How does a grown-up come to collect Mr. Potato Head? I blame TV. It all started with an episode of The Pretender titled “Bomb Squad,” a.k.a. “Potato Head Blues.” Jarod, the protagonist becomes a member of a bomb squad to catch a serial bomber. One of his co-workers has a Mr. Potato Head on his desk and Jarod promises him a ton of extra parts if he helps him out. Needless to say, this little cameo helped reignite a passion that borderlines an obsession with an old childhood favorite.
In recent years, Hasbro has taken to producing Potato Head sets based on various properties. It started with Darth Tater. After that, it all sort of spiraled out of control, then came Transformers themed Optimash Prime and Bumble Spud, more Star Wars-themed releases including “R@-POTATOO” and “Spudtrooper” and various Disney exclusive releases, and even “Taters of the Lost Ark” and Iron Man 2 “Tony Starch.”
While each subsequent release became even more of a stretch, Toy Story crossovers seem to fit nicely with Mr. Potato Head, since he is one of the ensemble characters featured in the film.
Packaging: Both are packaged in the customary box with a window with a Toy Story 3 theme.
Design & Sculpt: Buzz comes wearing his iconic high-tech Space Ranger suit, featuring the front control panel and the large red button which activates his jet pack. Covering the top and back of his head is a purple “snoopy cap” and has a retractable helmet which covers most of his face. In addition his jet pack which attaches to the back of his suit is nicely sculpted. He features standard Mr. Potato Head eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and arms. His “space boots” are the standard MPH shoes, but painted in Buzz colors.
Sheriff Woody comes wearing his familiar cowboy getup. Cowboy hat, a vest with a Sheriff’s badge, holster belt, and cowboy boots with spurs.
Neither spud bears a close resemblance to either Buzz or Woody, at least not in that by looking at Darth Tater or Optimash Prime the character is instantly recognizable. I’d say it’s more like Mr. Potato Head dresses up as Buzz or Woody, rather than actually “being” the character.
Plastic & Paint: For the most part the paint on both toys decent, there’s an amount of slop there and there, but that is to be expected.
There are some nice details that they’ve included which they could have easily skipped over, such as the spurs on the back of Woody’s boots, the sheriff’s badge, and even the thread details on the hat and vest. Buzz’s control panel and jet pack feature sculpted details which presumably they could have just painted on.
One minor gripe is that they’ve given both Potato Heads the standard arms. While its not a huge problem, other past Potato Crossovers such as Darth Mash, Spud Trooper, and Spider Spud have all featured unique arms. That said, there is a fair amount of detail already which sort of makes up for the lack of new arms.
Articulation: Mr. Potato Head doesn’t feature any articulation so to speak. His parts of course are all interchangeable leaving limitless possibilities for various combinations for the user to dream up.
Accessories: Neither come with any accessories. This would have been a nice set to include a lasso for Woody or the Disney exclusive Buzz ray gun, however due to legal reasons they may not have the rights to reproduce that particular piece.
Overall: When I first heard of these releases, I wanted them sight unseen. Now that I actually have them, I’m still glad I own them, but they still don’t seem to have the same pop or presence as prior Potato Head crossovers. With all the various Toy Story 3 merchandise being pumped out, these certainly are two unique incarnations of the characters.
Buzz and Woody are also a great value, at about $10 each, they’re cheaper than regular licensed character crossovers, and about the same price as the standard MPH, only you’re getting more plastic for your money. Thus far the crossovers have worked both as collector’s items and fun toys for kids, but these border on being a little too infantile to be up on the shelf with Spuda Fett and Idaho Jones. Buzz and Woody are a lot of fun and continue the trend of creative crossovers with Hasbro’s Playskool and various properties.