Whether movie fans approve of it or not, Toy Story 4 is officially coming, with Disney/Pixar staking out a June 2017 release date for the latest installment in one of their most lucrative franchises. In 2010, the Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 made over $1 billion worldwide, so it really shouldn’t be any surprise that the filmmakers want to return to this well and start a “new chapter” in the lives of Woody, Buzz, and the gang.
The series is so commercially viable that toy companies have used the nature of the films to endorse their own real-life products (Mr. Potato Head, Barbie, etc.) and some of those went on to have prominent roles in the previous movies. This time around should be no different - and Hasbro executives are probably already calling Pixar trying to strike a deal.
Should director John Lasseter wish to continue the practice, he may not even have to look past the Disney umbrella. The Mouse House has the rights on two of the most popular brands today: Star Wars and Marvel; a situation that creates plenty of opportunities to showcase merchandise that promotes those two franchises (especially after The LEGO Movie featured so many iconic DC characters). With that in mind, we’re listing our choices for 10 Marvel & Star Wars Toys We Want in Toy Story 4.
Keep in mind, the toys in Toy Story are still toys - albeit some that believe they are real (aka Buzz Lightyear in the original Toy Story). As a result, we've selected our entries based on how each character could contribute to the narrative while also providing fun riffs on fan-favorite Star Wars staples - limited by the physics of toys (read: no actual Force powers or space flight).
11 Land Speeder
RC had a very brief (but memorable) part in the original Toy Story, before practicality left him out of the narrative towards the end of the trilogy. Still, you never know when you’ll need a speedy getaway vehicle - which would make this Star Wars ride come in handy.
Kenner produced the “Sonic Controlled” Land Speeder in the late 1970s, and if the toys were able to get the shoddy mechanisms (remote controlled wheels rather than repulsorlifts and turbine jet engines) to work, they’d be able to outrun whatever threat they faced. We’d just advise them to keep those batteries fully charged.
10 Rocket Raccoon
Toy Story characters are known for having distinct personalities, and few of those have recently emerged than the wisecracking, sarcastic Rocket Raccoon. His presence would inject some humor into the proceedings and he’d keep things fresh after a few movies with the same group.
Of course, no entry in this series is complete without a villain, and Rocket would be able to help in the fight against whoever Toy Story 4’s adversary is. Certain Rocket action figures come with a gun that fires projectiles, making him useful in combat as well (should Bonnie get her hands on one of those).
9 Millennium Falcon
The Millennium Falcon is one of the most iconic spaceships around, and any kid would love to have a toy version to call their own. The Toy Story films have featured some fairly elaborate “playtime” sequences, with the opener in Toy Story 3 giving us a full-fledged portrayal of a child’s imagination. What if Buzz Lightyear teamed up with Han Solo for something like that?
Of course, its usage could go beyond a toy’s traditional purpose. Should someone need a place to hide, the Falcon play set could provide a nice spot, with secret compartments in the floors.
8 Black Widow
For their “Avengers Assemble” toy line, ToyWiz released the “Inferno Canon” Black Widow figure, which included a gun with launching missiles. Like Rocket, that would be useful should any battles with unruly playthings take place. Plus, since Widow is a highly-trained operative, not a superhuman, she would be able to do damage with her plastic limbs as well.
Bo Peep and Jessie gave the franchise a strong female presence, but the main group was largely male (since Andy was the owner). With Bonnie now in charge, it would be nice to get some more “girl” toys in there, and Natasha could even be a new love interest for poor Woody, who lost Bo to the yard sale years ago.
7 Yak Face
Part of Toy Story 2 dealt with toys’ place as collector’s items, illustrating that they could be just as valuable to adults (albeit for different reasons). While the gang are all safe with Bonnie for now, the vicious cycle that happened with Andy will surely repeat itself, leaving Woody, Buzz, and the others to contemplate their futures once again.
Someone who knows about that fate all too well is the Kenner “Yak Face” figure, which went through production shortly after the company cancelled their Star Wars products. Never sold in U.S. stores, the rare toy has a market value of $1,000 and is viewed by many as nothing more than a collectible. He may have a cynical viewpoint, but Yak Face would provide an interesting viewpoint on the meaning of a toy’s life.
6 Vintage Iron Man
Tony Stark is the poster boy for Marvel right now, so Disney would love for this crossover to happen. The original “Quick Change Armor” figure from Toy Biz has an interesting look that harkens back to the original comics (referencing the character’s long history), which would be a nice change-of-pace from the Marvel Cinematic Universe - while still paying homage to his modern-day popularity.
However, Iron Man is here more for the comedy he’d bring. Admittedly, this “action” figure doesn’t have much in the means of action, which would render Stark about as useless as Rex in any life-or-death scenarios. Should the toy posses the same amount of ego as his live action counterpart, we would all be laughing at his misery as he can’t handle being on the sidelines.
5 Boba Fett
If the Toy Story 4 villain has some henchmen (recall Lotso and Ken in Toy Story 3), they’d most likely go for someone formidable to do their dirty work. A Boba Fett action figure wouldn’t be the worst option for that, as some come equipped with a missile firing jetpack and the plethora of articulation points - making Boba a nice match for Buzz’s karate chop action.
An appearance by Boba might also mean a toy Slave I is in order. Like the Falcon, it would look cool in a fantasy play sequence and certain models had projectile weapons that could do some serious damage in the real world as well.
Two series that have legendary rogues galleries, Pixar would probably be smart to pick a bad guy from either the Marvel or Star Wars libraries to make life rough for the toys. As audiences prepare for Avengers: Infinity War (coming a year after Toy Story 4), using Thanos would be an ideal way to depict what the Mad Titan is capable of – in action figure form, of course.
The plastic Infinity Gauntlet won’t cause any harm, but toy Thanos would be a physical challenge for anyone brave enough to oppose him (he stature and bulkiness of the limbs would be a great enough obstacle). Plus, if the Thanos plaything possesses the same strategic smarts as the one on the comic page, Woody would be in for some deadly mind games.
Every once in a while, there will be a task that requires a team of toys to get the job done. Woody sent Andy’s army men out to do recon on the birthday party, for example, so there could very well be a similar situation that arises in Toy Story 4. Jawas are known for being hunter/gatherer types (droid sale), so they would be ideal for retrieving an old friend from a yard sale or working together to acquire an object the toys need.
Like other entries on our list, they’d also be comedy gold. Since none of the toys can interpret Jawa-speak, some hilarious linguistic mishaps would be in order as Woody and Buzz try to communicate with the aliens.
If Thanos (or another physically imposing figure) is the big boss in Toy Story 4, then the gang is going to have to even the odds a bit. Recruiting an action figure of the Hulk would level the playing field - and the filmmakers could also have fun with the fact that some Hulk toys have a voice box feature that lets them roar.
As for the personality of a Hulk figure, that could be a treat as well. Lasseter could play him as a lovable, goofy giant who proves his worth or an unpredictable force that could be more trouble than good. Either way, he’d be an entertaining addition to the group.
While the main focus of Toy Story 4 will be on the existing characters, Pixar always expands the roster with each entry, and corporate synergy could lead to some memorable cameos or even a new star of the show. It’s unlikely that there will be too many Marvel or Star Wars toys popping up, but it’d be great to see nonetheless.
Of course, this list is not meant to be all-inclusive, so be sure to let us know which Marvel and Star Wars toys you’d enjoy seeing in the latest sequel!
Toy Story 4 will be in theaters June 16, 2017.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.
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