Valentine's Day saw me flying to New York to have a
big important meeting with some of Disney-Pixar's most popular Toy Story characters: Buzz Lightyear,
Woody and Jessie the Cowgirl. Well, at least that's what my
preschooler thought I was doing.
In reality, I was honored and thrilled to be among the press
included in Disney's invitation-only event at the International Toy Fair to get a first look at
some of the more than 250 brand new toys to be released this summer
through the 2010 holiday season.
The Toy Story-themed setting showed off the company's
creative spirit in all its glory, with photo opportunities with
characters, Green Army Men zip-lining from the ceiling, and
presentations from John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt
Disney and Pixar Animation Studios (click here to see
my video); Lee Unkrich, director; Darla K. Anderson, producer; and
John Ratzenberger (click here to see my video), Disney-Pixar's "lucky
charm" (since he's been in all their Pixar movies to date), and the
voice of Hamm the piggy bank.
The filmmakers also revealed a look at the much-anticipated
Toy Story 3 with an all new film trailer (click here to see
my video) introducing a plush, strawberry-scented bear character
named Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear, one of 14 new toys featured in Toy
Story 3's Sunnyside Day Care, and the first plush toy to
appear in the film franchise. 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."
Toy Story is the largest toy licensing event of 2010
and the only film franchise that takes the toy industry by storm
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, 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 your kiddos are not around.
Perhaps the most exciting news was that Lasseter was inducted
into the Toy Hall of Fame on February 13, which was celebrated at
the event with a touching tribute (click here to see
my video) portraying a loving father, innovative creator and
film-making visionary. 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.
All of the twitvid's linked to this post were filmed by me
at Disney-Pixar's Toy Fair event and shared with their express
Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer.
See more of Pilar's stories here.
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