As a collector of toys I go through a lot of phases. I’m not like a lot of collectors who just lock themselves into one thing. To me, the hobby as a whole is a slippery slope. I started buying a couple figures and before long I ended up with so much junk I don’t even know why I bought half of it. With these strange whims, comes new items, which brings us to today’s review: Buzz Lightyear.

I really like Toy Story. It’s my favorite Pixar film, just narrowly beating out Finding Nemo. Although I love the film, I’ve still never gotten around to seeing the sequel. So I guess that about sums up my Toy Story fandom. Up to this point I’ve never bought anything related to Toy Story, but if I flip through the TV channels and the original Toy Story is on, chances are I’ll finish watching it.

I decided I wanted to buy a Buzz Lightyear rather randomly, but it came upon me that Buzz Lightyear is cool. In the film he’s sort of the ideal toy, Space Ranger, rocket pack, laser blasts… Who wouldn’t want that toy? The character himself was great as Tim Allen voiced him as a somewhat pompus goofball who eventually learns the dark secrets of his own mortality and finds friendship along the way.

Buzz Lightyear is a Space Ranger who goes on intergalactic adventures through the cosmos. The original film didn’t explain too much but gave us enough of a premise. Buzz Lightyear is basically Flash Gordon meets Iron Man. This guy is a badass, no two ways about it.

The second film led to the creating of the TV Show, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, which was a fictional TV show in the film that became a REAL show afterwards. Much like Buzz, who was a fictional movie toy that became a real toy. Buzz has even REALLY been in space, as NASA took a Lightyear along with them on a mission a while back.

Since I decided literally this week that I wanted a Buzz, I figured I’d head out and get one of Hasbro’s Toys Story & Beyond Star Squad Buzz Lightyears… However as it turns out Hasbro has just lost the license to Toy Story and it’s now Mattel’s turn to make Toy Story toys. Finding a Hasbro Star Squad Buzz turned out to be pretty hard, so I asked around on Fwoosh to see if I could find out what is the best “Buzz”…

Most people directed me to the original 12 inch Buzz Lightyear that was produced by Thinkway Toys and has been in constant re-release since the original film. Subsequent versions have been made as well by both Hasbro and Mattel that are similar to that original release.

I opted to head to the local Disney Store to see what they had to offer because I didn’t necessarily want the 12 Inch Buzz Lightyear. I wanted something smaller and I found this figure simply called “Ultimate Buzz Lightyear” at the Disney Store.

The package is very strange as this figure has no markings to identify who made him. If I had to take a guess I’d say Thinkway, but I can’t confirm. Everyone makes or has made a Buzz Lightyear it seems. Even Lanard made some Buzz toys. The package is a standard bubble card and it looks okay but all of them were pretty banged up in the store.

Inside he has tons of twist ties holding him in. They’re both sturdy, tied tight and annoying. This is one of those instances where it feels like overkill. That said, these packages were beat to hell and Buzz is in mint condition entirely thanks to the twist ties. So I guess I’m thankful for them.

Looking at Buzz in the package I wasn’t sure what sort of articulation he was going to have. I knew he’d have some movement, but what exactly I wasn’t sure. The back of the package advertises him as a multi-poseable figure and I could tell he had some hinges and cuts so I went with it.

He has a surprisingly large amount of articulation. Buzz’s helmet opens and closes (But has nothing to keep it closed so you’ll have to either deal with it flopping open or tape it shut) and his head is a basic cut. He then has ball jointed shoulders with a hinge in the center, a ball joint and hinge at the elbow which allows swiveling, cut waist, some sort of ball joint at the leg that works more like a t-crotch than a ball joint, hinged ball joint knees that allow swivel.

At just about 5 inches or so this guy has a lot of articulation. I don’t want to say he’s the most articulated Buzz Lightyear at this scale, because I haven’t gotten my hands on some of the others… But he’s got to be up there. Another point is that he has no “action” mechanisms. Meaning this is a fully poseable figure, no karate chopping action.

When I sought out Buzz, I was willing to buy one that just sort of looked like him. However this Buzz Lightyear is IDENTICAL to his Toy Story movie counterpart. Head to toe he is 100% accurate. He has all the buttons on his chest and even has his laser light arm. None of the buttons do anything, but they are sculpted in. You just can’t push them.

Serious attention to detail was paid. He eveb has the piece on his arm to flip open his wrist communicator, but it does not flip open. You can just see the little lip that is supposed to be where it would open. It’s minor stuff, but man it really shows that whomever made this toy deserves a lot of credit. Even if they apparently don’t want it, because much like the package, no identifying marks are on this toy.

Paint wise he seems to be 100% screen accurate as well, although I didn’t go over him with a fine tooth comb. He has all the original logos, including the Space Ranger emblem on his arm and chest. All of the paint work is really clean on mine. As good if not better than any other mass market toyline out there and quite better than some.

“Greetings my pointy headed friend!”

He has neither fists or completely open hands. This was a pleasant surprise to me. Most Buzz figures have karate chop hands, which look nice but I need my Buzz able to throw a punch. This Buzz can punch, chop and grab. His hand could be closed a wee bit more and he’d be perfect in that respect, but as is he’s quite good.

Buzz comes with several accessories that help make this guy ace. First he has clip on wings. During my search for a Buzz I read a lot of online reviews of other Buzz figures that mentioned the wings specifically as a weak spot. They popped off too easy, didn’t work. A lot of Buzz figures don’t even come with wings! This guy’s snap on wings fit nicely into the backpack and look very screen accurate and work like a charm. Want him with wings? Pop them in. Don’t want wings? Pop em out. It might not be as fancy as the real Buzz, but it certainly works well.

He also includes a bonus alien figure. I’m not sure if these guys ever got a name other than “Little Green Men” or “martians” but the one included with him looks nice. I’d say he’s a little off model, but not much. He looks as good as any of the other versions I’ve seen passed around and most toy lines force you to buy this little guy separate. He has no points of articulation, but is painted nice.

He also includes a Space Ranger official utility belt with grapping hook. I don’t believe Buzz had this in the first movie, so I can’t confirm if it’s on model or not but it looks good compared to some of the other Buzzes I’ve seen with this just painted on. The belt is made of rubber like the old Ninja Turtle belts and fastens about the same way.

I couldn’t get the belt to fasten great, but he looks pretty cool with it on. The belt has a few paint aps as does the “grappling hook” which I guess is fancy Space Ranger-talk for boomerang. If you throw a boomerang in space would it come back to you? I bet this one does… If not it has a rope tied to it!

Additional Notes:
I was surprised how much I liked Buzz. I didn’t collect toys when the Toy Story craze came around. While one of my cousins who I have a huge age gap with (He’s more like a nephew) was big into Buzz and had several of the toys, I never bothered. I’ve played with plenty of Buzz figures with the kids, but this one is really excellent.

He’s made of hard plastic and rubber, so I imagine kids would likely tear this guy up. However for slightly older kids, 6-10 I think he’d be great. For collectors he’s top notch! Granted he could have a few more swivels here and there, but the articulation is quite well and the bonus weapons and alien just make him all the more worth it.

I paid $10 for this guy. I think that’s a great value. It’s about the same price as a DC Universe Classics figure and includes about the same amount of stuff. This is a licensed toy too. He has both form and function, can’t ask for much more than that. Of course the talking larger 12 inch figure is only $20, so your mileage may vary.

However if you’re looking for a smaller Buzz Lightyear or one to fit in with your other toy lines, I can’t recommend this guy enough. Honestly I was surprised how much I liked him. I believe he’s a Disney Store exclusive.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 5
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Wings, Alien, Boomerang, Utility Belt
Value – 8
Overall – 7.5 out of 10

I’m tempted to call this guy an 8 out of 10. Maybe even a 9 out of 10. There just isn’t much to fault with this little Buzz. I’m not going to give him a higher score because I think a couple extra points of articulation and a way to keep his helmet closed easier would have made him a better figure. He doesn’t need them, but there is room for improvement.


8 Responses to Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Figure Review

  • The belt is from Toy Story 2, which you really, really must see.

    Next summer: Toy Story 3!

    I just saw UP yesterday. It’s the first Pixar movie to make me cry.

    I might go buy the 12″ Buzz now; Fred Meyer has it for $13.

  • Wes says:

    Ha, Monte! Up made me cry too (not that that’s anything special; these movies often do).

    Anyway, good review of Buzz Lightyear… though I don’t think most of these are ball joints. They look more like standard swivels and/or hinges sculpted in the *shape* of balls! Also, it’s been ages since I saw Toy Story, but did Buzz have screw holes in his back in the film?

  • “…did Buzz have screw holes in his back in the film?”

    Having seen the movie twenty or thirty times, I should know the answer to that…

  • @Wes you’re probably right, I don’t think they are true ball joints. But they work at about the same capacity.

    I don’t believe Buzz had scew marks on him in the film.

  • RageTreb says:

    That’s odd that Mattel is making TS figures now, considering one of the main characters (Potato Head) is a Hasbro property…

  • I’m getting the big’n for Father’s Day. Woot!

  • @Monte: There is a 8 Inch one as well. Might go good with the Sigmas.

  • Icetron says:

    I found your thread on Fwoosh.

    I think I may have to go look for one of these, I happened to have a random craving for a Buzz toy and this is cheap and looks great from your pics. I hope they have these in Canada…

    Thanks for the review!

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