Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3 kicked off the American International Toy Fair in New York City today with a plethora of new toys and playthings that pay homage and celebrate the best the toy industry has to offer. In a playful, Toy Story-themed setting before an invitation-only crowd of toy industry insiders, Green Army Men descended from the ceiling in “take-over” mode as they helped John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, Lee Unkrich, director, Toy Story 3, Darla K. Anderson, producer, Toy Story 3 and John Ratzenberger, voice of Hamm, unveil a first look at some of the more than 250 new toys releasing this Summer and into the 2010 Holidays.
Toy Story is the largest toy licensing event of 2010 and the only film franchise that galvanizes the toy industry with an unprecedented line-up from Disney Consumer Products and more than 20 world-renowned toy companies, including Thinkway Toys, Mattel, The LEGO Group, HASBRO, JAKKS Pacific, and Fisher-Price. Boasting $8B in global merchandise sales to date since it was introduced in 1995, Toy Story will continue to bring excitement to retailers around the world and turn up the fun for kids at playtime. The new Toy Story 3 toy line features action figures, dolls, role play, games, play sets, construction sets, vehicles, talking plush and robots that might just come alive when kids are not around.
The filmmakers also revealed a look at the much-anticipated Toy Story 3 with an all new film trailer introducing a plush bear character named Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, one of the new toys featured in Toy Story 3’s Sunnyside Day Care, and the first plush toy to appear in the film franchise. The trailer, which will air tonight on Disney Channel, also previews an explosive train sequence and a host of other new characters. The new Toy Story 3 toy line will also include toys inspired by these new characters adding hours of fun as kids play out scenes from the new film.
“I’ve always had a great love and fascination with toys and that’s really where the idea for Toy Story began,” said Lasseter. “When we set out to create Toy Story, I imagined this really amazing group of characters that would entertain kids and families for hours. And that’s also what we set out to do with the toys inspired by the films. Working with some of the best toy companies, we took every single detail into consideration to develop a great toy line that is true to this franchise. Taking a look around the room today, I think we again achieved our vision with Toy Story 3.”
Lasseter was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame at the Toy Industry Association Toy of the Year Awards banquet last night. Through such hits as Toy Story and Cars, he has brought toys to life on the big screen in a magical way that has engaged kids and collectors off-screen with film-inspired product for nearly 15 years. Lasseter follows in the footsteps of Walt Disney, who was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 1987.
“Toy Story is the only franchise that brings together the best in classic evergreen toys such as Barbie, Chatter Phone and Mr. Potato Head, and combines them with the creativity and storytelling behind new Toy Story characters that have gone on to become classic toys in their own right including Woody the cowboy, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie the cowgirl,” said Vince Klaseus, senior vice president of global toys for Disney Consumer Products. “Kids are in for a treat as the new Toy Story 3 toy line is loaded with features such as sound effects, lights and movement sensors, and collectors will not be disappointed as the assortment of definitive action figures continues to grow.”
Thinkway Toys was there from the very beginning releasing the first Toy Story toy line. Today, their ultra popular ‘definitive’ collection continues to expand with a whole new range including new Toy Story 3 character Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, who has over 45 adorable sayings, is strawberry-scented and has dual toy bear and interactive bear models; he responds to voice, hugs and even tickles (SRP $39.99). There is also a new Toy Story 3 edition of the Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot; it features over 100 sayings including some in Spanish just like in the film when Buzz is accidentally programmed into Spanish mode; it also features music and dance moves, responds to six voice commands as a “toy” or a “Space Ranger” and includes infrared remote control (SRP $149.99)
Mattel’s new Toy Story play sets and role play items take action adventure to the next level. The Toy Story Ultra Blast Gauntlet is a cool forearm cuff offering hours of fun with lights, sounds and other galactic features (SRP $29.99.). The Buzz Lightyear Deluxe Action Wing Pack, with its backpack-styled design, makes it easy for kids to role play as Buzz Lightyear, loaded with signature Buzz phrases, sensors that know when a child is “flying” or “landing” and a host of sound effects to match each mode. (SRP $49.99). Toy Story Action Links sets are the ultimate “linkable” play sets that simply snap together to create an interactive and adventurous Toy Story world. (SRP from $14.99-39.99)
The LEGO Group’s first Toy Story-inspired toy line features an incredible assortment of construction play sets and figures featuring classic and new characters. The Toy Story 3 Western Train (SRP $79.99) serves up many adventures as builders help Woody, Buzz and Jessie fight their way into the train and get everyone off safely. With the Toy Story 3 Lotso’s Dump Truck (SRP $19.99) builders help Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear drive around the day care center in his toy dump truck.
HASBRO introduces a fun new collection of Toy Story 3 Mr. and Mrs. POTATO HEAD figures, including Mr. and Mrs. from the movie dressed as Buzz, Woody and Jessie. Also offered are new stuffed plush iterations of Mr. and Mrs. including an exciting new electronic Mr. POTATO HEAD plush who says lines from all three Toy Story movies. (SRP from $9.99 – $19.99)
The new Toy Story 3 toy line from JAKKS Pacific offers a wide selection for all ages featuring classic and new characters from Halloween costumes by Disguise (SRP $19.99 to $64.99), toddler dress-up outfits for the youngest Toy Story fans from CDI (SRP $19.99), to play furniture from KidsOnly! ® (SRP $69.99), and new Toy Story Mania® Plug it in and Play TV Games (SRP $39.99).
Toy Story will also bring together the best in co-brands with a new range that will delight kids and families with games they know and love, such as with Toy Story 3 versions of HASBRO’S Yahtzee, Memory, Operation, Trouble, Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders, Space shooters, Buckaroo, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head; Mattel’s Barbie® and Ken®, Magic 8 Ball®, Hot Wheels®, Tyco®, Matchbox®; Fisher Price’s Chatter Phone; and Poof- Slinky’s Slinky Dog; and Poof- Slinky’s Slinky Dog.
Additionally, Toy Story 3 will be featured on hundreds of new products releasing this summer and into the holiday season, including apparel, accessories, home décor, art, stationery, food, personal care, books, plus specialty and collectible items for adults, and an exclusive assortment at Disney Store retail locations and www.DisneyStore.com.