by Bandai

We first met our Personal Healthcare Provider in his big, white, marshmallow form. Later, during the action sequences of the film, Big Hero 6, we saw him in his red Battle Suit. But in-between these variations was the Beta Baymax, or blue suit, Baymax:

Beta Baymax Front

Out of Shape, but Ready!

This suit, along with his new Karate skills, proved to be insufficient to overcome the villain. So a new and improved version was needed. It is that version that saved the day!

But I really like the Beta Baymax version:

Beta Baymax Package FrontBeta Baymax Package Back

Packaging

This great action figure was brought to us by the Bandai America toy company. They have created an entire line of Big Hero 6 toys that you can check out here.

Bandai was founded in 1950. In the 1960s Bandai expanded to include export sales. Since the 1980s, Bandai has become the leading toy company of Japan, and to this day, has the main toy licenses in Japan to popular properties including The Power Rangers.

Beta Baymax Back

Big Hero 6 is the fifty-fourth film in the Disney Animated Canon and the sixth film in the so-called Disney Revival era. It was the first Disney animated feature film to star characters from Marvel Entertainment, which Disney acquired in 2009.

The film was released on November 7th, 2014 in the US and Canada.

Beta Baymax Profile

Beta Baymax is 6″ tall and has limited posability. His head swivels, his arms raise and bend:

Beta Baymax Posable 1Beta Baymax Posable 2

Feel the Power!

COOL FACTS:

  • This is only the seventh non-musical animated film in the Disney animated canon, following The Black Cauldron, The Rescuers Down Under, Dinosaur, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, and Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Big Hero 6 is the first Walt Disney Animation feature film to be inspired by a comic book series (of the same name) as opposed to a traditional fairy-tale, fictional book or an entirely original concept.
  • According to Big Hero 6‘s character design supervisor, Jin Kim, one of the main goals of this movie was to introduce multiracial characters to allow everyone to feel some familiarities about their own culture and introduce the world’s racial diversity.
    • Hiro Hamada and Tadashi Hamada are Japanese-American.
    • Go Go Tomago is Korean.
    • Honey Lemon is Latina.
    • Wasabi is African-American.
    • Fred is Caucasian.

I feel much safer now that Beta Baymax is guarding my home!

Collecting Toys Magazine: February 1996 Issue

1996 Nostalgia. Who can resist it? We are ready again to revisit the days of our youth and remember the carefree days when the worst problem we faced was which toy to play with! In this post you will find another issue of Collecting Toys Magazine.

I was reunited with more of my old toys as I turned the pages of this issue of Collecting Toys:

Toys Cover 96

Slot Cars Rule!

Let’s have a look at some of the contents of this issue from 1996:

Toys New Stuff

What’s New?

From an Extreme G.I. Joe action figure to the superhero The Tick, 1996 was ready to kick some serious butt! And there were diecast model cars, too!

Toys Bond

Bond. James Bond.

“No, Mister Bond. I expect you to DIE!” Sorry, I just had to add one of my favorite Bond villain quotes from the Sean Connery days (bonus points if you know the Bond film this is from). Although I have to say that Pierce Brosnan is probably my second-favorite Bond! And he was trending in 1996.

Toys Action Figures

Action Figures

Don’t call them ‘dolls’ or Batman will beat you up! I had a few characters from this line, but I remember Spiderman the most. I also had The Lone Ranger and Tonto and Evel Knievel, complete with stunt bike! Man, I miss those toys.

And if you feel boys can play with dolls, not just action figures, check out this newer product called the Wonder Crew that I reviewed from the Chicago Toy Fair.

Toys Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

I had dozens of the traditional green toy soldiers but had never seen these Blue and the Gray versions. Must have been an American thing.

Toys Show

Antique Toy Show

Toy shows and Antique fairs are amazing places to visit! I zeroed in on this one because of the monster in the bottom right corner. We have Super 8 footage of this guy rolling around our living room back when my sister and I were quite young. This battery-operated toy was the Great Garloo by Marx and measured in at a whopping 23″ tall! The 1960’s were all about the science fiction monsters.

Toys Zoo

Zoo. In. Spaaaaaaaaaace!

Where else would you put a zoo that had metal animals? Think this sparking dog is weird? Just try to imagine the whale and the elephant!

So there we have a look back into the toys of our past. I hope you enjoyed some nostalgic moments!

Rocketeer Bend-Em Figure from JusToys

The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film from Walt Disney Pictures. It starred Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton. The film is based upon the character of the same name created by comic book artist and writer Dave Stevens. Don’t be ashamed if you’re a Disney fan but don’t remember it! It was good but didn’t rock the world at the time of its release.

Set in 1938 Los Angeles, California, The Rocketeer tells the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who discovers a rocket-powered jet pack that enables him to fly without an aircraft. His heroic deeds soon attract the attention of Howard Hughes and the FBI, who are hunting for the missing jet pack, as well as Nazi operatives. I was hooked at ‘jet pack’!

So naturally I’ve tried to collect whatever memorabilia I can depicting this great character. And I’ve just recently added another piece to my collection:

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Thank you Just Toys!

This is another rescue from an Antique Mall in Michigan. It is complete in its original packaging and has only a little bit of damage caused by the price tag.

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Dynamic Packaging

I will be leaving this little guy in his package prison because I think it makes for a better display that way.

For more on the Rocketeer, check out my post on the Comic Book, and to see what else I own, please read the earlier post showing a Tin Sign which features our vintage superhero. Wonder what the movie was like? Read my review!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Wonder Crew

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Dolls for boys. This is a statement that might cause some (men) to wonder. After all, aren’t dolls for girls? Well, consider this: has your son ever borrowed his sister’s dolls to play out some action scenario or other? Probably. But every ‘doll’ made for boys is called an ‘action figure’ and comes in smaller sizes, usually under 12″ tall. But why can’t boys have bigger ‘action figures’ to play with? Now they can with the Wonder Crew, Adventure Through Friendship! line of toys:

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This is a brand new line of dolls that will soon be available in Target stores throughout the U.S. with plans for a Toys-R-Us launch later on, perhaps in Canada as well.

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Unmasked!

This line comes in four different ethnicities: Caucasian; African-American; Oriental; and East Indian (or perhaps Latino, I can’t quite remember). They only had the two versions shown above at the Toy Fair.

Crewmates combine the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of the favorite stuffed animal.

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Striking a heroic pose!

Studies show that strong relationships and the ability to connect emotionally are key to happiness, health and even career success. Yet toys that encourage friendship and empathy are largely marketed to girls – sending the message to many boys that this kind of play is not for them.

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Suit up!

Included with each Crewmate is a child-sized matching piece of adventure gear. When children suit up alongside their Crewmate, this not only adds to the crew-like vibe, but also deepens the imaginative play experience.

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Nice packaging and detailing

We only saw examples of the superhero crew members, but eventually boys (and girls too) will be able to choose other adventure buddies, such as a rock star, a builder, a dinosaur guy, and a dreamer.

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Crewmates are for the kind, cool and creative child – that’s what it takes to live the company’s motto: “Go anywhere. Be anything”. If you’d like to go somewhere and do something, why not click on over to their official website for more information and a few videos, as well as a further link to their blog.

I wasn’t given a Wonder Crew buddy for this review. My wife says I’m too old to play with dolls.

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Star Wars 501st Legion

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

The Force was with us this past Saturday as we attended the Chicago Toy & Game Fair as members of the Media. We were primarily there to review new products being offered by toy and game inventors, but we’re not above having a little fun while we work! And nor, apparently, are these guys from the Star Wars 501st Legion:

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Members of the Star Wars 501st Legion were on hand for a Star Wars luncheon and to pose with anyone who wanted to risk the wrath of the Emperor! My wife, above, took that risk.

And look who else was patrolling the perimeter:

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Adorable… but deadly!

And some pretty shady characters were also lurking about…

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… and he wasn’t alone…

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Along with the cosplayers were displays of Star Wars memorabilia…

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If you look closely at the table pictured above, you’ll find a guide on how to build your own costumes with costing included.

And of course I scored a little swag in the form of these trading cards:

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The booth for the Star Wars 501st Legion was quite impressive with several backdrops that people could use for photo ops. One was especially cool:

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My Wife: Action Figure

I’m not sure which Star Wars movie she was in, but I suspect it was one of the prequels. First Jar Jar Binks, and now this! Oh why, George? However, this is the rare MIB Star Wars Action Figure you’re looking for!

One last picture:

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Ho Hum. Just another shift on guard duty!

I’d like to thank the members of the Star Wars 501st Legion for being at the fair and for adding some much-needed respite in the middle of a very busy event! You can check out the Star Wars 501st Legion on their official website.

I was not required to join the Dark Side for the purpose of this review

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Disney Store Elite Series: R2-D2

We’re back in the die-cast business again today as we check out a beloved character from the Star Wars series of movies. I’m a ‘original three’ fan (Star Wars fans know what that means) and was guardedly optimistic when I heard that Disney would be chartering the course for future installments in the franchise. But with Star Wars: The Force Awakens I was able to put my fears to rest!

But through all the ups and downs of this blockbuster mega-hit has been the little droid with heart, R2-D2:

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Star Wars Elite Series Die-Cast Action Figure

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There is a whole line of Star Wars characters in this series exclusively at The Disney Store. The packaging is very well done and I considered leaving the little astromech droid in his paper pod. Usually a collectible figure will retain a higher value if left in its original packaging but here’s why I released him.

With the crash of the collectibles market in 1986 prices have plummeted. In or out of a box these items just aren’t selling like they used to. Add to that the tendency for companies like Disney to release ‘collectible’ toys in ridiculously high production numbers and you can see why there is no point preserving (M.I.B.) or collecting multiples of this line.

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That all said, I recommend picking up some of these excellent action figures! The R2-D2 example is very well done with a commendable level of detail. His side arms allow him to pivot forward and backwards and his center ‘foot’ pivots as well.

He can also do a balancing act:

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What I was disappointed in was that his head does not swivel. Being a solid lump of die-cast metal though I guess I can understand that it would have been hard to achieve this. But it would have taken this action figure from excellent to awesome!

The benefit of un-boxing the little guy is that he comes with a display plate that you can use to show off your resourceful droid:

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This line of action figures retails at $26.95 US or $33.95 CAN but I was able to get mine on sale (already) for just $18.00 CAN.

So will you be adding one of these action figures to a display cabinet in your living room?

Big Hero 6: Inflatable Action Hero

If you could design a hero, what would you start with? An inflatable marshmellow-like medical robot with a kindly disposition? Me too! And as luck would have it, Disney thought this would make a good premise for a movie, and so we have Baymax. Of course, Marvel Comics thought it would make a good comic book first, so it seems that we all agree on the formula.

Big Hero 6 008

Haturday Luncheon 006     Haturday Luncheon 007

So, this is what I started with

I picked up my basic Baymax at Toys-R-Us for under $20 and was ready to build him into the world’s coolest super hero since Buzz Lightyear! And this is what I ended up with:

Big Hero 6 002

Haturday Luncheon 002 Haturday Luncheon 003

OK, well maybe I had a little more help from Toys-R-Us

I haven’t geeked out over a toy so much since I got my original Buzz Lightyear action figure. This deluxe Flying Baymax is just too cool! He’s huge, has pop-up wings, sounds, a rocket punch hand, and… he makes flying noises when you run around the room with him. At least… that’s what the box says.

Big Hero 6 001 Big Hero 6 007

Hiro even sticks on the back using magnets

Even before I got these guys out of the box, I was at my local Chapters book store and found this wonderful Art Of book:

Big Hero 6 009

Priced at $40 US/Can I was waffling as to whether or not I would buy this until a sales associate walked up with a special one-day 25% off coupon. It now sits on my book shelf. It would be impossible to cover all that is in this book, but obviously it has many concept sketches and information on how the film was developed. If you’re a Big Hero 6 fan you need to pick this up.

If you do, you’ll be able to see just how Baymax is put together:

Big Hero 6 014

Enjoy this sneak peek!

So are you hoping to revisit San Fransokyo when Big Hero 6 comes out on DVD/Blu-ray next year? Me too! But until then, I have my toys to play with and a book to read.

Muppets – Invisible Fozzie Bear

Guest Contributor: Nick Maglio

I found this “Invisible Spray” Fozzie, as seen in “Muppets From Space”, at the Columbus Flea Market.

 Exclusive to the 2002 San Diego Comic Con

I actually have a majority of the figures pictured here

I paid $10, which is on the lower end price-wise, compared to what I’ve seen them go for on auction sites.