Toys Get Their Dreams Too!

Buzz Lightyear has a big weekend coming up  as he, actually a 12-inch Buzz action figure, heads for the Space Station aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery, which is set to liftoff from Kennedy Space Center this Saturday, May 31 at 5:02p.  Buzz’s adventure is part of the Space Ranger Education series, which in turn is part of NASA’s Toys in Space initiative.  So, while Buzz is on his “to infinity and beyond” trip, he will help introduce facts from space to kids in science and math classes nationwide.  The toys in Space program builds on NASA’s effort to encourage kids to study science, technology and math subjects.  Developed by Disney and NASA, Toys in Space includes downloadable materials for educators to use in class as well as online, educational games linked to each key component of the mission. The series can be accessed via www.nasa.gov , and will be available throughout 2008.  Ah, yes, the mission also coincides with the official opening of the Toy Story Mania! attraction at Walt Disney World this Saturday and on June 17 at Disneyland Resorts California.

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis – Cyn Kids 5/30/08

I was literally JUST talking about Toy Story yesterday with my colleague, Elliot.   His son is 2 and just getting into the Pixar DVDs.  Apparently he sat the WHOLE movie through for Cars, which (as well all know) is nigh on impossible for most 2 year olds. 

Elliot and I were chatting about the relationship of kids to their toys, tweens/teens and their toys, and then adults and their toys – namely in regards to Toy Story 2‘s song by Sarah McLachlan “When She Loved Me”.  I LOVE that song for being beautiful and completely identifying with the experience of toys & growing up… but also HATE that song because it makes me feel like a jerk.  I was THAT KID… the goofy one who had a secret belief that my dolls, toys, etc were alive – or carried some sort of soul.  When I was young, and thought about it, I would get paranoid about favoritism, and then do the whole rotation, so that all dolls got some “face time” with yours truly (namely propped up on the bed, or a better seat on my chair, etc). 

Sick, right?  Well, yes, I was a sensitive soul growing up.  I actually still have a majority of my toys in boxes, laundry bags, or covering my room/apartment/desk – sad they’re in some sort of storage, but MUCH better than living at the dump.  Just ask my mom (since most are in her warm, lovely basement, or propped all over my closet back in Chicagoland).  It drives her batty. 

Anyway – I’m starting to roll off topic again (oh, sweet tangents, how you appease me).  What I dig about this news blurb from Cynopsis is two fold:

1. Taking a toy with a story (depth) and putting it into real life context – building connections from the imaginary to the tangible, from the fantastic to the scientific – and then introducing it in lines with educational values. Very cool.

2. Buzz FINALLY really, really makes it to outer space.  Good on him! LOL.  Dreams really do come true.

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  1. Amy Pritchard
    May 30, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    “When I was young, and thought about it, I would get paranoid about favoritism, and then do the whole rotation, so that all dolls got some “face time” with yours truly (namely propped up on the bed, or a better seat on my chair, etc).”

    I STILL do that! But with my Christmas ornaments! I mean, how silly is it to feel so sorry for a Christmas ornament that even the silliest Jack in the Box head wearing a Santa hat that I got free once with my Junior Bacon Cheeseburger gets a spot in the back facing the wall.

  2. May 30, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    LOl! That’s awesome, Amy.

    I actually remember when we took our big, blue family conversion van in for a trade when I was like… 9? My sister and I sat in the van, and all I did was pet the chair and apologize and tell the van what a good, safe friend it had been to the family. And then cried like we were trading in the family dog or something.

    It’s funny how fiercely loyal kids can be. And for as weird as it might be to others, I think it’s a great sign of appreciation and value for memories.

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