The Toy Story movies are known for their beloved original characters like Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bo Peep, and Bullseye. At the same time, many fans take pleasure in actively watching these films to spot all of the real life toys from their childhood. Some appear as main characters like Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, and the Green Army Men. But others are more nuanced, only showing up for a frame or two, or having a smaller role like the Barrel of Monkeys, Chatter Telephone, Magic 8 Ball, and Troll dolls.
Hundreds of toys were considered for this article. With careful consideration, the roster has been narrowed down to ten superb future options, each for different reasons. Keep in mind as you read, due to licensing issues, you can bet that Disney/Pixar has tried to use some of these gems, only to be denied by their companies/manufactures. Not everyone wishes to share their properties, which is a regrettable decision by any standard, but to each their own.
Lastly, in compiling the list, there were a few toys that would have been great options—but they either belong to their own current/upcoming franchise, are too similar to other TS characters, or have not rightfully reached “icon status” as of yet. The Honorable Mentions include: Bratz, Funko Pop, Masters of the Universe action figures, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, Pet Rock, Pogs, and Tech Deck Dudes. Without further ado, here are the toys who made the cut…
10. American Girl Doll
Begrudgingly, American Girl Dolls make the list, even though they’re terrifying. No one can deny, these biddies have an impressive market presence. Kids flock to their own cult-ish store, which includes a restaurant where you can eat with your doll (who can’t actually consume food), and a creepy salon that presumably specializes in doll hair? In a film setting, it would be hilarious to watch each AGD solely act within the confounds of her respective time period. Anyways, enjoy the tenth slot Samantha and friends, see you in my nightmares.
9. Sky Dancers
Have you ever seen that video where a little girl is playing with an off-brand Sky Dancer on Christmas morning, and it flies into the lit fireplace? It’s a good one. Anyways, Sky Dancers would offer a unique vantage point to the Toy Story crew. They can fly up high, and act as a great potential lookout for the residents of Bonnie’s bedroom.
8. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Lotso briefly mentions this quartet of insatiable hippopotami in Toy Story 3, but they’ve yet to make their film debut. It could be amusing to see four distinct, argumentative hippo personalities, with one goal in mind: eat all the ‘food’, at the expense of the other hippos, even in mid-sentence, at any cost.
7. Cabbage Patch Kids
Besides the unsettling cabbage-baby hybrid logo, Cabbage Patch Kids are undeniably cute. Even if they don’t have a giant presence in the movies, a small cameo would do them justice. They’re too well-known not to be represented. Out of the cabbage patch and into Hollywood, that’s what I always say.
There is something really charming about Lite Brite. Even the modern versions seem to exude this throwback vibe. Aside from the ever-limited black paper, this toy is hours of fun. It would be really interesting to watch the illuminated creations come to life and interact with Woody and friends.
5. Stretch Armstrong
Stretch Armstrong is fun because…he stretches. That’s it. He’s not really a field day for intellectual children, and that’s okay. The best thing about toys is they can exist just to be fun. Stretch Armstrong has been featured in film, television, and was kind of a big deal once upon a time. Hypothetically, most of the gags Stretch could pull off, could probably be accomplished by Slinky Dog. But whatever, he and his speedo are still invited to the party. And just in case you were wondering, Barbie would never.
4. Beanie Babies
Beanie Babies were the largest toy craze in the 90’s. If you listen closely at nighttime, you can hear them screaming for your affection from Rubbermaid totes in the basement. Memorable standouts like Spooky the Ghost, or Patti the Platypus would be great for the big screen, but leave Princess Di Bear out of it. She’s worth a lot of money now, super rare, plastic tag protector. She’s Beanie Baby royalty. Not interested in mere film cameos, but thanks.
Furbies are incredibly unique within the history of toys, A furry, tech-based, interactive, unisex toy. Name another, you can’t. And If you just whispered ‘Hatchimals’ underneath your breath, click out of this site. Coming from a place of personal experience, eight year old me treasured my Furby. That is, until it malfunctioned, and started to make R2-D2 noises from the depths of my closet at 1:34 am. We all got to go out somehow, I guess. RIP.
2. Raggedy Andy & Raggedy Ann
Their vacant stares do not help the soulless ginger stereotype, but that does not diminish the fact that Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann are icons of the toy world. Point blank. After debuting in 1915, these two have gone through many visual iterations but somehow still withstood the years. Some toys are born timeless. If it wasn’t for their vintage, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head-esque partnership already existing in the world of Toy Story, they might have been able to nab the number one spot…
1. Giga Pets/Tamagotchi
Coming in as the number one choice to join the Toy Story universe, Giga Pets/Tamagotchi! This toy may seem a little untraditional compared to the other pre-existing TS characters, but that is what makes it great. Every kid in the 90’s had one of these bad boys, and rightfully so. It was all the fun of having a pet, without any of the mess. From a story perspective, the selling point of including Giga Pets/Tamagotchi is that they double as keychains. They are toys in constant transit. What would these toys see from their very unique point of view? Wherever a child goes, they go too. Are they all-knowing? Is their scope of the world that much wider?
Giga Pets/Tamagotchi look unlike any character Toy Story has brought to life far. Nostalgia factor? Check. Cute enough to be beloved by fans? For sure. Marketable enough to be mass produced and sold at the Disney Store? Ding, ding. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Just…don’t forget to feed them.
What toy would you like to see someday in the Toy Story universe? Let us know in a comment below.
Toy Story 4 hits theaters June 21, 2019