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Toy Story Toys

Buying Guide For Parents

Rainbo Animation Art has been selling Toy Story toys and collectibles since 1995. We sell these toys as collectibles, but we know that there are many people looking for these toys to give to their children as playthings. I'm a greedy collectibles dealer, just like Al from Al's Toy Barn in Toy Story 2 (remind me to sue Disney and Pixar for copying my persona when they created Al), but I'm not so greedy that I want to mislead anxious parents and get them to pay a premium price for a collectible toy for Christmas when their child can't possibly appreciate the value. And since there are so many different Toy Story toys now and they all look pretty much alike, I thought I'd offer a few words of advice for sticker-shocked parents and grandparents who don't know which ones they should buy.

Click to see the Original Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Talking Action Figure
Model #62809
This Buzz is for Collectors and Older Kids

Click Here to See Toy Story Star Command Talking Buzz Lightyear
Model #68025D
This Buzz is great for kids 8 & up

Thinkway Toys in Canada was the original manufacturer of the classic talking Toy Story toys beginning in 1995 when the first Toy Story movie was released. The original Ultimate Talking Buzz Lightyear #62809 and the original Pull-String Talking Woody #62810 and #62943 made by Thinkway were wonderful toys - and they still are. In over fifteen years since the first Toy Story movie was released in theaters, there has always been a Buzz and Woody toy in production. The original versions of the Talking Buzz and Woody by Thinkway remain the truest and most collectible. The latest of these are labeled "Theme Park Exclusive" and the Buzz is available on our Toy Story Toys page. The toys made by Thinkway are the only toys with Tim Allen's voice for Buzz and the original soundtrack voice for Woody, (performed by Tom Hank's brother).

We offer the original toys made by Thinkway as collectibles. They are amazing replicas of the animated characters they represent, and were made at the same time as the movies. But they are generally inappropriate for gifts for children, and we would only recommend the Theme Park Exclusive toys for this purpose and then only for older children. It's usually about ages 8 or 9 when these things start to matter. These toys are very difficult to find and we think we give you a good deal on them. If you want the absolute best toys for your children or grandchildren who are old enough to care about the toy having the right voice, or the toy that looks just like the character, the original toys from Thinkway are the Toy Story toys to buy.

For younger children, ages 3 to 7, as long as the toy is a close match, they're just as happy to have one of the more commonly available toys, such as the Toy Story Toys made by Mattel and Hasbro available from Amazon, The Disney Store, Wal-Mart, and Target. With the re-release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 2009, and the release of Toy Story 3 in 2010, the toy manufacturers have started to issue a new line of toys. Thinkway is again leading the way with a special series of toys called "Toy Story Collection". These toys say more phrases, do more things, and have much more elaborate packaging than the original toys ever did. These are made for collectors and as such, they are generally not suitable gifts for young children, but Thinkway has also made a less expensive series that are also available in the stores mentioned above. They make great gifts.

Toy Story 2's Jessie The Yodeling Cowgirl was made into another wonderful toy by Thinkway. The model #68068 Jessie is a perfect match for the #68027 Woody. This toy went out of production in 2001, but Thinkway has made at least one more run of them since then. The first Jessie's had real yarn for her hair, but later models had plastic hair. They're both still very hard to find and our supply is limited. Again, this Jessie is the one to get for children who are old enough to want the real voice or the authentic original version.

Not to be overlooked is the Classic Slinky Dog. Slinky Dog was a prominent character in both Toy Story movies. Voiced by the late Jim Varney, he is a popular figure and the toy made by Poof-Slinky, Inc. is a perfect likeness of the movie character. There is no difference between the Classic Slinky Dog sold in toy stores and the Toy Story versions. Only the packaging is different.

As I mentioned above, Mattel also makes Toy Story toys. They didn't make a Buzz Lightyear or Woody action figure until 1997 when they made the first Christmas Edition of Buzz Lightyear. They followed that up with a Talking Buzz that came in a spaceship-shaped box, just like was shown in the original Toy Story movie in 1995. Then in 1998, they made a Christmas edition of Woody in a fur-trimmed Santa-like costume. Finally, in 1999, when Toy Story 2 was released in theaters, they made a more complete line of Toy Story toys including a talking Buzz Lightyear, the Singin' Strummin' Woody, the Talk 'n Yodel Jessie, and the unique Wild Whinnies Bullseye (one of only a handful of Bullseye toys ever made, despite the character's popularity). Mattel has made a variety of Toy Story toys since that time.

In the early to mid-2000's, Hasbro released a variety of talking Toy Story Toys, like the Galactic Defender Buzz Lightyear. Again, I recommend all of these less expensive toys from Mattel and Hasbro for younger children aged 3 to 7.

When Toy Story 3 was released in 2009, it was accompanied by a new series of toys from a variety of manufacturers. Thinkway led the way with a line of very sophisticated "Collectors Series" that revived an interest in Toy Story toys and collectibles. The Disney Store and the theme parks carried a line of talking Buzz and Woody toys made for kids, including another incarnation of the original Talking Buzz Lightyear.

This page was last updated on November 15, 2017.

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