Anyone who has visited this site somewhat regularly will know that as a kid I loved micro playsets. Mighty Max, Pokemon, Star Wars Micro Machines, I couldn’t get enough of the teeny little scenes all contained within a colourful, interesting plastic case for easy transportation.
There was one micro playset that I yearned for desperately, that has never been mentioned on here before. I stared longingly at it in an Argos catalogue, eagerly hoping I would get it for Christmas, and being a spoiled shit, I did. That set was Andy’s Roamin’ Room, from the Toy Story 2 line!
Like most micro playsets, the outer case is styled interestingly to fit in with the theme of the set, and this one is obviously RC, the radio controlled car that plays a huge part in the first film.
RC looks pretty good, and for kids with 5″ scale Toy Story figures back in the day, he’d probably fit quite nicely in with that line. I wished I’d had the idea back then, instead of using the crappy little McDonald’s happy meal toy for my Toy Story adventures, as it was just too small. As it was, this RC did get played with a lot, just opened up so I could play with the contents within. So here are the contents within!
As you can see, there’s a fair bit going on in here. The set clearly resembles a part of Andy’s room, and is bright and colourful, capturing the feel of the location in the movie pretty well I think. There are three mini figures which come with the set, being Rex, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, which is pretty neat, and Woody even has something of an action-feature, as he has a little lever on his back. When pushed, it makes him raise his arm in a shooting pose, just like he does to the Etch a Sketch in a mock shootout in the movie. I like little features in action figures, so to have one on a toy at this tiny scale is fairly impressive.
The bottom half of the playset is strewn with various toys sculpted into the design- a skateboard, skittles, a fire engine and more. There’s also the bucket of army men which I think are meant to be something of an action feature. as when pressed down, it pushes up on the toy drum just opposite it. Kind of like a see-saw effect. I guess it’s neat? But I’m not sure as to what effect this is meant to do, or what scene in the movie this is supposed to reference. I’m not sure you if you’re supposed to sit a figure atop one of the things, and push the other thing and send the figure flying or what. If that is what is intended, it’s not overly impressive as the figures tend to fall over a lot anyway. The original box makes no reference to this feature either, so it will forever remain a mystery!
The top half of the set has a little less going on. Sculpted is part of a window, and some buildings which look like they’ve been made out of cardboard by Andy. On one of the buildings, a big target is painted on. Why? All shall be revealed!
So the set comes with a little gun on a stand that fires a suction cup dart, and I think the idea is that you’re supposed to try and hit the target on the building. It’s a neat idea, but the gun doesn’t fire very well, perhaps due to its age and the wear and tear of the spring inside, although I don’t remember the version I had as a kid working well either. The gun is also very top heavy and falls over easily.
The set also comes with a little toy car and a loop-the-loop which has a little pull-back catapult on one end, with the idea being that you can propel the car forward to clear the loop. It’s a neat little feature, but like the dart gun, it does fall over very easily.
So for a small set, there’s quite a bit going on inside. Too much to be honest. I’m not sure how the hell I managed it as a kid, but I cannot for the life of me get all of the things inside in order to close the playset. All of the contents have now been put into a resealable bag so I don’t lose them, as I can’t be bothered wasting all of my time trying to play Tetris with Toy Story characters, trying to get them to fit in a thing that clearly doesn’t want them to fit in.
I picked this set up for around £10 on eBay. This is actually the second time I’ve owned this set in the past five years, as the first time was a boxed version found in a charity shop in Inverness, which I paid £7 for. I ended up selling it on eBay for a fairly decent amount, in order to fund my growing retro video game collection back then, but I always regretted it, as the toy was a beloved item in my childhood. I had wanted it for a long time back then, probably owing to the fact that I’d wanted a Buzz Lightyear figure when the first Toy Story was released, and I never got one, but with this I could have a Buzz, Woody and Rex, AND a little scene for them to inhabit.
I’m guessing I got this for Christmas in the year 2000, as Toy Story 2 came out that year. I remember the run up to Christmas, my parents were thinking of moving house, and I hated the idea of having to move away from all that I knew, but the one consolation in my head was “even if we have to move, I’ll have the Toy Story playset by then, so things won’t be THAT bad.” Ultimately, we didn’t end up moving and I’m glad of that, as I was an anti-social little bastard as it was ( and still am!), and I couldn’t imagine having to try and make friends in a whole new location. But I did end up getting my Toy Story micro playset, although I don’t remember unwrapping it amidst the sea of Pokémon and Star Wars Episode I things that I also got that year.
There was also an Al’s Toy Barn set released, which I don’t own and never did, but if ever one crops up cheaply on eBay, I’ll also cover it on here!
I shall try and do another post before Christmas, but owing to Covid-19, this is the first Christmas in about thirteen years that I’ve had off of work. I mean, I always get Christmas day off, but I’ve not had the luxury of Christmas Eve AND Boxing day, and I’m very much enjoying playing my Nintendo Switch, eating my body weight in food and watching interesting or fun things. If I can possibly find the time amidst doing fuck-all to write another post, I shall. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stick Die Hard on and get acquainted with a pizza.