TO INFINITY…AND BEYOND! ๐Ÿ’ฅ

My son, Leo’s favourite toy of all time was Buzz Lightyear, the action figure who emerged from the 1995 block buster movie Toy Story. ย He wanted the action figure very badly. ย We would make special trips to the toy store just to look at them and imagine owning one. ย The weird thing was that we had more than enough money to buy one but, at the time, I just didn’t think it would be good for Leo to have everything he wanted. The Buzz Lightyear action figures were retailing for about $75 plus tax, at the time. ย I thought that it would be too much to just go ahead and buy him one. ย Don’t worry, Leo didn’t want for much. ย He had a lot of toys and his own room with a double bed, a hand-made quilt with a space theme from two of his Aunts in Newfoundland, and, he had me all to himself as I was a full-time stay-home mom for his first five years. ย He was much loved. ย I just didn’t want to spoil him. ย There’s a fine line.

BuzzOne day, Auntie Bonnie came to visit and we decided to head to Kitchener for the day and go thrift shopping at Value Village and then have lunch. ย Thrift shopping is so much fun. ย The thrill of the hunt for something of great value at a low, low price.

We were wheeling our way around the store. ย Leo was getting a ride in the cart and as I say, we were just getting warmed up when…low and behold, on a shelf with many other toys…there was…

NONE OTHER THAN…

CAN YOU GUESS???

YES!

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!!! ย The one and only. ย And the exact size of the ones he had seen at the toy store.

Suddenly, everything slowed waaaaaay down. ย There were a few other people in the same aisle. If you can believe it, there was a boy closing in on the same area where we were. ย The boy was looking at Buzz. ย My hand was reaching. ย His hand was reaching. ย I didn’t want to muscle a toy away from someone much, much smaller than I, but then…

the boy reached for the frisbee instead. Whew!

My hand grasped the cool hard plastic of the toy’s mid-section. ย I held him up. ย He was perfect, except that someone else had loved him quite well before. It was obvious. Because he was missing a boot.

Leo didn’t care. ย He grasped Buzz and hugged him tight. ย ‘My own Buzz, Mommy?’ he asked. ย ‘Yes, sweetheart, your own Buzz.’ ย He was one happy little gaffer that day.

Buzz did not leave Leo’s chubby fingers for days. ย It was as if he was glued there. If someone asked about the missing boot, he simply explained that Buzz had lost a boot on a dangerous space mission and then he would hold Buzz tight and sail him over his head with a sonic whooshing sound, ‘To infinity and beyond!’

One day, Leo was running in our house on the ceramic tile and took a spill. ย There went Buzz, flying across the room and smashing on the tile. ย When Leo retrieved him, he was missing an arm.

I did a bit of research and found out that the Disney Thinkway Toy Company had an office located in Markham, Ontario which was just around the corner form Dean’s office at IBM. ย I called the company and explained that we needed some repairs done on a very much loved Buzz Lightyear toy. They said to simply bring it in and leave it with them for about ten days. ย They would see what they could do. ย We explained to Leo that Buzz had to go in for repairs. ย After awhile, Leo understood and said goodbye to Buzz.

The next day, just before they closed, Dean walked into the Disney Thinkway office with the old Buzz. ย The man behind the counter said, ‘You must be the people who called about repairs to an older Buzz Lightyear.’ ย Dean nodded and held up Leo’s Buzz. ย The man nodded knowingly, seeing the missing boot and missing arm. ย He then said, ‘I told my boss about your wife’s call and how your son loves Buzz so much,’…the man then reached under the counter and handed a shiny brand new Buzz to Dean. ย No charge, as long as they could have the old toy to study. ย Dean gladly surrendered old Buzz.

Leo awoke in the morning with the shiny new Buzz beside him. You never saw such a happy youngster. Not wanting to run with Buzz anymore, he shuffled into our room and sang out, ‘it’s morning time Mom and guess what? ย Buzz is all fixed up!’

buzz2
Leo’s drawing of Buzz Lightyear. ย Age 5.
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