2011 D23 Expo Exclusive - WOODY'S ROUNDUP
Rootin' tootin' Toy Story fun...
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When Toy Story 2 made its way into theaters in 1999, audiences were treated to a little back-story surrounding Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks), a pull-string cowboy doll. We learned about Woody’s Roundup, a show that was beloved by children everywhere and followed the adventures of Woody and the round-up gang: Bullseye the horse, Jessie the yodeling cowgirl, and Stinky Pete the prospector. While the hero of Toy Story 2 was just a doll, the star of the faux show within the film was a marionette puppet with a flapping mouth.
Not letting go of this little detail, Mattel, who has the Toy Story license, whipped up a neat exclusive for visitors of the D23 Expo (see our coverage HERE): a marionette-style Woody figure complete with strings. Sold for $20, this Mattel booth exclusive is not available anywhere. Time will tell if this will be made available again elsewhere.
A few years back, Mattel made a mini replica of Buzz Lightyear inside his rocket ship and collector’s were given the option to enjoy the figure in the rocket and or out. With Woody’s Roundup, this certainly is a “stay in packaging” collectible and designed for that very purpose.
The brown shipper box resembles a brown cardboard box you may have seen in the '50s. It sports a retro design for the Budtone Television Set, proud sponsors of Woody’s Roundup. The faux TV brand may have a hidden meaning and the only one I can think of is that it's in reference to artist Bud Luckey, who helped design Woody and Buzz. In any case, where a plain, boring shipper box would have sufficed, I’m glad Mattel went the extra mile for this.
Inside the box, you do find another box in the form of a Budtone television and Woody’s Roundup is on! The TV screen is a window to the toy and for keeping Woody well protected, the figure is wrapped pretty heavily to keep him secure and in place. To get into the figure, simply open the front screen flap and you’re able to adjust Woody to your liking. All the strings, figure, etc are removable too so don’t be concerned if things come apart.
On the back of the Television box is a switch that allows you to maneuver Woody to the left or the right. Woody is clipped on and can be removed. Likewise for the two strings clipped onto his wrists, they are attached to a handle on the top of the box that allow you to make Woody’s arms move about.
Since Mattel has made several figures from Toy Story already, the sculpt here is a strong representation of our favorite cowboy. The problem with that, however, is that this isn’t supposed to be the Woody that looks like the pull-string doll. This is supposed to be the marionette Woody, complete with flapping mouth and dead eyes. The arms and legs are connected with string so he has a very floppy feel about him, even though he’s made of plastic. The hat is removable too for added play, but this is certainly something you’d keep the way it was.
Paint-wise, Woody is done in complete black and white hues, meaning he’s mostly gray. Everything appears clean so there’s not much to complain about really.
On the accessories side, the hat is removable but I’d say that in this case, Woody is the accessory and the main event is the box resembling the Budtone Television Set. Woody is completely removable and there are even different backdrops included with the set to change-out as you please.
At the end of the day, being an enormous Toy Story fan, this is a very neat and clever exclusive and for $20, seems pretty reasonable. My main gripe mentioned above regarding the sculpt still remains, however, as he’s too close to the cowboy doll rather the marionette he’s supposed to be. But in the end, having this piece on the shelf, most people won’t catch that detail. They’ll just see that it’s a great collectible and smile.
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Review Sampel Courtesy of Mattel