Editor’s Note: Rocky Parra spends her time raising awareness for autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, and form relationships with others.
Impacting 1 in every 270 people in the world, autism challenges many areas of one’s life. Some of the profoundly affected areas include social, communication, and behavior. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are usually nonverbal, or they have restricted or repetitive behaviors. ASD also affects people of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
You can find more about Rocky and her family by following her on Facebook at Mrs. Mommy Writes or reading her book, “Embracing Mrs. Mommy.”
Buzz Lightyear originally arrived on the scene in Toy Story as Woody’s frenemy.
Matthew carried Woody around like other children carry security blankets. He even made an appearance in some family photos. Somewhere along the way, however, Woody lost a little of his charm and Buzz began to take center stage. Woody was “shelved.”
Now unless you are a serious Toy Story franchise fan, you might not know that there are different versions of Buzz Lightyear.
Of course, the original Buzz first appeared in Toy Story in 1995. Initially enemies, by the end of the first movie, Woody and Buzz become best buddies. In 1999, Toy Story 2 featured two Buzz: the original and the newer Buzz Lightyear with a Utility Belt. Toy Story 3 (2010) featured original Buzz and Spanish-speaking Buzz. Toy Story 4 had only one Buzz, the original. That doesn’t even include the prequel Buzz Lightyear of Star Command or Toy Story That Time Forgot or Toy Story of Terror or his easter egg appearances in other Disney films and shorts, each with their own feature or accessory.
Each of these Buzz Lightyears looks quite like the original, except for Buzz Lightyear with a Utility Belt, or Blue Belt Buzz as Matthew refers to him. Ironically, he’s kind of a bad guy. He put the original Buzz in a box and tried to impersonate him. Plot twist – there are two Utility Belt Buzz Lightyear figures. One is easy to find and inexpensive, the other not so much. Guess which one is Matthew’s favorite? The hard-to-find Utility Belt one, the one that was made in limited numbers in 1999 and is no longer in production.
Now you and I might not be able to tell the difference between the two Utility Belt versions, but Matthew can.
Brett suggested I try passing off the easy-to-find one, not knowing that with one look Matthew would say “That’s not the right Buzz” or “You’ve got the wrong Buzz.” So, we built a little bit of a stockpile via eBay and my stockpile lasted for years. One by one, though, they bit the dust. Broken helmets, missing limbs, shattered wings, they were shelved until we were down to the last Buzz.
Matthew recognized how precious this Buzz was and carefully carried him around the house, on vacation, to Grand’s house, and so on. Then one day over the Christmas holidays, Buzz lost a magnet, not a real working magnet, but a decorative one. We tried to find a replacement magnet, but nope. We tried building a replacement magnet, but nope. Finally, BethAnne painted the empty spot on his utility belt and Matthew shelved Buzz hoping to prevent further injury.
Buzz moved from sleeping in a comfy bed to sitting silently on a shelf or resting in the toy cart. Matthew, much like Andy in Woody’s dream, declared Buzz broken.
I commenced a Buzz search. I showed Matthew so many Buzz Lightyears on eBay in the past several months, only to be told they were the wrong Buzz. The right ones are so expensive: $900-$1200 and we are not going to pay that much for a toy.
Recently, I lucked out and found the right one, affordably priced, and snatched it up. Buzz arrived today and I cautiously presented him to Matthew. I didn’t know if Matthew’s affection for Buzz had waned over his time on the shelf. It was a momentary worry as Matthew immediately smiled and reached for Buzz, declaring Buzz was home and that he would take great care of him.
Seeing this renewed affection for his favorite toy, I asked Matthew who his best friend was to which he replied, “Walker and Buzz. Buzz doesn’t go to college like Walker, he doesn’t leave.”
Best Friend Blue Belt Buzz is off the shelf and Matthew hasn’t let him out of sight.