Buzz Lightyear (Disney Pixar Collection)
The Toy Story movies are great. Each one of them provides imaginative adventures and in passing takes a good look into some fairly deep aspects about life and what it means to grow up. Given the subject matter, it only makes sense for the toys seen on screen to be made into real objects so they can be merchandised.
This fact is not only acknowledged by current license holder Mattel, but was also exploited to it’s shameless extreme as part of the merchandising push for Toy Story 3.
Mattel decided to offer a line catering to adult collectors and labeled it as Disney Pixar Collection. These figures come packaged in fairly nice boxes with red metallic foil panels and conceptual art gracing the back and the inside of the box.
The figures are prominently displayed in a collector-friendly plastic tray and can be taken out and put back into the package without problems. Apparently fancy packaging allows Mattel to charge a premium for figures that are not necessarily as high quality – or as well designed – as the price tag would lead you to believe.
However, there are jewels in this line that strive to deserve the higher price point, and one such a figure is this version of Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear. This very same figure was actually released in 2008 as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive in a package that closely resembled the one seen in the movies shaped like a spaceship.
The currently available figure is the exact same mold though. For starters, this is an excellent representation of a shrunk down Buzz Lightyear toy and it manages to retain most of the articulation one would expect:
• Swivel neck. It can rotate completely, although the helmet dome makes it something of a chore to do so.
• Peg & hinge shoulders. Excellent motion range all around.
• Double peg & hinge elbows. These bend effortlessly over 90° and provide swiveling both above and below the hinge joint.
• Swivel wrists. Kind of redundant given the lower swivel peg on the elbows, but very welcome to have.
• Swivel torso. Free 360° swivel.
• Double peg & hinge knees. Similar to the elbows, these have excellent bending range and the pegs provide for swivel both above and below the knee hinge.
- The ankles are not articulated, but seriously, the lower leg swivel provided by the knee joint can handle the sideways rotation easily, so only the foot tilt action is actually missing; However, Buzz Lightyear still has an amazing range of poses and can stand unassisted even on one foot.
Buzz comes with no accessories whatsoever, which makes the packaging seem rather empty and slighty wasteful, but he does have a neat action feature in the movable face-shield on his helmet. You have to move it by hand, of course, but it still makes for a fun toy.
Buzz has his left hand sculpted in a deceitfully neutral griping pose that allows the use of any accessories you may have laying around but his right hand is sculpted as a closed fist and is bent at the wrist in a way that makes it only really good for a small number of poses.
Buzz is molded in white, with bright block colors applied over the unprimed plastic. The paint apps are strictly mass-market quality, meaning they are not horrible, but there are some slight missteps and a couple errant purple paint splotches on my sample. There are also some decals applied for details that would be too tricky to do in paint, like the black and yellow warning on the right arm or the Space Ranger shield on his chest.
Definitely the best part of the paintjob is the face, which serves as the focal point for the figure. The head is molded in purple plastic with the skin painted over, but in addition to the great sculpt, Mattel managed to add a slight dash of color to the cheeks, effectively bringing the character to life in a very subtle way. The face detail is finished with neatly painted eyes and there is even the tiny trademark Buzz Lightyear chin swirl.
Overall this is a really satisfying figure to have, and the fact that I got it at a discount only sweetens the deal even though I think this particular Buzz Lightyear figure is well worth full MSRP, which is something that can’t be said about some other figures in this line.