Action Figure Showdown: Buzz Lightyear Vs. Baymax

ACTION   FIGURE   SMACKDOWN

There can be only one ULTIMATE ACTION FIGURE on the market. The one to whom all others bow down and acknowledge. Year after year new contenders arrive to vie for the title, but just being new won’t necessarily win first prize. Old toys can have powerful legs that carry them to victory from yesteryear… to infinity… and beyond!

Today I give you my picks for the TOP TWO contenders:

      Buzz Lightyear and Baymax

Let’s take a close look at these two heavyweights. What makes them great? Do they have the cool factor to both win over and retain consumer loyalty? Hey, who’s Just. Plain. Awesome? First up, the older contender from out of this world:

BUZZ   LIGHTYEAR

Buzz has had some trouble along the way. He is prone to visions of grandeur and even greater heights of delusion. But when push comes to shove, or it’s time to fall with style, you can always count on this Space Ranger to get the job done!

    

FEATURES: If we take the “You! Are! A! Toy!” factor out of the equation, Buzz can fly. And not just through the air, but in Space itself! And he has that cool blinking light (a.k.a. laser) to blast his enemies with. He has natural fighting skills (not to mention latin dance moves) and superlative tactical ability. Oh, and he has a cool ship!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Buzz rocketed to popularity so quickly that he got his own show on Toon Disney where we got to meet many more Cadets from Space Command. And even when he got lost on a strange planet, he was able to make friends with the locals, making him an impromptu diplomat. Of sorts.

CONCLUSION: Buzz Lightyear is a solid contender, but let’s look at him by the numbers –

  • Cool Factor: 4.5 out of 5 – The suit and his ship are just too much!
  • Popularity: 4.5 out of 5 – Introduced in the 1990’s, he shows no signs of winking out!
  • Features: 3 out of 5 – With only one offensive weapon and a ship, he’s a bit light here.
  • Accomplishments: 3.5 out of 5 – High rank in Space Command and ability.

Next up is the newbie with the soft inside wrapped up in a polymer shell:

BAYMAX

OK, admittedly, this powerhouse starts off as a bit of a marshmallow, but when he suits up, his cool factor ramps up considerably:

Hero and Sidekick. But which is which?

Baymax has a heart of gold and a never-say-no attitude. He’s there for you when you have a boo-boo or when you need to fight an evil villain. Granted, everything he knows was programmed into him, but that just means he can learn and do anything.

    

FEATURES: Baymax has one offensive weapon, that being his rocket punch. But he can also fly, which is always a handy feature to have when fighting evil. He can also program into his memory any tactical maneuver or fighting style. Any. Yup, that’s some serious advantage right there!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Baymax is first and foremost a personal healthcare companion. So while he can, after suiting up, beat the daylights out of you, he can then nurse you back to health again. And no-one gives a better hug! He also has great empathy and can bring people together, making him a natural part of any superhero team.

CONCLUSION: Baymax is also a solid contender, but let’s look at him by the numbers –

  • Cool Factor: 5 out of 5 – He inflates. And his tech suit is beyond awesome!
  • Popularity: 4 out of 5 – Introduced very recently, he has caught on fast.
  • Features: 3 out of 5 – With only one offensive weapon and flight, he’s a bit light too.
  • Accomplishments: 4 out of 5 – Medical and fighting ability is a killer combination!

So who wins the Action Figure Smackdown? Here are the tallies:

Buzz Lightyear: 15.5 out of 20                    Baymax: 16 out of 20

Keep in mind that the contest isn’t over yet! Baymax has yet to stand the test of time. And Buzz Lightyear isn’t one to sit around and accept defeat. He will demand a rematch!

So who would you have chosen? Do you think our ratings are accurate?

Fun Fast Food Toys featuring Disney Characters

Once upon a time, in a marketing deal long long ago, two big companies decided to team up to give the world some of the greatest little toys in the history of promotional giveaways. Disney and McDonald’s restaurants no longer work together, but what they left behind still brings joy to perusers of yard sale tables and collectible shops alike!

As an example, I bring you seven Character Viewers based on Disneyland attractions and shows:

Blurry because I had a little too much grog before taking the picture

This slide shows a staged scene from a show that had live actors portraying a battle between Captain Hook and his pirates and Peter Pan. You can see a short snippet of it in this YouTube video.

King Louie as a Captain on the Jungle Cruise. Nuff said.

The Lion King Celebration was a parade based on the animated film The Lion King. It was designed to tell the story of Simba as if it were a tale passed down in Africa for generations. Its parade featured six floats designed around different aspects of Africa, dancers dressed in animal costumes and a Pride Rock float featuring Simba. The parade ran at Disneyland from June 1, 1994 to June 1, 1997, after which four of the floats were moved to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Festival of the Lion King show.

This slide likely shows a staged segment of the parade that wasn’t necessarily in the actual procession. This parade replaced the Aladdin’s Royal Caravan and then was itself replaced by Hercules’ Victory Parade.

Mickey and Space Mountain: Great Combination!

When I first saw Winnie the Pooh riding a train, I was expecting a slide showing the Disneyland Railroad. But instead I was treated to this great shot of The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! So… did Pooh move from the 100-acre wood to the wildest mountain range of the old west?

The ultimate Toontown!

Now that Walt Disney World’s Toontown is gone, will Disneyland’s version soon suffer the same fate? As changes continue to come and expansion space becomes harder to find, it may be a good idea to visit this great area as soon as possible! Here is a link to Disney Dose that covers the attractions and postulates on the future of Toontown.

And now I’ve left my favorite to the last:

Splash Mountain

This slide shows the original configuration for the logs, with side-by-side seating. Interestingly, Br’er Bear seems to have thought ahead and predicted the change to a one-behind-the-other configuration. Here are Karen and I ‘enjoying’ our first plummet down the mountain:

So although we can’t go to our favorite Fast Food place and walk out with a Disney toy anymore, with the tens of thousands of Disney-related toys produced between 1988 and 2007, we can always check out eBay for those must-haves!

Check out the link for everything you didn’t want to know about the McDonald’s Happy Meal and the toys that came with them.

Chevron Autopia Pull-back Cars from Disneyland

I’ve never failed to ride the cars in Tomorrowland’s Speedway when visiting Walt Disney World, and so it was a no-brainer to ride the cars of Autopia when I visited the attraction (albeit after the Chevron sponsorship had ended) at Disneyland for the first time in January of 2013. To steer one of the original attractions was awesome!

Of course, I wished they didn’t have the guide rails that kept you on track (which they didn’t have on opening day) but we can’t have everything.

So I was delighted while on vacation in Florida this year to come across these two great Chevron Autopia cars:

    

DUSTY and SPARKY

I already had one car of the four-part set, below:

CLASSIC

But I had to wait some time before I could finish my set, with Suzy:

SUZY

So I had to assemble my fleet from three separate locations!

Chevron entered into an agreement with Disney to sponsor this attraction in 1998, as this Press Release announces. Unfortunately, with the rising price of gas and for other reasons, Chevron only sponsored the attraction from 2000 to 2012. When we rode the cars in 2013, Honda had already taken over the sponsorship.

But the real fun comes from all of the great advertising stuff! These sets were released in 2000 to commemorate Disneyland’s 45th Anniversary. You could enter to win a Magic Disneyland Vacation:

    

If I wasn’t a completest, I’d scratch the card just to see what it says!

Same with the stickers: Can’t use them!

I will never stop searching for this playmat!

    

The same postcard is included in all four of the Autopia Cars

Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Tomorrow booklet

Now this is by far the most awesome inclusion of the sets. It’s a foldout flyer-style publication with seven pages detailing the history of the Autopia attraction, and seven pages containing a story about the Chevron Cars called Road Rally to Autopia at Disneyland.

It doesn’t get any better than that! The history side contains archival pictures and concept art from the original ride in 1955, the redesign of 1967, and finally the Chevron makeover in 2000. The story side chronicles the Chevron Cars’ trip to Disneyland where they continually ask ‘Are we there yet?’, and finally arrive just as Disneyland is closing. But they are let in to play with their Autopia cousins all night long until morning comes and the Park opens again.

This inclusion is superb and so I will be doing a post on each of the stories later.

  

Simply pull the cars back and they will speed away

Figures are removable

To quote Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Today: “Cars are the ultimate vehicle for our imaginations: get behind the wheel and the world is ours. With a car and an imagination, we can go anywhere.”

Well, on the Autopia track, you can’t go anywhere, but you can let your imagination drive away with you!